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Reciting the Qur`an with tajwid, is it obligatory or preferable?

Reciting the Qur`an with tajwid, is it obligatory or preferable?


It is an obligation upon every Muslim to learn the rules of correct recitation which save the tongue from making mistakes and changes in meaning. Learning these rules enables a Muslim to recite the chapter of ‘Al-Fatihah’ and the rest of the Qur`anic chapters correctly and in conformity with the linguistic rules of the original Arabic language.

It is not obligatory, but preferable, for a Muslim to observe the rules governing recitation that are related to the properties of letters and their manner of articulation since not being able to do so does not change the meaning. Shaykh al-Islam Zakaria Al-Ansari said in Al-Daqa`iq Al-Muhkama, "It is imperative for a Muslim to learn the rules of recitation that preserve the meaning and function of words since failure to do so is blameworthy.” He also said that it is a manifest error to mispronounce a word such as by adding a dhamma [the short vowel /u/] instead of a kasrah [the short vowel /i/] that causes a change in the meaning and function of a word. According to him, a concealed error is a mispronunciation that neither affects the meaning nor the function of a word such as pronouncing the letter /n/ as /m/ and idghaam [assimilation, i.e. pronouncing two letters as one].” Ali Hanafi said, "Correct rules of recitation must be learned to avoid changes in meaning and function. It is preferable for a Muslim to learn the rules which preserve meaning and make it clearer since a great deal of hardship is involved in mastering all the rules of correct recitation.”

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