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Is there away for me to help them learn tajweed despite the fact they don't know Arabic?..

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assalaam alaykum wa rahmatu Allah

I've been teaching tajweed for Arabs, but now some English speaking sisters are interested in learning tajweed.

They read Quraan in English letters. Is there away for me to help them learn tajweed despite the fact they don't know Arabic?.

I really appreciate your advice.  Thank you

Answer

Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

The first and most important thing to teach the English speaking sisters is Arabic.  The Qur’an cannot be recited correctly nor tajweed taught without knowing the Arabic and being able to read it, even though it may be at a basic level.  Explaining the difference between the  and  for example, cannot be done without the student of the Qur’an being able to see the letters and recognize them, and then read them with the different sounds each has.  The same can be said for many Arabic letters.  As you know, the meaning of Allah’s Glorious words can be changed if one pronounces a letter incorrectly.

The greatest gift you can give these students is the ability to read Arabic and then have them apply this in reading the Qur’an with tajweed.  Tajweed cannot be taught well without knowledge of Arabic.  It does not need to be advanced Arabic, but the student should be able to read the letters and join them together with the correct vowels.  Our greatest word of advice is not to accept less than perfect pronunciation from the students.  We have seen many students in good programs succeed in learning to read with correct pronunciation and tajweed after entering the program without the ability to read Arabic, or not able to join words together.

There are many books and tools available for teaching/learning Arabic reading.   The first grade girls reading books used in Saudi Arabia has been successfully used by some; others have had success using on of the different qaa’idaat for reading.  These books are published all over the Muslim world.  Another book that is good is “Learn to Read the Qu’ran in 7 days” by Dr. Alpha Mahmoud Bah.  This is available for online purchase at many online stores.  The alphabet chart from this book can be found online at: http://www.sma-igs.net/q7d/alphabet.htm
If you need more information, please write us again.  There are other books and programs that also teach conversational Arabic, but since your goal is helping these sisters read the Qur’an with tajweed, that should be your focus, insha’ Allah. 

May Allah reward you for helping teach these sisters the ability to read Allah’s Glorious book correctly. 

You are welcome.

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