Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

Dear sisters:)

In the world of Qur’aan memorisation, we often hear the frequently-used adage: “Practice makes perfect.” Well, that pretty much sums up the quality standard level which every aspiring haafidhah works towards. And whilst memorising Al Qur’aan is all about effort, patience & dedicated consistency, the same can be said for Itqaanul-Qur’aan, commonly referred to as ‘Perfection of recitation.’

Correct pronunciation before starting memorisation is of utmost importance: Aspiring huffaadh should know the Arabic alphabets well & should also be well-versed in reading the Qur’aanic text while looking inside the mus-haf.

One of the recommended methods is for a student to recite the intended text from the Qur’aan, to her teacher, and only thereafter, should she memorise the verses. Why? Often, teachers & students alike find it very difficult to correct the texts learnt with mistakes.

In fact, research has shown that reciting according to the rules of Tajweed, strengthens the verses in memory. Why? Because the Qur’aan possesses a specific rhythmic  note & harmony, – so that the ear which had listened earlier to repeated vocal & semi-vocal recitation of certain Qur’aanic texts, would easily recognise & ‘feel’ an eventual mistake.

That, dear sisters, is one of the greatest motivating factors for aspiring & completed haafidhah to perfect their recitation: Perfecting your recitation leads to Perfecting your memorisation, inshaa Allah!

So, how long will it take to perfect my recitation of Qur’aan, you may ask? Well, in all honesty, this virtuous goal could take a lifetime of dedicated efforts, subhaanAllah! My advice would be to consider the ‘quality’ & not the ‘quantity’ of your recitation & your time…the more concerted your efforts are, the closer you get to achieving a better, more distinguished level in recitation & memorisation.

You may be reading this post, thinking: “I’ve already begun memorising, but my level of Tajweed is mediocre..what’s the next step forward?” The first thing would be to discuss this in depth with your teacher & she may perhaps consider halting your memorised lessons for a short period, whilst you acquire the effective skills for better recitation; she may also consider incorporating the theory of tajweed & makhraj into your lessons, as a means to demonstrate its practical (& waajib!) aspects. Really, it depends on each individual student’s level of tajweed application.

Some of you may be students who, Alhamdulillah, have already memorised Al Qur’aan in its entirety, and may wish to take your hifdh to a more improved level: you may consider working on the quality of your recitation. This can be done by making efforts to improve the clarity of your recitation, the correct pronunciation of all letters, applying the principles of waqf. Check with your teacher on the pronunciation of certain words / letters that you  may be uncertain about..I take this time to remind myself & yourself that the completion of Qur’aan memorisation should only be the beginning of a fruitful journey towards sacred  knowledge, inshaa Allah!

The 2nd area towards which we may strive for perfection, is in strengthening our memorised Qur’aan. Ensure that you always read out aloud to your teacher, striving to correct common errors in qur’aanic words & verses. Be mindful of verses / chapters in which one makes numerous errors or repititions, is doubtful,uncertain, or hesitant of – due to weak / short-term memorisation. Remember that Tajweed-whilst of the waajib level-must be applied to recitation of ALL the surahs & not only the often-recited surahs of juzz ‘ammaa.

Carefully select the most outstanding Qurraa from amongst the well-known reciters. From amongst those who have let this earthly abobe, is the honourable reciter, Shaykh Husary (rahimahullah) ; From amongst those in our midst, Shaykh Hudahaifi (hafidahullah). Both of these reciters are renowned for their clarity, precision & dedicated efforts in perfected recitation, Mashaa Allah:) Of course, ther are numerous other reciters & generally, each student leans towards a certain reciter’s reading – the key rule : application of tajweed & clarity in recitation.

Whilst perfecting our recitation is an effective memorisation tool, let’t never loose sight of the greater picture: That reciting Al Qur’aan with Tajweed is waajib & in accordance with following the Qur’aanic injunction to  recite The Preserved Scripture in measured tones, inshaa Allah.

There’s no perfect time like..RIGHT NOW:) SubhaanAllah, in the prelude to the Sacred Month, here’s a great, beautiful form of ‘ibaada that you & I an start implementing from today onwards, making it a part of our spiritual routine!Remember, there’s only One Being that’s perfect & that is Allah ‘Azza wa Jall.

Here’s wishing you many wonderful hours in perfecting your recitation!

With du’aas,