The beauty of Quran recitation lies on the tajweed. Tajweed itself means ‘proficiency’ or ‘doing something well’ which implies that there are rules to be observed. Applied to Quran recitation, obeying the tajweed rules means to read the Quran with such proficiency that each letter in the Quran is given its rights and dues of characteristics.
These rules are established not for nothing. It gives beauty to Quran recitation itself in such a way that when listening to Quran being recited correctly, we could feel the deeply moving experience. Besides, chanting Quran with a good voice does not only please the listener and gives self-satisfaction. The ultimate reward is that Allah loves it as said by Abu Hurayra, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Allah does not listen to anything so gladly as He listens to a Prophet with a good voice chanting the Quran aloud.”
Even Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) recited Quran with the help of Jibreel (alaihis salaam) that showed the Prophet in what ways Quran was permissible to recite. Even the best of the human is learning. Isn’t that a good enough motivation for us to start learning now?
Learning the tajweed rules is not only an obligation for those who are in their way to recite Quran, but it is also a Sunnah. As Allah says in the Quran, “And recite the Quran (aloud) in (slow and melodious) style (tarteela).” (Surah Muzzammil, aayah 4).
The thing about learning tajweed rules is that you can’t do it overnight. There are seventy rules to tajweed, and it’s quite a struggle for a beginner to learn all of them. I myself, know from experience the struggle of learning the tajweed rules, since I am not a native Arabic speaker myself.
The first thing in tajweed rules to learn is makhraj or origin of words. The 29 Arabic letters originate from 17 different places in your mouth that give each letter its distinctive sound. Pronouncing the letter clearly and correctly from the place it originates is the first thing to learn.
Sifat or attributes are the elements that determine how a letter should be pronounced, either soft or sharp. Then there are also basic rules called ikhfa, ghunna, idzar, idgha, qalb that determine the sounds of letters when meeting certain letters. Adding to these tajweed rules is madd or elongation that determines the length in which a letter should be pronounced under certain conditions.
Knowing the basic tajweed rules will at least not make you do the common mistakes in Quran recitation. There are two known common mistakes among scholarships; clear mistakes and unobvious mistakes. The clear mistakes include the incorrect pronunciation of words that can change the meaning of the words. This can be a fatal mistake as you may deliver wrong message.
The common clear mistakes among scholars are changing one letter into another, or a short vowel (harakah) into another, not observing the elongations (madd), and stopping or starting at an incorrect place so that the meaning is spoilt.
As most of us can easily notice the clear mistakes, it’s not the same case for unobvious mistakes. Usually only those who have studied tajweed rules or experts in this field that notice such unobvious mistakes. These mistakes include not being totally exact with the length of madd, or not observing the attributes of each letter perfectly. This kind of mistakes may not change the message, but it may spoil the harmonious melody of Quran recitation.
Preoccupation with the Quran is one of the most virtuous acts of worship, whether by reciting it, pondering on its meanings, or working according to its teachings. Quran recitation is great art in its self. There is a difference between reading and reciting Quran.
To improve your Quran recitation, learning tajweed rules is a must. There are many ways that you can take to reach proficiency in learning tajweed rules.
- Find a teacher
Start by practice, practice and practice. You can also find a teacher with an excellent understanding of Quran and Arabic to listen to your recitation and correct you.
- Listen to Quran audio
In your spare time, listen to Quran audio being recited by skilled Qori’. These days you can easily find Quran recitation recordings online and download them. This Quran audio is a good example of tarteel Quran recitation. Here is a trusted Online Quran Learning website for you www.learn-quran.co
- Read tajweed mushaf
While listening to the Quran audio, you can read tajweed Mushaf, a kind of Quran featuring the rules of Tajweed presented in color coding. The best thing is that you don’t have to buy the book because now there are various tajweed mushaf available online. Smartphone users can now even download the Quran application and learn Quran recitation anytime anywhere with ease.
Learning the tajweed rules and reciting Quran perfectly can help you to please Allah and to receive His blessings. And remember, practice and practice. Repetition will make perfect insha Allah.