The Importance of Tajweed
So, can the excellency of the speech of the kings of all kings – Allah Ta’ala – even be equated with man-made speech.
One of the many miracles of the noble Qur’aan is that regardless of the number of times it is recited, one never gets tired nor bored with its recitation. Allah Ta’ala says in the noble Qur’aan, ‘Indeed the believers are those who tremble with fear when Allah is remembered and when the verses of the Qur’aan are recited before them, it increases their belief and upon Allah they have complete trust.” (8:2)
One of the salient points mentioned in this verse is that when a believer recites the noble Qur’aan in the correct manner, it increases his faith and belief in Allah. Reciting the noble Qur’aan in the correct manner means to recite it with Tajwid.
What is Tajwid
Allah Ta’ala says in the noble Qur’aan, ‘And recite the Qur’aan with Tarteel.’ (73:4)
When asked about the meaning of Tarteel, Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallaahu Anhu) replied, ‘It means that the Qur’aan should be recited with Tajwid and with due observance to the rules of Waqf (pausing or stopping at the end of the verse).’
Tajwid means to recite every letter correctly, i.e. from its proper origin of pronunciation coupled with its stipulated attributes.
According to Imaam Jawzi (Rahmatullaahi Alayhi), the verse, ‘Verily my people have renounced the Qur’aan’ has two interpretations. Firstly, it could mean that they had renounced the Qur’aan by not believing in it and practicing upon it. And secondly, it could mean that they used to recite the Qur’aan in such a disgusting manner that it sounded like senseless and meaningless jabbering. Reading the Qur’aan without Tajwid could also be included in the second interpretation.
Tajwid from the Hadith
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, ‘Indeed Allah desires that the Qur’aan be recited in the manner it was revealed.’ This Hadith clarified by the Aayat and, ‘We revealed the Qur’aan with Tartil.’ (2:32)
The definition of Tartil has been explained above. Since the Qur’aan emphatically commands us to recite the Qur’aan with Tajwid, it is Fardh to recite the Qur’aan with Tajwid.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, ‘The Qur’aan will either testify in your favour or against you.’ Hence, if we fail to observe the requirements of the noble Qur’aan during our recitation, the Qur’aan will testify against us. If we are unacquainted with these prerequisites, we are compelled to acquire the laws of Tajwid.
Due to the vastness of the Arabic language, any small mistake in pronunciation of a letter or word may change the meaning of that word. For example, the word ‘Qalb’ (with q) means heart, if read ‘Kalb’ (with k), it will mean a dog’. So just as how in any other language we learn pronunciation of letters and words, for example, in English we learn that ‘ph’ stands for ‘f’ (as in phone) and not pone. Similarly, in the Arabic language, we also have to learn pronunciation of letters and words, which we term as ‘Tajwid’. Tajwid is not like all other subjects which we are able to separate from the Qur’aan but instead Tajwid and Qur’aan work hand in hand. If there is no Tajwid with Qur’aan, there is no Qur’aan. The question may arise that, how can such a statement be made that if a person reads Qur’aan without Tajwid, he is not read Qur’aan? Yes, such a statement is 100% correct.
Our beloved Rasul (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) states in one Hadith, ‘There are a lot of readers that read the Qur’aan but the Qur’aan curses them instead of making Du’aa for them.’ We get some people nowadays who spend hours and hours reciting the Qur’aan thinking that they are getting and attaining great rewards. But because there pronunciation of letters is incorrect, a very big problem arise. It sounds very small when we say, ‘I am only pronouncing a letter incorrectly..’ But did this thought ever cross our minds that when a letter changes in a word, the word changes and if a word changes in a sentence then the whole sentence changes and eventually the meaning also changes. So from this, we understand the Hadith of our Rasul (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), that some people read so much of the Qur’aan but because they do not know the correct pronunciation of the letters, they change the letters which then changes the words which eventually leads to the changing of the sentence and meaning of the Qur’aan. So, the Qur’aan in turn, instead of making Du’aa for such people it curses them.
We should also remember that from the time and generation of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) till now, no one has ever denied this fact that Tajwid is compulsory. It is only now in our generation that people have lost respect and forgotten the status of Tajwid. Today, even logic will show us the importance of Tajwid. If we write a letter to our beloved and give it to someone to give it to him or her, but this Mr Someone takes the letter and changes a few words which eventually changes the meaning of your letter, how would we feel?
Wouldn’t we get angry and take such a person to task , so in the same way, the Qur’aan is the word of Allah. If we change the word of Allah then Allah Ta’ala will definitely get angry with us and take us to task just as how we would do if someone changes our words in our letters.
So from all this, we can see that the Qur’aan is not Qur’aan until and unless it is read with Tajwid. Just as how if someone changes our letter addressed to our beloved, we would say that this is not our letter. We can also see from all this, the importance of reading the Qur’aan with Tajwid.
May Allah give me, you and all the ability to read the Qur’aan correctly so that we may earn the mercy of Allah Ta’ala and not the anger of Allah.