I have heard that reading the Qur'an is optional while listening to it is obligatory. Is this true? Moreover if a person is sleeping and another person starts reading the Qur'an there with a loud voice such that the sleeping person gets disturbed, then what should the sleeping person do because ignoring the Qur'an is not good. Is it proper to read the Qur'an in such a way that it disturbs others? Please clarify.
The Islamic Shari'ah has not classified listening and reading the Qur'an as two acts entailing two different obligations. It has never held that reading it is optional and listing to it is obligatory. Rather consulting the Qur'an for attaining guidance is necessary in all circumstances no matter how we do this. The Holy Qur'an is the word of God and is the last and final revelation sent down for the guidance of mankind regarding religious affairs. Therefore it should be given due regard and used for the purpose it has been revealed. We hope that God would reward those who read consciously and seek guidance from it. But I do not understand that merely reading it to accumulate reward does any good to us. For this is not the purpose of the revelation of the Qur'an. The Almighty requires us to advance in knowledge regarding his commandments and strive to act upon them to secure a place in Paradise. Nowhere does it exhort the believers to read it just for the sake of reading in order to earn reward. I understand that each and every book when read out to you with the purpose of drawing your attention to the message merits consideration. But that only relates to someone's call to you regarding understanding it and paying heed to it. It should not be related to the recitation of the Qur'an one does for nothing other than getting reward. It is not a befitting attitude to start reciting in a gathering where people are engaged in their affairs or are taking rest. If someone does so, then he is the one who needs to be taught the right approach. It not only causes disturbance for others but also is disrespectful to the Book of God.