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Tajweed Rules: Stopping & Pausing Signs in the Quran

Tajweed Rules: Stopping & Pausing Signs in the Quran

In this article we are going to discover some of the tajweed symbols in Quran. In previous blog posts, we explained the importance of tajweed rules and why learning tajweed is essential in mastering Quran recitation.

We went over the most common mistakes that are done when reciting the Quran, and the first one is making inappropriate starts and stops, which can go as far as changing the meaning of the Words of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.

In this article, we go over the main stopping signs that can be found in most commonly used maṣāḥif (plural of muṣḥaf, which designates a copy of the Quran) today, giving a short explanation and an example for each sign.

 

List of Stopping and Pausing Signs, Their Meanings and an Example from the Quran

مـ – The Mandatory Stop

One of the tajweed symbols in quran is “م”. One must stop at this sign, which is a small “mīm” letter in the Arabic alphabet. Failing to stop at this sign would change the meaning of the verse or sentence.

إِنَّمَا يَسْتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ يَسْمَعُونَ ۘ وَالْمَوْتَىٰ يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللَّـهُ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ

“Only those who hear will respond. But the dead – Allah will resurrect them; then to Him they will be returned.”
Sūrah Al-Anʿām, 6:36

قلى – The Preferred Pause

One of the important tajweed symbols in Quran. It is better to stop but it is allowed to continue.

أَلَا إِنَّ لِلَّـهِ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَمَا يَتَّبِعُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ شُرَكَاءَ ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ

“Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth. And those who invoke other than Allah do not [actually] follow [His] “partners.” They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.”
Sūrah Yūnus, 10:66

ج – The Permissible Stop

At this small “jīm” letter, one may stop or continue. Both are allowed.

الر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ

“Alif, Lam, Ra. These are the verses of the clear Book.”
Sūrah Yūsuf, 12:1

س – The Silence Symbol

Another one of the important tajweed symbols in Quran. When encountering this small “sīn” letter symbol, take a brief pause without breaking your breath, then continue.

وَقِيلَ مَنْ ۜ رَاقٍ

“And it is said, ‘Who will cure [him]?’”
Sūrah Al-Qiyāmah, 75:27

∴ ∴ – The Embracing Stop

This sign always comes up as a pair, with two sets of three pyramid-shape dots. One may only stop at one of these two signs.

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.”
Sūrah Al-Baqarah, 2:2

صلى – The Preferred Continuation

One of the important tajweed symbols in Quran. It is better to continue but it is allowed to pause.

وَرَبَطْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ إِذْ قَامُوا فَقَالُوا رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَن نَّدْعُوَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلَـٰهًا ۖ لَّقَدْ قُلْنَا إِذًا شَطَطًا

And We made firm their hearts when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke besides Him any deity. We would have certainly spoken, then, an excessive transgression.
Sūrah Al-Kahf, 18:14

لا – The Mandatory Continuation

At this sign, it is necessary to continue. One may not stop or pause.

وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقًا ۙ قَالُوا هَـٰذَا الَّذِي رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَأُتُوا بِهِ مُتَشَابِهًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ ۖ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

“And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, “This is what we were provided with before.” And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.”
Sūrah Al-Baqarah, 2:25

Quran symbols meaning.

1.مـ you should stop when finding this Tajweed symbols in Quran. Failing to stop at this sign would change the meaning of the verse or sentence.

ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُۥ لَكُنتُم مِّنَ ٱلْخَـٰسِرِينَ ٦٤

“Yet you turned away afterwards. Had it not been for Allah’s grace and mercy upon you, you would have certainly been of the losers.”

2.ط normal stop at the end of a sentence or thought

3.ج permissible to stop or continue when finding this tajweed symbols in Quran.

قَالَ إِنَّهُۥ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌۭ لَّا ذَلُولٌۭ تُثِيرُ ٱلْأَرْضَ وَلَا تَسْقِى ٱلْحَرْثَ مُسَلَّمَةٌۭ لَّا شِيَةَ فِيهَا ۚ قَالُوا۟ ٱلْـَٔـٰنَ جِئْتَ بِٱلْحَقِّ ۚ فَذَبَحُوهَا وَمَا كَادُوا۟ يَفْعَلُونَ ٧١

“He replied, “Allah says, ‘It should have been used neither to till the soil nor water the fields; wholesome and without blemish.’” They said, “Now you have come with the truth.” Yet they still slaughtered it hesitantly!”

4.صلي (or ز) it is better to continue reading but it is allowed to stop.

وَبَشِّرِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ ۖ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا۟ مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍۢ رِّزْقًۭا ۙ قَالُوا۟ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَأُتُوا۟ بِهِۦ مُتَشَـٰبِهًۭا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِيهَآ أَزْوَٰجٌۭ مُّطَهَّرَةٌۭ ۖ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَـٰلِدُونَ ٢٥

“Give good news ˹O Prophet˺ to those who believe and do good that they will have Gardens under which rivers flow. Whenever provided with fruit, they will say, “This is what we were given before,” for they will be served fruit that looks similar ˹but tastes different˺. They will have pure spouses, and they will be there forever.”

5.قلي It is better to stop when you find this tajweed symbols in Quran but it is allowed to continue.

وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَـٰمُوسَىٰ لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامٍۢ وَٰحِدٍۢ فَٱدْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلْأَرْضُ مِنۢ بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّآئِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا ۖ قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ ٱلَّذِى هُوَ أَدْنَىٰ بِٱلَّذِى هُوَ خَيْرٌ ۚ ٱهْبِطُوا۟ مِصْرًۭا فَإِنَّ لَكُم مَّا سَأَلْتُمْ ۗ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلذِّلَّةُ وَٱلْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَآءُو بِغَضَبٍۢ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا۟ يَكْفُرُونَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ بِغَيْرِ ٱلْحَقِّ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا۟ وَّكَانُوا۟ يَعْتَدُونَ ٦١

“And ˹remember˺ when you said, “O Moses! We cannot endure the same meal ˹every day˺. So ˹just˺ call upon your Lord on our behalf, He will bring forth for us some of what the earth produces of herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions.” Moses scolded ˹them˺, “Do you exchange what is better for what is worse? ˹You can˺ go down to any village and you will find what you have asked for.” They were stricken with disgrace and misery, and they invited the displeasure of Allah for rejecting Allah’s signs and unjustly killing the prophets. This is ˹a fair reward˺ for their disobedience and violations.”

6.لا one of the tajweed rulesلا  when you find this tajweed symbols in Quran, it is necessary to continue. One may not stop or pause.

 

7.قف or “qif” The Anticipation Mark, is one of the tajweed stop signs: it is better to stop reciting when you find it.

8. – one of the tajweed symbols in Quran is The Embracing Stop: This sign always comes up as a pair, with two sets of three pyramid-shape dots. One may only stop at one of these two signs.

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah.”

Quran stop signs with examples.

So far we have learned about the meanings of the symbols of the Quran, now let’s understand some of the Tajweed rules.

Tajweed stopping rules

– one of the tajweed symbols in Quran is The Embracing Stop: This sign always comes up as a pair, with two sets of three pyramid-shape dots. One may only stop at one of these two signs.

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

قف or “qif” The Anticipation Mark, is one of the tajweed stop signs: it is better to stop reciting when you find it.

قلي It is better to stop when you find this tajweed symbols in Quran but it is allowed to continue.

وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَـٰمُوسَىٰ لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامٍۢ وَٰحِدٍۢ فَٱدْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلْأَرْضُ مِنۢ بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّآئِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا ۖ قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ ٱلَّذِى هُوَ أَدْنَىٰ بِٱلَّذِى هُوَ خَيْرٌ ۚ ٱهْبِطُوا۟ مِصْرًۭا فَإِنَّ لَكُم مَّا سَأَلْتُمْ ۗ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلذِّلَّةُ وَٱلْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَآءُو بِغَضَبٍۢ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا۟ يَكْفُرُونَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ بِغَيْرِ ٱلْحَقِّ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا۟ وَّكَانُوا۟ يَعْتَدُونَ ٦١

“And ˹remember˺ when you said, “O Moses! We cannot endure the same meal ˹every day˺. So ˹just˺ call upon your Lord on our behalf, He will bring forth for us some of what the earth produces of herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions.” Moses scolded ˹them˺, “Do you exchange what is better for what is worse? ˹You can˺ go down to any village and you will find what you have asked for.” They were stricken with disgrace and misery, and they invited the displeasure of Allah for rejecting Allah’s signs and unjustly killing the prophets. This is ˹a fair reward˺ for their disobedience and violations.”

مـ you should stop when finding this Tajweed symbols in Quran. Failing to stop at this sign would change the meaning of the verse or sentence.

ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُۥ لَكُنتُم مِّنَ ٱلْخَـٰسِرِينَ ٦٤

“Yet you turned away afterwards. Had it not been for Allah’s grace and mercy upon you, you would have certainly been of the losers.”

ط normal stop at the end of a sentence or thought


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