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Contents

1. Introduction 2. Makhraj 3. Qalqala 4. Gunna 5. Madd 6. Rules of Noon Sakin 7. Rules of Meem Sakin 8. Rules for Lam 9. Rules for Raa 10. Rules of Stopping 11. References for Further Study 1 5 9 10 10 14 16 17 17 18 23

1. Introduction
Every language has its own rules which needs to be observed for correct pronunciation. Arabic is no different in that respect. Every Muslim has to recite from the Holy Quran in prayers, but many of us may not realise that reciting the Holy Quran correctly by observing the rules of recitation is a necessity. Learning the fundamental rules of recitation is necessary to prevent incurring major mistakes in reciting the Holy Quran. The scholars have divided the types of mistakes one might fall into when reciting the Holy Quran into clear mistakes and hidden mistakes. Clear Mistakes: Clear mistakes are related to incorrect pronunciation of letters in a way that changes their meaning. Examples of clear mistakes are: Changing one letter into another (specially those sounding similar, e.g. pronouncing as ) or a short vowel (harkat) into another (e.g. changing zabar into pesh). Not observing the prolongations (Madd) at all, i.e. reciting in a way as if there is no Madd. Making prolongations where there is no prolongation. 1

Stopping or starting at an incorrect place so that the meaning is distorted, e.g. stopping at 'Laa ilaaha' without completing the next word 'illAllaah'. Hidden Mistakes: Mistakes which have to do with perfecting pronunciation are however less obvious. These perfection rules are known only by those who have studied Tajweed rules or are experts in this field. Ordinary Muslims may not be aware of such mistakes or perceive them to be so. Examples of Hidden Mistakes: Not being totally exact with the prolongation of letters, i.e. making the Madd shorter or longer by a 1/2 or even 1/4 degree. Not observing the attributes of each letter perfectly, e.g. slightly rolling the letter raa, or exaggerating the 'n' sound in Noon etc. Not observing the rules with which to pronounce letters in specific cases, like not merging certain letters that should be merged (i.e. Idghaam), and not clearly pronouncing those which should be pronounced clearly (i.e. Izhar) Making light letters sound heavy and heavy letters 2

sound light (if by doing this, one changes a letter into another, it would be a clear mistake.) The fundamental rules for correct recitation of the Holy Quran are known as Tajweed. The majority of scholars agree that applying the Tajweed rules to avoid clear mistakes is an individual obligation (Fardh 'Ayn) upon every Muslim who has memorised part or all of the Holy Quran, while applying the rules of Tajweed to avoid the hidden mistakes is a collective obligation (Fardh Kifaayah) upon Muslims, i.e. there must be some people who have knowledge of that. The Arabic word Tajweed linguistically means 'proficiency' or 'doing something well'. It comes from the same root letters as the word Jayyid, which means 'good'. When applied to the Holy Quran, it means giving every letter of the Holy Quran its rights and dues of characteristics when we recite the Holy Quran, and observing the rules that apply to those letters. Incorrect pronunciations or failure to observe fundamental rules of recitation can sometimes lead to serious distortions of meaning and on occasions even a complete reversal of meaning. For example, means no when pronounced correctly, i.e. prolonged by one alif (as according to the rules of madd to be discussed latter). However, if is pronounced without prolonging by one alif , i.e. as if pronouncing , it would mean must. Thus serious distortions of meaning 3

could occur if the reciter is not aware and careful about the fundamental rules of recitation. Because it is desirable that the verses from the Holy Quran that are recited during the five times daily prayers are correct and do not contain any distortions in meaning, every Muslim needs to have the knowledge of the fundamental rules for correct recitation of the Holy Quran . This booklet is intended to fill some of the gaps in educational materials for Holy Quran recitation rules especially in the context of a western society where people are too busy with their daily life to go to a teacher to learn the fundamental rules of recitation. In western countries, sometimes it could even be hard to find a teacher who can teach recitation of the Holy Quran. However, recitation of the Holy Quran is best learnt face to face from teachers because correct pronunciations, articulations and prolongations according to the rules of Tajweed cannot be exactly described in writing alone. It needs face to face interaction with a teacher. This booklet should not therefore be treated as a substitute of a teacher but only as a supplement. Glossary of Terms Zabar Zer Pesh Tashdeed

Tanween Sakin Harkat

or Any of the above signs that are assigned to letters in assisting pronunciation. Prolongation of the pronunciation of a letter so that it takes the time needed to pronounce two similar letters.

Prolongation by one alif

2. Makhraj In Arabic, every letter has a unique sound. There are letters which sound very similar but their articulation points are different, e.g. and . So, if a person does not know the attributes of each letter or is not careful, he may change the meaning of the words in reciting the Holy Quran. The rules relating to point of articulation of Arabic letters is called makhraj. 1. and the chest. are pronounced from the throat nearest to

2. and are pronounced from the middle or centre region of the throat. 3. and are pronounced from the throat nearest to 5

the mouth.

4. is pronounced by raising the back end of the tongue and touching the soft palate. 5. is pronounced a little nearer toward the front of the 6

mouth compared to the place of origin of

6. , and are pronounced when the centre region of the tongue touches the hard palate. 7. is pronounced when the edge of the either side of the tongue touches molars and pre-molars. 8. is pronounced by the tip of the tongue touching the gums of upper front teeth including both upper premolars. 9. is pronounced by the tip of the tongue touching the upper hard palate. 10. is pronounced by the sides of the tongue including the tip of the tongue touching the gums of the molars. 11. , and are pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the gums of the upper two front teeth. 12. , and are pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the edge of the upper two front teeth. 13. , and are pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the edge of the lower two front teeth, and lightly touching the upper two front teeth as well. These letters produce a bit of whistling sound when pronouncing them. 14. originates when inner portion of the lower lip meets the edge of upper two front teeth. 7

15. , and each is pronounced from the lips but there are slightly differences among the three. originates from the moist part of the lips; originates originates with from the dry part of the lips; and partial meeting of the lips. The following seven letters are to be pronounced with a heavy voice (or full mouth such that lips and the mouth take a somewhat round shape):

When there is a zabar on these letters, the heavy voice is to take full effect meaning that the zabar on these letters would not be pronounced. is another letter on which a zabar should have no effect in pronouncing it. The letter in the word (that has a tasdeed on it) is another letter that should be pronounced with a heavy voice in selective cases (but only in the case of the name ). More about the rules of and are discussed in latter sections. The distinction to remember here is that while are to be pronounced with heavy voice in all cases, is to be pronounced with heavy voice in selective cases, and is to be pronounced with heavy voice only in the case of the name and in selective cases which will be discussed a latter section.

3. Qalqala Qalqala means making echo sound. Where there is a sakin on any of the following five letters: the recitation of these letters should produce echo sound. The qalqala would be applicable either because any of these letters are in the middle of a word with a sakin or any of these letters are at the end of a word and you are stopping on that word such that a sakin applies to the last letter of the word because of stopping. The degree of echoing would vary depending on the position of the qalqala letter in a word. If the qalqala letter is in the middle of a word with a sakin, then a soft echoing sound is to be produced. On the other hand, if the qalqala letter is at the end of the word and a sakin applies to that letter because you are stopping at that word, then a full echoing sound is to be produced. Examples:
[59:23] Light qalqala on

[113:2] Full qalqala on

The qalqala letters can easily be remembered by remembering the word [i.e. Qutubjad].

4. Gunna Gunna means pronouncing with nasal sound while prolonging by at least equivalent to one alif. Where there is a tasdeed ( ) on or , they should be recited with gunna. If the previous letter is a noon sakin or has tanween, then there would be an assimilation called Idgham bagunna (more on Idgham bagunna latter). Otherwise, a tasdeed ( ) on or is a wajib gunna. Examples of gunna:

[108:3] [93:11] 5. Madd In general, letters with harkat should be recited quickly. The exception is madd letters whose recitation should be prolonged by one alif. However, the prolongation of madd letters would be extended to three alif or four alif in certain cases (discussed below). Three letters become madd letters: , and when there is no harkat with alif and the preceding letter has a zabar, has a sakin on it and the preceding letter has a pesh, and has a sakin on it and the preceding letter has a zer. This is known as Madde Tabayi. Examples: 10

[1:6] [1:7] If you are stopping at a letter which is immediately after a madd letter, the prolongation of madd letter should be three alif. This is known as Madde Arjee. When a sakin or a sakin is preceded by any letter with zabar and you stop at the letter that is immediately after the sakin or sakin, then the sakin or sakin should be prolonged by one alif. However, prolongation upto three alif is also permissible. This is known as Madde Leen. Example: [106:3] There are madd letters in numerous places in the Holy Quran. Madde Tabayi is also sometimes written in the form of a verticle zabar ( ), verticle zer ( ) and upturned pesh ( ) instead of the letters , and with the associated harkat as described earlier. In numerous places in the holy Quran however, Madde Tabayi needs to be recognised by applying the rules just described above. Other rules of madd that require extended prolongation 11

can generally be recognised from the signs, i.e. for three Alif and for four Alif. It is not necessary to understand the underlying mechanics of these rules for correct recitation provided the reciter knows and obeys the rules related to the signs for three and four alif (i.e. and ). However, for completeness of discussion on madd, some of these rules of extended prolongation by three alif and four alif are described below. When a madd letter is immediately followed by a , the prolongation of the madd letter should be three alif or four alif depending upon whether the is in the same word as the madd letter or the first letter in the next word. If a word ends with a madd letter and the first letter of the next word is a , then the prolongation of madd letter would be three alif. Remember that when a harkat is applied to alif, alif becomes an . So a madd letter as the last letter of a word followed by an alif with a harkat would be prolonged to three alif, e.g. [2:255] On the other hand, if a madd letter is followed by a in the same word, then the prolongation of the madd letter should be four alif, e.g. [2:5] When there is a tasdeed on a letter after a madd letter, 12

the prolongation of the madd would be four alif, e.g. [1:7]


Exceptions to Madd Rules

Where there is tasdeed on the letter immediately after a sakin letter, then as a general rule, the sakin letter would remain silent. If the sakin letter is a madd letter in such a case, the rules of madd would be inapplicable. Similarly, when alif is a madd letter and the letter immediately after alif has a sakin on it, the rules of madd would be inapplicable in that case, e.g. [94:8] Another exception to the madd rules is in the case of the . The word should be recited as if it is . word One of the frequently recited Surahs where this word appears is Al-Kafirun:

[109:4]

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6. Rules of Noon Sakin The word has a special place in Tajweed. As already mentioned, a with a tashdeed should be recited with gunna. Secondly, when there is a sakin on a noon, then the way it is to be recited depends on the letter that immediately follows it. Except for alif, 28 other Arabic alphabets are divided into 4 groups regarding the way the noon sakin is to be recited. At this point, one needs to remember that a tanween is a short-hand way of writing a noon sakin. Therefore all rules of noon sakin are to be observed for tanween as well. (i) Ikhfa: Where a noon sakin (or tanween) is immediately followed by any of the following 15 words, the noon sakin (or tanween) should be recited with a light nasal sound as if hiding the sound in the nose (i.e. a mild gunna). This is known as Ikhfa.

Example: [113:2] (ii) Idgham: Where a noon sakin (or tanween) is immediately followed by any of the following 6 words, the noon sakin (or tanween) should be assimilated with the next word. This is known as Idgham. 14

These letters can be more easily remembered by remembering the word (i.e. yarmalun). Except for and , the assimilated words should be recited with gunna and therefore is known as Idgham bagunna. Example: [111:1] In case of and , there should only be assimilation but no gunna and is therefore known as Idgham belagunna, e.g. [2:285] (iii) Izhar: Where a noon sakin (or tanween) is immediately followed by any of the following 6 words, the noon sakin (or tanween) should be recited clearly without gunna or ikhfah. This is known as Izhar.

Example: [1:6] (iv) Iqlab: Where a noon sakin (or tanween) is immediately followed by , the noon sakin is to be 15

recited as if it is a meem sakin and also to be recited with gunna., e.g.

Tips: It appears difficult to remember the 15 letters of noon sakin ikhfah without getting mixed with the remaining letters, specially when you are reciting the Holy Quran. The easier way is to remember that if the letter after a noon sakin is not any of the letters in the word , or any of the 6 letters of noon sakin izhar, or the letter or , then the noon sakin (or tanween) is to be recited with ikhfa. 7. Rules of Meem Sakin There are 3 rules regarding the way that the meem sakin is to be recited. (i) Ikhfa: Where a meem sakin is immediately followed by the letter , the meem sakin is to be recited with gunna, e.g. [96:1] (ii) Idhgam: Where a meem sakin is immediately followed by , the meem sakin is to be assimilated with and recited with gunna., e.g.

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[106:4] (iii) Izhar: Where a meem sakin is followed by any letter other than or , the meem sakin is to be recited clearly without ikhfa or gunna. 8. Rules for the Letter Lam ( ) In general, the letter is to be recited in a relatively thin voice. However, the letter in the word (that has a tasdeed on it) is to be pronounced with a heavy voice (or full mouth) when the harkat of the previous letter is a zabar or a pesh. This is both whilst reading the Holy Quran and speaking in general. It is a way of respect for the name of Allah. The letter is therefore called Lam al-Jalala (i.e. in reference to the Glorious). However, this rule does not apply when the harkat of the previous letter before the letter (that has a tasdeed on it) in the word is zer, i.e. the letter in the word is to be pronounced with a relatively thin voice in this case. 9. Rules for the Letter Raa ( ) 1. A raa ( ) with a zabar or a pesh should be pronounced with a heavy voice (or with a full mouth). 2. A raa ( ) with a zer should be pronounced in a thin voice (or with an empty mouth).

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3. When the letter before a raa Sakin has a zabar or pesh, the raa Sakin will be pronounced with a heavy voice (or with a full mouth). 4. When the letter before a raa sakin has a zer, the raa sakin will be pronounced in a thin voice (or with an empty mouth). 10. Rules for Stopping (Waqf) The rules of stopping has two components: A. signs of waqf, i.e. where to stop and where not to stop; and B. how to recite when stopping. A. Signs of Waqf or Stopping : This letter on a round circle means that the statement stands completed at this point. Therefore, it is better to stop here. : This letter on a round circle means that it is permissible to stop here. : This letter on a round circle means that stopping here is all right, but the better choice is not to stop here. : This letter on a round circle means that the statement has not yet been completed at this point but, 18

because the sentence has become long, here is the place to breathe and stop rather than do it elsewhere. : This letter is an abbreviation of al-waqf al-lazim. It means that not stopping here could lead to an outrageous distortion in the meaning of the verse. So, it is better to stop here. Some phoneticians of the Quran have also called this al-waqf al-wajib or the obligatory stop. However, others do not consider this as wajib which results in sin if abandoned. : This letter, specially if it is within a sentence (i.e. not on a round sign), means do not stop here. However, it does not imply that stopping here is impermissible, because there are certain places bearing this sign where stopping causes no distortion. The more comprehensive meaning of this sign is: if you stop at this sign and if this sign is within a sentence, it is better to go back and read over again. Stopping at this sign within a sentence and then initiation from the next word is not approved. : This symbol is inserted at a place where a single verse has two possible explanations. According to one explanation, the stop should be made at one given place, while according to another explanation, the stop should be at the other place. So, a stop can be made at either one of the two places, but once a stop has been made at one place, it is not correct to stop at the other as well. : This symbol means one should stop here breaking the sound but not the breath. This is generally inserted 19

at a place where continuous reading is likely to cause an erroneous meaning. : At this sign of waqf, one must stop a little longer than saktah. However like saktah, breath should not break here. : Some phoneticians of the Quran recommend a stop at this sign while others do not. : This sign means stop, and it is inserted where the reader may possibly think that a stop is not correct here. : This sign means it is better to continue without pausing. : This sign appears at places because according to some Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stopped here while reciting. B. How to Recite When Stopping (i) When stopping, if the last letter of the verse has a zabar, zer, pesh or a tanween of zer or pesh, then the last letter should be recited as if it has a sakin. If the last letter of a verse has a sakin, it should be recited as a sakin for the purpose of stopping. (ii) If the last letter of a verse is an alif with no harkat and the preceeding letter has a tanween of zabar, the tanween of zabar would be changed to a zabar (if 20

stopping at that word), and stopping there is to be prolonged by one alif, e.g.
[110:2]

If the last letter of a verse is an alif with no harkat and the preceeding letter has a zabar, then stopping there is to be prolonged by one alif, e.g. [99:5] Thus the rules of stopping is same in both of these two cases. Also note that a tanween of zabar at the end of a verse always comes with an alif with no harkat, except where the last letter is a round ta ( ). In this case, the round ta would not be followed by an alif (without harkat) and would be recited as ha sakin . (iii) When stopping at a madd letter, the madd letter is to be recited by prolonging by one alif. Similarly, if a letter becomes a madd letter because it becomes a sakin letter due to stopping, then it should be recited by prolonging by one alif. Examples: 21

[99:5]

Example showing stopping at a madd letter. The zabar on changes to a sakin because of stopping and becomes a madd letter.

[59:22]

(iv) If the last letter of a verse is a round ta ( ), it should be recited as ha sakin ( ). However, this rule is not applicable for the long ta ( ). (v) If the last letter of a verse is a without a harkat, then the harkat of the previous letter would remain applicable, i.e. the harkat of the previous letter would not be deemed as sakin for the purpose of stopping, e.g.

[93:1] (vi) If a pause is made over a tashdid letter at the end of a word, its harkat will be dropped, but the letter must be pronounced with extra force in order to distinguish between a sakin and a tashdid. 22

11. References for Further Study i. Guide to the Fundamentals of Tajweed Al-Quran by Dr Mohammad Abdul Mujeeb Siddiqui ii. Easy Tajwid by Dr Syed Kaleemulla Husaini iii. A Brief Introduction to Tajweed by Umm Muhammad iv. Key To Tajweed by Majlisul Ulama of South Africa v. Tajweed For Beginners by Qari Ismail Ishaq vi. Tajwid: The Art Of Recitation Of The Holy Qur'an by Abdul Majid Khan vii. Qur'an Learning The Easy Way, 3 Parts by Rubab R. Master

_______________________________________ For copies or comments on this booklet, contact Kabir Chowdhury, 3 Camfield Place, Florey ACT 2615, Canberra, Australia. Email: kabirch@tpg.com.au 23