Praise be to Allaah.
There is nothing to prevent a person looking at the Qur’aan without reciting it, in order to ponder its meanings and understand it. But he is not considered to be “reading” Qur’aan when he does that, and he does not earn the reward for reading it unless he pronounces (the words of) the Qur’aan, even if those around him do not hear him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Read the Qur’aan, for it will come on the Day of Resurrection to intercede for its companions.” (Narrated by Muslim).
What he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) meant by its companions is those who act upon it, as stated in other ahaadeeth. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads one letter of the Qur’aan will have one hasanah, and the hasanah will be rewarded tenfold.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Daarimi with a saheeh isnaad). And one cannot be counted as reading Qur’aan unless once actually pronounces it.
And Allaah is the source of strength.
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8, p. 363