Saturday, November 09, 2013

Waqf: Types of Stops

A dear friend (jazaahaAllaahu khayran) made this simple explanation of the tiny letters/symbols on top of the verses in the Qur'an. They are called waqf points, meaning stopping points.

By definition Waqf literally means blocking and suspending.

Technically it means making a voiceless break at a Qur'anic word for a brief moment, during which the reader takes a breath with the intention of continuing reading.

aa : is the stop by which the word and meaning give a complete sense, and this is called complete stop because the utterance is complete and is separated from what follows. It is indicated by (م) - Meem.

The SUFFICIENT STOP : is the one in which continuing or stopping is permissible; yet making a stop is preferable. It is called sufficient, because it can stand by itself, independently of what follows, because it is not connected with it in words. Its symbol is (قلى) - Qili.

The EQUALITY STOP : is the one in which continuing and stopping are equally relevant; Its symbol is (ج) - Geem.

The GOOD STOP : is the one in which continuing and stopping are permissible; and yet continuing is desirable. It is called a good stop because it gives a preferable effect. Its sign is (صلي) - Sili

The PROHIBITED STOP : is the stop made at an incomplete utterance which does not give the required meaning, because it is strongly connected with what follows in terms of words and meaning. This kind of stop is prohibited. Its symbol is (لا) - Laam Alif.

The PRECAUTIONARY STOP : (also called the convergence of stops). It indicates the convergence of two near situations where it is possible to make a stop. In such case, a stop is made at one of these two situations only.

The MODERATE PAUSE : is the breaking of the voice at a Qur'anic word for a brief moment without taking a breath at two counts [nearly two seconds]. Its symbol is (س) - Seen.


We may have forgotten most of the rules of recitation, but it's not too late to remind ourselves right? We may not aspire to be a hafiz or a qari, but we owe it to the Speech of Allah to recite it correctly with it's due reverence.

Because when we recite the Qur'an, the Angels listen. And most importantly, Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, listens.

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