In Qura’n-e-Kareen Allah سبحانہ و تعالی has explained the etiquette (ada’b) of recitation of Qura’n in Surah Muzzamil:
یٰۤاَیُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُۙ(۱)قُمِ الَّیْلَ اِلَّا قَلِیْلًاۙ(۲)نِّصْفَهٗۤ اَوِ انْقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِیْلًاۙ(۳)اَوْ زِدْ عَلَیْهِ وَ رَتِّلِ الْقُرْاٰنَ تَرْتِیْلًاؕ(۴)
O you wrapped ˹in your clothes˺! (1) Stand all night ˹in prayer˺ except a little (2) ˹pray˺ half the night, or a little less, (3) or a little more—and recite the Qur’an clearly with tartil (in a distinct and well-measured tone) (4)
So what is meant by Tartil ترتیل (well-measured tone)?
In the commentary of this verse, Ali Radhi Allahu Anhu says: “tartil means to know the tajweed of the letters and to recognize the places of pausing”.
Mufti Shafee’ Rahimahullah writes: “The word tartil, according to Imam Raghib as explicated in al-Mufradat, originally means ‘to put together and arrange well the component parts of a word and speech and make it distinct’. The purport of the verse is to say that the Qur’an must not be recited in haste, but in a leisurely manner, distinctly, deliberately and in well-measured tone. At the same time, it is necessary to reflect on its meaning and message. [Mazhari].
In short, tartil means enunciating the letters and words of the Qur’an in a clear and distinct manner to aid in its comprehension while also paying attention to its meaning.
How to learn proper Quran Recitation?
As Muslims, it is very important for us to learn the proper recitation of the Holy Quran. Recognizing the correct pronunciation of its letters, Arabic diacritics (Harakat, Tashkil etc.) , proper pausing, and applying Tajweed (rules of recitation) are all part of tartil in the Quran. The reason behind common mistakes which takes place by Quran readers, is Ignorance of Arabic diacritics. So we will explain the Arabic diacritics here first.
Care of Arabic diacritics during Quran Recitation.
The Arabic script contains many diacritics, such as consonant pointing (iʻjām) and supplementary diacritics called tashkīl. The tashkīl diacritics consist of vowel marks known as ḥarakāt (singular: ḥarakah).
The literal meaning of تَشْكِيل tashkīl is ‘forming’. As the normal Arabic text does not provide enough information about the correct pronunciation, the main purpose of tashkīl (and ḥarakāt) is to provide a phonetic guide or a phonetic aid; i.e. show the correct pronunciation for children who are learning to read or foreign learners.
Harakat حرکات و اعراب (short vowel marks)
The ḥarakāt حَرَكَات, which literally means ‘motions’, are the short vowel marks. There is some ambiguity as to which tashkīl are also ḥarakāt; the tanwīn, for example, are markers for both vowels and consonants.
Al-harakat (vowel marks): These are three marks, namely, the ḍammah الضمة, fatḥah الفتحة, and kasrah الكسرة, in addition to the sukun (mark of silence or absence of vowel sound).
Tanween: It comes in three forms, namely, tanween ḍammah, tanween fatḥah, and tanween kasrah.
Al-Dawabit (rules of recitation): There are four: Shaddah (consonant doubling), Maddah (elongation of vowel sound), Wasl (connecting) and Qat’ (separating).
How did Rasoolullah ﷺ recite The Holy Quran?
The recitation of Rasoolulla ﷺ fulfilled the requirements of tartil. Some people inquired from Sayyidah ‘Umm Salamah Radhi Allahu Anha about the Rasooullah’s ﷺ recitation of Qur’an in night-prayers. She emulated his recitation in which every single letter was clear and distinct. [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasai’ – as quoted by Mazhari].
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