The proper pausing (waqf) and starting (ibtida) while reciting is essential for a reader of Glorious Quran. With an improper pause or start at a word or verse, the meaning of a sentence could be distorted. There are established methods for pausing and starting while reciting the Holy Quran. A pause may occur due to one of the following reasons:
(1) shortage of breath (2) Recommended pause (3) Mandatory pause.
The rules for Waqf (pause) and Ibtida (start) are many but the following are essential for the beginner.
How to Pause (Waqf)
As a general rule, if a pause is made at any word for any reason whatsoever, in most case the last letter of a word must be made saakin. Exception: Fathatain and letter Ta (Marbuta), these exceptions will be explained in next lessons.
If a pause is made at a word ending with a Fathatain (with or without an Alif) then replace the with Madd alif (Tabii Madd) (lesson 14) and the silent letters refer to lesson 19.
Any haarakah (vowel signs) over the letter round Ta (Marbuta) - substitute the sound of letter round Ta for a Ha' saakin . This exception does not apply to long Ta (tawila).
If a pause is made over a Tashdid letter at the end of a word, its haarakah will drop, but the letter must be pronounced with force in order to distinguish between a sukoon and a Tashdid.
|Symbol||What to Do|
|Do not stop here but stop is permissible. |
|it is better to stop here. |
|it is permissible to stop here.|
|This letter Za' is an abbreviation of al-waqf al-mujawwaz. It means that making a stop here is correct all right, but the better choice is not to make a stop here.|
|This letter Sad is an abbreviation of al-waqf al-murathkhas. It means that the statement has not yet been completed at this point but, because the sentence has become long, here is the place to breathe and stop rather than do it elsewhere.|
|This letter mim is an abbreviation of al-waqf al-lazim. It means if a stop is not made here an outrageous distortion in the meaning of the verse is possible. So, it is better to stop here. Some phoneticians of the Holy Quran have also called this al-waqf al-wajib or the obligatory stop. But this is not 'wajib' of fiqh which brings sin if abandoned. In fact, the purpose is to stress that making a stop here is the most preferable of all stops. |
|This ma' is an abbreviation of "mu'anaqah". This symbol is inserted at a place where a single verse has two possible explanations. According to one explanation, the stop will be made at one given place, while according to another explanation, this will be at another place. So, a stop can be made at either one of the two places, but once a stop has been made at one place, it is not correct to stop at the other. For instance, take the verse (Arabic text). If a stop is made here at (Arabic text), then it is not correct to stop at (Arabic text) and should a stop be made at (Arabic text), then it is not correct to stop at (Arabic text). However, if a stop is not made at both places, that will be correct. It is also known as 'al-maqabalah'. It was, first of all, pointed out by Imam Abu al-Fadl al-Razi. |
|This is a symbol for saktah. It means one should stop here breaking the sound but not the breath. This is generally inserted at a place where assimilated reading is likely to cause an erroneous projection of meaning.|
|At this sign of waqfah, one must stop a little longer than saktah (pause). But, breath should not break here too.|
|This letter qaf is an abbreviation of qila 'alazhz l'waqf. It means that some phoneticians of the Holy Quran identify a stop here while others do not.|
|This word is 'qif which means 'stop' and it is inserted where the reader may possibly think that a stop was not correct there.|
|This is an abbreviation of al-waslu awla which means 'it is better to recite in assimilated continuity'.|
|This is an abbreviation of qad yusalu, that is, some stop here, while others like to recite on in assimilated continuity.|
|This is marked at places where some hadith report proves that the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alehey wasalam) stopped here while reciting.|