What Are the Waqf Rules in Quran (Rules of Stopping)?

Waqf Rules

The Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad over a period of approximately 23 years by Angel Jibreel. In order to recite this Highly Revered Scripture correctly, every reader must take into account the Divine Language of the Holy Quran. 

What is the meaning, purpose, or importance of the signs or symbols above some words? Are there any rules governing when to stop, pause, cut-off, or start? For better recitation of the Quran, we should know the rules for stopping (Waqf Rules in Quran) and all the different types of Waqf in Quran.

When to Stop in Quran

The first step is to understand what is waqf in Islam before discussing the rules of stopping when reading the Quran. As a linguistic concept, Waqf means stopping. According to its applied definition: The meaning of waqf in quran involves cutting off the sound at the end of a word, usually halfway through a recitation, with the intention of returning to it afterward, not to finish it. It can be placed at the end of an Ayah or even in the middle. But it can never occur in the middle of the word. 

Waqf rules: Importance when reading the Quran

Reading the Quran with Tajweed and following the rules of stopping has a multitude of benefits. It is vital to know where to start and where to stop when reading the Quran to avoid making fatal pronunciation mistakes or changing the entire meaning. In order to ensure that the Ummah understood all the Tajweed waqf rules, our righteous predecessors took great care when teaching them to the Ummah. 

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad PBUH strongly encouraged us to give the Quran ita due effort and respect saying: “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Quran and teach it” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Quran Waqf Rules: Types of Waqf (Stops)

In addition to Meem Sakinah rules, Laam Sakinah rules, Laam Shamsiya rules, Qamariya rules, and other basic Tajweed rules, scholars have put in place symbols and rules to help the reciter stop on the correct meaning when reading Quran, which are mentioned earlier. The point where a sentence begins or ends is classified as either permissible, prohibited, or unsuitable according to whether it leads to a complete and correct sentence. Here are the rules for Quranic symbols, even in the Urdu Mushafs:

Quran Stopping (Waqf) Signs

Some of these symbols and indicators of the Sacred Manuscript are:

⃝ –  The Conclusion of Verse

The “Waqf e Taam” marks the finish of a specific verse in Furqan e Hameed. In Arabic, this is known as the “Perfect Stop”. It represents a circle at the end of a Quranic line. The reciter must take a breath here before continuing reading. Additionally, the verse shows that the message has been delivered completely in that sentence, so the narrator should review the verse, grasp its meaning and prepare for the following lines.

مـ – The Compulsory Stop

Waqf e Laazim, which means to do so at any cost, binds the reader to stop reading at this point. If one does not pause here, the entire meaning of this sentence will change drastically.

 ط –  The Absolute Pause

“Waqf e Mutlaq” is a stop sign that indicates to the reader to take a break and discontinue reciting a long passage for an instantaneous period. By fully grasping the meaning of the text that you have already read, it makes the reading process easier.

ج –  The Permissible Stop

““Waqf e Jaaiz” indicates that the matter discussed in that fragment of the Ayah has been completed, which means one must stop here, even though it is not mandatory, so that the meaning discussed in the previous part may be absorbed, and the reader can prepare to learn about new matter in the following section.

ز  –  Continue Reading

In the case of “Waqf e Mujawwaz,” there is no need to pause during recital, although stopping is not forbidden.

ص – The Licensed Pause

“ Waqf e Murakh-khas” allows the reader to take a break if he or she becomes tired, but it is highly advisable to continue reading in any case.

صلي– Preference for Continuation

“Al-wasl Awlaa” means to recite the verses continuously without stopping.

ق –  Better not to Stop

“Qeela ‘Alayhil-Waqf’ means don’t stop reciting the verses, although there are differing opinions on whether to stop.

 صل – The Permissible Pause

“Qad Yusal” specifies that it is permissible to continue reading although one should stop here.

 قف – The Anticipation Mark

The word “Qif” appears on the stop sign when a pause might be appropriate.

 س – The Silence Symbol

“Saktah” is a sign that asks the reader to take a short pause before continuing to read.

وقفتہ  – The Long Pause

“ Waqfah” is a longer break than Saktah with the same gist of not stopping to catch one’s breath.

 لا – No Need of Stopping

If “Laa” is used at the end of ayah with a circle mark of conclusion, one should continue reading the verses rather than stop reading them at this sign of “Laa” since it would change the meaning of Quranic lines altogether.

ك – Similar Meaning as Previous Sign

“kadhaalik” or “like that” implies the same action implied by the preceding symbol.

∴ – The Embracing Stop

“Mu’aanaqah” is a sign that signifies to stop at any of the multiples in it, without discontinuing simultaneously.

وقف النبی – Prophet Muhammad PBUH’s Pause

“ The Waqf-un-Nabi shows those parts of the Quran in which the Messenger of God stopped and paused.

وقف غفران – The Sign of Supplication

“Waqf e Ghufraan” indicates a place where the recite should stop for a prayer before Allah SWT.

وقف منزل – Jibrael A.S.’s Pause Sign

“The Waqf e Manzil sign indicates that the Angel, Jibrael, stopped and took a pause when revealing the Quranic Instructions over the Holy Prophetﷺ.

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These are the signs and symbols in the Holy Quran that have special significance.

Note: Some scholars consider a particular stop in a grammatical sentence to be good, some consider it sufficient, and still others consider it complete. This depends on how the grammatical sentence is constructed. 

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