The journey of memorizing the Holy Quran begins with knowing the right way to pronounce the Arabic alphabets and words. You will notice that all the notable Qur’an reciters in the world recite in a single right way, just as the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet (SAW) from Allah (SWT).
You may be thinking about the possibility of how people in this decade can recite in the same manner just like the prophet (SAW) did, one thousand four hundred years ago. The reason is not far fetched because the style in which the Qur’an is read is already laid down and noted in many books.
The right way to recite the Qur’an is only possible by using Tajweed. Tajweed helps you give each alphabet its rights in terms of Makhraj (vocal) and Sifat (attributes). What many people who claim to memorize the Qur’an on their own don’t know is that there is a unique way to pronounce each alphabet, and if you don’t learn Tajweed, you will not be able to give each alphabet it rulings. Without Tajweed, how will you know where to do idhaar and idgham or which alphabet will be immersed in ikhlaab? All these rulings are known with Tajweed, and thus you should start learning the Tajweed now.
Among Tajweed’s book for beginners is Tuhfatul Atfaal by Shaykh Sulayman Al-jamzuury (may Allah be pleased with him). You should start with this book, and after you finish learning this short poem, you should then proceed to the poem written by Imaam Al-jazary (may Allah be pleased with him). These books are a great book for you to learn how to recite the Qur’an effectively with the right rulings. These books are written in the form of poems, and they are easy to memorize.
Once you start learning the Tajweed, you should now begin memorization with only one riwaayat. You should note that riwaayat means the different ways of reciting the Holy Qur’an, and we have twenty different ways of reciting the Qur’an.
Among the riwaayat are those of Hafs, Qoloon, warsh, shu’baa, to mention a few. Although the commonest among them all is the riwaayat of Hafs, it is used in many Islamic countries.
To make your journey easier when you want to learn the Hafs way of recitation
here’s a brief background of Hafs. In this background, you will also see how this recitation links to the prophet (SAW).
Imam Hafs is from Kufa, and his biography is that he is the son of Sulaiman, who is also a son to Mughirah. Hafs learned from A’sim, who is also from kufa. Hafs teacher is a Tabi’ee, and he learned the Quran from Abu Abd Rahman As-Sulamy. Abu Abd Rahman learned from four companions of the prophet (SAW). These companions are Uthmaan bn A’afan, Ali bn Abi Taalib, Zayd bn Thaabit and Ubayy bn Kaab, who also learned from the prophet (SAW).
From the above background, you can see how the riwaayat of Hafs link to the prophet(SAW) himself. Learning this riwaayat will give you the assurance that you are learning what comes from the prophet directly and not what any other person says.
However, if you want to learn this riwaayat correctly
you have to know Tajweed deeply because each riwaayat has its own recitation way. For example, in Surat ul Fatiha the recitation of Hafs count BismiLlahi Ar Rahmani Ar Raheem as the first verse while some other riwaayat didn’t.
You have to learn the Tajweed to know the particular recitation you are reciting. Thus, you should learn the Qur’an with a particular Riwaayat so that you don’t mistake one for the others.
As said by Imaam Al jamzuriy in his poem, ” It is compulsory for a person who wants honor to know the alphabets of Ikhfaa.” If you want to be among the honorary, then it’s high time that you learn the Tajweed and one particular riwaayat. I ask Allah to increase every one of us in knowledge.