Saying Sadaqa Allahu Al-`Azhim upon finishing recitation of the Qur’an
Q: I often hear that saying Sadaqa Allahu Al-`Adhim upon finishing recitation of the Glorious Qur’an is an act of Bid`ah (innovation in religion). Other people told me that there was nothing wrong with it. Supporting their view, they quote the Ayah (Qur’anic verse) which reads: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Allâh has spoken the truth; follow the religion of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) Hanîfa (Islâmic Monotheism, i.e. he used to worship Allâh Alone) ” Some educated people also told me that whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted a Qur’an reciter to end his recitation, he would just say “That is enough”. Never did he use to ask him to say Sadaqa Allahu Al-`Adhim. Therefore, would you kindly give a detailed explanation of the relevant ruling.
A: Habitual saying of Sadaqa Allahu Al-Azhim upon concluding recitation of the Glorious Qur’an is not supported by any proof in the Shari`ah (Islamic Law) and should, therefore, not be used as a common practice. It belongs to the category of Bid`ah particularly when someone believes it to be an act of Sunnah. Such a practice must be given up.
As for the Ayah which reads: ” Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Allâh has spoken the truth ” it has nothing to do with saying this expression. The Ayah simply means that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is commanded by Allah (Exalted be He) to make it clear to people that the revelations contained in the Tawrah (Torah), the Injil (Gospel) and all other heavenly revealed Scriptures are true.
By the same token, clear revelations contained in the Glorious Qur’an are true. However, this does not establish a proof for the desirability to conclude reading of some Ayahs or a certain Surah of the Qur’an by saying: Sadaqa Allahu Al-`Adhim. Neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor any of his Sahabah (Companions, may Allah be pleased with them) were authentically reported to have done such a practice. The Prophet once listened to Ibn Mas`ud reading Surah Al-Nisa’. Upon reaching the Ayah which reads: How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) as a witness against these people? ” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him:”That is enough”. Ibn Mas`ud said: “When I turned to him, I saw his eyes shedding tears.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) was moved to tears because the Ayah reminded him of the great horror of the Day of Resurrection. The Ayah reads: How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) ” …as a witness against these people ” i.e. The Muslim people.
In short, there exists no evidence in the Shari`ah that makes it desirable to conclude recitation of the Qur’an by saying: Sadaqa Allahu Al-`Adhim. This expression has to be left unsaid so that one would be following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them). However, there is nothing wrong if someone happens to say this expression unintentionally. Since Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) always speaks the truth, this expression of Sadaqa Allahu Al-Azhim has to be thought of as an absolute expression which should not be limited to a given time, place, or situation. Therefore, habitual recitation of this expression whenever one finishes reading the Qur’an has no evidence in its support as has been early mentioned.