When you recite the Qur’an, you are performing an act of worship for which you are seeking Allah’s pleasure and reward. This, as well as other acts of worship must fulfill two conditions- sincerity and Mutaa’ba’ah (following the prophet [PBUH) in the way one performs the act of worship; otherwise the deed performed is rejected.
Imam An-Nawawee explained that one who recites the Qur’an is first and foremost commanded to be sincere in his recitation, to seek Allah’s countenance, and not to intend the achievement of any other goal.
In a famous hadith related by Abu hureirah (RA), the prohet (PBUH) said;
“…..Another to be among the first to be judged on the day of judgement is a man who learnt the Qur’an, taught it and recited it. he will be brought forward; the blessings he recieved will be mentioned to him and he will acknowledge them.
Then Allah (SWT) will say:’What did you do for them?’ The man will say, ‘I learnt knowledge and taught it and i recited the Qur’an for You.’ Allah (SWT) will say, ‘You have lied, but instead you learnt knowledge so that it would be said: he is a sholar; and you recited the Qur’an so that it would be said; he is a reciter, and both statements have been said.’
Then an order will be given regarding him, he will be dragged on his face until he is thrown into the Hellfire.” [Muslim 1905]
May Allah (SWT) make us among the ones who learn, recite and teach the Qur’an solely for His sake.