5-6. Reciting with good Tajweed & only use one Mushaf

by Shaykh Yahya al-Ghawthani

Guideline No. 5

Reciting with Tajweed at a good pace

Tajweed greatly strengthens Hifdh (memorization). I receive many complaints from institutions and students saying that, “Shaykh, I memorize and then forget!” I ask them, “How do you memorise?” Most say that they memorise in the usual manner (as we read any other book). This is an incorrect method to use when memorising the Noble Quran. When memorising the Quran, the voice and tune must be different, it must be beautiful.  

On one occasion the Sahaabi, Abu Moosa Al Ash`ari رضي الله عنه was reciting the Noble Quran and Rasulullah ﷺ was listening to him. Rasulullah ﷺ became pleased with his recital. Abu Moosa رضي الله عنه turned to the Rasulullah ﷺ and asked: “O Messenger of Allah, are you listening to my recitation?” Rasulullah ﷺ replied: “Yes, you have been blessed with a Mizmar (sweet melodious voice) from the Mazamir (instruments) of Prophet Dawood عليه السلام” Abu Moosa رضي الله عنه replied: “Had I known that You were listening to me, I would have recited even more beautifully than that.”

When you intend to memorise, pay attention to the Makharij (points of articulation) of the huroof (letters), recite with Ghunnah (nasal sound), Idgham (incorporating letters), Madd (lengthening) and pay attention to all those aspects of recitation which if you leave them out will be considered as Lahn Jalee (major mistakes).

To read at a fast pace is called Hadhrabah. A good quality of Hifdh is where when reciting the memorised portions, the Mudud (long sounds), the Ghunnah, the Makharij and Important Huruf are read clearly and thereafter attention is given to the tune and melody. This contributes to the Hifdh becoming firm. You will feel joy when you recite with tune and rhythm.

When a person recites the Qalqala (slight echoing sound) in the verse:

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ ﴿١﴾ خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ ﴿٢﴾

The Qalqala in the beginning and end of the verse leaves a person appreciating the beauty of the verse. In the verse that follows, we find that a smooth tone has an effect and helps in memorisation, because people are naturally inclined to tune – every person, Arab or not, a man, or even a lady in her kitchen. People often hum to the tune of a nasheed or Aayah, what is the secret and reason behind this?

The foetus in the mother’s womb is positioned in a way where the head is close to the mothers heart, the mothers heart beats in a rhythmic pattern throughout the 9 months (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom…Boom, Boom…) The placenta transfers the sound of the beating of the heart in an amazing way to the child, and it is as though it soothes him. It keeps him quiet and calms his soul, so he becomes accustomed to that tune of (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom…Boom, Boom…). When the child is born and is separated from his mother he naturally cries, and if that child is brought close to his mother and listens to her heart beating, he is soothed, and again if he is separated, he is troubled and cries, it is as if he is saying ‘return me to the calm place where I was’.

Each one of us whether we like it or not loves to listen to rhythms/tunes but we must bear in mind that in this regard there are red lines and green lines in the shariah. Take advantage of this pleasure within the limits of the shariah. As soon as we overstep the limits of our shariah and deen we enter into the red zone.

The crux of all the above is that if you wish to memorize Quran, we must take advantage of this natural rhythm. Rhythm makes the hifdh firm. If we visit any village on the globe, Subhanallah, and if we say to a little child there, recite Al-Fatihah, the child will recite the Basmalah in a distinct and well known tune, where does this come from? He recites different from any usual recitation.


The Unique Nature of Quranic Recitation

There is a man I know who was researching Arabic phonetics in one of the learning centres in Britain. He put forward an idea to record different dialects of Arabic. The way he did it was by putting usual text and in-between this text he put text of the Quran. He found that people recited the Quranic verses in a distinct and unique rhythm compared to how they read the other text and it had a different tune apart from the rest. He recorded it with special equipment and took it to his non-Muslim supervisor.  He presented it to him and said: “Look, this is the Arabic Language, and this too is the Arabic Language. But, they are read differently”. The supervisor said to him: “This is strange. Is this difference from only one or two of the Muslims?” He told him that most Muslims are known to recite in this manner. When a Muslim recites poetry or a newspaper or magazine, he recites in a certain way, but when he comes upon a Quranic verse, he recites it with Tajweed, with Ghunna, Idghaam and other rules of recitation.

So I said to him (the researcher), If you delve deeper into this research, you will be able to put forward evidence to the west that the Quran is distinguished in every way till its phonetic composition, its letters, and in the way its recitation was passed down the generations.

The researcher was amazed and asked how this occurred. I said to him that this is a result of how the Quran was transferred to a student from his teacher, from his teacher, from his teacher, till the chain reaches the Messenger of Allah . This is a distinguishing characteristic of the Quran when it is recited to the shaykh or teacher and I went on to explain to him the importance of a Sanad (chain of transmission) in detail and I told him to inform his teacher that a student has to recite the Quran by heart from start to finish in a specific way to a well-versed teacher who listens to the complete recital. Then the teacher approves his recitation and when the recitation is perfect, he awards him with a Sanad/Ijazah (certificate) that was passed down from his teacher from his teacher, going up until Rasoolullah . This distinction is not found in anything besides the Noble Quran. The supervisor was extremely overwhelmed by this and was in disbelief that a chain of this nature linked up all the way to Allah’s Messenger .


Guideline No. 6

Only use one mushaf

Use only one Mushaf (print of the Quran). The best copy of the Quran is where an Ayah starts in the beginning of the page and an Ayah ends at the end of the page. Do not break up the verses of a page (for ease of remembering). Some people memorise from the books of Tafseer, so I advise them to use those books of Tafseer wherein each full page of the Quran is included.