Nawal Academy is now offering evening Nazirah Class for males. Class days are from Sunday to Thursday,timings are from 7:15=8:15 p.m. (Chicago Central Timing) The class instructor will be Moulana Asad Patel Damat Barkatuhum. Please contact the adminstration for further details.
What Is Tajweed?
The word Tajweed literally means “to do something well”. When related to Arabic text, it means to recite every letter correctly from its makhaarij (place of pronunciation) with all its sifaat (qualities). It comes from the same root letters as the word jayyid in Arabic, which means “good” and the root letters of which are jeem, waaw, and daal (جود). When applied to the Qur’an, it means giving every letter of the Qur’an its rights, observing the rules that apply to those letters in different situations.
The Qur’an was revealed with Tajweed rules applied to it. In other words, when the angel Jibreel (alayhis salaam) recited the words of Allah (SWT) to the Prophet Muhammad (sallllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), he recited them in a certain way and showed the Prophet (sallllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) the ways in which it is permissible to recite the Qur’an. So it is upon us to observe those rules so that we can recite it in the way the Qur’an was revealed.
At the time of the Prophet (sallllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) 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. As Islam spread, the Arabs started mixing with the non-Arabs and mistakes in Qur’an 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 in which the Qur’an was revealed, even Arabs have to study Tajweed.
The Purpose of Tajweed
The Qur’an is the word of Allah (SWT), and its every syllable is from Allah (SWT). Its recitation must be taken very seriously. The purpose of the science of Tajweed is to make the reciting person skilled in reciting the Qur’an, observing the correct pronunciation of every letter with the rulings and characteristics which apply to each letter, without any exaggeration or deficiency. And so by this, the reciting person can recite the Qur’an the way it was recited by the Prophet (sallllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), who received the Qur’an from Jibreel (alayhis salaam), who received it from Allah (SWT) in the classical Arabic dialect that it came down in.
Arabic letters each have a makhraj—an exit or pronunciation point—in the mouth or throat from which they originate and they also each have sifaat—attributes or qualities—particular to them. Knowing the makhaarij and sifaat of each letter is an important part of Tajweed. Sometimes two letters have very similar exits which makes mixing them up so easy. So if a person does not know the qualities of each letter, there is a danger that he will change the meaning of the words in the Qur’an recitation. Observing the rules of Tajweed in reciting protects the recite from making mistakes in reciting the Qur’an.
The importance of Tajweed cannot be exaggerated. In salaah, the recitation of the Qur’an is compulsory. Often the salaah is affected because of not reciting the Qur’an with Tajweed. It is therefore necessary to learn Tajweed so that the Qur’an may be recited correctly.
Arabic is a very delicate language. A slight mispronunciation can completely change the meaning. The word qalb (قلب) means heart. If the qaaf in qalb is not pronounced correctly and is instead pronounced as a kaaf, the meaning changes to “dog”! In Surah al-Kausar, the word wan har (والنحر) means sacrifice. If the haa is not pronounced correctly, the meaning changes to “scold”! it is thus obvious that the rules of Tajweed must be applied in the recitation of the Qur’an.
The Rules of Reading with Tajweed
The majority of scholars agree that applying the Tajweed rules of Qur’an such that the clear/major mistakes are avoided is an individual responsibility (fardh ‘ayn) upon every Muslim. This is because the Qur’an was revealed with the Tajweed rules applied to it and the Prophet (sallllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) recited it back to Jibreel (alayhis salaam) that way, and the Companions of the Prophet (sallllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) read it that way, so it is an established sunnah.
Benefits of Reading the Holy Qur’an
1) Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, “The Qur’an is a proof for you or against you.” [Muslim] So one of two things will occur with this proof, the Book of Allah (SWT). It will either be in your favor, a proof for you on the Day when you will need every single good deed, or it will be something standing against you. The very Speech of your Creator, a proof against you! Who could be saved from the terrors of that Day if Allah’s (SWT) own Speech is against him?
2) The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Read the Qur’an, for verily it will come on the Day of Standing as an intercessor for its companions.” [Muslim]
3) The Prophet (SAWS) said: “The best of you are the ones who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others.” [Al-Bukhari]
4) The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah (SWT), he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Laam, Meem’ is a letter; rather, I am saying that ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Laam’ is a letter, and ‘Meem’ is a letter.” So increase your recitation of the Qur’an to gain these merits.
5) The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have TWICE that reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
6) Abdullah ibn-e-Umar (R) narrated: “The Prophet (SAWS) said, “The hearts get rusted as does iron with water. When someone asked, “What could cleanse the hearts again?”
The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Frequent remembrance of death and the recitation of the Qur’an.”
7) Prophet (SAWS) said, “One who is well-versed in the Qur’an will be in the company of those angels who are scribes, noble and righteous; and one who falters in reading the Qur’an and as to exert hard for learning, gets double the reward.”
8) The Prophet (SAWS said, “Whosoever reads the Qur’an and acts upon what is contained in it, his parents will be made to wear a crown on the Day of Judgment, the brilliance of which will excel that of the sun, if the same were within your worldly houses. So what do think about the person who himself acts upon it?”
9) The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Never do a people collect in one of the houses of Allah (SWT) (mosque) reciting the Qur’an and reading it out to one another, but sakinah (tranquility) descends upon them, rahmat (mercy) enshrouds them, the angels throng around them, and Almighty Allah mentions them in the assembly of angels.”
10) The Prophet (SAWS) said, “You cannot turn to Allah and gain nearness to Him with anything superior to that which directly proceeded from Him i.e. the Holy Qur’an.”
11) The Prophet (SAWS) said, “O, Abu Zar, if you go in the morning and learn one ayah from the Book of Allah, it will be better for you than your offering one hundred rak’aat of nafl salaah.”