Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Being a non-Arab, I found it very difficult when I first started learning proper recitation of the Quran. Alhamdulillah I received a lot of help from others by the guidance of Allah, and I will share with you some of the tips which I found very useful for rapidly facilitating proper Quranic recitation.
Renew your intention everytime.
Learning the phonemes of any new language is very difficult for an adult. Therefore you need a lot of stamina and will power to accomplish this. Often you might get discouraged when despite continuous efforts you fail to produce the right sound. During these times, remind yourself why you’re doing this. The Prophet (saws) encouraged us thus in the following hadith:
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. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Many of us have this notion that it is haram to recite Quran if you don’t know how to do it properly. This belief is not just wrong, it is in fact harmful as if prevents us from reciting the Quran. Allah said,
فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ وَاسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْرًا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ ۗ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah ]; it is better for your selves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful. [64:16]
So don’t be scared to recite Quran even if you’re really bad at it, because if you don’t even try, how are you going to learn?
Over-stress in order to achieve the right stress
I had particular difficulties in producing the ح ق ع sounds. So what I did at first was to put extra stress in these words at the beginning, and once I could produce the stressed sounds with ease, I stopped stressing them. Then I could produce the correct sounds for these letters. Try and see if it works.
Keep practicing. You don’t need a fixed time and place to practice makhraj and sifaat. Just try pronouncing them whenever they come in mind – while daydreaming, having a break from work, or watching TV. Just try producing those sounds, just like a baby does. A baby blabbers whenever he/she feels like, not caring what others think, not getting embarrassed, just enjoying what he/she is doing and learning a language at the same time.
Listen and imitate
Listen as much as you can of Quranic recitation. For beginners it is best to select a slow monotonous recitation, e.g. Husayri (rh). Listen and try to repeat after it. You’ll find that soon you’re getting the hang of it.
Take each rule one at a time
When you learn one rule of recitation, practice it and get the hang of it first before starting on the next rule. If you try to master too many rules at one go, there is a chance that you’ll get overwhelmed and might even feel like giving up. So make it slow and sure.
Don’t be ashamed to use them in conversation
Once you have learned how to pronounce ayn, don’t hesitate to use it the next time you say assalamu ‘alaikum. When you learn Ha, say alHamdulillah correctly. Don’t be shy of others. Don’t be scared of receiving praise, rather let it remind you of the blessing of Allah. Correct pronunciation is a gift from Allah, and we must use it in order to please Him.
I hope you find these tips useful. Do share your own tips in the comments! May Allah make His words easy on our tongues.
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