Tajweed refers to the rules of pronunciation and recitation of the Quran, the holy book of Islam. It’s important to note that Tajweed is a detailed and nuanced science, and scholars may differ in their classification and interpretation of rules. Learning Tajweed is important and typically done through oral transmission from a qualified teacher, and there are various resources, including books and online courses, that can help individuals learn and apply these rules in their Quranic recitation.
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How Many Tajweed Rules Are There?
The number of Tajweed rules can vary slightly depending on the method of classification and interpretation. However, there are generally 9 main recognized basic Tajweed rules that are essential for proper Quranic recitation. These rules help ensure that the pronunciation and recitation of the Quran are accurate and adhere to the rules set by classical Arabic grammar.
While the exact number may be debated, scholars often mention around 17 main Tajweed rules. These rules cover aspects such as proper pronunciation of Arabic letters, elongation of vowels, assimilation of letters, and other rules that guide the correct recitation of the Quranic verses.
The following are the 9 main rules of Tajweed:
1. The Rules of Qalqalah:
Qalqalah, meaning “echo” in Arabic, refers to the echoing or bouncing sound produced when pronouncing certain letters (Qaf, Taa, Baa, Jeem, and Daad – ق ط ب ج د) with a slight emphasis. This technique adds a beautiful harmony and depth to the recitation, creating an artistic touch.
Mastering Qalqalah requires practice to strike a balance between producing enough force for the echo effect without distorting the letter’s sound too much. Incorporating Qalqalah enhances the connection with the words of Allah and makes the recitation truly mesmerizing.
Example: In Surah Al-Falaq (113:1-5), the qalqalah can be observed in the pronunciation of the letter “Qaf” in the word “Qul.” The slight bouncing or echo effect enhances the rhythm of the recitation, adding a unique musicality.
2. The Rules of Heavy and Light Letters:
In the beautiful recitation of the Quran, Heavy and Light Letters play a significant role. Heavy Letters (Huroof al-Tafkheem) like ض، غ، ط، ق، ظ خ، ص، are pronounced with more emphasis and strength, requiring a stronger articulation.
Light Letters (Huroof al-Tarqeeq), including ء، ب، ت، ث، ج، ح، د، ذ، ز، س، ش، ع، ف، ك، ل، م، ن، ه، و، ي, are pronounced with less force and lightness. Correct pronunciation of Heavy and Light Letters is crucial for a beautiful, clear, and precise recitation while adhering to Tajweed principles.
Example: In Surah Al-Fatihah (1:1-7), the heavy letters (Huroof al-Tafkheem) like “ط” in “صراط” are pronounced with emphasis, while the light letters (Huroof al-Tarqeeq) like “ب” in “بِسْمِ” are articulated with less force, contributing to the overall flow and beauty of the recitation.
3. Various Types of Prolongation (Al-Madd):
Prolongation (Al-Madd) involves extending the pronunciation of certain letters within a word, adding an enchanting elongation of sounds. This term, translated as “extension” or “prolongation,” plays a crucial role in Tajweed rules. Certain letters (Alif, Ya, Waw) create the captivating “Madd” effect, especially when following specific short vowel marks (Fatha, Damma, Kasra).
There are two primary categories of prolongations in Tajweed: Natural Prolongations (al Madd al Asli) and Conditional Prolongations (al Madd al far’ee), each with subcategories that guide the correct recitation of the Arabic language. Understanding and mastering these categories contribute to the beauty and precision of Quranic recitation.
Example: In Surah Al-Fatiha (1:1-7), the elongation of certain letters, particularly the alif (ا) in “الضالين,” adds a melodious effect to the recitation, creating a captivating extension of sound.
4. Isti’athah and Basmalah:
In the realm of Tajweed, Isti’athah and Basmalah hold significant importance. Isti’athah involves seeking refuge with Allah from Shaytan, acknowledging the need for protection from distractions or negative influences during engagement with the divine words of the Quran.
On the other hand, Basmalah entails reciting “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” at the beginning, setting a tone of reverence and mindfulness for the connection with the divine message. Initiating recitations with Isti’athah and Basmalah serves as a crucial practice in Tajweed, fostering a respectful approach to Quranic recitation.
Example: In various chapters of the Quran, such as the beginning of Surah Al-Fatiha and Surah Al-Baqarah, the practice of Isti’athah (seeking refuge) and Basmalah (reciting “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim”) sets a tone of reverence and mindfulness before delving into the divine verses.
5. Rules of Noon Saakin and Tanween:
The rules governing Noon Saakin and Tanween are essential for correct pronunciation and elongation of the letter Noon. Whether reciting the Quran or any other Arabic text, understanding these rules is fundamental for producing clear and accurate sounds.
Mastery of these rules ensures precision in pronunciation, contributing to effective and melodious Quranic recitation.
Example: The rules of Noon Saakin and Tanween are evident in the pronunciation of words like “مَنْ آمَنَ” where the silent noon is pronounced smoothly and the tanween in “كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ” is enunciated clearly.
Read: How to learn Tajweed.
6. Ikhfaa and Idgham Rules:
When encountering Noon Saakin, two important principles come into play: Ikhfaa and Idgham. Ikhfaa involves slightly concealing the sound of the silent Noon, preventing it from being pronounced as strongly as ordinary Noon.
Idgham, on the other hand, entails merging or assimilating the sound of Noon into another letter under specific conditions. This results in a seamless transition between letters, without pauses or stops.
7. Three Main Rules of Tanween:
Tanween, the addition of a short “n” sound at the end of words, requires attention to three main rules: Izhar (clear pronunciation of Tanween), Iqlab (changing Tanween into an ‘m’ sound), and Idgham (merging Tanween into the next consonant).
Each rule has specific conditions based on surrounding letters, influencing how Tanween should be pronounced accurately.
8. Rules of Meem Saakinah:
Meem Saakinah is governed by two rules: Izhaar and Idghaam. In Izhaar, the Meem should be pronounced with clarity by fully opening the lips and allowing air to pass through without any nasal sound.
Idghaam involves blending Meem Saakinah with the following letter, without pronouncing the Meem separately, creating a nasal sound known as “Nun Ghunnah.
9. Rules of Laam Shamsyiah and Qamaryiah:
Laam Shamsyiah and Qamaryiah are integral aspects of Tajweed that impact the pronunciation of Arabic words. Laam Al Qamariyah, the lunar Laam, interacts with specific lunar letters, resulting in clarity and a distinct pronunciation.
Laam Ash Shamsiyah, the solar Laam, is used to make an indefinite noun definite and involves solar Idgham, merging with specific letters without nasalization. Understanding and implementing these rules contribute to maintaining proper flow and rhythm in Quranic recitation, enhancing overall Tajweed skills.
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