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Someone told me to read Surahs of the Qur'an without tajweed is haram.  He backed the statement with some hadiths and ayahs.  I really didn't know how to respond.  This statement really scared me because although I sincerely read the Surahs of the Qur'an the best I can in salah or recitation, I am sure I make unintentional errors in pronunciations and rules of recitation.  Have I been committing haram all those times?  He also said to deny this would make one a kafir...

My questions are: Is it correct that it is haram?  If it is haram, how well do I need to know tajweed before reciting again?


Because of the importance of your question and the fact that it deals with halaal and haram, we thought it best to forward your question to his emminence Ash-Sheikh Dr. Ayman Rushdi Swayd, one of the foremost authorities on tajweed.  He has many ijazaat (permits) in the recitation of the Qur’an from some of the most outstanding shuyookh of modern times.  He has spent the last 20  years with the Qur’an Memorization Society in Jeddah, teaching Qur’an and its science and producing masters of recitation and granting them approval and authentication.  He also teaches correct recitation of the  Qur’an through the program “Kayf Niqra’  Al-Qur’an on the Iqra’ satellite channel of  television. 

The following is a translation of his answer:

All praises to the Lord of the worlds, and praises and peace be upon our leader and our prophet, Mohammed, and to his family, all his companions, and those who follow them them in that which is good until the Day of Judgment. Furthermore:

To the brother that asked about the ruling on tajweed, barak Allahu feek,

Assalaam alaikum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuhu.  Furthermore:

My generous brother, know that knowledge of tajweed encompasses two matters:

The first of them:  Basic rules, making clear the correct articulation point of the the Arabic letter, and making clear its characteristics that through them differentiate it [the letter] from other letters that share the same articulation point.

The second matter: the characteristics of beautification and enbetterment.  The scholars derived them from the recitation that is transmitted from the Messenger of Allah .  Recitation of the Qur’an without observing these characteristics does not remove the letter from its pronunciation bounds, but decreases in its beauty.

Examples of the first division:

1.      Changing the letter  into the letter as in His Exalted statement , so it becomes .

2.      Changing the letter into the letter  as in His Exalted statement:  so it becomes .

3.       Changing the  into a  as in His Exalted word  so it becomes .

4.      Changing the into a  as in His Exalted words  so it becomes . 


Examples of the second category are:

1.      The lack of tafkheem of the  as it should be, as in His Exalted’s words: .

2.      The absence of lengthening the ghunnah in a that has a shaddah on it, as in His Exalted’s words:

3.      The lack of hiding ( ) the  saakinah when followed by a  as in His Exalted’s words:

If you think about the previous statements it will be clear to you that reciting the Qur’an without observance of the rules in the first category surpasses the Qur’anic wording from its boundaries, and exposes it to change and deviation; for that reason it is necessary for the reciter of the Qur’an to observe them.  This can be done by following the path to learning and reciting the Qur’an to a mastered teacher of rules of tilawah (recitation).

As to the second category of the tajweed rules, recitation without them does not surpass the boundaries of the Qur’anic words.  It takes away from its splendor and beauty, and no sin is on the reciter for leaving them out, unless the recitation was for passing down the Qur’an from one transmitter to another, then it is necessary then from the point of preserving the correct transmission from the Messenger of Allah, . 


1.      The Qur’an can not be learned from the mus-haf without learning from a mastered teacher of tilawah.

2.      There is a division of the rules of tajweed that is necessary to take care of, to protect the purity of the Qur’anic wording.

3.      The second division of the rules are better for the Muslims to preserve and to maintain as much as possible, but in the case of the recitation of the specialists, it is necessary for them to guard and observe all of the the rules.

4.      The recitation of the Glorious Qur’an is one of the best of forms of worship, so the Muslim should not give it up in any case at all.  In the authentic hadeeth of the Prophet, “The master in the Qur’an is with the radiant, noble, righteous; and he who recites the Qur’an and stammers (stutters) in it, and it is difficult for him, then he has double reward.”  And Allah knows best.

Thank you for your question, and may Allah increase of your likes. 

Wa assalaam alaikum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuhu.

Your brother the servant of the Glorious Qur’an,

Dr. Ayman Rushdi Swayd.

29/3/1422 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, corresponding to 21/6/2001