Assalmu alaikum wa rahma tullahi wabarakat, my question is about pronunciation of arabic letters. Ever since I was a child I was always taught to pronounce the letter “thaa” as “saa”, the letter “dhaal” as “zaal” and the letter “daad” as “zaad” I have heard some scholars say that this is incorrect as it alters the meaning, while others like my Mufti say it is fine. I wanted to know if I can continue to read like this or if I need to change my pronunciation of these letters. I have memorized all my surahs with this pronouciation and have been reading like this for over 10 years, and am finding it hard to go back and memorize them all again. Jazakallah.
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving.
All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad.
Arabic letters have their own pronunciation including the places and manners of articulation. Although classical Arabic is no longer spoken and colloquial dialects have spoiled the pronunciation of many Arabic letter, the recitation of the Quran stands unique regarding its strict observation of classical phonetic rules in addition to other rules – known as the rules of Tajweed. Allah says in the Quran what means, “And recite the Quran with a measured recitation.” (Al-Muzzammil 73:4)
Mispronunciation of Arabic letters produces different ones and often results in different words; that is why this is utterly prohibited when reciting the Quran.
Learning the correct pronunciation of Arabic letters is not as difficult as you think. It may take you some effort in the beginning, but you will get reward for that and with time your tongue will get accustomed. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “One who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an is associated with the noble, upright, angelic messengers; and he who falters in it and finds it difficult for him will have two rewards.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Allah knows best.
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