What is Tarteel?
Tarteel means to read the letters of the Qur’an in way that they are
The word Tarteel is taken from the speech of the Arabs when they used to say ” فم رتل ” (Famun Ratilun) which means a mouth in which the teeth are well-ordered and aligned and none of the teeth is standing on the other, rather, the teeth are straight and arranged. Similarly, Tarteel means to recite and articulate the letters of the Qur’an in a way that one letter is not deprived of its dues and rights at the stake of the other letter or in articulating in a manner as to merge one letter with the other or eating up the letters.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ recited with Tarteel because he was commanded by Allah Almighty to recite with Tarteel as Allah Almighty says: “ورتل القرآن ترتيلا” which means: “…and recite the Qur’an slowly and distinctly.”. Allah Almighty not only commanded the Prophet ﷺ to recite with Tarteel but also commanded the whole nation through him ﷺ and Allah Almighty not only commanded him to recite with Tarteel but also revealed it with Tarteel. Allah Almighty says: “……We have revealed it gradually (according to a scheme) in fragments.”
So in the Ayah above, When Allah Almighty says: ورتل القرآن ترتيلا the ترتيل is for emphasis on the obligation of reciting the Qur’an with Tarteel.
So Qur’an deals with beautification, perfectness, glamour and excellence; thereby it’s evident that it should be regarded the way it is and should be recited to uphold its rights and dues of letters. There are numerous narrations from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ describing the virtues of the Qur’an and the virtues of reciting Qur’an with melody and rhythm, as well as the ahadith that describe the characteristics and virtues of the bearer of Qur’an. It is imperative to quote here the narrations that speak about reciting the Qur’an with “beautification and melody” and ahadith that expound the responsibilities of the reciter. They are produced as under:
1-It’s narrated from Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The one who was devoted to the Qur’an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the World. Your rank will be the last Ayah you recite.’
2- Narrated from Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, he said: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: “Allah does not listen so attentively to anything as He Listens to the recitation of the Qur’an by a Prophet who recites well with a melodious and audible voice.”
3-Abu Lubaabah Bashir ibn ‘Abdul Mundhir Radi Allahu ‘Anhu reported that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “He who does not recite the Qur’an in a pleasant tone is not of us.”
4-Al-Baraa’ Ibn ‘Aazib reported: I heard the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ reciting Surah Wat-Teen Waz-Zaitun during Isha prayer. I have never heard anyone reciting it in a more beautiful voice than his.”
So these narrations are basically explaining the importance attached to adding to the beauty and splendor of the Qur’an with one’s voice. A person’s voice, when used in the beautification and recitation of the Qur’an, is indeed a blessing from Allah ﷻ as in the following saying of Abu Bakr Al-Ajuri Rahimahu Allahu:
” ينبغي لمن رزقه الله حسن الصوت بالقرآن يعلم أن الله قد خصه بخير عظيم.”
This means that it befits the one whom Allah has blessed with a good voice for the recitation of the Glorious Qur’an to acknowledge the fact that Allah has favored him and chosen him for great goodness and Khair.