When the Qur’an is recited, listen to it and be quiet so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-A‘raf; 204)
As Allah makes clear in this verse, listening carefully to the recitation of the Qur’an is an obligatory act of worship. In the second part of the verse, Allah states that this is a way to attain His mercy.
The Qur’an is the Divine word of Allah. Hence, the respect shown to Allah must be displayed to His word as well. Being silent and listening is a sincere sign of this act of respect. Whether one reads the Qur’an in Arabic, English or any other language, it must be with the same respect. In an environment where everyone is otherwise occupied, it is necessary to inform people of this ruling.
Some people consider it sufficient to hear the Qur’an on the radio in an environment where everyone is otherwise occupied and inattentive. However, because the Qur’an is the sublime word of Allah, it must be received with attention and respect. Moreover, one should contemplate the verses and pay heed to them.