Recently a short video clip was shown to the Caliph of an African cleric teaching the holy Quran to adults and beating them pitilessly on making minor mistakes. Someone whose language is not Arabic and is of an older age 17 to 18, or perhaps older, cannot pronounce each letter accurately like a person who has been trained to recite the holy Quran (called qari). It is because of such attitudes that people shy away from reading the holy Quran and many non-Arab Muslims do not know how to read it.The holy Quran should of course be taught to foster its love and eagerness to read.
Recently a Japanese lady who lives in the UK and accepted Islam some time ago came to meet the Caliph. She said that with the grace of God she finished her first reading of the holy Quran in three years and wished to read it to the Caliph. She read Ayatul Kursi in a most moving manner.
Indeed, the main thing is love for the holy Quran and reading it in a moving way. Simply making guttural sounds for pretence like a qari is not the objective. God commands to read the holy Quran slowly, thoughtfully and with one's best pronunciation. It is not easy to enunciate the Quran like Arabs, some Arabic letters cannot be pronounced with pin-point accuracy by non-Arabs unless they are raised among Arabs. Indeed, the Japanese lady could not pronounce some letters precisely. Listening to her gave the impression that it must be quite difficult for quite a few, if not all, Japanese people to articulate some Arabic letters.
The main thing is love for the Word of God and not affected recitation like a qari. No qari or Arab can be a match for the loving grace of God and His Messengersa had for Hazrat Bilalra owing to the fact that he could not pronounce some Arabic letters.
People from other religions are coming in the community and a large number of Muslims do not know how to read the holy Quran. Many of our missionaries are faced with this fact in Africa. Teachers of the holy Quran should teach it in a manner that instills it love and eagerness to learn it. May God reward the Pakistani lady who not only taught the Japanese lady to read the holy Quran but instilled its love in her!
The main objective is not to recite the Quran like a qari; of course it is important to continue to read the Quran in an improved way but it is not right to simply stop reading it just because we cannot pronounce some letters. What we should do is attempt to make our pronunciation as close as possible to the original and continue to improve ourselves.
The second Caliphra said that it is not right to attempt to pronounce each word of the Quran like a qari because God has not given us the capacity to do so. He said his late wife Umme Tahir's father was very keen about teaching of holy Quran and had kept tutors for his children for the purpose. These tutors were very harsh and would beat the chi
ldren a lot when mistakes were made. They would insert twigs between the children's fingers and put pressure on them for their mispronunciation.
As related in last Friday sermon once an Arab came to meet the Promised Messiahas and on hearing him pronounce an Arabic letter in a Punjabi accent he said (God forbid) how could he be the Promised Messiah when he could not even pronounce the letter? This was indeed most impertinent of the Arab. Every country has its own accent. The Second Caliphra said that Indians pronounced the Arabic letter ض in two ways whereas its pronunciation was different. Since Arabs themselves say that only they can pronounce the letter ض , what room is there then to criticise others?
- Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Friday Sermon 31 July 2015 as summarised by alislam.org