The Arabic word Tajweed linguistically means “proficiency” or “doing something well.” It comes from the same root letters as the word Jayyid, which means “good.” The term refers to how each letter in the Qur’an should be accorded its rights. However, this is because of its characteristics. But, the rules govern what each letter should do in various situations. Therefore, we give the letters their rights by observing the essential characteristics of each letter. Hence, we give them their due by observing each letter’s characteristics sometimes and not at other times.
The Qur’an was revealed with Tajweed rules applied to it. In other words, when the angel Jibreel (Gabriel), may Allah exalt his mention, recited the words of Allah to the Prophet Muhammad. So it is obligatory upon us to observe those rules to recite it in the way it was revealed.
At the time of the Prophet, there was no need for people to study Tajweed because they talked with what is now known as Tajweed, so it was natural for them. It was important for the scholars to record Quran recitation rules as the Arabs and non-Arabs mixed and Islam spread. Nowadays, even Arabs must study Tajweed since the standard Arabic that Arabs speak is so different from the classical Arabic used in the Qur’an.
The Holy Qur’an is the true name of Allah that He revealed as an infallible source of legislation for humanity to live an organized life. But, it contains regulations and recommendations about all aspects of life and references to the Hereafter. Because of its importance, the Qur’an should be correctly recited, written, and recited so that there are no misunderstandings.
Listening to the Qur’an being recited correctly is enough to soften even the hardest of hearts. Muslims and non-Muslims alike find it deeply moving, regardless of what they are hearing. Every Muslim has to recite the Qur’an in prayers. Still, many of us do not realize that reciting the Qur’an correctly while following the rules of recitation is not an advanced science for expert reciters alone. Rather it is an obligation upon every one of us whenever we recite the Qur’an.
The Qur’an is the word of Allah, and every syllable is from Allah. But, its recitation must be taken very seriously. The purpose of Tajweed is to enable the receiver to recite the Qur’an proficiently. In addition to this, we observe the correct pronunciation of every letter with the rules and characteristics that apply to it without exaggeration or deficiency. It is possible to recite the Qur’an in the manner of the Prophet, who received it from Jibreel, who received it from Almighty Allah in classical Arabic.
Each Arabic letter has a Makhraj (an exit or junction point from which it originates) and Sifaat (attributes or characteristics). But, knowing the Makhraj and Sifaat of each letter is an important part of Tajweed. Sometimes two letters have very similar exits, which makes mixing them up easy. A person may change the meaning of words in the Quran recitation if he does not know the attributes of each letter. Thus, Tajweed rules in recitation prevent the reciter from making mistakes.
Get a copy of the Quran in your language for ease of reading. The Quran has been translated into more than 110 languages. So there’s a good chance that it’s available in your native tongue. Therefore, select a version of the Quran in the language that you feel most comfortable reading. But, if your native language is French, read the Quran in French. If your native language is Chinese, read the Quran in Chinese.
Access an online version if you want to search for specific topics. The Quran is widely available in print, but you can also access an online or ebook version that allows you to search it. So, this is useful if you want to target certain topics or if you want to search the Quran. Aside from the advantage of reading the Quran anytime, anywhere, online or with an ebook, you can also carry the book with you easily instead of carrying it around everywhere you go.
Depending on your learning style, you might find it easier to follow along with an audiobook version of the Quran. There are audiobook versions of the Quran available online, and some e-readers will also narrate an ebook version of the Quran for you. The benefit of listening to the Quran is that you can read when you normally wouldn’t be able to, such as during your commute to work or school, while you exercise, or during household chores.