Should I Repent for Stopping on the Wrong Words during Quranic Recitation?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am not an Arabic speaker. I recently learned that I should not stop in the middle of a verse, but I had developed a habit of stopping on certain words during my memorization. Out of habit, I paused in the middle of a verse on a word, and I wasn’t sure if this was appropriate.

Despite this, I continued. I realized later that I should not have stopped there. Am I sinful for stopping despite not being sure if this was correct and not rectifying my mistake?

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for continuously striving to recite and memorize the book of Allah, no doubt, you will find everything that you desire within it.

Repentance

It was potentially sinful to have stopped on a word that changed the meaning. You should repent for any possible past sins and not worry any further. Your intention was good, and you are currently still learning. Please be sure to enroll in a tajweed course, or at least to imitate commonly-known accomplished Quran reciters. The only way to learn the Quran is through a teacher. I used to follow Shaykh Khalil al-Husary, who had a slow recitation recording of the Quran and a moderate-speed recording as well.

Please see this link about when to stop when reciting the Quran:
Rules Regarding Waqf (Signs of Stopping) the Quran

Please see this as well:
Keys to the Quran: Imam Ghazali’s Proper Manners of Reciting the Quran Explained
Does one need to repeat the Isti’adha if they stopped recitation to make du’a?

Dua

I recommend that you recite the last three verses of Surah Baqara from the Quran daily before you go to bed, as I was advised by my teacher. The last verse reads, “Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford. All good will be for its own benefit, and all evil will be to its own loss. (The believers pray,) ‘Our Lord! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord! Do not place a burden on us like the one you placed on those before us. Our Lord! Do not burden us with what we cannot bear. Pardon us, forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are our ˹only˺ Guardian. So grant us victory over the disbelieving people.’” [Quran, 2:286]

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.