When you read the Quran, have you reflected on the signs or symbols found in 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 of the rules of stopping when reading Quran for better recitation.
To begin with, let’s understand the definition of this word. The linguistic definition of this word is: halt and imprisonment. For its applied definition: It’s the cutting off the sound at the end of a word, usually for the period of the time of breathing, with the intention of returning to the recitation, not with the intention of abandoning the recital. It can be at the end of an Ayah or in the middle of an Ayah. However, it can never be in the middle of the word.
Knowing the proper places to begin and to rules of stopping when reading Quran is of utmost importance in order to avoid mistakes leading to confusion or a change in meaning.
The question often arises concerning a long Ayah where the reader must pause to draw a breath before continuing. 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.
Thus, our righteous predecessors were extremely careful in teaching the knowledge of the stop and the start. Also, it’s well documented in authentic chains that the companions and those that followed them paid great attention to this knowledge.
Many of the Imams of recitation wouldn’t give accreditation (Ijazah) to a student of the Quran until they acquired knowledge of the stop and start.
As a Muslim, you need two tools to deeply understand the stop:
As or reflect to the stop, except by trying to equip yourself with these basics:
However, as a normal Muslim, not specialized in this field of advanced knowledge, or as a non-Arab native speaker, it could be hard to deal with the above-mentioned topics well. Thus, as a tool for preserving the meaning of Quran, Muslim scholars do the following:
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. 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.