Recitation of the Holy Qur’an is a science which needs to be studied so that every letter of the Qur’an can be recited with the correct pronunciation. Due to the vastness of the Arabic language, a small mistake in the pronunciation of a letter or word can change the meaning of that word. For example, the word ‘qalb’ (with a qāf), which means heart, if read ‘kalb’ (with a kāf), will mean ‘dog.’ Hence, reciting the Qur’an incorrectly will mean that, on occasions, you may unknowingly distort the meaning of the Qur’an.
The Tajweed classes will give a chance to brothers and sisters to learn how to recite the Qur’an properly, to improve and perfect their recitation and fulfill an important obligation of Islam.
What is Tajweed?
Tajweed is the science of reciting the Qur’an in accordance with the established rules and regulations of pronunciation so that every letter is recited with all its qualities from its correct place of pronunciation.
The Importance of Learning the Qur’an with Tajweed
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Holy Qur’an: “And recite the Qur’an with Tarteel (in a slow pleasant tone and style).” [73/4].
When asked about the meaning of tarteel, Sayyiduna Ali رضى الله عنه replied, “It means that the Qur’an should be recited withtajweed and with due observance to the rules of waqf (pausing or stopping at the end of a verse)”.
The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم has said, “Indeed Allah desires that the Qur’an be recited in the manner in which it was revealed.”
Benefits and Virtues of Tajweed
The benefit of learning and reciting the Qur’an in the correct manner is that a person will be able to fulfil his obligation as a Muslim towards the Qur’an. It will also become a means of him/her being honoured in this world and in the hereafter. Most importantly he/she will be able to read the Qur’an in the manner in which it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم . In onehadeeth the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has said,
اَفْضَلُ الْعِبَادَتِ قِرَاءَةُ الْقُرْاَن
“The best of all worship is the recitation of the Holy Qur’an.”
Ruling on Tajweed
According to all the great scholars of Islam it is compulsory to learn the Qur’an with Tajweed.
Ruling with regard to one who does not read the Qur’an with Tajweed
Since learning tajweed is an obligation, the one who recites the Qur’an without Tajweed and does not make attempts to rectify his/her recitation of the Qur’an will be incurring a sin for every mistake he/she makes. As for the one who does not care and is not bothered how he/she recites, then it is mentioned in one hadeeth:
رُبَّ قَارِئٍ لِلْقُرْاَنِ وَالْقُرْانُ يَلْعَنُهُ
“Many are they who recite the Qur’an while the Qur’an curses them.”
What we need to know
In order to recite the Holy Qur’an in the correct manner as it was revealed and recited by the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم we need to familiarise ourselves with the knowledge of two things:
1. The correct pronunciation of the letters of the Arabic alphabet.
2. The rules related to perfecting the recitation of the Qur’an.
By perfecting the above one will be able to read the Qur’an with Tajweed. The Tajweed course is divided into three stages.
What are the three stages?
The three stages of the tajweed course are:
- The pronunciation of letters – firstly, we will learn how to correctly pronounce the Arabic alphabet as well as becoming familiar with Arabic words and sentences. Insha’Allah by the end of this stage we will be able to recite basic words and sentences of the Qur’an to a certain extent.
- The rules relating to perfecting ones recitation - now that we are in a position to identify and read the letters and words of the Qur’an with the correct pronunciation, we will learn all the rules related to perfecting ones recitation e.g. the rules relating to prolonging a letter, letters and words which should be pronounced from the nose, rules related to stopping and so on.
- The implementation - everything that we have learned by this stage should now be implemented into our recitation of the Qur’an. One should be in a position to identify and implement the correct pronunciation of letters as well as all the different rules whilst he/she is reciting the Qur’an. Insha’Allah at the end of this stage one should be able read the Qur’an fluently and in the correct manner.
- One should not attend with a high expectation of learning the Qur’an quickly. The more time and effort one dedicates in learning the Qur’an, the more precise and correct one’s recitation will become. Practice makes better. Every minute taken out to learn the Qur’an is rewarded. Please note that since every individual has different abilities and therefore there is no specific time scale to complete this course. Everyone will work at their own pace.
- Extra time (other than the allocated class time) should be spent to revise the Qur’an.
- With regard to the rules of Tajweed, one should always remember to learn, identify and then implement them.
- Necessary etiquettes should be adopted before proceeding to recite the Qur’an. This will help towards making the reciting of the Qur’an easier.
Some common misconceptions
- There are some who say that Tajweed is not important as long as the meanings do not change. Unfortunately people who utter such statements are ignorant of the great emphasis laid down in the Qur’an and Sunnah with regards to Tajweed. As mentioned above, not a single great scholar of Islam has stated that it is not compulsory. A person who recites the Qur’an without Tajweed and does not make an attempt to rectify his/her recitation, rather than receiving a reward, the person is actually committing a sin for every mistake that is made.
- Many people think that it is only necessary to finish the recitation of the Qur’an once. It can then be put away to gather dust upon the shelf. This is completely wrong and a Muslim should not adopt this attitude. For a Muslim the Qur’an is his/her life. It is something that he/she cannot do without. This should be the attitude in terms of acting upon the Qur’an as well as reciting the Qur’an. If possible, it should be recited every day of ones life.
- Some people who do not know how to read the Qur’an correctly think it is acceptable to teach other people how to recite the Qur’an. This is also totally wrong. Teaching the Qur’an is rewarding, however, to teach it incorrectly incurs the curse of Allah.