Categories: Religion

Sajdah And Other Important Symbols In The Qur’an

The Qur’an is the Holiest Book in Islam.

It is a divine book, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى through the Angel Gabriel. 

The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in parts. It was completed in 23 years. It started with the first verses revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in a cave on Mount Hira, near Makkah, Saudi Arabia. This was, in fact, a very special occasion. 

It was the beginning of the revelation of the Qur’an as well as the Prophethood of Muhammad ﷺ. The Quran is in Arabic whereas the Muslims belong to almost every part of the world.

The majority of Muslims outside the Arab Countries don’t understand Arabic. Hence it is difficult for them to recite the Quran correctly.

There are certain symbols and signs to make it easy for Muslims to recite the Qur’an correctly. These symbols provide the guidelines to recite the Qur’an in its true sense. 

Brief Facts About Qur’an

Before we understand the meaning and purpose of various symbols in the Qur’an, let’s quickly look at some important facts about it:

  • Qur’an comprises 30 parts known as Juz (Arabic) or Spara (Urdu).
  • There are 114 chapters in Qur’an. These are commonly known as Suras (Arabic).
  • The first sura is Al-Fatiha whereas the last one is An-Nas.
  • There are around 6616 verses in Quran.
  • The total number of words in the Quran is 77845.
  • The suras in Quran are differentiated into two categories, Makki and Madni. The ones revealed during Prophet’s stay in Mecca are called Makki. The suras revealed to him in Medina are known as Madni.
  • The total number of Makki surahs is 89 whereas 25 surahs are categorized as Madni.
  • Surahs are further divided into Rukus. Total Rukus is 558.
  • The number of words varies in each Sura. Accordingly, the largest Sura in Quran is Al-Baqara and the shortest is Al-Kausar.
  • Surah Al-Fatiha is also called the “Mother of the Quran.”
  • Surah Yaseen is known as the “Heart of the Quran”
  • Surah Al-Rehman is also called the “Beauty of the Quran”

Importance Of Symbols And Signs In The Quran

Quran was revealed in Arabic. This was the native language of the people living in Makkah and Medina. So, it was easy for them to understand and recite it correctly, as was taught to them directly by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

In the 22nd verse of Surah Al-Qamar of Quran, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى says, وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍۢ

Translation:

“And We have certainly made the Quran easy to remember. So is there anyone who will be mindful?”

In the 97th verse of Sura Al-Mariyam, it is said, فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَـٰهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنذِرَ بِهِۦ قَوْمًۭا لُّدًّۭا  

Translation:

“Indeed, We have made this ˹Quran˺ easy in your own language ˹O Prophet˺ so with it you may give good news to the righteous and warn those who are contentious.”

However, over the years, Islam and Qur’an spread throughout the world, most non-Arabic. Hence, they couldn’t read it with “Tajweed.” Simply put, Tajweed is a set of instructions and rules that guide us to recite the Quran perfectly.

Apart from it, recitation of the Qur’an also depends on stopping or continuation at certain points in a verse. Wrong stoppage or continuation may lead to entirely different meanings of that verse. To avoid such a mistake, various symbols are added to the Quran. 

These symbols guide the reader on where to stop and where not to. Other symbols have different meanings and purposes. But the main purpose of all these symbols is to facilitate the reciter. 

Hence, for the flawless recitation of the Qur’an, one has to understand the concept of Tajweed and the symbols added at different points of the Qur’an. 

Understanding Symbols In Qur’an

Symbols in Quran help us read it with ease and without mistakes. Here’s a list of these symbols with their purpose and meaning. 

  • End of a verse sign ⃝ – A verse of the Qur’an is like a sentence. Those who don’t have the complete knowledge of Arabic, may not be able to understand where a verse ends. The sign is added to make it easier to understand, indicating that the verse ends here.
  • Sajdah symbol – This symbol appears in 14 different places. The reader and the listener must perform prostration (Sajdah) at these points. It is just like the sajdah performed during the five compulsory prayers daily.
  • Don’t stop symbol زThis sign is called “waqf-e-mujawwaz,” an optional pause. This symbol guides the reciter that he should not stop or pause here, rather he should continue reading. But if he wants to pause here, he is allowed to do so.
  • You can take a pause صIt is a sign where the reader may take a pause. It is also known as “waqf-e-murakhas.” Though the reader can stop here if he is tired, it is highly recommended to keep reading without taking a break here.
  • Permission to Stop جIt is known as “waqf-e-Jaiz,” which means the reader is advised to stop here. It indicates that the subject matter under reference in this verse concludes here, so the reader should stop here. However, if he wants and can continue, he can do so without stopping here. But it is recommended that he must stop here.
  • Must stop مـThis symbol commands the reader to stop here. Hence it is also called “waqf-e-lazim,” which means to stop must. So, the reader must take a pause here. Not doing so will be a big mistake, as it will change the meaning of the verse. So, wherever you come across this sign in Quran, you must pause briefly and then read the next verse.
  • Take a definite pause طAlso known as “waqf-e-mutlaq,” an absolute pause. It is provided in very long verses at the appropriate point to facilitate the reading. Here the reader should pause for a while so he can keep on reading further without difficulty.
  • No need to stop صليThis indicates that the reader needs not stop or pause here.
  • Don’t stop قThis symbol guides the reader that he should not pause here and must continue reading.
  • Keep on reading لاThis sign commands you not to take a pause. You will see this sign either at the end of a verse or in between. You can pause if necessary if it is at the end of a verse. But if it is between a verse, you must not stop, as it will result in the wrong meaning of the verse. Another similar symbol is ك. It has the same command as لا.
  • Embracing Symbol ∴ – It is also known as “muanqah,” which means “embracing.” It appears in a verse at two different places. You can pause either of the two. But cannot pause both or continue reading without pausing at one of them.
  • The Prophet’s pause وقف النبیThis sign appears in Quran where the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to take a pause. So, it is a highly recommended act.
  • Stop to Supplicate وقف غفرانAs its meaning suggests, “waqf-e-ghufran” means that both the reciter and the listener need to take a pause here for supplication.
  • Pause of the Angel Gabriel وقف منزلThis sign indicates the pause taken by the Angel Gabriel while revealing Quran to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Conclusion

Qur’an is a sacred divine book in Islam, which was revealed on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. It was revealed in Arabic, the native language of the people of Makkah and Medina. However, Islam reached out to almost every part of the world, most of whom don’t speak and understand Arabic. 

Various symbols and signs are added to the required points to make it easy to understand how to recite the Qur’an. These symbols facilitate the reader in errorless reading of the Qur’an. Mostly these symbols indicate where the reader can take a pause. 

Some symbols command that the reader must not pause at this point. It is very important to understand these symbols and follow them strictly. Any mistake in observing these symbols may result in a change in the meanings of the verses. 

So, try to understand and learn how to observe these symbols for flawless reading of the Qur’an.

Author Bio:

Rafia Tahir is a Qur’an scholar and an Islamic blogger, dedicated to sharing the message of Islam. Her work enlightens and connects, making Islamic teachings accessible to a wide audience. She occasionally writes articles for Muslim And Quran.

Main image credit – RDNE, pexels.

British Muslim Magazine

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