Allah swt revealed the Quran to prophet Muhmmad through angel Jibreel over a period of approximately 23 years. It is our duty to learn all the Quran reading rules so as to recite it the proper way and apply its teachings to gain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty.
Have you ever reflected on the signs or symbols found above some words? Do you know their importance, meanings, purpose, or how to deal with them? There are rules for stops, pauses, cut-offs, and starts. Let’s know all these rules and types of Waqf in Quran for better recitation.
First of all, let’s understand the definition of Waqf. The linguistic definition of doing Waqf is to stop. For its applied definition: It’s cutting off the sound at the end of a word, usually for a period of the time of breathing, with the intention of returning to the recitation, not with the intention of finishing it. It can be at the end of an Ayah or even in the middle. However, it can never be in the middle of the word.
Knowing the proper places to begin and the rules of stopping when reading Quran is of utmost importance in order not to make fatal pronunciation mistakes or change the entire meaning. Thus, our righteous predecessors were extremely careful in teaching the Ummah all The tajweed stopping rules. Also, it is well documented in authentic chains that the companions and those that followed them paid great attention to this knowledge.
As a Muslim, it is highly-recommended to get equipped with two tools to deeply understand the rules of stopping when reading Quran:
However, as a normal Muslim, not specialized in this field of advanced knowledge, or as a non-Arabic native speaker, it could be hard to deal with the above-mentioned topics well.
Thus, as a tool for preserving the meaning of the Holy Quran, Certain Quran punctuation symbols have been added by scholars to the Muṣḥaf designating information about the desirability of stopping in specific places. Muṣḥafs printed in Pakistan follow a slightly different set of symbols from those printed in Arab countries.
There are three divisions for the stop:
After the compelling state has passed, the reader then starts with the word stopped, and then joins it with what follows if it’s a sound beginning. If not, the reader then should start with what is sound for a beginning.
It’s best to stop on it, and then start on what follows it. It’s usually found at:
One of the types of the complete stop is al Waqf al Lazim, the required stop.
It’s the stop on a word which explains the meaning, and this meaning would not be understood without this stop.
It’s advisable to stop on it, and start with that which follows, just as the complete stop.
It’s good to stop on it, but not good to start on what follows it, due to the attachment in grammar or in meaning.
There are many symbols or signs in Quran, put by the scholars, as mentioned earlier, to help the reciter to stop on a correct meaning. Any point of starting or stopping is considered either permissible, prohibited, or unsuitable according to whether or not it leads to complete and correct meaning. The more common ones in most mushafs are as follows:
Note: Some scholars may consider a particular stop good, while others consider the same stop sufficient, and still others consider it complete. This comes from variances in conclusions as to the make-up of the grammatical sentence.
One of the related topics to the stop is the pause (Sakt). Sakt or saktah means a pause held for two counts without breathing during recitation, and it is symbolized by the letter س, in many mushafs. There are four pauses in the way of Hafs recitation you can find in Tajweed books.
Where to Stop While Reading Quran (Stopping on the Ends of Words)
Moreover, When stopping on any word, whether at the end of an Ayah
or a phrase, or merely to draw a breath, the following is observed:
After covering the main topics related to the stop, it’s suitable to tackle the start. It refers to the resumption of the recitation after cutting it off or stopping it.
It’s allowed to begin with what comes after a complete or sufficient stop under any circumstances. Also, it’s allowed to start with that which comes after a good stop, only if it’s the end of an Ayah.
You can stop on a correct meaning in the middle of an Ayah, then start your recitation the way mentioned before.
In case of the not allowed starts, Muslim should rather go back till he/she starts from a suitable meaning in the Ayah through which he makes the stop. This is especially when the Ayah is long and it’s hard to come with it as a whole at once.
** Most of the above-mentioned information are gathered from two books; Tajweed Rules of the Quran by Kareema Carol, Part 3, and An Introduction to Tajweed by Umm Muhammad. For more information and examples for a better understanding of the topic, please refer to them.
To conclude, after this long journey, you should be patient in reading the Quran. Don’t stop your recitation just because of your feeling that you are not fit. Remember that as long as you exert your effort to learn and improve your recitation, then you are on the track. Success is a continuation.
Also, remember that learning Tajweed, including the stops, is a gateway for understanding the Quran to apply it. Application is the cornerstone.
As you know, for better knowledge of stops rule, you are recommended to start learning Quran Recitation with Tajweed, and learn quranic Arabic, here with Riwaq Al Azhar. Just break the ice with the Quran and its language now.