How do I improve my recitation of the Quran?

‘The month of Ramadan, in which was revealed the Qur’an – a guidance for mankind…” Al Qur’an 2:185

Ramadan is the month of the Quran and many of our activities over this holy month are focused around the Quran.

The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wassalam) would complete the recitation of the Quran with the Angel Gibraeel (as) each Ramadan, and twice in the year preceding his death.

Many of us listen to the melodious recitation during normal prayers and taraweeh (congregational evening prayer in the mosque in Ramadan) and long to be able to recite like the imam.

Most Muslims will know how to recite the Qur’an fluently from when they attended the madrasah as children. But what if you’re new to Islam? How do you improve their recitation?

Here are a few simple steps to help you recite the Qur’an better:

Step 1 – Find a quiet place

Try and find a quiet, clean place in your home where you can focus your attention and hear yourself reciting. It will be difficult to concentrate if you’re sitting in a loud, busy environment. Avoid TV rooms or busy communal areas and switch off your phone so that you don’t get distracted.

Step 2 – Learn How to Pronounce the Arabic Letters

“…and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation” Qur’an 73:4

The above verse implies reading the Quran with ‘measured recitation’ and care. So learning the correct Arabic elocution is very important. In other words, how to correctly pronounce and recite each word.

This is sometimes referred to as ‘Tajweed’ in Arabic, meaning ‘to make well, to improve or to make good’. Tajweed is the rules of recitation and teaches you how to pronounce the Quranic words in the same way that it was recited by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Through tajweed, you will learn that each Arabic letter is pronounced from a certain part of the mouth, which will allow you to create a clear and consistent sound.

It can seem overwhelming to learn the many rules of Tajweed so it’s important not to overload yourself. Take it one rule at a time.

Step 3 – Get a Quran that is easy to read

Get yourself a Quran that is easy to read. Qur’ans come in many different sizes. Obtain one that has the right font size for you to easily read.

You may prefer to get a Tajweed Quran, which have letters and words colour-coded so you can identify some of the rules.

Step 4 – Make a regular time and be consistent

Try and be consistent in your learning. Dedicate regular times in your day or week to read the Qur’an and make it a habit. As they say, excellence is not an act but a habit.

There will be times when you’re busy and you may miss a session but try and make it up and don’t do it too often. Be consistent, even if it is small.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon Him) said:

“The most beloved of deeds to Allah are the most consistent of them, even if they are few”  Al-Bukhari & Muslim

If you don’t put the effort in, you’ll always struggle to recite the Qur’an perfectly. So use every opportunity to read the Quran, even if it’s just a little at a time.

Step 5 – Listen to video or audio recordings

There are many Islamic and you-tube channels which have recordings of famous Qur’anic recitors (known as Qari’s). 

Pick someone with a slow recitation that you can easily follow and you enjoy listening to.

Listen to those with a distinct and a melodious tone, such as Mishary bin Rashid Al-Afasy, Saad El Ghamidi and Abdul Rahman Al Sudais. Their voices are distinct due to their Tajweed and the melody in which they recite the Qur’an.

Listen to their recording and follow along as you recite the Quran. It may initially be a struggle but you will get quicker. Try and pick up rules from their recitation.

Alternatively, find a Quran recitation app in which you can learn one sentence/ayat at a time. Replay the recitation of the ayat until you’ve mastered it.

Step 6 – Learn short chapters

Start with short chapters. Many of the short chapters are at the end of the Quran, like Chapter 112 (Al-Ikhlass). Pay attention to the rules and recite gently.

Step 7 – Get a teacher

Find a teacher or an imam who is willing to teach you. Learn a specific rule and then practice using that rule.

If you don’t have a teacher than use the internet to find lessons online or a obtain good tajweed book to learn some of the basics.

Step 8 – Don’t worry if your progress is taking longer than you hoped

 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.”

Don’t worry if you aren’t progressing as quickly as you’d hoped. If you try your best and still genuinely struggle with your recitation, you’ll receive double the reward.

Step 9 – Learn the meaning

Try to learn some of the more common Arabic words that are used in the Qur’an. This will also help with memorization.

Furthermore, read a translation to understand what Allah is saying to you

Learning how to recite and perfect the sounds of some letters and words can take a little time. Don’t give up. Be patient and just keep going, even if it’s just a little at a time.

We hope you found this article useful. Whatever you decide to do, make a firm intention to learn, ask Allah for help and start your journey!

We pray Allah makes things easy for you.