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Rules of Tajweed

Emission points of the letters
  • One should understand that the Qur'an is not the word of man.
  • The reader should throw away all other thoughts.
  • One should understand the meaning.
  • One should be humble.
  • One should feel that every message in the Qur’an is meant personally for himself or herself.
  • One should understand the proper pronunciation of Arabic alphabet.
Characteristics of the letters
The characteristics of the letters, or Siffat al Huruf, refer to the different attributes of the letters. Some of the characteristics have opposites, while some are individual. An example of a characteristic would be the whistling (Safeer), which is an attribute sound of air escaping from a tube.
Rules of the letter NUN and tanween (ن)
The NUN sakinah and tanween (vowels that produces a "nnn" sound immediately after it) can be pronounced in four different ways: Clear (Idhar), Merged with the next letter (Idgham), Hidden (Ikhfa), and changed from a "nnn" sound to a "mmm" sound (Iqlaab).
Rules of the letter MIM (م)
The MIM sakinah can be pronounced in three different ways, clear (Idhar), prolonged nasalization (Ghunnah), and uncloselipped (ikhfaa shafawee).
Rules of prolongation [muddud] (مدّ)
These rules refer to the number of beats that are pronounced when voweled letter is followed by a MUDD letter. The MUDD letters are Alif, Yaah, and Waw. The number of beats can range from 2 counts to 6 counts.
Rules of the letter LAM (ل)
The Arabic word for "the" is al- (the letters alif and lam). The lam in al- is pronounced if the letter after is "qamariyya" (lunar), but silent if the letter after is "shamsiyya" (solar).
Thickness and Thinness of the letters
Some of the arabic letters are always pronounced thick with a heavy accent (Tafkhim). Some letters are pronounced thin with a light accent (Tarqeeq). Some letters depend on the scenario, and are sometimes pronounced thick, and sometimes thin

Why the need for Tajweed rules?

When Islam was being spread (and it was done so at a very quick pace and also into non-Arab speaking countries) not everyone's tongue was accustomed to the Arabic letters and sounds. Thus, when reciting the Qur'an, much error and distortion occurred and the Muslim scholars feared (the perpetration of) that error and distortion. It was at this point that some of them recorded the rules and foundations that regulate the correct pronunciation of Qur'an, and they named this the Science of Tajweed. The rules were not made up by these Scholars. In fact, all they did was closely observe the perfect readers who read as they were taught by the Prophet () and wrote down for later generations the rules of recitation of the earlier generations. From the outset, Tajweed was a Science that cannot be learnt only from a book and will always retain this inherent quality. The most important part of Tajweed is learning about correct positions of the organs of speech and the manner of articulation. The Qur'an can lose its meaning if the letters are not pronounced correctly.

Tajweed is not intended to be about just learning rules and committing them to memory, but rather the correct application of those rules while reciting the Qur'an. When 'tajweed' is observed, the reading will flow smoothly and eloquently. The reader will also be sure he is following the holy Prophet's () example by reciting the Qur'an just as the Prophet () did and just as it was revealed to him - InshaAllah. Failure to adhere to those rules may result in an unacceptable manner of reading, altering the entire meaning of the words and making one guilty of the unintentional utterance of the words of disbelief (kufr). Incorrect recital of the Qur'an constitutes LAHN, which may deprive the reader of any reward in the Hereafter, and Allah () Knows Best.
One who wishes to learn a science needs to know its principles so that he will gain insight into the sought science. There are several principles in the science of tajweed that should be understood:

1.   Its definition By linguistic definition: Betterment Applied definition: Articulating every letter from its articulation point and giving the letter its rights and dues of characteristics. Rights of the letters are its required characteristics that never leave it. The dues of the letters are its presented characteristics that are present in it some of the time, and not present at other times. i.e. the medd, idgham

2.   Its formation The words of the Glorious Qur'an and some said Honorable Hadiths also.

3.   Its fruits It is preserving the tongue from mistakes in pronunciation of the Glorious Qur’an during reading.

4.   Its founder The rule setter from the practical point of view is the Messenger of Allah because the Qur’an was revealed to him from Allah, the most High, with tajweed, and he, was instructed on it from the Trustworthy, Jibreel, peace be upon him, and taught it to his companions, who then taught it to their followers and so on until it came to us by these chains.
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