What is then the ruling on the adherence or compliance with the rules of Tajweed?
People, in this regard, are at two extremes: some people take it so seriously that they forbid anyone who recites wrongfully and abhor it whereas others take it so lightly that it leads to the elimination of the splendor and glamour of the Qur’an, as this passes on from one generation on to the other. Therefore, it is imperative to discuss this matter in detail and expound the true ruling on the rules of Tajweed, so that people not only love the Book of Allah ﷻ but also take care to protect it. The ruling is as follows:
- Articulation points of the letters: As far as the articulation points of the letters are concerned, it is mandatory to follow rules of Tajweed and a deviation from them is Haram totally, regardless of the fact whether the reciter is reciting before a proficient Sheikh-who has a Sanad linked with the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ- or is reciting separately on his own as an individual reciter, because it may change the meaning. For example, a person changes the letter حاء in the word الرحمن with a خاء or هاء.
- Characteristics of the letters: As far as the characteristics of the letters are concerned, it can be discussed under two categories:
- Characteristics the avoidance of which disrupts the letter from its point: Negligence in the practice of these characteristics may change the meaning, as these characteristics are a vital part of the letters. For example, the reciter doesn’t give proper Tafkheem or heaviness to the letter صاد in the word عصى or does not give proper Tarqeeq or thinness to the letter سين in the word عسى, similarly, he doesn’t give Tafkheem to the letter طاء in the word الطلاق or doesn’t give Tarqeeq to the letter تاء in the word التلاق.
The reciter in this case, changes one letter to another just by not complying with its characteristics. Therefore, it is mandatory to follow the rules of Tajweed in this case and to neglect it is forbidden totally.
- Characteristics that add to the splendor and beauty of the Qur’an: There are few characteristics, the leaving of which does not change the meaning but they are a part of the glamour and splendor of the Qur’an and thus distorts the brilliance and refinement of the letters of the Qur’an. For example, leaving the Tafkheem of the letter Raa’ when it is having a fathah or a dhammah , or leaving the secondary madd, or not giving the proper hams and tafashshe to the letters , or any other thing which the scholars termed as Lahnun Khafiyyun. The ruling in this regard can be categorized under two headings:
- Reciting from a proficient sheikh having a Sanad: That is, the reciter is reciting before a Sheikh who has a Sanad linked with the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and imitates him in the recitation. It is mandatory on the sheikh to practice and comply with these characteristics or else it will be a lie or dishonesty in narrating or transmitting the Riwaayah.
- A person reciting individually on a normal-routine base: This can be dealt with in two regards: if a person is a proficient reciter himself and knows all the rules of Tajweed, but is reckless in practicing the due characteristics, then it is inglorious and faulty on his part and is something which is not to be expected from him. On the other hand, if the reciter is a normal average Muslim, and is not aware of the rules in depth, then there is no harm but he has left the refinement and completeness of letters of the Qur’an.
So the summary of all this is as below:
- Articulation points: Mandatory whether reciting individually or with a proficient Quran Teacher.
- Characteristics that change meaning: Mandatory whether reciting individually or with a proficient Sheikh.
- Characteristics that do not change the meaning : from a proficient reciter: faulty on his part
- from a normal recitor: he is excused
- from a person who is reciting before a Quran Teacher: mandatory