One must strive to be sincere when learning and reciting the Qur’aan. Both learning and reciting the Quran are acts of worship for which one is only seeking Allah’s pleasure and reward. The validity of any act of worship is that the following two conditions are fulfilled: sincerity and Mutaaba`ah (following the Prophet in the way one performs the act of worship).
Intention is not merely the statement of the tongue nor is it simply a thought on the mind, rather it is the motivating force in the heart to perform a deed solely for the sake of the Almighty.
An-Nawawee explained that the one who recites the Quran is first and foremost commanded to be sincere, seek Allāh’s pleasure and to not intend any worldly gain from the recitation. The Prophet pbhu warned against reciting the Book of Allāh to seek praise and veneration from the people. Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allāh r said, “The first man to be judged on the Day of Resurrection…is a man who learnt knowledge and taught it, as well as recited the Qur’aan. He will be brought forward, and acquainted with his blessings and he will recognise them. He will say, “What did you do for them?” The man will say, “I learnt knowledge and taught it as well as recited the Qur’aan for Your sake.” He will say, “You lie, rather you learnt knowledge so it would be said, ‘A scholar!’ and you recited the Qur’aan so it would be said, ‘He is a reciter!’ and it has already been said.” Then an order will be given and he will be dragged upon his face until he is thrown into the Fire…” (Related by Muslim)
Sincerity to Allāh’s Book comprises of believing in what the Qur’aan tells us and harbouring no reservations about what it says. We must know that the Quran is Allāh’s word that was revealed to Muhammad pbhu Submitting to the commandments found in the Qur’aan and living by its teachings is also an integral part of being sincere to Allāh’s Book.
We must believe that the laws enumerated in the Quran are the best of laws that can never be rivalled by man-made laws.
Another aspect of this sincerity is to come to the defence of the Qur’aan from those who would aspire to corrupt, abuse, and misinterpret it with their tongues. Allāh has taken the preservation of the Qur’aan upon Himself.
However, this does not mean that people will not try to misrepresent it and corrupt how people approach it and understand it.