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Mus'haf Al Tajwid, coloured letters to facilitate reading the Quraan with Tajwid.
Tajwīd (تجويد) is an Arabic word for elocution, meaning proper pronunciation during recitation, as well as recitation at a moderate speed. It is a set of rules which govern how the Qur'an should be read. It is derived from the triliteral root j-w-d, meaning to make well, make better, or improve. It is required by fard. There are Ten (tawatur) schools of Recitation, the most prevalent of which is the recitation of Imam 'Asim as transmitted by Imam Hafs.

Rules of Tajwid

Manners of the heart

  • One should understand that the Qur'an is not the word of man.
  • The reader should throw away all other thoughts.
  • One should understand the meaning.
  • One should be humble.
  • One should feel that every message in the Qur’an is meant personally for himself or herself.
  • One should understand the proper pronunciation of Arabic alphabet.

External manners

  • One should be vigilant of the purity of body, clothes, and place.
  • One is encouraged to face the Qiblah.
  • One should stop at a verse of warning and seeking protection with Allah.
  • One should stop at a verse of mercy and asking Allah for mercy.
  • One should use pure classical Arabic pronunciation, without foreign or dialectic influence.

Emission points of the letters

The emission points of the letters, or MakhaarijulHuruf, is the study of where the sounds of the different letters are emitted from. There are 17 places, in various regions of the throat, tongue, lips, nose, as well as the mouth as a whole for the prolonged (Mudd) letters.

Characteristics of the letters

The characteristics of the letters, or Siffat al Huruf,refer to the different attributes of the letters. Some of the characteristics have opposites, while some are individual.An example of a characteristic would be the whistling (Safeer), which is an attribute sound of air escaping from a tube.

Rules of the letter NUN and tanween

The NUN sakinah and tanween (vowels that produces a "nnn" sound immediately after it) can be pronounced in four different ways: Clear (Idhar))(ء،ه،ع ،ح،غ،خ), Merged with the next letter(Idgham), Hidden (Ikhfa), and changed from a "nnn" sound to a "mmm" sound (Iqlaab).

Rules of the letter MIM

The MIM sakinah can be pronounced in three different ways,clear (Idhar), prolonged nasalization (Ghunnah), and uncloselipped (ikhfaa shafawee).

Rules of prolongation [muddud]

These rules refer to the number of beats that are pronounced when voweled letter is followed by a MUDD letter. The MUDD letters are Alif, Yaah, and Waw. The number of beatscan range from 2 counts ordianarily. 4 or 5 counts when there is a Hamzah (ء), and the maximum six counts when it is followed by a shaddah.

Rules of the letter LAM

The Arabic word for "the" is al- (the letters alif and lam). The lam in al- is pronounced if the letter after is "qamariyya" (lunar), but silent if the letter after is "shamsiyya" (solar).

Thickness and Thinness of the letters

Some of the arabic letters are always pronounced thick with a heavy accent (Tafkhim). Some letters are pronounced thin with a light accent (Tarqeeq). The first category of letters are called "mufakham", the latter "muraqqaq". Some letters depend on the scenario, and are sometimes pronounced thick, and sometimes thin.


Articles on Tajwid in English:
  • Chapter in "The Art of Reciting the Qur'an" by Kristina Nelson, American University in Cairo Press (Cairo, NY) 2001. This book is widely read and respected among Islamic communities, and can be found on Amazon.
  • “Theory and Practice of Tajwid,” Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, IV, Leiden, Brill, 2007 (or still in press)

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