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Allah Almighty ordained the reading of Quran with intonation and measured recitation as said in 73:04. (crude interpretation of the meaning)
When asked about the meaning of this verse Prophet Muhammad Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him replied that it means to recite the Quran by manifesting its articulations and pronunciations and not to throw it like the rejected dates….. (crude interpretation of the meaning)
Once Ali Ibn Abi Talib Allah be pleased with him was asked regarding the meaning of Tarteel. He Allah be pleased with him replied
هُوَ تَجْوِيْدُ الْحُرُوْفِ
Meaning; the beautification of letters(attributional consideration, articulation & intonation) and awareness of the stoppage rules.
Allah Almighty ordained the reading of Quran with intonation and measured recitation as said in 73:04.
Allah the Exalted says; “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” (15:9)
When Prophet peace be upon him started reciting quickly with jibreel peace be upon him with fear of forgetting the revelation while Jibreel peace be upon him was conveying the Almighty’s message then Allah the Exalted revealed the verses;
“Move not your tongue with it, [O Muhammad], to hasten with recitation of the Qur’an. Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation. So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation. Then upon Us is its clarification [to you].” (75:16-19)
And so the revelation was then transferred from prophet peace be upon him to the companions. Some memorized them and some wrote them with the available materials with them. Specially the scribes who used to write for Prophet peace be upon him had the Qur’an in written form with them even during the life of the Holy prophet peace be upon him.
Allah Almighty says;
“Indeed, those who disbelieve in the message after it has come to them… And indeed, it is a mighty Book. Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy.” (41:41-42)
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt…” (2:2)
This Qur’an guides the Human to the blessings of this world and the hereafter. And show a steady and measured path leading them to the paradise.
“Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward.” (17:9)
“… There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book. By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darkness into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path.” (5:15-16)
This Great Book the Holy Qur’an being voluble and eloquent is such a book without any example prior or after its revelation. As, Allah the Exalted throws a challenge;
“If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.” (17:88)
The Holy Qur’an is the greatest of all books and it being the Word of Allah the Exalted and revealed from Him is enough to be a proof to be the greatest.
“And indeed, the Qur’an is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds. The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down. Upon your heart, [O Muhammad] – that you may be of the warners – In a clear Arabic language. And indeed, it is [mentioned] in the scriptures of former peoples.” (26:192-196)
“Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner -” (25:1)
“Then I swear by the setting of the stars, And indeed, it is an oath – if you could know – [most] great. Indeed, it is a noble Qur’an. In a Register well-protected; None touch it except the purified. [It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.” (56:75-80)
At one place; Allah the Exalted mentions Qur’an “الكتاب المبين” and at another “الكتاب الحكيم” and at another “تنزيل الكتاب من الله العزيزالحكيم”.
And at some places Allah the Exalted takes an oath while mentioning it
“حم ~ و الكتاب المبين ~ انا انزلناه قرآناً عربياً لعلكم تعقلون” at another place
“يس ~ والقران الحكيم” also “ص ~ والقران ذي الذكر”.
Henceforth not needing but still Allah the Exalted educating the Human creation about different attributes of the Qur’an and taking oath to manifest its Greatness in order to make people understand its importance and to make them revere it from the bottom of their hearts and to make it as a guiding principle in their lives.
Allah the Exalted revealed the Best of the Heavenly Books in the Best of the months and the Best of the nights of that Blessed month from the Preserved Scripturum at a time on the Heavens of this world and placed it in the (the Much-frequented House) (the House of Honor/Power) located in the seventh firmament. Almighty says:
“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” (2:185)
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree.” (97:1)
The above verses show the deep relation between the blessed month Ramadan and the Qur’an. So, we must try and recite the Qur’an more and more in the Holy and Blessed month of Ramadan.Even Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him himself used to do that with specification and recited the Qur’an to Jibreel peace be upon him every night of the Holy month.
As an instance in Sahih Bukhari; Ibn e Abbas may Allah be pleased with him narrates that “Allah’s Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur’an. Allah’s Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds)”.
Jibreel(Gabriel) peace be upon him the mighty in power and subservient to the will of the Almighty recited the verses to the Prophet of Islam peace be upon him in certain harmonious and rhythmic tone. Prophet of Islam Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him recited with the same synchronized manner to the companions and here we are reciting on the same footings of rules as revealed.
In fact this very requirement for reading the Quran is evident from the verse number 32 of Surah Furqan where Almighty mentions the Quran is revealed with intonation(tarteel). And in verse 4 of Surah Muzzammil the Almighty speaks to recite the Quran with intonation.
It is clear that Quran is the speech of Allah and every vocable of it. And that intonation is the proper manner to recite it. Now, in learning the rules that guide us to read it with intonation may at times bring tests and obstacles. The science of learning those rules is known as tajweed. Before proceeding further it is important to differentiate between tarteel and tajweed.
Tarteel is defined as to pronounce every letter with tajweed and to know the places of pauses while reciting. Whereas Tajweed means to pronounce every letter from its place of articulation and with all its attributes.
Some people do mention that it’s easier for Arabs to learn and recite Quran than non-Arabs. But that’s not true in most cases. Reason being that the only edge that the Arabs are having over non-Arabs in this regard is some phonetics that may not be found in any of non-Arab’s dialect. And it can be one of the obstacles as mentioned above that may arise. However, once you get that perfected, the greatest hindrance is out of your way. Other than that Muslims belonging to both the ethnicities need to learn and practice the rules of tajweed in the similar way.
Many a times, it would seem easy to adapt; and it is. Yet it would get frustrating to apply despite knowing the rule and pronunciation. “ع” and “ح”, “ء” and “ق”, “ہ” and “ک” may come out interchangeably but unintentionally. But then again it’s the golden rule of patience, pride and perseverance that would help you in practicing and repeating exercises to get perfected in articulation and pronunciation of alphabets.
Another way to keep oneself motivated and away from anxiety of repetitive mistakes is to listen and follow the pattern of the reciter that one likes and feels convenient to follow. A proper teacher and al mushaf al mu’allim of the most suited recite would show rapid results and strong envisioning.
We pray to Allah the Exalted endow us with the patience, pride and perseverance; and the strong determination to learn to read Quran in its true essence and to grant us wisdom to ponder upon the meanings of the verses and to practice upon them in principle.