The holy Quran is the divine speech of Almighty Allah. It is not an ordinary book, which is to be read in any of the way or style, one likes to. It was given and taught by Allah to His most trustworthy angel; Hazrat Jibraeel-e-Ameen (عليه السلام ), who then taught further to the most perfect and beloved Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وسلم of Allah.
Then the Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وسلم taught to his companions ( رضي الله عنهم ), they then showed to Tabie’ens and then to Tab’a Tabie’ens and then the chain continues and goes down to us. These teachings included the way of reciting as well.
This way of recitation was called as the Science of Tajweed or simply Tajweed-ul-Quran by the ulema/scholars of the late era.
Tajweed means to recite the Quran in a better way such that, every syllable is articulated from its certain exit point and it gets all its own dues and rights. Tajweed is an exact and well-defined domain of the teachings of Quran.
Hazrat Zaid bin Sabit (رضي الله عنه ) said: “قراءة القرآن سنة متبعة يأخذها الآخر عن الأول”
i.e., it is a followed Sunnah and adopted by the Salaf (the scholars of the early era) who were then, followed by Khalaf (the scholars of the late era).
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Masood (رضي الله عنه ) said: “إن حق تلاوته، ان يحل حلاله، ويحرم حرامه، وأن يقرأه كما أنزله الله عز وجل، ولا يحرفه عن مواضعه”
i.e., the right of recitation of the Quran is to regard lawful, whatever of its (Quran) is allowed, and viewed as unlawful, whatever of it is forbidden and one must recite it, in the way it was revealed by Allah (عزوجل ) and should not lead to any change or alteration in the vowel, or letter, or meaning or pronunciation, etc.
Hence, it is an established Sunnah which we being Muslims are duty bound to follow and apply it in our recitations. Its recitation must be taken very seriously. The purpose of the Science of Tajweed in the real sense is to make the reciter proficient in reciting the Quran, observing the correct pronunciation of every letter with the rulings and characteristics which apply to each letter, without any addition or imperfection.
If a person does not have proper knowledge of the characteristics, then he might interchange the two letters that have the same makhraj (exit point). This will ultimately change the meaning of the word that was not intended by Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ).
Some are of the opinion that Tajweed only means to recite Quran in a beautiful or a pleasant melodious voice, irrespective of whatever rules are applied. However, its primary purpose is to accurately observe all the rules of recitation with full precision while protecting him from making mistakes along with a plus point of reciting it in a beautiful voice.
It is not an advanced science for expert reciters (قراء ) alone, instead it is an obligation upon every one of us.
Imam Ibn Al-Jazari said: “التجويد، فرض عين على كل مكلف“
i.e., tajweed is an obligation upon every responsible person. Therefore, considering the recitation of the Quran with Tajweed, as an option, would be wrong. As Allah Almighty intended Himself the Quran to be recited with the correct application of the rules of Tajweed.
Dear students, let us utilize our precious time in seeking reliable knowledge, as this world is Faani and make this excellent book our friend, and converse with it, in the language of Tajweed correctly and memorize it, so that we get real pleasure from the beauty of its recitation.
And please Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ) and keep alive, the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. And let us not worry about the age at which we are hesitant to seek because, in Islam, there is no restriction on a specific period for seeking knowledge.
Our teachers are ready to welcome you all and spread knowledge ahead, all by Allah’s will.