Riyaad-ul-Qur’an: Learning Tajweed & Memorizing the Qur’an
Recitation of the Holy Qur’an is a science which needs to be studied so that every letter of the Qur’an can be recited with the correct pronunciation. Due to the vastness of the Arabic language, a small mistake in the pronunciation of a letter or word can change the meaning of that word.
The word "tajweed" means to improve, make better. It is the science of reciting the Qur’an in accordance with the established rules and regulations of pronunciation so that every letter is recited with all its qualities from its correct place of pronunciation.
Therefore, Tajweed of the Holy Qur'an is the knowledge and application of the rules of recitation so the reading of the Qur'an is as the Prophet Mohammed peace and blessings be upon him, recited.
The Importance of Learning the Qur’an with Tajweed
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Holy Qur’an:
“And recite the Qur’an with Tarteel (in a slow pleasant tone and style).”
When asked about the meaning of tarteel, Sayyiduna Ali رضى الله عنه replied, “It means that the Qur’an should be recited with tajweed and with due observance to the rules of waqf (pausing or stopping at the end of a verse)”.
The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم has said, “Indeed Allah desires that the Qur’an be recited in the manner in which it was revealed.”
The Excellence of teaching the Qur’an with Tajweed
The excellence of memorizing the Qur’an as well as the excellence of teaching it has been mentioned to us by the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم numerous times, when he said: "The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur'an and teaches it."
The first step in memorizing the Quran after that of Ikhlaas is the obligation of correcting the pronunciation of the Quran. This does not occur except by listening to a good reciter or a precise memorizer of the Quran. The Quran is not learned except by acquiring it (from another). Thus, the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم who is the most eloquent of the Arabs in speech took it from Jibreel (alayhis-salam) orally. The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم himself used to recite the Quran to Jibreel once in every year and in the year that he died he recited it to him twice. [Reported by Bukhari]
Likewise, the Messenger taught it to the Companions (RadyAllahu Anhu) orally and those who came after them heard it from the Companions and so on for each generation after t hem.