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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tajweed - Get it Right!

Importance of Tajweed

One of the most problematic issues that some are aware of, and some are unaware, is the need for correct Tajweed. We have a real problem in the indo-pak communities with Tajweed or more specifically the lack of it! What we are really talking about is the correct sound being made from the articulation points of the letters.


When we read the Arabic Quran in Urdu which is a major problem because it was not revealed in Urdu. As that is a language that was ‘made up’ some time ago so that different speakers of Muslims could communicate. Arabic is a language far greater than that, far greater.

Each of us is taxed according to their ability to learn, so if someone has a chance to learn the correct pronunciation of words then they should. They will see an improvement in their prayer when they learn and they may have thought it was not possible. I would personally recommend trying to find someone who know Quranic Arabic correctly and correcting ones recitation. You may have individuals in your community who can help you and even if it is one lesson a week do and you’ll see the difference.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon peace and blessings) said, “The reciter who makes errors has two rewards, one for the recitation and one for his difficulty.” (Bukhari 4937).

“We have sent to him the Arabic Quran that perhaps you understand.” (Yunis 12.2).

Note the Quranic passage says Arabic Quran and not Urdu Quran or anything language.


Learning the correct recitation is obligatory for all Muslims and to not do this puts your Quranic recitation in danger of being invalid. Meaning that you prayer may also be invalid as well. The Hanafi’s are not as strict as the Shafi’s because two words (or three words indo-pak) in correct Tajweed makes the prayer valid. As for the Shafi’s if it is not all correctly recited then it is not a valid prayer. Qadi Khan said if someone is trying to correct their Tajweed then their prayer is valid as they have an excuse.

I really do not excuse those people who have a chance to learn the correct Tajweed and choose not to. It is true that some letters take practice but we have to at least try. You need to know where each sound comes from and then practice it until you get it right, this make take several weeks to even this far but it is worth it.

There are two types of mistake in recitation Lahn Al-Jalali/manifest error and Lahn Al-Hafi/hidden error. The difference between the two is that Lahn Al-Jalali is when a letter is pronounced incorrectly and this can break the prayer if it occurs. Lahn Al-Hafi is a mistake with Tajweed and if it occurs it will not break the prayer.

Ramadan massacre

Ramadan is one of the most happiest months of the year and it is the month of the Quran. But sadly now it is the month that we massacre the Quran by not pronouncing anything comprehensible during the extra night prayers. This is one the saddest things that someone can hear the book of Allah (the Exalted) being massacred and we say nothing.

There is a way of reciting quickly but getting it right but no one does that now they just read it quickly trying to get to the end. We try to follow one Sunna of finishing the Quran but how many fard actions have we demolished? It’s like destroying a house but placing a big vase of yellow flowers on top. Yes, the flowers look nice but what have we done!

Are we people who mock the Quran?

“My people have renounced the Qur'an.” (25:30)

Is this us? Or are we people who recite it correctly?

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Perhaps someone recites the Quran and it curses him." (Muslim).

I seek refuge with Allah from this.

How did the Messenger recite?

The Prophet (May Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) used to recite the Qur’an in slow, measured, rhythmic tones as Allah had instructed him, not hurriedly, but rather he would recite a surah in such slow rhythmic tones that it would be longer than it would seem possible. (Muslim, Muwatta).

How should we recite?

That’s simple recite how the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) if you don’t know what to do in any matter then look at the Sunna and you’ll know what to do. It’s that simple we don’t need to theorise or philosophise we just need to open your ears and listen to a Qari who recites correctly. Please click here for forty hadith on the Quran complied by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Nabahani (may Allah show him mercy).

Hudhyafah (may Allah pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Recite the Quran in the tone of the Arabs, and their sounds." (Bayhaqi in Sha'b al-Iman 2/540).

Please click here for common misprounced letters of the Quran.

Don’t sing please

As almost a complete contrast to the Ramadan massacre many people recite the Quran like they would a nasheed or Qasida. This is really not the correct manners with the Quran as its the book of Allah not the book of a person. People who have this concept that the Quran needs to be sung have misunderstood the Quranic passage.

“Recite the Qur’an distinctly.” (73:4)

Meaning correctly and clearly but not singing okay? NO singing!

Yes, we should beatify the Quran but we should not overly embellish our recitations by elongating certain letters over above the correct amount just so we excite the gathering into throwing Scottish notes at us!

The Prophet (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, “The one who has the finest voices among the people for reciting the Qur’an is the one whom you think fears Allah when you hear him recite.” (Daarimi, Tabaraani).

“Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading.” (2.121)

Quran proof against you or for you

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow upon him peace and blessings) said, "The Quran is a proof for you or against you." (Muslim 1/203, Imam Ahmed 5/342).

Do you want the Quran to come on the day of judgement to curse you because you are reading something incorrectly? He did not read me correctly or do you want to come and help you? It’s a simple choice.

Reward for correct recitation

Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, “Whoever recites a letter of the book of Allah has one good deed and one good deed is worth ten similar to it. I do not say Alif, Lam Meem is a letter rather Alif is letter; Lam is letter and Meem is a letter.” (At-Tirmidhi Hassan Sahih)

The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, “The reciter of the Quran, on the day of judgement, will stop at the first level of Paradise. He will be asked to recite then he recites as he did in the world and his abode is the last Quranic passage in which he stops.” (Abu Dawood).

This should be sufficient for you to try to correct your Tajweed and get reading to ascend great levels because of your correct Tajweed but if you don’t have the correct Tajweed and your recitation is not valid then where will you go? Also note what if someone does not read the Quran where will they go? Does this not scare you? It terrifies me just to think about it!

“The Messenger states, “O my Lord, my people ignore the Qur’an.” (25.30).

I pray to Allah (mighty and Majestic) that we are not from these people.

“An Arabic Quran without crookedness that perhaps you will become fearful.” (39:28)

We do not claim to Abdulbasit in terms of Quranic recitation nor do we claim to be the worst but we are advising people to look into this matter and try to correct themselves because it will benefit them in two worlds not just one. As with anything that I write; I accuse myself first.

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