The Holy Quran is the divine book sent to guide us to the right path. Every Muslim needs to learn the tajweed rules of the Qur’an to get closer to Allah and to be able to recite and comprehend Allah’s message.
The word “tajweed” linguistically means to improve or make something better, while practically it refers to the correct pronunciation of each letter of the holy Quran, giving the letter its right regarding its origin and characteristics.
In this article, we will review the Quran rules of tajweed with practical examples that will help you recite the Quran fluently and with minimal effort.
We will discuss in brief some of the basic rules for tajweed including:
- Rules of Noon sakinah and tanween.
- Rules of Meem sakinah.
- Rules of Noon and Meem with shaddah.
- Lengthening (Madd).
What is the definition of Qalqalah?
Linguistic definition: it is a disturbance or shaking.
Applied definition: it is a disturbance of the letter when it is non-voweled until a strong accent is heard when it is articulated by the parting of the 2 components of the articulating parts, not by collision, without any mouth opening, or lips circling, or jaw lowering.
What are the letters of Qalqalah?
The letters of Qalqalah are 5 letters which are: ( ق- ط- ب- ج- د ).
These letters are usually summed in the word (قطبجد).
What are the types of Qalqalah?
Qalqalah is divided into three classes that can be summarized as follows:
- The Lesser Qalqalah:
This occurs when the letter of qalqalah in is the middle of a word, as in:
( وخلقناكم أزواجًا )
- The Intermediate Qalqalah:
It occurs when the letter of qalqalah is at the end of a word, without a shaddah, and we are stopping on that word as in:
(والله من ورائهم محيط )
- The Greater Qalqalah:
This happens when the letter of qalqalah is the last letter of a word, and we are stopping on that word and this letter has a shaddah as in:
( قال رب احكم بالحق )
What is the difference between the 3 types of Qalqalah?
The difference between the classes of qalqalah is that there is more ringing sound that accompanies the letter of qalqalah when it has a shaddah and we are stopping on it.
Practical examples of Qalqalah:
- ٱقۡرَأۡ بِٱسۡمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلَّذِی خَلَقَ – (ق)
- ٱلَّذِیۤ أَطۡعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعࣲ وَءَامَنَهُم مِّنۡ خَوۡفِۭ – (ط)
- وَٱلۡعَـٰدِیَـٰتِ ضَبۡحا – (ب)
- إِنَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ ٱلرُّجۡعَىٰۤ – (ج)
- وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا هِيَهْ – (د)
Rules of Noon Sakinah and Tanween
The second rule for tajweed that we will cover is the rule of Noon sakinah and tanween, which is classified into 4 categories according to the letter that comes after them.
What are the 4 rules of Noon sakinah and tanween?
- Izhaar halqi.
- Ikhfaa Haqiqi.
What is the definition of Izhaar halqi?
Linguistic definition: being clear or obvious.
Applied definition: Pronouncing every letter from its articulation point without a
ghunnah on the clear letter.
What are the letters of Izhaar Halqi?
Izhaar halqi has six letters which are: ( ء- ه – ع – ح – غ -خ ). Tajweed scholars summed the letters of Izhaar in the initial letters of each word of the following phrase:
( أخي هاك علمًا حازه غير خاسر )
In order to apply the Izhaar rule correctly, you should clearly pronounce the Noon sakinah or tanween without ghunnah in case they are followed by any of the six letters of Izhaar.
Practical examples of Izhaar Halqi:
Here are some examples of the tajweed rule of the Izhaar halqi for you to practice, notice the presence of Noon sakinah or tanween with Izhaar letters following them.
- مَنْ آمَنَ.
- مِنْ هَادٍ.
- جُرُفٍ هَارٍ.
What is the definition of Idgham?
Linguistic definition: insertion, or merging.
Applied definition: it is the meeting of a non-vowel letter with a vowel letter, so
that the two letters become one emphasized letter similar to the second.
What are the Idgham letters?
Idgham has six letters which are (ي، ر، م، ل، و، ن), these letters make the word (يرملون).
What are the types of Idgham?
According to the letter following the Noon sakinah or tanween, there are two types of Idgham that can be summarized as follows:
- Idgham with ghunnah:
It means merging the sound of Noon sakinah or tanween with the letter following them with reservation of ghunnah sound, This is usually referred to as incomplete Idgham and it applies to the four letters of Idgham summed in the word ( ينمو ) or (ي- ن – م – و ).
- من يعمل ، قومٍ يؤمنون
- من نعمة ، يومئذٍ ناعمة
- من مال ، آياتٍ مبينات
- من وليٍ ولا نصير
There are 4 cases in the Quran where we do not follow the tajweed rule of Idgham without ghunnah despite the presence of Noon sakinah followed by the letters (ي ، و ).This is due to their presence within a single word. Tajweed scholars call this case “absolute Izhaar”.
The four examples of absolute Izhaar are:
- دنيا، بنيان.
- قنوان، صنوان.
- Idgham without ghunnah:
It means complete merging of Noon sakinah or tanween with the Idgham letter following them devoid of any ghunnah sound. It is referred to as “ complete Idgham”.
The letters of Idgham without ghunnah are( ل، ر ).
- من لبن ، سائغاً للشاربين.
- من ربهم ، غفورٌ رحيم .
What is the definition of Iqlab?
Linguistic definition: to change or convert.
Applied definition: In the rules of tajweed Iqlab means the conversion of Noon saakinah or the tanween into a Meem,
when followed by the letter ba’ (ب) with the preservation of the ghunnah, and hiding of the Meem.
What are the Iqlab letters?
Iqlab has only one letter which is the ba’ (ب). If the letter baa’ occurs after Noon sakinah in the same word, or between two words, it should be changed into a hidden Meem, with ghunnah preservation.
The Noon saakinah is converted into a Meem in pronunciation, but not in the written word. In this case, you may note that a small Meem is written over or under the Noon or instead of one of the dhammas or lines of tanween.
Examples of Iqlab:
- قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنبِئْهُم بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ
- كَلَّا لَيُنْبَذَنَّ فِي الْحُطَمَةِ
- يُنْبِتُ لَكُمْ
- وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُمْ مِنَ الأنْبَاءِ
What is the definition of Ikhfaa Haqiqi?
Linguistic definition: concealment or hiding.
Applied definition: The pronunciation of Noon sakinah or tanween somewhere between Izhaar and Idgham, with a ghunnah remaining on the first letter, and stripped of any shaddah.
What are the letters of Ikhfaa Haqiqi?
Its letters are fifteen in number; which are the first letters of each of the following words:
صِفْ ذَا ثَنَا كَمْ جَادَ شَخْصٌ قَدْ سَمَا
دُم طَيِّبًا زِدْ فِي تُقًى ضَعْ ظَالِمًا
If any of these letters follows the Noon saakinah in the same word, or follows the tanween at the beginning of the next word, then the Noon sound must be hidden. We call this ikhfaa Haqiqi.
Practical examples of Ikhfaa Haqiqi:
- أنْصَار / عنْ صلاتهم
- أَنْذِر قومك / مَنْ ذَا الذي
- أَنْذِر قومك / مَنْ ذَا الذي
- الإِنْسان / ولئنْ سَألتهم
- زَنْجَبيلاَ / إنْ جَاءَكم
Tajweed Rules of Meem Sakinah
What is the definition of Meem sakinah?
It is a Meem devoid of any harakah (vowel), and has a fixed sukoon when continuing reading and when stopping. Meem sakinah can be in the middle or at the end of a word.
Tajweed rules of Meem sakinah include:
- Izhaar Shafawi.
- Ikhfaa Shafawi.
- Minor merging/ Idgham of identical letters.
- Izhar Shafawi ( الإظهار الشفوي ):
Definition of Izhaar Shafawi:
Its linguistic definition: clear, or obvious.
Its applied definition: pronunciation of each letter from its articulation point without any ghunnah on the clear letter. This can be in a single word, or between two words.
Letters of Izhaar Shafawi:
Its letters: 26 letters, i.e, the remaining Arabic letters after exclusion of ikhfaa and Idgham letters.
Examples of Izhaar Shafawi:
- فَوۡقَكُمۡ سَبۡعٗا
- أَلَمۡ نَجۡعَلِ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ مِهَٰدٗا
- عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا الضَّالِّينَ
- عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ
- Ikhfaa Shafawi: (الإخفاء الشفوي )
Definition of Ikhfaa Shafawi:
Its linguistic definition: hiding or concealment.
Its applied definition: The pronunciation of Meem sakinah, stripped of any ‘”shaddah” with preservation of ghunnah. It is characterized by being between clear Izhaar and merged Idgham.
Letters of Ikhfaa Shafawi:
It has one letter which is the baa’ (ب)
If a Meem sakinah is followed immediately by a baa’, and this only occurs between
two words, then we hide the Meem and pronounce it accompanied by ghunnah. This is called “ikhfaa Shafawi”. We call it ikhfaa because the Meem is hidden. It is called “Shafawi” because the Meem is articulated from the two lips.
Examples of Ikhfaa Shafawi:
- الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ
- وَلَقَدْ أَنذَرَهُم بَطْشَتَنَا فَتَمَارَوْا بِالنُّذُرِ
- Minor Idgham of identical letters: (إدغام المتماثلين الصغير)
Definition of minor Idgham:
Its linguistic definition: Insertion, or merging.
Its applied definition: The meeting of Meem sakinah with a voweled Meem in the same word, or between two words. In this case we are required to merge the Meem sakinah into the voweled Meem, which then acquires a shaddah.
It is called minor because the Meem sakinah is inserted into the Meem with a vowel. It is called identical because the letter merged and the letter being merged to share the same articulation points and characteristics, which is the Meem.
Letters of minor Idgham:
Small Idgham has only one letter which is the Meem (م).
Examples of minor Idgham:
- إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
- قَدْ جَاءتْكُـم مَّـوْعِظَةٌ
- وَكَمْ مِنْ مَلَكٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ
- وَأَسْقَيْنَاكُمْ مَاءً فُرَاتًا
Rules of Noon and Meem with Shaddah
What is Noon and Meem mushadada?
It is a Meem (م) or Noon (ن) that has a shaddah (ْ) on it. It is originally composed of two Meems or two Noons – one is sakin and the other has a harakah (voweled).
When these two Meems or Noons meet we merge the sakin letter and harakah letter to become one letter with a shaddah.
What is the tajweed rule for Noon and Meem with shaddah?
Meem and Noon with shaddah should be pronounced with a complete ghunnah sound which extends for two harakahs (2 finger counts duration).
Note that: Ghunnah is a fine sound that originates from the nasal passage.
Practical examples on Noon and Meem with shaddah:
- ومن نّعمره.
- من مّال.
Lengthening Rules (Madd)
What is the definition of Madd?
Linguistic definition: addition.
Applied definition: voice extension during pronunciation of one of the Madd letters.
What are the letters of Madd?
There are three Madd letters which are combined in the word “نوحيها”. The three letters are:
- Alif sakinah preceded by fatth (ا).
- Yaa’ sakinah preceded by kasr.(ي).
- Waw sakinah preceded by dhamm (و).
What are the types of Madd?
There are two main types of Madd. The tajweed rules for Madd can be summarized as follows:
First: Natural lengthening (primary Madd – Madd asli):
The letter does not exist without the pronunciation of this type of Madd. Its duration is two harakahs (two finger counts).
Natural Madd includes:
- Compensate Madd (مد العوض).
- Substitute Madd (مد البدل).
- Minor connecting Madd (مد الصلة الصغرى).
Second: Secondary Madd:
It is extension of natural made due to the presence of a hamza (ء) or sukoon (silent letter).
- Madd due to hamza, which includes:
- Major connecting Madd (مد الصلة الكبرى).
- Permissible separate Madd (المد الجائز المنفصل).
- Obligatory connecting Madd (المد الواجب المتصل).
- Madd due to sukoon, which includes:
- Heavy required Lettered Madd (المد اللازم الحرفي المثقل).
- Light required lettered Madd (المد اللازم الحرفي المخفف).
- Heavy required word Madd (المد اللازم الكلمي المثقل).
- Light required word Madd (المد اللازم الكلمي المخفف).
Ready to start learning?
Learning the rules of tajweed is one of the best deeds a Muslim can do; as Prophet Muhammad PBUH said: “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Quran and teach it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Itqan Quran is one of the pioneer platforms that provide the best online tajweed classes for adults as well as for kids.
If you wish to learn rules of tajweed rules under the supervision of highly qualified native Quran tutors, all you need to do is to join our classes today!