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Is Reciting Quran with Tajweed Obligatory

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
Is reciting Quran with Tajweed(art of correct recitation of the Quran) obligatory or preferable from a Sharia view point?

Answer:
All praise is due to Allah, peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and upon all his family and companions: It is an obligation on every Muslim to learn the rules of correct recitation which save the tongue from making mistakes and changes of meaning. Learning them enables a Muslim to recite surat Al-Faatihah and the rest of the Quranic chapters correctly, and in line with the linguistic rules of the original Arabic language. It is not obligatory, but rather preferable for a Muslim to observe recitation rules related to the properties of letters and their manner of articulation since not being capable of observing them does not change the meaning. Shaykh al-Islam Zakaria Al-Ansari said: "It is imperative that a Muslim learns the recitation rules that preserve the meaning and function of words since failure to do so renders him/her sinful.”{Al_Dak`kaa`k Al Mohkamah(19)}. He also said: "The evident error is: a mispronunciation that causes a change in the meaning and function such as adding a Dhammah(the short vowel{U} on top of the letter) instead of a Kasrah(the short vowel{i} below the letter).The concealed error is: a mispronunciation that neither affects the meaning nor the function such as turning ن intoم and Idghaam(assimilation, i.e. joining two letters together to become one letter.”(P.38). Mullah Ali Hanafi said: "Rules of correct recitation must be learned in order to avoid changes in meaning and function; whereas, it is preferable for a Muslim to learn the rules which preserve meaning and make it clearer since there is a great deal of hardship involved in mastering all the rules .”  

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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