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Tartil

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Qur'an
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Tartīl (Arabic: تَرتیل) is a Quranic term which refers to a manner of reciting the Qur'an. In this manner, the Qur'an should be recited with reflection and a pleasant voice. The Qur'an has recommended the Prophet Muhammad (s) to recite the Qur'an in this way. The tartil is also highlighted in the practice of the Prophet (s). Today, "tartil" refers to a particular way of reciting the Qur'an which is practiced especially on occasions such as the Ramadan month when practicing khatm al-Qur'an, that is, the recitation of the whole Qur'an from beginning to the end. This is a fast, monotonic, and tuneful way of reciting the Qur'an usually practiced when teaching and memorizing the Qur'an.

Terminology

The word, "tartil" means harmony and order. Thus, "tartil" is used to mean a consecutive or well-ordered articulation of words. Since the word was used about the Qur'an, it was also associated with other concepts such as good talks or reciting slowly and in a well-articulated way.[1] "Tartil" which literally means to arrange and put things in order technically means to recite the Quranic verses with reflection and order with the proper pronunciation of its letters, clear articulation of its words, and reflection on the meanings of its verses and their implications.

In the Qur'an and Hadiths

The word, "tartil", and its cognates have been used 4 times in the Qur'an to mean two things:

  • It refers to the continuous and gradual revelation of Quranic chapters and verses by God during the period of the Prophet's (s) mission. The phrase, "We have arranged it well in arranging",[2] points to the idea that while the Quranic verses are gradually revealed within 23 years, such a revelation was based on an arrangement or a plan in order to influence the thoughts and attract the hearts of people. A hadith from the Prophet (s) points to the same idea: "the whole Qur'an has been revealed to me verse by verse and letter by letter (word by word)".[3]
  • It also means a particular manner of reciting the Qur'an. In Qur'an 73, God commands the Prophet (s) to recite the Qur'an with "tartil" and forbids him from reciting it in a hasty way.[4] In this case, "tartil" refers to a way of reciting the Qur'an with which it was revealed to the Prophet (s).[5] According to a hadith from the Prophet (s): "God's favorite manner of reciting the Qur'an is the manner in which it was revealed". This is the manner in which the Prophet (s) himself recited the Qur'an where his listeners could count the letters of its words.[6]

A number of Tabi'un believed that "tartil" means to recite a Quranic verse and repeat it and whisper it with crying eyes. They attributed this to the tradition of the Prophet (s).[7] The same meaning is also implied by some hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a).[8]

Features

Tartil has some necessary features:

  • Reflection on the meanings of the verses.[9]
  • Having a tuneful, pleasant voice: that is, one should recite the Qur'an with a pleasant voice.[10] However, some hadiths have required that in tartil, one's voice should enjoy "tahzin" (sadness), instead of "tahsin" (tunefulness). "Tahzin" is said to refer to the recitation of the Qur'an with low, sad voice.[11] Some people have appealed to this definition to restrict tartil to the recitation of the Qur'an during nights and tahajjud (vigilance),[12] and during other times, they believe that the Qur'an had been recited faster in order to gain more rewards by reciting more of the Qur'an.

Manners

In the past, tartil was not considered as an independent manner of reciting the Qur'an; rather it was thought of as an element thereof, analogous to tajwid which should be observed in every manner of reciting the Qur'an.[13] Ibn al-Jazari has limited the manners of reciting the Qur'an to the three ways of "tahqiq", "hadr", and "tadwir" in all of which tartil should be observed.[14]

In recent years, "tartil" has been used to refer to a manner of fast, monotonic, and tuneful recitation of the Quran. Throughout the Islamic world, tartil is usually practiced in teaching and memorizing the Qur'an.

Notes

  1. Ṭūsī, al-Tibyān, vol. 10, p. 162; Miybudī, Kashf al-asrār, vol. 10, p. 261.
  2. Qur'an, 25:32.
  3. Ḥalabī, al-Sīra al-Ḥalabīyya, vol. 1, p. 260.
  4. Ibn Jazarī, al-Nashr, vol. 1, p. 208.
  5. Ibn Jazarī, al-Nashr, vol. 1, p. 208.
  6. Suyūṭī, al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 6, p. 277.
  7. Suyūṭī, al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 6, p. 277.
  8. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 7, p. 268; vol. 67, p. 342-343; vol. 24, p. 75; vol. 92, p. 191-192.
  9. Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 7, p. 142; Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān, vol. 19, p. 37.
  10. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 569; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 92, p. 191.
  11. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 569; Miybudī, Kashf al-asrār, vol. 10, p. 266.
  12. Ibn Jazarī, al-Nashr, vol. 1, p. 209.
  13. Ibn Jazarī, al-Nashr, vol. 1, p. 250.
  14. Ibn Jazarī, al-Nashr, vol. 1, p. 205-207.

References

  • Ḥalabī, ʿAlī b. Buhān al-Dīn al-. Al-Sīra al-Ḥalabīyya. Beirut: al-Maktaba al-Islāmīyya, [n.d].
  • Ibn Jazarī, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad. Al-Nashr fī l-qirāʾāt al-ʿashr. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿArabī, [n.d].
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: [n.p], 1416 AH.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Tehran: [n.p], 1385 AH.
  • Miybudī, Abū l-Faḍl. Kashf al-asrār. Edited by ʿAlī Aṣghar Ḥikmat. Tehran: [n.p], 1361 Sh.
  • Qurṭubī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-. Al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, [n.d].
  • Suyūṭī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakr al-. Al-Itqān fī ʿulūm al-Qurʾān. Edited by Fawāz Aḥmad Zamarlī. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, [n.d].
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Hāshim Rasūlī & Yazdī Ṭabāṭabāyī. Third edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Nāṣir Khusru, 1372 Sh.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Tibyān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Aḥmad Qaṣīr al-ʿĀmilī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, [n.d].