The word Tajweed comes from the word جوٌد - jawwada, which means the opposite of something poorly done, or something low. Tajweed is reciting the letters of the Quran in the best manner, in the best way, giving each letter its due right, pronouncing each letter from the proper makhraj (point of articulation).
To say Jawwad al quran, means recited the Quran in the best manner, and mujeed means the one who does things best.
Tajweed is light and comes with ease. Some people exert more effort, and overdo it while reciting, which is not the part of tajweed. While some others recite the Quran in a laid back style, so it is also not to the point that you become lazy. Just like our deen Islam, tajweed is the middle way, it has to be done in the balance manner.
Tajweed comes from practice- it doesn’t matter what background and language you come from. So when people think they can’t do that, it’s not right, tajweed comes with practice and with time you become mujawwid. Practice, practice, practice, and you’ll be able to recite correctly.
Like learning the language and learning salah, we’ll learn tajweed slowly with practice, and not over night!
Tajweed is divided into two categories:
1) Knowledge: It is knowing the articulations of letters, knowing the different forms (e.g. madd, shaddah etc), and all the different rules compiled by the scholars pertaining to the recitation of the quran.
2) Actions: is to take all these rules and apply them and do تلاوة (Tilawa- to recite with proper tajweed/slowly). تلاوة differentiates Quran with all the other things, so people can tell when someone is reciting the Quran, even if we don’t know what surah is being recited.
Your coming to read the Quran, is like you’re doing something great, so fix your self up and recite in best way.
The significance of Tajweed:
It is to preserve the words of quran from changes and distortions, unlike what happened to the books before Quran. And if you see the efforts muslims put in keeping the Quran guarded, subhanAllah, that shows how great the Quran is!
When did the study of tajweed start:
In the fourth century after hijrah, the scholars wrote down the rules for tajweed. Before this people learned verbally from their teachers (the companions and their followers).
The origins of tajweed:
We learned tajweed from the Prophet who taught the sahaba (the companions), who taught the generation after words and so it has come down to us. Even today when a sheikh gives Ijaza’ (certificate of having learned the Quran and recited completely under a sheikh), it has the name of the student, the sheikh, the teacher of the sheikh, and all the names in the chain of transmission until Prophet and then Jibraeel (as) and then Allah(swt)! The lowest level in Ijaza’ is 27 recitors (the number of people it has passed down through), and the Quran was revealed in 7 dialects and we are only using one.
The goals of tajweed:
Is to gain the rewards form Allah (swt) in the hereafter.
What is the hukm of tajweed:
Studying the rules of tajweed is fard kifaya, if a group of muslims fulfills it then everybody doesn’t have to do it. But if a group of muslims don’t do it then everyone is in sin. So, a group of muslims who know the rules and details of tajweed can teach others about it.
However, reciting the quran with tajweed is fard ayn, the proof is the ayah : “And recite the Qur’ân (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style” (Al-Muzzammil-4)
Meaning of “tarteel”: Making it clear (Ibn ‘Abbaas); reading it letter by letter (Adh-Dhahaak), reading it slowly (Ibn Katheer). This makes easier pondering the meaning. So, every one who has the resources to learn tajweed, must learn it. It is Haraam to read the Quran wrong!
Every one who has ability to learn tajweed should do so, otherwise we’ll be changing the words of the Quran.
And learning the tajweed has to be by listening, and not only by the book.
Making mistakes in the Quran:
اللحن-in general means rhythym, but in tajweed means ‘error’.
1) اللحن الجلي (obvious errors): It is making a clear mistake, something that is clearly heard. For example, switching letters daal ( د) with dhal , or Qaaf ( ق) with kaaf (ك), or changing the tashkeel . This kind of mistake is Haram.
2) اللحن الخفي (hidden errors): This is when reading properly but making errors in tajweed, example, not saying the ghunnah (nasalization) or tanween. This one doesn’t change the meanings of the words, Arabic is correct but rules of the tajweed are not followed. Many scholars consider this type as haraam, the least is makrooh (dislikes) because it takes away the beauty of Quran.
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads one letter from the Book of Allaah will earn one good (hasanah) thereby. One good deed is equal to ten good deeds the like of it. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.’”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2910; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2327)
This reward is the right of each letter, therefore, give each letter its due right, by pronouncing it correctly!
Following are the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet:
أ- ب- ت-ث-ج-ح-خ-د-ذ-ر-ز-س-ش-ص-ض-ط-ظ-ع-غ-ف-ق-ك-ل-م-ن-ه-و-ي
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