Tajweed when related to the Holy Quran, means recitation of the Holy Quran in the way the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recited the Quran. Tajweed in general means ‘to make it fine”. As the Holy prophet was the only person who produced the rightist pronunciation of the Almighty’s words in the Holy Quran. It is therefore imperative to learn Tajweed to apply the same to read the Holy Quran for getting exact pronunciation and meanings of the Quran words.
The word Tajweed linguistically means ‘proficiency’ or ‘doing something well’. It comes from the same root letters as the word ‘Jayyid’ in Arabic (meaning ‘good’): Jeem, Waw and Daal. When applied to the Quran, it means giving every letter of the Quran its rights and dues of characteristics when we recite the Quran and observing rules that apply to those letters in different situations. We give letters their rights by observing essential characteristics of each letter that never leave it. And we give them their dues by observing the characteristics of each letter that are present in them some of the time and not present at other times.
The Quran was revealed with Tajweed rules applied to it. In other words, when the angel Jibreel (alaihis salaam) recited the words of Allah to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he recited them in a certain way and he showed the Prophet (pbuh) the ways in which it was permissible to recite the Quran. So it is upon us to observe those rules so that we recite it in the way it was revealed.
At the time of the Prophet (pbuh) there was no need for people to study Tajweed because they talked with what is now known as Tajweed so it was natural for them. When the Arabs started mixing with the non-Arabs as Islam spread, mistakes in Quran recitation started appearing, so the scholars had to record the rules. Now, because the everyday Arabic that Arabs speak has changed so much from the Classical Arabic with which the Quran was revealed, even Arabs have to study Tajweed.
The purpose of Tajweed
The Quran is the word of Allah, and its every syllable is from Allah. Its recitation must be taken very seriously. The purpose of the Science of Tajweed in essence is to make the reciter proficient in reciting the Quran, observing the correct pronunciation of every letter with the rulings and characteristics which apply to each letter, without any exaggeration or deficiency. And so through this the reciter can recite the Quran upon the way of the Prophet (pbuh) who received it from Jibreel who received it from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) in the Classical Arabic dialect that it came down in.
Arabic letters each have a Makhraj – an exit or articulation point – in the mouth or throat from which they originate and they also each have Sifaat – attributes, or characteristics – particular to them. Knowing the Makhraj and Sifaat of each letter is an important part of Tajweed. Sometimes two letters have very similar exits which makes mixing them up easy. So if a person does not know the attributes of each letter there is a danger that he will change the meaning of the words in Quran recitation. Observing the rules of Tajweed in reciting protects the reciter from making mistakes in reciting the Quran.
Why Learning Tajweed is Necessary
Learning Tajweed is necessary because the glorious Islam expanded in just a few decades of its inception to most part of the world. The people belonged to different regions in the world and so did their languages. Even alphabets of the languages were different. The Holy Quran is for the entire world and uptil the Day of Judgment. With the spread of Islam, Arab and Non-Arab were mixed together but they had much difference in their languages and accents. Even most of the Arabs can not read the Holy Quran with Tajweed. At that time it was feared that in the absence of Tajweed, if the original spoken words of the prophets are not preserved, it might lead to distortion of pronunciation in the days to come. It was therefore necessary that Tajweed rules should be scientifically outlined on uniform basis for Arabs and Non-Arabs for preserving the same wording, sounds, accent, pronunciation and meanings. It is necessary both for Arabs and Non Arabs to learn Tajweed and apply the Tajweed Rules while reading Holy Quran
Who set Basic Tajweed Rules & what is authenticity of Tajweed rules
No other than the prophet Muhammad PBUP; as the Holy Quran was revealed to him from Allah the almighty through the most responsible angel, Jibreel, who instructed the prophet, PBUH how to pronounce the words of the Holy Quran. The prophet Muhammad PBUH taught these rules to his companions and they did the same to the followers and so on till this day. Therefore it can be surely said that these Tajweed rules were set by the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which are being followed in letter and spirit by all recites of the Holy Quran who recite Holy Quran using the Tajweed rules.
Tajweed Scientific Test by Tajweed experts
After the spread of Islam, a number of scholars have worked for making Tajweed rules adaptable for all the people around the world. These Tajweed rules have been tested scientifically for its uniformity and integrity of the pronunciation. When Tajweed rules are applied, every reciter whether its an Arab or Non-Arab. produces the same sound of the Holy Quran words giving the exact pronunciation for the correct meanings.
Holy Quran Teaching with Tajweed
Al-Hamdolillah, www.hifzquran.com is teaching Holy Quran with Tajweed online, where the tutors are well qualified in teaching with Tajweed rules. A separate Tajweed Course is also organized every now and then for the learners so that they can read the Holy Quran with Tajweed
Why the need for Tajweed rules?
When Islam was being spread (and it was done so at a very quick pace and also into non-Arab speaking countries) not everyone’s tongue was accustomed to the Arabic letters and sounds. Thus, when reciting the koran, much error and distortion occurred and the Muslim scholars feared (the perpetration of) that error and distortion. It was at this point that some of them recorded the rules and foundations that regulate the correct pronunciation of Qur’an, and they named this the Science of Tajweed.
The rules were not made up by these Scholars. In fact, all they did was closely observe the perfect readers who read as they were taught by the Prophet () and wrote down for later generations the rules of recitation of the earlier generations. From the outset, Tajweed was a Science that cannot be learnt only from a book and will always retain this inherent quality.
The most important part of Tajweed is learning about correct positions of the organs of speech and the manner of articulation. The Quran can lose its meaning if the letters are not pronounced correctly.
Helpful Tips towards learning Tajweed
• You must find a Quran teacher who has studied Tajweed to listen to your recitation and correct you. Tajweed cannot merely be learnt from books, because the movements of your mouth as well as the sounds are important and only a teacher can correct you and make sure you are applying the rules correctly. Sometimes local Mosques will run classes. Quran recitation is a science which was passed down generation by generation through teachers not just books, with a direct line to the Prophet (pbuh)
• Find a book containing the rules of Tajweed and learn each rule little by little, applying it as you go along with the help of your teacher. There are many concise Arabic books and in English there are some books as well as tapes to help. Look for books with some drawings showing you how to pronounce each letter.
• Listen to Quran tapes of reciters who recite very clearly, at a medium or slow speed (like Sheikh Hudhaify or Sheikh Muhammad Hosary) and try and notice them applying the different rules of Tajweed. Repeat after them while trying to apply the rules you’ve learnt. Try to copy their tone and melody as well and see how it changes as the meaning of what they’re reciting changes.
• Tajweed website: There is an excellent Tajweed website I came across in English which details many aspects of Tajweed in a very clear way including a Question and Answer section:
• Tajweed Mus-haf: You can get a new Mus-haf (copy of the Quran), called Mus-haf at-Tajweed, which has the rules of Tajweed incorporated in the text of the Quran in colour coding! This is very helpful as it prompts you as you go along. There is also a computer program you can buy with it which highlights Tajweed rules with recitation.
• Tajweed Poem: If you know Arabic you could memorize Ibn al-Jazaree’s poem which contains all the rules of Tajweed. You can get the poem on tape sung as a nasheed in Arab countries. You might find memorising the rules easy in this way.
• Try and apply the rules you learn to the Surahs you have already memorised and don’t become lazy about reciting correctly. You might have to revise the surahs by looking back at them.
• Practice and repetition will make perfect InshaAllah: As Ibn al-Jazaree says in his poem about acquiring Tajweed: ‘And there is no obstacle between it (learning Tajweed) and leaving it, Except that a person must exercise his mouth with it!’