73:4 (Y. Ali) Or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tone
18:27 (Y. Ali) And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.
2:121 (Y. Ali) Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied: They are the ones that believe therein: Those who reject faith therein,- the loss is their own.
27:92 (Y. Ali) And to rehearse the Qur’an: and if any accept guidance, they do it for the good of their own souls, and if any stray, say: “I am only a Warner”.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, ‘Indeed Allah desires that the Qur’aan be recited in the manner it was revealed.’
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, ‘The Qur’aan will either testify in your favour or against you.’
“Hadhrat ‘Aa’ishah (Radhiyallaho anha) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once said. “One who is well versed in the Quran will be in the company of those angels who are scribes, noble and righteous; and one who falters in reading the Quran, and has to exert hard for learning, gets double the reward.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidzi, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah)
Umm Salamah was asked about the recitation of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and she described it as a recitation ‘clearly-distinguished letter by letter’.
Sa’eed bin Mansoor relates in his Sunan that a man was reciting the Qur’an to Abdullah bin Mas’ood and he recited
“Innamas sadaqaatu lil fuqara-i wal masaakeen”, so Ibn mas’ood said: “This was not how the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) recited it to me!” So the man asked,
“How did he read it to you oh Aba Abdir-Rahman?” So he said “Lil Fuqaraaaa-i wal masaakeen”,
Learn Tajweed with Yasir Qadhi
Listening to the Qur’an being recited correctly is enough to soften even the hardest of hearts and Muslims and non-Muslims alike find it a deeply moving experience even if they do not understand what is being said. Every single Muslim has to recite Qur’an in Salah but many of us do not realise that reciting the Qur’an correctly, observing the rules of recitation is not an advanced science for expert reciters alone, rather it is an obligation upon each and every one of us whenever we recite the Qur’an.
What is Tajweed
The word Tajweed linguistically means ‘proficiency’ or ‘doing something well’. It comes from the same root letters as the word ‘Jayyid’ in Arabic (meaning ‘good’): Jeem, Waw and Daal. When applied to the Qur’an, it means giving every letter of the Qur’an its rights and dues of characteristics when we recite the Qur’an and observing the rules that apply to those letters in different situations. We give the letters their rights by observing the essential characteristics of each letter that never leave it. And we give them 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 Qur’an was revealed with Tajweed rules applied to it. In other words, when the angel Jibreel (alaihis salaam) recited the words of Allah to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) he recited them in a certain way and he showed the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) the ways in which it was permissible to recite the Qur’an. So it is upon us to observe those rules so that we recite it in the way it was revealed.
At the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) there was no need for people to study Tajweed because they talked with what is now known as Tajweed so it was natural for them. When the Arabs started mixing with the non-Arabs as Islam spread, mistakes in Qur’an recitation started appearing, so the scholars had to record the rules. Now, because the everyday Arabic that Arabs speak has changed so much from the Classical Arabic with which the Qur’an was revealed, even Arabs have to study Tajweed.
The purpose of Tajweed
The Qur’an is the word of Allah, and its every syllable is from Allah. Its recitation must be taken very seriously. The purpose of the Science of Tajweed in essence is to make the reciter proficient in reciting the Qur’an, observing the correct pronunciation of every letter with the rulings and characteristics which apply to each letter, without any exaggeration or deficiency. And so through this the reciter can recite the Qur’an upon the way of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) who received it from Jibreel who received it from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) in the Classical Arabic dialect that it came down in.
Arabic letters each have a Makhraj – an exit or articulation point – in the mouth or throat from which they originate and they also each have Sifaat – attributes, or characteristics – particular to them. Knowing the Makhraj and Sifaat of each letter is an important part of Tajweed. Sometimes two letters have very similar exits which makes mixing them up easy. So if a person does not know the attributes of each letter there is a danger that he will change the meaning of the words in Qur’an recitation. Observing the rules of Tajweed in reciting protects the reciter from making mistakes in reciting the Qur’an.
The ruling of reading with Tajweed
Muhammad bin Al-Jazaree the great Qur’an and Hadeeth scholar of the 9th Century (Hijri) says in his famous poem detailing the rules of Tajweed:
“And applying Tajweed is an issue of absolute necessity, Whoever doesn’t apply Tajweed to the Qur’an, then a sinner is he.”
Helpful Tips towards learning Tajweed
• You must find a Qur’an teacher who has studied Tajweed to listen to your recitation and correct you. Tajweed cannot merely be learnt from books, because the movements of your mouth as well as the sounds are important and only a teacher can correct you and make sure you are applying the rules correctly. Sometimes local Mosques will run classes. Qur’an recitation is a science which was passed down generation by generation through teachers not just books, with a direct line to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam)
• Find a book containing the rules of Tajweed and learn each rule little by little, applying it as you go along with the help of your teacher. There are many concise Arabic books and in English there are some books as well as tapes to help. Look for books with some drawings showing you how to pronounce each letter.
• Listen to Qur’an tapes of reciters who recite very clearly, at a medium or slow speed (like Sheikh Hudhaify or Sheikh Muhammad Hosary) and try and notice them applying the different rules of Tajweed. Repeat after them while trying to apply the rules you’ve learnt. Try to copy their tone and melody as well and see how it changes as the meaning of what they’re reciting changes.
• Tajweed website: There is an excellent Tajweed website I came across in English which details many aspects of Tajweed in a very clear way including a Question and Answer section:
• Tajweed Mus-haf: You can get a new Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’an), called Mus-haf at-Tajweed, which has the rules of Tajweed incorporated in the text of the Qur’an in colour coding! This is very helpful as it prompts you as you go along. There is also a computer program you can buy with it which highlights Tajweed rules with recitation.
• Tajweed Poem: If you know Arabic you could memorise Ibn al-Jazaree’s poem which contains all the rules of Tajweed. You can get the poem on tape sung as a nasheed in Arab countries. You might find memorising the rules easy in this way.
• Try and apply the rules you learn to the Surahs you have already memorised and don’t become lazy about reciting correctly. You might have to revise the surahs by looking back at them.
• Practice and repetition will make perfect insha Allah: 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!’
source: Importance of tajweed