The Rules of Stopping (Waqf)

Definition

‘To stop on the last letter of a complete word, which is disconnected from the word after it, and giving the last letter a sukoon and by breaking the breath, then taking a new breath to read the next word.’

(Jami-ul-waqaf)

  • The proper way to stop in a word is by putting a on the last letter of the word. If there is a harakah ( ) or tanween (
    ) on the last letter of a word before a stop, that letter is made into a sukoon

E.g

(112:1) will be read as

The last word will be read ‘ahad’ and not ‘ahadun’

E.g

(78:16)

will be read as

Will be read ‘al faa faa’ and not ‘al faa fan’

  • If the last letter is a ‘taa marbutah’ (), it is read as ‘ha’
    ()

E.g

(88:5)

will be read as

Will be read ‘aa-niah’ and not ‘aa-niatin’

  • If the last letter of a word contains a ‘hamzah’ (), the harakah on the hamzah is changed into a sukoon
    (), and the hamzah is read clearly.
    A common mistake when stopping at a hamzah is not to indicate the presence of the hamzah at all

E.g

(14:24)

will be read as
(7:156)

will be read as

 

  • If the last letter of a word contains a ‘tashdeed’ (), the mashaddad letter is changed into a saakin letter, BUT making sure the tashdeed is still read i.e. by spending more time on the letter (refer to

    Shaddah

    )

 

(111:1)

will be read as
  (but without the qalqalah)  
(78:39)

 
  (but without the qalqalah)  

Click 'here' to
view practice exercises for the rules of ending with Shaddah

NB remember to tighten / emphasize the saakin letter so to differentiate from an ordinary saakin letter

  • A waqf is only correct if breath is taken before reading the following word. To read the last letter as sukoon () and not to renew the breath is incorrect.
  • The opposite of waqf is known as ‘wasl’. Wasl means to join verses / sentences without stopping.
  • Different letters / symbols are placed to indicate compulsory stops, recommended stops, better to read on, and other such commands:

     


ۢ
The compulsory stop – we have to stop, wasl is prohibited
ۙ The prohibited stop – we can
not stop

ۖ
The good stop – it is better to continue, but stopping is allowed
ۗ The sufficient stop – it is better to stop
ۚ The quality stop – it is the
same to stop or continue
ۜ The subtle stop/pause – stop vocal sound for a brief time, without taking breath

۝ 
Necessary stop – denotes end of sentence
Stopping at either of the points but not at both

Click here to view a printable chart depicting the symbols of Waqf
(where to and where not to stop)

Click 'here' to
view practice exercises for the rules of Waqf

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