Soldier of Allah 

Glossary of Qur’an-Related Terms

  1. Names of Surahs
  2. Ishmâm
  3. Al-Imâlah
  4. Al-Juz’
  5. Al-Hurűf Al-Muqatta‘ah
  6. Hizb
  7. ‘Uthmanic Calligraphy
  8. Ar-Rukű‘
  9. The Seven Long Surahs
  10. The Prostration for Recitation
  11. Vowelization
  12. Pause Marks
  13. Methods of Recitation
  14. The Well-Known Methods of Recitation
  15. Al-Mu‘anaqah
  16. Al-Mu‘awwidhatân
  17. Al-Mufassal
  18. Al-Manzil
  19. The Compulsory Pause

Names of Surahs: the names of the Surahs of the Glorious Qur’an are well known. However, we mention here some Surahs which have more than one name:

  1. At-Taubah: it is also called “Bara’ah”
  2. Al-Isra’: it is also called “Bani Isra’il”
  3. Fatir: it is also called “Al-Mala’ikah”
  4. Ghafir: it is also called “Al-Mu’min”
  5. Fussilat: it is also called “Ha Mim As-Sajdah”
  6. Al-Insan: it is also called “Ad-Dahr”

Ishmâm: means merging the two lips like the state of pronouncing Dammah [i.e. the short vowel (u)] without any noticeable effect of this in pronunciation. Ishmâm does not occur amidst a single word in the method of recitation according to Hafs except in the word Ta’manna « تأمنا» [i.e. trust us] in the following verse from Surat Yusuf. Allah [Exalted and Sublime be He] said: -Why do you not trust us with Yűsuf (Joseph) though we are indeed his well-wishers? (12:11)

The two lips are rounded when pronouncing the doubled Nűn as a sign of the assimilation of the Dammah [i.e. the short vowel (u)] of the first Nűn with the second Nűn, as the word ‘Ta’manna’ «تأمنا» was originally ‘Ta’manuna’ «تأمننا ». The sign of Ishmâm is to put a certain centre-effaced point () above the last part of the letter Mîm, a little bit before the doubled Nűn. Thus, the word Ta’mannah «تأمنا » is written in this way ()

Ishmâm made before a pause is to round the two lips when pronouncing the letter having Dammah at which the pause is made. An example of this kind of Ishmam is found in the word « نستعين » (nasta’în) (we ask for help) in this verse from Surat Al-Fatihah. Allah [Exalted and Sublime be He] said:

{ إياك نعبد وإياك نستعين }

Iyyaka na‘budu wa iyyaka nasta‘în

“You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).” (1:5)

The “Nun” itself becomes vowelless due to the case of pause.

Al-Imâlah: it is to pronounce Fathah [i.e. the short vowel point (a)] little bit like Kasrah [i.e. the short vowel (i)] and to pronounce Alif little bit like Yâ’ without the complete substitution of Fathah with Kasrah or of Alif with Yâ’. This is the sheer Imâlah and it is also called Idjâ‘. The only word read with Imâlah according to the Hafs-‘Asim’s method of recitation is { مجريها }  (majriha) (its moving course),  in verse no. (41)of Surat Hűd. { وَقَالَ ارْكَبُوا فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ } Allah [Exalted and Sublime be He] said: { And he [Nűh (Noah) (صلى الله عليه وسلم)] said: “Embark therein: in the Name of Allâh will be its (moving) course and its (resting) anchorage. Surely, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” } (11:41) In this verse the Fathah upon the letter Râ’ is inclined to Kasrah and the letter Alif is inclined to the letter Yâ’. The sign referring to this phenomenon is to put a point in the form of an emptied diamond under the letter Râ’ like this: ().

See Pause Marks.

Al-Juz’ (The Part): the Glorious Qur’an is divided into thirty parts nearly equal in size. In order to facilitate its recitation once each month, each part is also divided into two sections.

Following are the beginnings of the thirty parts of the Glorious Qur’an:

  1. Al-Fatihah
  2. { The fools among the people (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) will say, What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] which they used to face in prayer... } (2:142)
  3. { Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others,... } (2:253)
  4. { All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful for himself before the Taurât (Torah) was revealed... } (3:93)
    According to some scholars, this part starts from the preceding verse { By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness - here it means Allâh's Reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allâh's Cause) of that which you love; } (3:92)
  5. { Also (forbidden are) women who are already married, except those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. } (4:24)
  6. { Allâh does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been wronged. } (4:148)
  7. { Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) to be the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikűn (pagans) } (5:82)
    According to some scholars, this part begins with the following verse { And when they (who call themselves Christians) listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger (Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised.} (5:83)
  8. { And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them,... } (6:111)
  9. { The chiefs, the arrogant party among his people said...} (7:88)
  10. { And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain,... } (8:41)
  11. { The blame is only against those who are rich, and yet ask for leave... } (9:93)but according to some scholars this part starts from the following verse { They (the hypocrites) will present their excuses to you (Muslims), when you return to them. } (9:94)
  12. { And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allâh. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterus, grave). } (11:6)
  13. { And I free not myself (from the blame). Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills). } (12:53)
  14. { Alif-Lâm-Râ. These are Verses of the Book and a plain Qur’ân. } (15:1) According to some scholars, this part starts with the subsequent verse { How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims [those who have submitted themselves to Allâh’s Will in Islâm i.e. Islâmic Monotheism - this will be on the Day of Resurrection when they will see the disbelievers going to Hell and the Muslims going to Paradise]. } (15:2)
  15. { Glorified (and Exalted) is He (Allâh) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] Who took His slave (Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid-al-Aqsâ (in Jerusalem), } (17:1)
  16. { (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me? } (18:75)
  17. { Draws near for mankind their reckoning, while they turn away in heedlessness. } (21:1)
  18. { Successful indeed are the believers. } (23:1)
  19. { And those who expect not a meeting with Us (i.e. those who deny the Day of Resurrection and the life of the Hereafter), said: “Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord? } (25:21)
  20. { There was no other answer given by his people except that they said: “Drive out the family of Lűt (Lot) from your city Verily, these are men who want to be clean and pure! } (27:56) and according to some scholars the part starts with this verse { (Ask them:) Who created the heavens and the earth, } (27:60)
  21. { And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islâmic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong; } (29:46) and according to some scholars this part starts from the preceding verse { Recite (O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’ân), and perform As-Salât (Iqamât-as-Salât). } (29:45)
  22. { And whosoever of you is obedient to Allâh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and does righteous good deeds, We shall give her, her reward twice over, }(33:31)
  23. { And We sent not against his people after him a host from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing). } (36:28) and according to some scholars this part starts from verse 22 in the same Surah { And why should I not worship Him (Allâh Alone) Who has created me and to Whom you shall be returned. } (36:22)
  24. { Then, who does more wrong than one who utters a lie against Allâh, and denies the truth [this Qur’ân, the Prophet (Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) and the Islâmic Monotheism] when it comes to him! } (39:32)
  25. { To Him (Alone) is referred the knowledge of the Hour. } (41:47)
  26. { Hâ-Mîm. The revelation of the Book (this Qur'ân) is from Allâh, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. } (46:1,2)
  27. { [Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] said: “Then for what purpose you have come, O Messengers? } (51:31)
  28. { Indeed Allâh has heard the statement of her (Khaulah bint Tha‘labah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-Sâmit), } (58:1)
  29. { Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion; and He is Able to do all things. } (67:1)
  30. { What are they asking (one another) about? } (78:1)

Al-Hurűf Al-Muqatta‘ah (Separated Letters): they constitute half of the alphabets with which twenty-nine Surahs of the Glorious Qur’an begin. Examples of Al-Hurűf Al-Muqatta‘ah are: Alif Lâm Mîm, Kâf Ha-ya ‘Ain Sâd, Tâha etc. These abbreviations point out the miraculous style of the Glorious Qur’an, as the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) challenged the polytheists to produce the like of it, but they could not, even though it (the Glorious Qur'an) consists of the same letters that constitute their language (Arabic).

Hizb (Section): it is half of a Juz’ (Part).

‘Uthmanic Calligraphy: it is a system of writing with which the Mushafs are written, which is different in some aspects from the conventional method of writing.

Ar-Rukű‘: in the Indian sub-continent’s Mushafs the Surahs of the Glorious Qur’an are divided into parts called “Ruku‘ât”. The Rukű‘ is a number of verses recommended for reading in each Rak‘ah of Prayer. The sign for Rukű‘ is the letter ‘Ain (ع) placed on the right and left margins of the Mushaf.

The Seven Long Surahs: they are Al-Baqarah, Al-‘Imran, An-Nisâ’, Al-Ma’idah, Al-An‘âm, Al-A‘râf, and the seventh is either Al-Anfâl and At-Taubah together or Yunus.

The Prostration for Recitation: it is a recommended prostration performed after reciting or listening to specific verses of the Glorious Qur’an. These verses are fifteen in number, and they are as follows:

  1. { Surely, those who are with your Lord (angels) are never too proud to worship Him, but they glorify His Praise and prostrate themselves before Him. } (7:206)
  2. { And unto Allâh (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and late afternoons. } (13:15)
  3. { And to Allâh prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allâh) with humility]. They fear their Lord above them, and do what they are commanded to do. } (16:49,50)
  4. { And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility. } (17:109)
  5. { Those were they unto whom Allâh bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nűh (Noah), and of the offspring of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allâh) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping. } (19:58)
  6. { See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawâbb[moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allâh disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allâh does what He wills. } (22:18)
  7. { O you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful. } (22:77)
  8. { And when it is said to them: “Prostrate yourselves to the Most Gracious (Allâh)! They say: “And what is the Most Gracious? Shall we fall down in prostration to that which you (O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) command us? And it only increases in them aversion. } (25:60)
  9. { [As Shaitân (Satan) has barred them from Allâh's Way] so they do not prostrate themselves before (worship) Allâh, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allâh, Lâ ilâha illâ Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Lord of the Supreme Throne! } (27:25,26)
  10. { Only those believe in Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud. } (32:15)
  11. { [Dâwűd (David)] said (immediately without listening to the opponent): “He has wronged you in demanding your ewe in addition to his ewes. And, verily, many partners oppress one another, except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and they are few.” And Dâwűd (David) guessed that We have tried him and he sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allâh) in repentance. } (38:24)
  12. { And from among His Signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon. Prostrate not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourself to Allâh Who created them, if you (really) worship Him. But if they are too proud (to do so), then those who are with your Lord (angels) glorify Him night and day, and never are they tired. }(41:37,38)
  13. { So fall you down in prostration to Allâh, and worship Him (Alone). } (53:62)
  14. { And when the Qur'ân is recited to them, they fall not prostrate. } (84:21)
  15. { Nay! (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Do not obey him (Abű Jahl). Fall prostrate and draw near to Allâh! } (96:19)

It is worth noting that the second prostration for recitation in Surat Al-Hajj and the prostrations for recitation in Surahs Sad, An-Najm, Al-Inshiqaq and Al-‘Alaq are not unanimously agreed upon. The character representing the prostration for recitation, i.e. a mihrab, is placed at the end of the relevant verse, while the word «سجدة» is written on the margin of the Mushaf.

See Pause Marks.

Vowelization: it is the branch of Qur’anic science with which the vowel marks placed on the letters [i.e. Fath, Damm, Kasr, Sukun, Shadd, Madd and other vowels] are recognised. Vowelization is synonymous with diacritization.

Pause Marks: they are special marks placed in the Mushaf in order to show a person who recites the Glorious Qur’an when he can pause and when he can recite consecutively. There are six types of Pause Marks as follows:

The Compulsory Pause, as in the verse (6:36)

The Impermissible Pause, as in the verse (16:32)

The Permissible Pause (It is equally permissible to make pause or not), as in the verse (18:13)

The Permissible Pause (though continuation is preferable), as in the verse (6:17)

The Permissible Pause (pause is preferable), as in the verse (18:22)

The Interchangeable Pause, where two pause marks are found; a reciter may pause on either of them, but not on the two, as in the verse (2:2)

Methods of Recitation: they are related to the dissimilarities of the words of the Glorious Qur’an in terms of pronunciation, performance, linguistic rules and inflection reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) through a recurrent chain of transmission.

The Well-Known Methods of Recitation : are ten; each of which is attributed to a respected scholar, on behalf of whom at least two famous narrators reported such a method of recitation.

Following are the names of the well-known Imams of the ten methods of recitation and their narrators;

  1. Nafi‘ul-Madani; his narrators are Qalun and Warsh.
  2. Ibn Kathir Al-Makki; his narrators are Al-Bazi and Qunbul.
  3. Abu ‘Amr Al-Basri; his narrators are Hafs Ad-Dűriyy and As-Susi.
  4. Ibn ‘Amir Ash-Shami; his narrators are Hisham and Ibn Dhakwan.
  5. ‘Asim Al-Kufi; his narrators are Shu‘bah and Hafs.
  6. Hamzah Al-Kufi; his narrators are Khalaf and Khallad.
  7. Al-Kisa’i Al-Kufi; his narrators are Abul-Harith and Hafs Ad-Dűriyy.
  8. Abu Ja‘far Al-Madani; his narrators are Ibn Wardan and Ibn Jimaz.
  9. Ya‘qub Al-Hadrami; his narrators are Ruwais and Ruh.
  10. Khalaf Al-‘Ashir; his narrators are Ishaq and Idris.

See Pause Marks.

Al-Mu‘anaqah (i.e. Interchangeable Pause): See Pause Marks.

Al-Mu‘awwidhatân: they are the last two Surahs of the Glorious Qur’an [i.e. Al-Falaq and An-Nâs]

Al-Mufassal: according to the correct opinion Al-Mufassal is that part of the Glorious Qur’an starting from Surat Qâf and ending with Surat An-Nâs. It is divided into three parts;

  1. Long Surahs of Al-Mufassal: which begin with Surat Qâf and end with Surat Al-Mursalât.
  2. Middle-Sized Surahs of Al-Mufassal: which begin with Surat An-Naba’ and end with Surat Al-Lail.
  3. Short Surahs of Al-Mufassal: which begin with Surat Ad-Duha and end with Surat An-Nas.

Al-Manzil: in the Indian sub-continent the Glorious Qur’an is divided into seven parts almost equal in length, in order to enable the reciter to conclude the recitation of the entire Qur’an in one week, one portion every day. Each part is called Manzil.

Following are the beginning of the seven Manzils:

  1. The beginning of Surat Al-Fatihah
  2. The beginning of Surat Al-Ma’idah
  3. The beginning of Surat Yunus
  4. The beginning of Surat Al-Israâ’
  5. The beginning of Surat Ash-Shu‘arâ’
  6. The beginning of Surat As-Saffât
  7. The beginning of Surat Qâf

The Compulsory Pause: See Pause Marks.