A brief outline

of the
importance of
studying
Tajweed and
Arabic
By Sister Uzma  2017
FORWARD

Bismillahi-Rahmaani-Raheem

All praise is due to Allah (swt - Subhanah Wa Ta’ala) and may the peace and blessings be upon
Muhammad the last Messenger and Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).

To proceed, the best speech is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of
Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), the worst practice is the introduction of new practices
(bid’ahs) in Islam and every bid’ah is a misguidance.

All references I provide are in the most appropriate English translation as the Quraan and ahadith
are in Arabic.
The importance of studying Tajweed and Arabic
It is obligatory to learn tajweed and Arabic. Why? Because if each letter of the Arabic alphabet is
not recited correctly then you will be reciting something that is not the Quraan (the Quraan being
the verbatim word of Allah). Our five daily prayers and sunnah duas (supplications) are in Arabic.
Hence, we have to recite the letters correctly. Reciting the letters incorrectly could even go against
the actual meaning in the Quraan and be blasphemous (Kufr). Arabic is a very rich language and
the English language can never do it any justice. For example the letter Daad and Daal in Arabic is
only equivalent to the letter D in English. Obviously if these two are swapped in recitation it will
affect the meaning. The same is for other letters like Ha and ha (they are not the same) and
swapping these could be blasphemous. There are many other examples. It is also important to
know where to stop and start when a person recites the Quraan. A person reciting the Quraan will
need to take breaths and it is very important not to take breaths in the wrong places. For example
in surah Al Baqarah:

Allah – there is no deity except Him,…. 2:255

Stopping on the word deity would be contradictory to the Islamic creed. This highlights the
importance of knowing Arabic because if you want to know where to stop (other than at the end of
verses, which is sunnah) you need to know what the words mean. It is also important to know
where to start, as this can also affect the meaning. Sometimes it is permissible to start on the word
following the place where you stopped. However, in many cases you would have to go back a few
words so that the meaning is not affected. What I have done in my learning process is to listen to
the great Qaris (reciters of the Quraan) and copied their stopping and starting places or you can go
through the best places to stop and start with a qualified teacher. This may seem a little daunting
but the smaller surahs have smaller verses so you do not have to worry about your breath running
out.

Since Islam was sent to people who spoke Arabic, all the great teachings of Islam like the Quraan,
the ahadith collections, the tafseer etc. are all originally in Arabic and any translation of them is
not really a translation but an explanation of that text in the other language. Therefore to really
understand this great religion of Islam we have to learn Arabic otherwise we can never really
know, apply, appreciate and be grateful for this tremendous blessing of Allah. By not knowing
Islam and applying it when we have the means to do so will make us sinful.

The Quraan has many aspects to it. Some of them are: the tajweed, Arabic, the other sciences of
the Quraan and tafseer. Through tajweed you to hear it recited correctly which is so beautiful to
hear. By learning the Arabic you get to know the meaning and thus you can understand what Allah
is saying and apply the clear verses in the Quraan. Through the other sciences you can appreciate
how much of a miracle this Quraan is and through the tafseer (even a tafseer in your own
language) you can apply more completely what Allah is telling you in the Quraan. Thus ultimately
get closer to Allah by obeying Him, fearing His punishment, knowing what to do to avoid His
punishment and at the same time hoping for His Mercy and thereby loving Him more and more
and thus perfecting your worship of Him.
An important thing to note is learning the tajweed rules by themselves is not sufficient. Listening
to great Qari’s certainly helps a lot, but you must get a qualified teacher to check that you are
reciting correctly. You cannot do this properly by yourself, even if you are using a dictaphone. If
you cannot find a qualified teacher, you can ring in to some live shows where the teachers will
help you, and don’t forget to do dua to Allah to help you and practice regularly.

As you progress and your recitation improves, and it will improve Insha Allah, many people are so
tempted to relate all this improvement to their teacher and they say things like “it’s all because of
you sheikh” or “it is because of Allah and you sheikh” and things similar to that. This is wrong as
it implies shirk. If you have seen my other booklet: A brief outline of shirk, you will see that if
you want to show appreciation to your teacher in this way, you can say “it is because of Allah and
then you”. The reason for this is the use of the word “and” this implies sameness and togetherness
which is shirk when used with Allah. Many people may think that as long as this shirk is not
intended then it is fine. This is wrong because if the intention was that the teacher was an equal
with Allah then this is major shirk. If this is not intended then it becomes minor shirk which is the
worst of all the major sins.

Do not get put off by thinking studying tajweed and Arabic is a lot of work and it sounds very
hard. It is not. Children as young as four can recite the Quraan perfectly. Many seven year olds
have memorised the entire Quraan. This itself is a miracle. Also from my experience of learning
tajweed and Arabic the actual process is so sweet and enlightening and enjoyable. By studying
and applying tajweed rules the letters come alive and interact with your heart in an amazing way
even when you do not know what the words mean. When you stop and start in the right places this
effect increases and when you know what you are saying, applying it and pondering over what
Allah is telling you then your heart gets illuminated like never before and an amazing tranquillity
fills your soul.

The Prophet said, "Such a person as recites the Qur'an and masters it by heart, will be with the
noble righteous scribes (in Heaven). And such a person exerts himself to learn the Quraan by
heart, and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward." Sahih Al Bukhari

Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It will
be said to the companion of the Qur'an: Recite and rise in status, recite as you used to recite in
the world, for your status will be at the last verse that you recite.” Sunan At Tirmidhi
authenticated by Al-Albani

A note about teaching - In order to teach how to read the Quraan, the teacher must have recited
before a qualified teacher (someone who has been given permission to teach Quraan by someone
else who is qualified), and that teacher then gives them permission to teach at a specific level. The
highest level is the “ijaaza” – this is when someone who has memorised the entire Quraan recites
the whole Quraan to someone else who has memorised the entire Quraan and has been given
ijaaza from their teacher. These teachers are people who have been given ijaaza from their teachers
going back to the Prophet (saw). These teachers then approve the recitation of their students and
thus give them permission to teach Quraan. The rest of the levels vary depending on the
knowledge of the student. The teacher can then give an approval to teach what they confirm the
student knows.
Teaching something you are not sure of is very dangerous. If you teach someone something
wrong, you may be accountable before Allah for the mistakes of those who learnt this from you -
directly or indirectly. This applies to all aspects of the Quraan, whether it is tarteel, tafseer,
tajweed etc. The teachings of the Quraan get passed on from generation to generation, and
therefore any mistakes get also passed on generation to generation. This amounts to a huge
amount of people making mistakes. However, all the good you teach also will be passed on from
generation to generation. This amounts to a lot of good deeds. Therefore teaching the Quraan is
highly rewarding and such people will be included in the hadith:

The Prophet said, "The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Quraan and teach
it." Sahih Al Bukhari
Many people can get a little lazy in their recitation over time, therefore I would recommend that
even of a person has been given permission to teach that they every 3-6 months get their recitation
checked by someone qualified. On a continual basis they should be checking themselves by
recording their recitation and checking it as well as continuously listening to Qaris.

I seek Allah’s forgiveness for any shortcomings in this booklet. I ask Allah to forgive us all, bless
us with beneficial knowledge and accept all our good deeds. Ameen
Websites and further teaching resources
For Tajweed
 http://www.abouttajweed.com/Why%20should%20we%20read%20the%20Quran
%20tajweed.pdf
 http://www.abouttajweed.com/index.php/tajweed-rules - the best site in my opinion for tajweed
rules in English
 http://www.tajweedinenglish.com/ - This can also be in French
 http://understandquran.com/resources/tajweed.html - This also has tajweed rules in Urdu.
 http://www.tajweed.com/ - this has links to tajweed in Arabic, French, Dutch, Turkish,
Indonesia and Melayu as well as tafseer and other resources.

For great Qari’s
 http://all-quran.com/documents/abd_allah_basfer.html
 http://iqraa.com/en/VisualQuran.aspx
 http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/

For Arabic

 http://understandquran.com/resources/free-online-quran-word-by-word.html

 http://corpus.quran.com/

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