10 Principles of Tajwīd

Al-Mabādīy’at al-ʽAšharah are the ten fundamentals which every student should know before delving into a particular subject. This helps in knowing what it is about and what can be achieved from the subject.

Indeed the fundamentals of every science are ten:

The definition, the subject, and the fruits,

Its merit, relationship and founder,

The name, basis, and ruling of the lawgiver,

And the legal cases. Though some is sufficient

The one who obtains it all gains nobility.

  1. Definition
    By linguistic definition: Betterment

    Applied definition: Articulating every letter from its articulation point and giving each letter its right and due, as well as applying overall rules of recitation, e.g. Madd, Idghaam
  2. Subject
    The words of the Glorious Qur’an
  3. Fruit
    Preserves the tongue from making errors whilst reciting the Qur’an, the word of Allah.
  4. Merit
    It is one of the most honoured of sciences due to its relation to Allah’s words.
  5. Relation to other disciplines
    It is a foundational subject enabling the learner to recite the Quran accurately.
  6. Founder
    Tajwīd is based on the recitation of the Prophet. The Prophet was instructed by Jibreel on the recitation too. The first person to collect the science of Tajwīd in his book Kitāb al-Qirāt was Imām Abu ʻUbaid al-Qāsim bin Salām (774 – 838 CE).
  7. Name
    Tajwīd means enhancement or to make something excellent. Technically, it means giving every letter its right in reciting the Qur’an.
  8. Sources
    Based on sanad leading back the Prophet ﷺ and textual script of the Qur’an.
  9. Ruling
    Knowledge of correct recitation is a fardh kifayaah, meaning some of the Muslim community must know it, and its application is fardh ‘ain, especially where one has knowledge of it. Some scholars further distinguish rules which are more stringent than others.
  10. Purpose
    To be able to recite the Qur’an how it was intended to so that grammatically the reader grasps the intended meaning. It is sinful to recite in a manner that changes the meaning.

Foundational works in Tajwīd:

  • A physical teacher to listen and correct the individual
  • Kitāb al-Qirāt by Abu Ubaid al-Qasim bin Salam
  • Kitab al-Sab’ fil-qirā’āt by Abu Bakr Ibn Mujahid
  • The Poem by ash-Shatibiyyah by Imam al-Shatibi
  • The Poem Aj-Jazariyyah by Imam Ibn al-Jazari
  • Many essential Tajwīd books available

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