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Lesson 1: Introduction to Tajwīd

Table of Contents

Tajwīd literally means to do something well. Technically (according to the qurrāʾ), it means to pronounce every letter from its point or place of origin (makhraj) together with all its characteristics (ṣifāt).

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Subject Matter

In Tajwīd, we discuss letters of the Arabic alphabet.

Ruling (Ḥukm)

It is farḍ kifāyah to learn all the rules of Tajwīd, but it is farḍ ʿayn to recite the Qurʾān with Tajwīd.

Farḍ kifāyah means that if at least one person in the community performs it, the responsibility falls away from the rest of society, but if no-one performs it, the whole community will be answerable for its negligence. Farḍ ʿayn means that it is required from every individual.

Benefit

By learning Tajwīd, we protect ourselves from making mistakes in the recitation of the Qurʾān.

Mistakes or errors made in the recitation of the Qurʾān are of two types:

1) Laḥn jaliyy – a clear error
2) Laḥn khafiyy – a hidden error

Error (Laḥn)

Jaliyy means clear and khafiyy means hidden.

It is called laḥn jaliyy (a clear error) because it is clear to everyone listening that an error has been made in the recitation. It is ḥarām (prohibited) to recite the Qurʾān with laḥn jaliyy on the condition that the qāriʾ (reciter) is aware that he is making laḥn jaliyy and that he is making no effort to correct his recitation.

Istiʿādhah and Basmalah

Istiʿādhah means seeking refuge or protection. When mentioning the istiʿādhah in Tajwīd, we will discuss reciting

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم before starting recitation of the Qurʾān.

Basmalah literally means to recite بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The basmalah is also recited on commencing the recitation of the Qurʾān and particularly at the beginning of suwar (chapters of the Qurʾān).

Terms To Know:

ﻓَﺼﻞ – means to separate

وصل – means to join

أول – means the first

الثاني – means the second

جميع – means everything or all

When discussing the istiʿādhah and the basmalah, the qāriʾ will find himself in one of three situations if both the istiʿādhah and the basmalah are being recited:

  •  He starts his recitation at the beginning of a sūrah (chapter).
  •  He starts his recitation in the middle of a sūrah.
  • Having already started recitation of the Qurʾān, he is ending a
    sūrah and starting another.

1- In the first situation there are four possible ways of reciting:

وصل الكل – to join everything i.e. to join the istiʿādhah to the basmalah, and the basmalah to the beginning of the sūrah.

وصل أول فصل الثاني – to join the first (the istiʿādhah to the basmalah) and separate the second (the basmalah from the sūrah).

فصل الكل – to separate everything i.e. to separate the istiʿādhah from the basmalah, and to separate the basmalah from the beginning of the sūrah.

فصل أول وصل الثاني – to separate the first from the second (the istiʿādhah from the basmalah) and join the second (the basmalah
to the beginning of the sūrah.

NOTE:
All these four ways are permissible.

2 – In the second situation there are also four possible ways of reciting the istiʿādhah and the basmalah of which two are preferred:

فصل الكل – to separate the istiʿādhah from the basmalah, and to separate the basmalah from the middle of the sūrah. 

وصل أول فصل الثاني – to join the first (the istiʿādhah to the basmalah) and separate the second (the basmalah from the sūrah).

NOTE:

In this situation, وصل الكل and فصل أول وصل الثاني is not advised for the beginner. 

3 – In the third situation there are also four possible ways of reciting the istiʿādhah and the basmalah of which three are allowed:

فصل الكل – to separate everything; the end of the first sūrah from the basmalah and the basmalah from the beginning of the second sūrah.

وصل الكل – to join everything; to join the end of the first sūrah to the basmalah and join the basmalah to the beginning of the second sūrah.

فصل الأول وصل الثاني – to separate the first sūrah from the basmalah and join the basmalah to the beginning of the second sūrah. 

NOTE:
وصل الأول فصل الثاني will not be allowed as it leaves the impression that the basmalah is part of the end of the first sūrah, which is not the case.

NOTE:
The basmalah should not be recited at the beginning of Sūrah al-Toubah.

NOTE:
The basmalah should not be recited at the beginning of Sūrah al-Toubah.

 

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