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The proofs that the scholars bring to show the obligation of Tajweed is that Allah says in the Qur’an,
‘And recite the Qur’an (aloud) in a (slow and melodious) style (tarteel)’ (Surah Muzzammil, Ayah 4)
Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) said in the explanation of this aayah: ‘at-Tarteel is Tajweed of the letters and knowing where to stop (correctly)’.[An-Nashr of Ibn Al-Jazaree 209:1] And of the rights of reciting correctly is reciting it the way it was revealed. There are various Ahadeeth also showing us the importance of Tajweed. Umm e Salamah was asked about the recitation of the Prophet (SAW) and she described it as a recitation ‘clearly distinguished letter by letter’.[Tirmidhi] Sa’eed bin Mansoor relates in his Sunan that a man was reciting the Qur’an to Abdullah bin Mas’ood and he recited ‘Innamas sadaqaatu lil fuqara-i wal masaakeen’, so Ibn mas’ood said: ’This was not how the Messenger of Allah (SAW) recited it to me!’ So the man asked, ‘How did he read it to you oh Aba Abdir-Rahman?’ So he said ‘Lil Fuqaraaaa-I wal masaakeen’, he elongated the word Fuqaraa and the knowledge of the different lengths of elongation (mudood) is also from the rules of Tajweed.
Ibn al-Jazari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Whoever is able to read the words of Allah with correct Arabic pronunciation but he deliberately pronounces it ncorrectly like a non-Arab, out of arrogance, stubbornness and complacency, or because he is too proud to go to a scholar who could help him to correct his pronunciation, is undoubtedly falling short and sinning and being dishonest. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
‘Religion is sincerity: to Allah, to His Book, to His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.’
It is not permissible for anyone to deliberately change any letter of it when he is able to pronounce it correctly. This is a kind of mistake which is a sin. If a person finds it difficult to pronounce the letters correctly – such as people in whose language some of the Arabic letters, such as ذ , ظ and خ do not exist – they have to try to learn the correct pronunciation, but if they are unable to master it then they are excused, but their example should not be followed, and they should be called upon to strive their hardest to learn and correct their pronunciation. And none of them should lead the prayer, unless he is leading others like himwho cannot pronounce well either.
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