The Noble Quran is the miraculous and infallible word of Allah that was revealed as a source of guidance and legislation for mankind. It provides guidance on all aspects of life, including social, economic, and religious matters, and references the Hereafter. As such, it is imperative that the Quran is read, written, and recited correctly and clearly, in order to avoid any ambiguity or misunderstanding.
Start your Quran journey now by Fajr Al-Quran Academy
During the spread of Islam, many non-Arabic speaking individuals struggled with the pronunciation of the Arabic letters and sounds when reciting the Quran, leading to errors and distortions. To address this issue, Muslim scholars recorded the rules and foundations that regulate the correct pronunciation of the Quran, naming it the Science of Tajweed. Tajweed rules were not created by these scholars but were rather observed from the perfect readers who read as they were taught by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Tajweed is a science that cannot be learned only from a book, as the most important part of Tajweed involves learning the correct positions of the organs of speech and the manner of articulation. The Quran can lose its meaning if the letters are not pronounced correctly, highlighting the importance of Tajweed in the recitation of the Quran.
Tajweed comes from the Arabic word “Jayyid,” meaning “good,” and linguistically means proficiency or doing something well. When applied to the Quran, Tajweed means giving every letter of the Quran its rights and dues of characteristics when reciting the Quran,and observing the rules that apply to those letters in different situations. Tajweed involves giving the letters their rights by observing the essential characteristics of each letter and their dues by observing the characteristics of each letter that are present in them some of the time and not present at other times. The Quran was revealed with Tajweed rules applied to it, and it is obligatory upon us to observe those rules so that we recite it in the way it was revealed.
The ruling of reading with Tajweed is of absolute necessity, as clear mistakes in recitation can change the meaning of the Quran. The scholars have divided the types of mistakes one might fall into when reciting the Quran into two types: clear mistakes and unobvious mistakes. Clear mistakes are those that usually change obvious things and change the meaning, while unobvious mistakes are those that are to do with perfecting pronunciation and are not obvious, known only by those who have studied Tajweed rules or experts in this field.
It is an individual obligation (Fard ‘Ayn) upon every Muslim who has memorized part of or all of the Quran to avoid clear mistakes. As for applying all of the rules of Tajweed and avoiding the unobvious mistakes, it is a communal obligation (Fard Kifaayah) upon the Muslim ummah. The Quran was revealed with the Tajweed rules applied to it, and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recited it back to Jibreel in that way, and theCompanions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) read it in that way, so it is an established Sunnah.
The importance of Tajweed is further emphasized by the fact that Allah has instructed us to recite the Quran in a slow and melodious style (tarteela), and to give the Quran its right in recitation (recite it as it should be recited). The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite the Quran in slow, measured, rhythmic tones, stopping at the end of each ayah. He also commanded people to recite in a beautiful voice in a pleasant melodious tone, as a fine voice increases the Quran’s beauty. The Prophet (peace be upon him) even said that he who does not recite the Quran in a pleasant tone is not of us.
In conclusion, Tajweed is an essential science that must be studied and applied by Muslims who recite the Quran. By observing the Tajweed rules, we give every letter of the Quran its due rights and characteristics, which ensures that we recite the Quran in the way it was revealed, with the correct pronunciation, and without any ambiguity or misunderstanding.
The Quran is the divine word of Allah, containing within its pages an array of teachings and instructions for mankind. It is replete with passages that exhort, warn, encourage, and inspire us to reflect on our lives and actions. Therefore, when we recite the Quran, we must do so with feeling, striving to convey the full message encapsulated within each verse. However, many of us lack confidence in our recitation, owing to inadequate knowledge of Tajweed and a limited understanding of Arabic.
To overcome these obstacles, we must work diligently to learn Tajweed and Arabic. We need to find a qualified teacher who has studied Tajweed to correct our recitation and help us apply the rules correctly. Tajweed is a science that cannot be learned merely from books; it requires guidance from a teacher and practice. We can also refer to books that explain the rules of Tajweed, with diagrams that show us how to pronounce each letter correctly.
Moreover, we can listen to Quran reciters who recite with clarity and at a moderate or slow speed, such as Sheikh Hudhaify and Sheikh Muhammad Hosary, and try to emulate their tone and melody as well as notice how they apply the different rules of Tajweed. We can also use a Tajweed Mus-haf, which incorporates the rules of Tajweed in the text of the Quran in color-coding, prompting us as we recite. And, we can apply the rules we learn to the Surahs we have alreadymemorized, taking care not to become lazy about reciting them correctly.
Remember, practice and repetition are key to mastering Tajweed. As Ibn al-Jazaree says in his poem about acquiring Tajweed, “And there is no obstacle between it (learning Tajweed) and leaving it, except that a person must exercise his mouth with it!” Therefore, let us make a concerted effort to learn Tajweed and apply its rules to our recitation of the Quran, so that we may honor the divine word of Allah and convey its message accurately and meaningfully.