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Idhar in Tajweed: Mastering the Art of Quranic Pronunciation

Idhar in Tajweed
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In Quran Tajweed, “Idhar” is a crucial rule that focuses on the pronunciation of certain letters. It is defined as a method to pronounce these letters distinctly and clearly during Quranic recitation. The significance of Idhar lies in its role in preserving the purity and clarity of the Quranic language. By adhering to the Tajweed rules, including Idhar, reciters are able to articulate the Quran in a manner that closely aligns with the traditional and historical pronunciation as practiced by Prophet Muhammad. This practice is not only a matter of linguistic accuracy but also an act of worship, showing reverence and respect for the words of the Quran​​.

Idhar and its role in Tajweed

Idhar, in the context of Tajweed (the art of Quranic recitation), literally means “clear” or “manifestation.” Its primary role is to guide the pronunciation of specific letters in the Quran, ensuring they are articulated distinctly and without ambiguity. When applying Idhar in Tajweed, the reciter reads the letter clearly from its articulation point, without any nasalization (ghunnah) or unnecessary prolongation.

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The concept of Noon Sakinah and Tanween in Idhar

The concept of Noon Sakinah (نْ – a Noon with a sukoon) and Tanween (ًٌٍ – vowel diacritics indicating “n” sound) is central to the application of Idhar. These are pronounced clearly and distinctly when followed by certain letters, specifically the six throat letters (ء, ه, ع, ح, غ, خ). This clear pronunciation is essential in maintaining the integrity and clarity of Quranic recitation​​​​​.

six throat letters of Idhar

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the six throat letters in Tajweed, along with an explanation of the three throat sections:

Throat Section Arabic Name Throat Letters
Lowest Throat Asfal Halq الهمزة (ء), الهاء (ه)
Middle Throat Wasat Halq العين (ع), الحاء (ح)
Closest Top Throat Adna Halq الغين (غ), الخاء (خ)
  • Asfal Halq (Lowest Throat): This section includes the throat letters الهمزة (ء) and الهاء (ه), which are articulated from the deepest part of the throat.
  • Wasat Halq (Middle Throat): The letters العين (ع) and الحاء (ح) are produced from the middle part of the throat.
  • Adna Halq (Closest Top Throat): The letters الغين (غ) and الخاء (خ) are pronounced from the area closest to the top of the throat, nearer to the mouth.

How to pronounce Noon Sakinah and Tanween in Idhar

Pronouncing Noon Sakinah (نْ) and Tanween (ً ٍ ٌ) in Idhar involves adhering to four essential rules:

  1. Clear Pronunciation: The ن sakinah and tanwin should be pronounced clearly and briefly without any nasal sound or ghunnah.
  2. No Prolongation: The sound of ن sakinah and tanwin should not be extended. It must be completed immediately without any prolongation.
  3. Briefness: Whenever these appear, it’s recommended to shorten their sound, unlike in other Tajweed rules where elongation might occur.
  4. Articulation Points: Pay attention to the articulation points. The ن sakinah and tanwin are pronounced from the tip of the tongue, contrasting with the throat letters’ articulation points​​.

The reason for this clear pronunciation is because the emission points of the ن sakinah and tanwin (from the tip of the tongue) are significantly different from those of the throat letters. Since these throat letters are articulated far from the tip of the tongue, the sound is naturally more distinct and clear, following the principle of Idhar​.

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Comparative Analysis with Other Tajweed Rules

This table highlights the distinct characteristics of Idhar in comparison to other Tajweed rules, emphasizing its unique role in the clear and distinct pronunciation of specific Quranic letters.

Tajweed Rule Description Application Contrast with Idhar
Idhar Clear pronunciation of Noon Sakinah and Tanween without nasal sound Applied when Noon Sakinah/Tanween precedes six throat letters ——————————-
Ikhfaa Partial hiding of sound, nasalized pronunciation Applied when Noon Sakinah/Tanween precedes certain letters (not the six throat letters) In Ikhfaa, the sound is nasalized and slightly hidden, unlike the clear pronunciation in Idhar
Iqlab Changing the sound of Noon Sakinah/Tanween to a ‘m’ sound Applied when Noon Sakinah/Tanween is followed by the letter ‘ب’ Iqlab changes the sound, while Idhar retains the original sound of Noon Sakinah/Tanween
Idgham Merging the sound of Noon Sakinah/Tanween with the following letter Applied with certain letters following Noon Sakinah/Tanween Idgham involves merging or assimilating sounds, which is not the case with the distinct pronunciation in Idhar
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