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Bismillahi Rahmaani Raheem.

Asalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatulaahi wa barakatuhu.

To recite the Qur’aan in a melodious tone is commanded by Allah in surah al-Muzzamil, Alhamdullileh, most of us try our best.  We also know from hadith that singing the Qur'aan is haram.  Where do we draw the line between the two and how can I advise my Muslim sister whom I think is singing her recitation (not following tajweed rules).

May Allah reward you.


Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh.

The order in surah Al-Muzzamil,  is for the Prophet, , and therefore the Muslims to recite the Qur’an with tajweed of the letters and observing the proper stops, according to most scholars of tajweed.  Others add that it means reading letter by letter, slowly, separating each letter from the other.  The same hadeeth that warns against reading the Qur’an by “singing” it, also orders us to recite the Qur’an with the tone of the Arabs and their sounds.  Note:  This hadeeth is rated as weak by Sheikh Albani, may Allah be merciful to him.

Sheikh Mahmood Khaleel Al-Husaree, in his book, Ahkaam Qiraa’ti Al-Qur’aan Al-Kareem, commented further on this hadeeth, and stated, “what is meant by the recitation of those that are lewd and those that do major sins is: The recitation that observes in it the melodies of music, singing, and tunes.”

Sheikh Al-Husraree continued that the warning from the Prophet, , was because this matter was an means or pretext to play with the Book of Allah, the Exalted, by increasing or decreasing what is in it; either by increasing a medd (lengthening) more than its decided timing, or shortening it to less than it should be.  Exaggeration in the nasalation (ghunnah) can occur when the Qur’an is recited like “music” or  it may be shortened; an alif may come out of what was only a fat-h, or a ya’ from a kasrah, or a wow from a dhammah.  Any of these and similar mistakes comes from recitation with melodies and musical tunes and cause deviation from sincerity in recitation and take one away from correctness in tilaawah.  This is the reason for these type of tones to be forbidden in Islamic Sharee’ah.

  From Sheikh Husaree’s comments, we can see that the most important thing in our recitation is observing the tajweed rules, especially the articulation of the letters and the proper timings for vowels and lengthenings.  If one starts trying to overdo the recitation to the degree that it becomes “songlike”, the first thing that goes is usually the correct timings of the mudood (lengthenings), ghunnahs, and the actual make up the letters may be affected.   

The Muslim, and this applies even more for the non-Arab, first needs to work on the pronunciation of the letters while applying their characteristics, then learning the different rules that should be applied when reciting, such as the  saakinah rules,  saakinah rules,  saakinah rules and the mudood.  This requires reciting to a qualified teacher who can pass on the Qur’an as they have learned from their qualified teacher and correct the student’s mistakes when they recite.  After achieving excellence in these different areas, the student of the Qur’an can work harder on beautifying their voice with the tone of the Arabs, being very careful not to exaggerate or diminish in the recitation.

May Allah reward you and all Muslims with khair.