Quran is the word of Allah. The construct it has, the meaning it carries are unmatchable and not to be found in any book in the world. In addition to the depth of meaning that the verses of Quran carry, there is also its sublime language that it makes it apart from any of the writings in the world in general and Arabic in particular.
Pertaining to the decorated prose style, which Quran utilizes, the style in itself is unique, however, it is when the recitation of this style is done in the rightful manner that the true effect of Quran can be observed and experience. This is why recitation of Quran needs to be done with Tajweed. The lines below discuss what Tajweed is, the emphasis put on it in Islam, the importance of it, and some ways in which one can learn Tajweed with ease.
Tajweed refers to the rightful articulation of the words of Arabic. Like English, Arabic is also comprised of sounds that need to be articulated in a proper manner. Muslims in most part of the world are able to know and learn the Arabic sounds however, their articulation is governed by their parent language sound patterns and thus they are seldom able to pronounce the words in a way they are to be pronounced. Ergo, learning of Tajweed helps a Muslim recite the words in the way they are to be recited, which consequently assists in getting the best effect from the recitation.
In Quran, Allah says: The message of this ayah is obvious. The ones who believe in the truthfulness of Quran and the message it gives to humanity, they are the ones who recite it in the way it is supposed to be recited. This shows that there is a proper way of reciting Quran, hence if someone is not reciting the Quran in the proper way then they are reciting it in the improper way, which definitely needs to be avoided at once.
The matter being clear that there is a proper way of Quran recitation, the question then to ask is that what is the proper way of Quran recitation? We see Muslims all over the world learning Quran, however, very few are aware of the fact that simply learning Arabic does not mean learning Quran or its proper recitation, rather learning the rules of Tajweed is an integral component that makes that the recitation is done in the rightful manner. In Quran it is mentioned:
Quran needs to be recited in a measured way that is a combination of pronunciation of words in the right way so that they come up in the right tone and when a person knows which words could go to what acoustic limit only then can they recite them in slow manner as well. Therefore, the rightful way of Quran recitation is by doing it in a measured manner where all the rules are considered and incorporated in the recitation with the objective of producing an apt and beautiful recitation.
Another thing that needs to be realized is that this beautification in recitation of Quran is not something which is done by Muslims or which is done out of will, rather it is something which Allah Almighty has intentionally infused in the stylistics of Quran. It is He who has used the alphabets and words in such a way that when they are recited right, they produce an astonishing effect. Quran attests to it, where Allah Almighty says:
Therefore, considering the recitation of Quran with Tajweed an option which is dependant upon the personal will of a person would be wrong, as Allah Almighty intended it to be recited with Tajweed. Ergo, a Muslim must not just learn Arabic alphabets for reading Quran, rather, the rules of the way in which the alphabets are to be articulated or assimilated also need to be learned to achieve the intended recitation of Quran.
Importance of Tajweed
The above lines show the emphasis that Islam puts on the rightful recitation of Quran, which is not possible without knowing the rules of Tajweed. In addition to proper recitation, the knowledge of Tajweed is important because it helps avoid two kinds of mistakes that are crucial to Quran recitation. The two types of mistakes are:
The first type of mistake is related with the mispronunciation of the words. For instance, a reader can mix or use different vowel sounds inaptly, which according to scholars is a grave mistakes and if it is done out of intention then it is something that is punishable. Thus, the knowledge of the ways of articulation helps avoid such mistakes.
The second type of mistake is related to not following the rules of recitation. The recitation of Quran also has its rules, where at certain instances a person has to stop and at some places the recitation needs to be extended. This is also a mistake, however, it is not as grave as the former mistake as it does not cause any change in the meaning of the words. Nevertheless, this mistake can also be avoided if one knows the rules of Tajweed.