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Assalamualaikum Wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh,

 I read an article about a Western convert sister that had memorized the Qur'an and went on to get an ijaazah in her recitation, in Jumuah Magazine. It is a very inspiring story and I want to be like her. I have been memorizing some surahs but not systematically. Can you give some guidelines on how to memorize, e.g. which surah to start first, can I memorize while I'm still learning tajweed, etc.

Is it advisable to learn tajweed from the teacher who's still learning tajweed?

Is it true that when we read the letter with maad asli, we have to open our mouth so as 2 fingers can go in. I heard that first we have to smile a little bit for istifaal letter with fat-hah and then open the mouth. We were taught to do this when practicing to pronounce certain words.

JazakumuAllahu khoir


Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh. 

May Allah grant you your desire and make you a haafith of the Glorious Qur'an, and most importantly of those who learn it and apply it to their life. 

The first thing is to set up a firm program that is realistic for memorizing the Qur'an, including in this program a revision schedule for the surahs and parts already memorized.  It does not matter whether you start from surah Al-Baqarah and work back or from the end of the Qur'an (An-Naas) and work forward, but it is important that you write down a program and stick to it firmly.  Include in it a day for just review, and time off for family etc. to make sure you do not feel frustrated and give up.  The amount that you memorize a day or a week depends totally on your ability and free time.  It can be 1/2 page a day, a whole page a day, a few lines a day, but whatever you set up for yourself, you should be firm in keeping it up.  We suggest that you make dua' asking Allah to guide you to the best program and schedule for you.  You can memorize while you are learning tajweed as long as you know the basics and do not memorize with mistakes in natural lengthenings. 

It is always best to have a teacher who has learned all the levels of tajweed, since that makes him/her a better teacher and better able to explain things and answer questions, as well as (and this is quite important), passing down correct recitation to the students.  A student of tajweed who has learned and applied all the basic rules plus the characteristics of the letters and tafkheem and tarqeeq can teach beginner students if needed. 

There is no rule and it is not necessary to be able to put in two fingers in the mouth with a natural medd (we assume you mean an alif).  If the mouth opens too far, such as when putting in two fingers, a sound similar to tafkheem results and the alif would not have the correct sound.  If the medd letter is a ya' or a wow, the mouth is not opened vertically.  The jaw is lowered for the medd letter , and there is a circling of the lips for the medd letter .

The characteristic of is achieved by lowering the posterior portion of the tongue away from the roof of the mouth, and if this with a fat-h on the letter that has the characteristic of there should be a vertical opening of the mouth accompanying this.  If one smiles, or lowers their jaw, with a fa-th, there will be imaalah, or leaning of the fat-h towards the letter , which is not the correct sound for a fat-h. 

If you need further explanation, please feel free to ask more questions.

Wa iyyakum wa-l-muslimeen.