When asked about the meaning of tartīl, Sayyidunā Alī رضي الله عنه replied, “It means that the Qurʾān should be recited with tajwīd and with due observance to the rules of waqf (pausing or stopping at the end of a verse)”.
The Prophet Muḥammad صلي الله عليه وسلم has said, “Indeed Allāh desires that the Qurʾān be recited in the manner in which it was revealed.”
اَفْضَلُ الْعِبَادَةِ قِرَاءَةُ الْقُرْاَنِ
“The best of all worship is the recitation of the Holy Qur’an.” )Jamiʿ al ḥadīth).
- According to all the great scholars of Islām it is compulsory to learn the Qurʾān with Tajwīd.
- Since learning tajwīd is an obligation, the one who recites the Qurʾān without Tajwīd and does not make attempts to rectify his/her recitation of the Qurʾān will be incurring a sin for every mistake he/she makes. As for the one who does not care and is not bothered how he/she recites, then it is mentioned in one hadīth:
رُبَّ قَارِئٍ لِلْقُرْاَنِ وَالْقُرْانُ يَلْعَنُهُ
“Many are they who recite the Qurʾān while the Qurʾān curses them.” (Tafsīr rūh al-M ʿāni, Tafsīr Ālūsī)
By perfecting the above one will be able to read the Qurʾān with Tajwīd. The Tajwīd course is divided into three stages.
What are the three stages?
1. The pronunciation of letters – firstly, we will learn how to correctly pronounce the Arabic alphabet as well as becoming familiar with Arabic words and sentences. Inshā ʾ Allāh by the end of this stage we will be able to recite basic words and sentences of the Qurʾān to a certain extent.
2. The rules relating to perfecting ones recitation – now that we are in a position to identify and read the letters and words of the Qur’an with the correct pronunciation, we will learn all the rules related to perfecting ones recitation e.g. the rules relating to prolonging a letter, letters and words which should be pronounced from the nose, rules related to stopping and so on.
3. The implementation – everything that we have learned by this stage should now be implemented into our recitation of the Qurʾān. One should now be in a position to identify and implement the correct pronunciation of letters as well as all the different rules whilst he/she is reciting the Qurʾān. Inshā ʾ Allāh at the end of this stage one should be able read the Qurʾān fluently and in the correct manner.
• One should not attend with a high expectation of learning the Qurʾān in a short period of time. The more time and effort one dedicates in learning the Qurʾān, the more precise and correct one’s recitation will become. Practice makes better. Every minute taken out to learn the Qurʾān is rewarded. Please note that since every individual has different abilities and therefore there is no specific time scale to complete this course. Everyone will work at their own pace.
• Additional time (other than the allocated class time) should be spent to revise the Qurʾān.
• With regards to the rules of Tajwīd, one should always remember to learn, identify and then implement them.
• Necessary etiquettes should be adopted before proceeding to recite the Qurʾān. This will help towards making the reciting of the Qurʾān easier.
• There are some who say that Tajwīd is not important as long as the meanings do not change. Unfortunately people who utter such statements are ignorant of the great emphasis laid down in the Qurʾān and Sunnah with regards to Tajwīd. As mentioned above, not a single great scholar of Islām has stated that it is not compulsory. A person who recites the Qurʾān without Tajwīd and does not make an attempt to rectify his/her recitation, rather than receiving a reward, the person is actually committing a sin for every mistake that is made.
• Many people think that it is only necessary to finish the recitation of the Qurʾān once. It can then be put away to gather dust upon the shelf. This is completely wrong and a Muslim should not adopt this attitude. For a Muslim the Qurʾān is his/her life. It is something that he/she cannot do without. This should be the attitude in terms of acting upon the Qurʾān as well as reciting the Qurʾān . one should endeavour to recite a portion of the Qurʾān on a daily basis.
• Some people who do not know how to read the Qurʾān correctly think it is acceptable to teach other people how to recite the Qurʾān. This is also totally wrong. Teaching the Qurʾān is rewarding, however, to teach it incorrectly incurs the curse of Allāh.
We pray that Allāh enables all of us to learn and implement the Qurʾān correctly and make it a means of our salvation in this world and in the hereafter. Āmīn!