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Question

I learned from my tajweed class that in the last aayah of surah al-Fatihah, on the last word of the surah , there is a full 6 count medd.  I heard someone read this with only two counts, and at the same time he put a shaddah on the meem in the word .  Is this a correct way of reading?

Answer

The alif after the letter  in the last word  should be held for 6 vowel counts.  Just as a reminder though, a vowel count depends on the speed the reciter is reciting at.  A reciter may be reciting correctly at a quick pace and make the compulsory medd 6 vowel counts, but it may seem quick to a listener just because the whole recitation is quick.  A second point to make is the medd on the , which is the letter before the last letter  can be lengthened 2, 4, or 6 vowel counts when stopping on this word.  Again, the alif in the last word,  must be lengthened 6 counts, but the  at the end of the word can be lengthened 2, 4, or 6 counts when stopping on this word. 

The letter  in the word  has a sukoon on it.  The  is one of the  group of letters that get a middle of the road amount of timing when they have a sukoon on them.  It may be that the reciter was giving the  this characteristic and it seemed a little long.