1. Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam has on many occasions advised us to recite qur’an –
a) Qur’an will intercede on the day of judgement – Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (salallahu aleyhi wasallam) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]
b) Every single word we recite we get 10 times the reward – Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah ( salallahu aleyhi wasallam ) said, “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” [At- Tirmidhi]
c) Raised ranks in jannah – Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Prophet (salallahu aleyhi wasallam ) said: “The one who memorized the Qur’an shall come on the Day of Judgement and (the reward for reciting the Qur’an) says: ‘O Lord! Decorate him.” So he is donned with a crown of nobility. Then it says: “O Lord! Give him more!’ So he is donned with a suit of nobility. Then it says: “O Lord! Be pleased with him.’ So He is pleased with him and says: “Recite and rise up, and be increased in reward with every Ayah.'” [At-Tirmidhi – Grade Hassan]
2. Today we discuss the important topic called “Sifatul Huroof” or “The Characteristics of the Letters”. There are 20 characteristics for each letters discussed by ulema/scholars of tajweed but we will be discussing bare essentials to understand tajweed., may be 6 or 7 of them.
3. Letters of Isti’laa – It is the raising of the tongue to the roof of the mouth. There are seven letters of isti’laa’ (elevation).
It has 7 Letters –
ظ (Dhaw), ط (taw) , ق (Qaf), غ (Gha), ض (Dhod), ص (Sawd), خ (kha)
4. You can memorize these 7 letters by the phrase “khus sa ghaz tin khiz”. It is very important that you memorize these letters because we will be using them over and over again in other rules of tajweed.
خُصَّ ضَغْطٍ قِظْ
5. The opposite of Isti’laa is Istifaal which means that the tongue will be low, you will have to move the tongue but not entirely to the roof of the mouth – remaining 21 letters are letters of Huroof al Istifaal (Lowercase Letters).
6. Letters of Itbaaq – The meaning of itbaaq is closed up. The mouth is close puckered up from inside. As if you are making a tunnel with your mouth. These letters are more specific than the letters of isti’laa. All letters of Itbaaq are letters of Isti’laa. For letters of Itbaaq you have to raise your tongue to the top and cave your mouth in a circle tunnel for pronouncing.
ظ (Dhaw), ط (taw),
ض (Dhod), ص (Sawd)
7. Letters of Qalqalah – The meaning of qalqalah is “moving or shaking of sound – LIKE AN ECHO”. To pronounce a qalqalah you must have sukoon,you cannot pronounce qalqalah when there is a fat’ah, khasra or damma. You should be careful and not mix letters of qalqalah with letters of fat’ha.
ق ,ط, ب ,ج ,د
8. You can memorize these 5 letters by the phrase – “khu tu bi jad”.
9. Try pronouncing with Echo –
اقْ (Aq! with an echo),
ابْ (Ab! with an echo),
اطْ (At! with an echo)
9. Always remember the precise difference between qalqala and fat’ha. Qalqala is caused by the release of the sound after it was trapped by the sukoon.
اقْ (Echo) ≠ اقَ (Single Sound)
10. Qalqala has 3 levels
a) Lowest – When occurs in the middle of the word.
b) Loud – When occurs at the end.
c) Loudest – When there is a silent shadda and you stopped there.