Full break down of Tajweed.
Tajweed relates to the correct recitation of the Qurán.
Many hadiths mention that the Qur’an was revealed in seven ahruf. All scholars of Hadith cited these hadiths, including, al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmithi, al-Nasa‘i and Abu dawūd to name but a few. Some of these hadiths is Mutawátir. (A mutawátir hadith is one that is reported by a large number of narrators in every stage of the chain, so much so that they could not all be mistaken or agree upon a lie) Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti lists twenty-one companions who narrated that the Qur'an was revealed in seven ahruf. Some of these hadiths are below:
1-'Umar ibn al-Khattáb said: “I heard Hisham ibn Hakim reciting Surat Al-Furqan during the lifetime of the Allah’s Messenger, and I listened to his recitation and noticed that he recited in several different ways which Allah’s Messenger had not taught me. I was about to jump over him during his prayer, but I controlled my temper, and when he had completed his prayer, I put his upper garment around his neck and seized him by it and said: “Who taught you this Surat which I heard you reciting?” He replied: “Allah’s Messenger taught it to me”. I said: “You have told a lie; for Allah’s Messenger taught it to me in a different way from yours”. So I dragged him to the Messenger of Allah and said: “I heard this person reciting Surat al-Furqan in a way which you haven’t taught me!” Then the Messenger of Allah said: “Release him! Recite, O Hisham”. Then he recited in the same way as I heard him reciting. Then Allah’s Messenger said: “It was revealed in this way”. Then he said: Recite O ‘Umar. I then recited it as he had taught me. Allah’s Messenger said: “It was revealed in this way. This Qur’an has been revealed to be recited in seven different ways (ahruf), so recite of it whichever is easier for you.”
2-Ubayy ibn Ka‘ab narrates that once the Prophet (PBUH) met Jibrîl, and said: “O Jibrîl! I have been sent to an illiterate nation. Among them are old and young men and women, and those who have never read any writing!” Jibrîl answered him, “O Muhammad, the Qur'an has been revealed in seven ahruf!” 3- Ubayy ibn Ka‘ab also heard two people reciting the Qur'an in a manner different from what he had learnt. After some discussion, both parties went to the Prophet (PBUH) and recited the same portion to him. He (PBUH) approved of both parties’ recitations. At this point, Ubayy narrates: “…there occurred in my mind a sort of denial and doubt that did not exist even in the time of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era)! When the Messenger (PBUH) saw how I was affected, he struck my chest, whereupon I started sweating, and felt as though I were looking at Allah in fear! Then the Prophet (PBUH) said: O Ubayy! A message was sent to me to recite the Qur'an in one harf, but I requested (Allah) to make things easy on my nation. A second message came that I should recite the Qur'an in two ahruf, but I again made the same request. I was then ordered to recite the Qur'an in seven ahruf.
4-Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Jibrîl recited the Qur'an to me in one harf, and I recited it back to him, but I requested him to increase (the number of ahruf) and he continued to increase it for me, until we stopped at seven ahruf.” ibn Shihab al-Zuhri , one of the narrators of the hadith, said: “It has reached me that these seven ahruf are essentially one (in meaning), they do not differ about what is permitted or forbidden.”
5-Ubayy ibn Ka'ab reported that the Prophet (PBUH) was once on the outskirts of Madinah (near the tribe of Banu Ghifar) when Jibrîl came to him and said: “Allah has commanded you recite the Qur'an to your people in one harf”. The Prophet (PBUH) replied: “I ask Allah's pardon and forgiveness! My people are not capable of doing this!” Jibrîl then came again and said: “Allah has commanded you to recite the Qur'an to your people in two ahruf.” The Prophet (PBUH) again replied” “I ask Allah's pardon and forgiveness! My people are not capable of doing this!" Jibrîl then came a third time and said: "Allah has commanded you to recite the Qur'an to your people in three ahruf." The Prophet (PBUH) replied for a third time: "I ask Allah's pardon and forgiveness! My people are not capable of doing this!" At last, Jibrîl came for the fourth time, and said: "Allah has commanded you to recite the Qur'an to your people in seven ahruf, and in whichever harf they recite, they would be right.
6- Abu Baqarah narrated that Jibrîl said to the Prophet (PBUH) “O Muhammad, recite the Qur’an in one harf”. Mika’îl said to the Prophet ask him to increase number, then till the number reached seven, then he said: each of these ahruf is sufficient unless you mix a verse of punishment with a verse of rewards and vice versa. Such as: ta‘ál, aqbil, halumma, asri‘ and ‘ajjil. All these words mean the same meaning (come)
7- Abu Huraiyrah narrates: The Messenger of Allah said: "The Qur'an was sent down in seven ahruf. Disputation concerning the Qur'an is unbelief" - he said this three times - "and you should put into practice what you know of it, and leave what you do not know of it to someone who does."
These are the seven main hadiths; the most important of them is the first hadith, which is narrated by Umar.
Collective comments on these hadiths (in summarised form) are:
The differences in the ahruf were minor
The differences were in some words but the meaning was intact ie the same
The seven ahruf are essentially one (in meaning), they do not differ about what is permitted or forbidden
The Prophet (PBUH) himself used to teach the variant ahruf to different companions, depending on the condition and situation of that companion (the Prophet (PBUH) chose the particular harf to recite to a companion depending on which one would be the easiest for that particular companion to memorise).
These narrations reveal that the Prophet (PBUH) did not teach all the ahruf to all the companions, (The cause for Ubayy's doubt as told by 'Umar ibn al-Khattáb was the fact that he was unaware of these ahruf. The same happened with Umar where he wanted to grab Hisham during his prayer).
These narrations reveal that the Prophet (PBUH) requested the number of ahruf to be increased in order to make the memorisation and recitation of the Qur’an easier for companions who came from different tribes or have different educational levels. Some scholars state that the ahruf were to ease the recitation. Indeed! These ahruf were a blessing and mercy for this Ummah.
Every harf is complete reading in itself. And everyone should choose the easiest to him as the Prophet (PBUH) ordered Umar and Hisham: “recite whichever one is easy for you”.
In the 5th hadith, Ubayy narrates “the Prophet (PBUH) was once on the outskirts of Madinah (near the tribe of Banu Ghifar) when Jibrîl came to him….” This indicates that the revelation of the Qur'an in seven ahruf started in Madinah, after the hijrah, and it is well known that the different tribes accepted Islam after hijrah to Al-Madinah, but in Mecca, most Muslims were from one tribe (Quraysh). This suggests that the Qur’an was revealed in one harf (Quraysh’s harf) in Mecca, and seven ahruf in al-Madinah. So we can say Quraysh’s harf was the original harf in which the Qur’an was revealed in, but after many tribes accepted islam after hijrah, it was difficult to those tribes to read the Qur’an in Quraysh’s harf, so the Prophet (PBUH) asked allah to allow those tribes to read the Qur’an in their own dialects, otherwise it was very difficult to them to recite in Quraysh’s dialect.
We should consider these variant readings as mercy and facilitation not a source of dispute.
Tajweed means to recite the whole of the quran, correctly, as it ought to be pronounced and read.
see Muslim kid school for learning the basics of arabic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM2npmuppYw
see youtube for more videos on tajweed, and you could buy or read a tajweed quran to make it easier for you: http://www.zikr.co.uk/content/view/112/180/ http://www.islamicbulletin.org/services/details.aspx?id=260
here is a tajweed rule book: http://www.loveforquran.com/images/TAJWEED-BOOK-FINAL-(red)_21281171800.pdf