Tran: Abû Sahl al Atharī
Ash Shaykh Muhammad 'Umar al Bazmūl writes: Scholars differed, which one is the best; slow with little recitation or quick with copious recitation?
Answer: Some amongst them opined that, quick recitation is the best and leaned on the report of Ibn Mas'ūd, the Messenger of Allāh (SallaLlāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: He who reads an alphabet in the Book of Allāh, has a reward, and the reward is equal to ten. At Tirmidhī collected it and authenticated it. And other (reporters) lesser than him mentioned "each letter is equivalent to ten rewards.' And because, 'Uthmān (may Allāh be pleased with him) used to read a whole Quran in a rak'ah. And they mentioned many reports of the pious predecessors regarding copious recitation.
The authentic view, rather the most correct, that larger number of the past and present scholars are upon is, slow recitation with little recitation with the accompaniment of pondering is better that swift with copious recitation, because the intent of (reading) al Qur'ān is to understand it, study the jurisprudence in it and act upon it. Its recitation and memorization are means to (understanding) its meaning. This was textually reported from Ibn Mas'ūd and Ibn 'Abbās (may Allāh be pleased with them).
Mujāhid (bn Jābir) was asked regarding two individuals; one from them read Al Baqarah, while the other one read al Baqarah and Āl 'Imrān in a Salah which has a rukū' and a sujūd.
He (Mujāhid) said: The one that read Al Baqarah only is more honorable. This was why many of the pious predecessors used to repeat a single verse till the dawn, as done by the Prophet (SallaLlāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) and some of them said: Al-Qur'an was revealed in order to implement it, unfortunately its recitation is taken as action.
It was reported from Ka'b Al Qurzī - may Allāh shower His blessing upon him- that he used to say: I prefer reading 'Idhā zilzilat al Ardu and Al Qāri'ah' without any addition, while repeating them and ponder upon them in my night (prayer) till dawn to reading it swiftly.
Some of our scholars said: The reward of the slow recitation with pondering is bigger and esteemed in weight, while the reward of the swift recitation is many in number.
The first is just like one who gives alms in a great gem or who frees a slave that its price is so expensive. The second is just like who gives alms in much dirhams or frees many slaves with very low price.
Al Imām Abū Hāmid al Ghazzalī - may Allāh shower His blessing upon him - said: Know, the slow recitation is recommended, not just for pondering, because the non-Arab that does not understand the meaning of the Qur'ān also recommended for him to read slowly and easily because this is near to venerating and honoring (the Qur'an) and has a greater influence on the heart than babbling and quickening.
Some of them did distinguish between at Tahqīq (quick recitation) and at Tartīl (slow recitation): At Tahqīq is for revising, learning and training, while at Tartīl is for pondering, contemplation and derivation of evidence. All tahqīq is tartīl and not vice versa.
It was reported from 'Alī that he was asked about the statement of The Team High 'and recite the Quran (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.'
He said: At Tartīl is pronouncing the letters appropriately and knowing the (signs of) stop.
Sharh Sifatis Salah p. 231-232
Ramadān. 12, 144 A.H