What Is Tajweed? 2023 Best Guide To the Rules of Tajweed

2022 Best Introduction to The Rules of Tajweed

What is Tajweed?

Tajweed in the Arabic language is an improvement, it means “to make better” or “to improve”. The word tajweed is a derivative of “Jawdah”, which means “Quality’, and tajweed means “proficiency” or “mastery” at reciting the Quran. It is a set of rules that will help you learn how to recite the Quran in the manner recited by the Prophet (PBUH). The meaning of tajweed as terminology is an Islamic science based on using recitation rules.

The term “tajweed” refers to one of the sciences of the Noble Qur’an, which is concerned with the rules (ahkam) of the pronunciation of letters from their correct exits in the same way we received through a continuous chain of narrators ending with the Messenger of Allah, PBUH. Thus, a student of Tajweed ensures that he recites the Qur’an in the same way that the Prophet, PBUH, used to recite it.

Tajweed is the set of rules and guidelines used to correctly recite the Quran in a proper mannar as tought by the scholars of Qiraat. The rules of Tajweed include proper pronunciation of Arabic letters and sounds, the correct pronunciation of vowels and consonants, proper elongation or shortening of sounds, correct use of voice modulation, and correct placement of emphasis and pauses. The aim of Tajweed is to ensure that the recitation of the Quran is clear, beautiful, and accurate.

Learning Tajweed is an important part of studying the Quran, and there are many schools and teachers who specialize in teaching Tajweed to students. Many Muslims consider the recitation of the Quran with proper Tajweed to be a form of worship, and it is often heard in daily prayers and during special religious ceremonies.

Read also: Is Learning Tajweed Fard “Obligatory”?

Did Prophet Muhammad Teach Tajweed?

The Angel Jibreel, PBUH, used to teach the Prophet Muhammad, PBUH, to read the Qur’an with the application of the provisions of intonation (ahkam-ul-tajweed) in a practical way, and the Prophet, PBUH, taught it to the Companions in the same way.

The Companions taught it to their children until it reached us after a long series of scholars who were keen that the correct way of reciting The Noble Qur’an not to perish; so they early elicited the rules of tajweed and wrote them down, and tajweed is now taught in two parallel ways:

Theoretically: by studying those rules that pertain to each letter.

Practically: by practicing recitation of the Qur’an with the application of those rules under the supervision of a sheikh who is licensed in Tajweed.

When Did Tajweed Start?

When the Quran was revealed in the Arabic language to Prophet Muhammed peace (PBUH), it was recited by specific rules that ensured the correct reading. But there were a lot of mistakes that occurred during reading the Quran after spreading Islam, especially among non-Arab Muslims, so it needed to set rules and study them to recite the Quran properly, and that was the beginning of the foundation of tajweed.

Is tajweed mandatory?

Learning the rules of tajweed in theory is a collective duty, and as for applying the rules in practice when reciting, it is an individual duty.

In this article, we get acquainted with some of the most famous rules/ahkam of tajweed.

Knowing the meaning of tajweed requires also understanding its rules that Muslims learned to be proficient at reciting the Quran.

There are many main elements in tajweed science like the repetition of tongue exercises and the various ways of pronouncing letters.

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1. The Rules of Al Qalqalah

One of the most prominent rules in tajweed is Al Qalqalah. Qalqalah is the vibration of the sound at the end of the pronunciation of any of these letters (qaaf, ţaa, baa, jee, daal) when it is saakinh in the middle or the end of a word. It is based on strong vibration and disturbance of the tongue which appears at the end of intonation, it can be pronounced in shaddah mark (double letter) or sukoon case (no movement), this rule is shown in the following letters: 

Qaaf letter (ق).

Baa letter (ب).

Daal letter (د)

Jiim letter (ج)

Taa letter (ط).

This was a quick review of the definitions of the most famous rules of tajweed. Of course, a person interested in mastering tajweed needs to study it under the supervision of a person licensed to teach it so that he can become familiar with the ahkaam of tajweed mentioned in this article and others in a practical way that shows its impact on his recitation of the Holy Qur’an.

2. The Rules of Meem Sakinah

Meem Saakinah is the meem with no Harakah or with a Sukoon sign on it. This rule includes 3 basic elements which are: Al-Ikhfaa ‘As-shafawi, Al-Idghaam Al-Mithlayan, and Al-Ith’har As- shafawi.

A. Ikhfaa Shafawi:

 The first element which is Al-Ikhfaa ‘As-shafawi is shown in the baa letter (ب). It is pronounced after the letter meem sakinah. Hiding meem by the Baa with the two lips are not completely in contact with 2 beats ghunnah.

B. Idghaam Shafawi:

The next element which is Al-Idghaam Al-Mithlayan appears only in the meem letter (م) whether it is a vowel or consonant. Mixing of a Meem saakinah into a Meem Mutaharrikah following it with 2 beats ghunnah.

C. Izhaar Shafawi:

The third element is Al-Ith’har As-Shafawi is shown in 26 letters, after the meem letter and baa letter pronunciation. Clear Meem Saakinah with complete contact of the two lips when it is followed by any letter other than Baa and Meem.

3. The rules of Noon Sakinah and Tanween 

This Tajweed rule is based on the letter noon (ن ) but without sukoon, it is pronounced in the middle or at the end of the word, it also includes four forms which are: Izhar, Iqlab, and Ikhfa.

In other words, Noon Saakinah is the noon with no Harakah (fat-ha, kasra or đamma) or with a Sukoon sign on it. Tanween is a noon sakinah at the end of the nouns is pronounced as Noon Saakinah without writing noon. They have 4 rulings:

A. Izhaar Halqi Rules  of Noon Sakinah and Tanween:

Izhaar means clarifying. It is to produce each letter from its exit without a ghunnah (nasalization). The letters of izhaar are the six throat letters (hamza, ‘ayn, ħaa, haa, ghayn, khaa)

B. Idgham Rules of Noon Sakinah and Tanween

Mixing the sakin letter with the mutaharrik letter to be one mushaddad letter. The letters of idgham are 6 (yaa, raa, meem, laam, waw, noon)

C. Iqlaab Rule of Noon Sakinah and Tanween

Transforming the noon sakina or the tanween into a meem with ghunnah, if the letter “baa” comes after it.

D. Ikhfaa rule of Noon Sakinah and Tanween:

the letters of ikhfaa are 15 (saad, zaal, thaa, kaaf, jeem, sheen, qaaf, seen, daal, ţaa, zayn, faa, taa, đaađ, żaa) if any of those letters come after a nun sakinah or tanween, the word must be read with a light nasal sound in the nose for a duration of 2 beats.

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4. The Rules of Meem and Noon Mushaddadah

Noon and Meem Mushaddadah is that noon or meem which has a shaddah with Ghunnah of 2 beats. The main letters in this rule are the letter noon (ن) and the meem letter (م). Both of them are written in shadda mark. In the cases of the connection (wasl) or stopping (waqf), whether it is located in the middle or at the end of the word, and whether it is contained in a noun, verb, or preposition. 

5. The rules of Heavy and light letters

This rule includes letters with a heavy letters like Taa letter (ط), Za letter (ظ), Sad letter (ص), Dad letter (ض), Ghayn letter (غ), Kha letter (خ), and Qaf letter (ق)

The letters with a light sound like Ra letter (ر) and Lam letter (ل)

6. The Rules of Prolongation (Al-Madd)

Al-Madd is to make the madd letters long under some conditions from two to six beats depending upon its kind. Madd letters are 3 (Alif sakinah, preceded by a letter with a fat-ha, waw sakinah, preceded by a letter with a đamma, and yaa sakinah, preceded by a letter with a kasra)

Other Madd rules are the al-Madd al-Tabi’e or natural Madd. It is applied in short and long vowels, in Damma, Fatha, and Kasra marks. It includes beats ranging from two to six.

7. The Rules of Laam Shmsiyah and Qamariyah

Lam As-Shamsiyyah isn’t pronounced although it’s written. It includes many letters like the Baa letter, Ghayn letter, Haa letter, and Qaf letter.

Lam Al Qamariyyah is shown in pronunciation. Examples of its letters are the Haa letter, Kha letter, and Faa letter.

8. The Rules of Al Hamzah

The Rules of Al Hamzah include two types: The first type is hamzah-tul Qata’ which is pronounced at the opening of the word, or in the middle of it. The second type is Hamzah-tul-Wasl which is pronounced at the beginning of the word. 

The Rules of Iste’aaza and Basmalah Rules

Iste’aaza is seeking refuge with Allah from the accursed Satan or saying “A’ouzu bellahi minash-shaitanir-rajeem”. It is a recommended Sunnah, as it is obligatory when beginning to read the Noble Qur’an, whether the recitation is from the beginning or middle of a surah.

The Muslim should recite the seeking refuge aloud when he reads the Noble Qur’an in a public place or when teaching the Qur’an to others, and in a low voice in prayer, secret reading.

As for the Basmalah, it is saying “Besmellahir-rahmaanir-raheem” And it is obligatory to read at the beginning of each surah, except at the beginning of Surat al-Tawbah. As for the middle of the surahs, the Muslim has the choice to recite it or to suffice with seeking refuge only.

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