Before we dive into the practice and comprehension of the Meem Sakinah rules, qualities, and letters to remember, it is also recommended to revise the rules of Noon Sakinah and Tanween, since they are also crucial.
Allah’s expression, not His creation, is the noble Quran. It is a twenty-three-year-old guided scripture revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The only book in which reciting it is both a form of worship and a source of reward. There is no other book or speech that fits this description. The Quran is a unique text that has been mastered by thousands of people, memorized within the realms of hearts.
As quoted by the Apostle of Allah (PBUH), the benefits for reading Quranic Scriptures turns out to be: Abu Musa al-Ash’ari reported: the Apostle of Allah (PBUH) said, “A believer who recites the Qur’an is like a citron whose fragrance is sweet and whose taste is sweet” (Mishkat Al-Masabih)
When does the scent, the Quranic sweetness inculcate in your soul? The time when the Quran is recited in its entirety, with a set of rules of reading, for the proper pronunciation of the letters with all of their qualities and the application of different traditional recitation modes (Qira’at).
Every Muslim is expected to recite the Quran correctly to the best of his ability; with pace to appreciate the charisma of the scriptures – being of holy nature – and maximum clarity. Moving on to the recital, we will study all the Meem Sakinah rules to the best of our abilities.
When the Meem “م” carries a Sukoon while stopping on it or proceeding with the Ayah. The mouth, specifically the lips, create the sound Meem when closed on top of each other. Hence, the Meen Sakinah rules are known as “Shafawiyah” meaning “from the lips,” which is narrated as “شفتين” in Arabic.
Before we clarify the 3 Meem Sakinah rules, check this inspiring story to know how to learn Tajweed of Quran and apply its rules when reciting the Holy Quran.
The rules of silent Meem are three in number, and they are easy to remember because they correspond to the actual number of alphabets in the letter “م” when written in an open format “ميم”.
These Meem Sakinah rules are as follows:
The first one of all the Meem Sakinah rules is the Idgham Shafawi, which means the labial merging from one letter into the other.
Like all the rules of reading Quran with Tajweed, the rule prevails when different types of words occur after the mentioned letter Meem. When a non-voweled meem is preceded by a voweled Meem, the Meem Sakinah is merged into the voweled meem, resulting in one stressed meem (Meem with Shaddah)”.
Idghaam Shafawi letters include only the letter Meem, which can be identified in the examples below:
This Idgham is also known as Idgham Mithlain Sagheer because the two letters, one silent and the other with Harakah, have the same Makhraj and Sifah, which means Mithlain -“similar to each other”, and the word Sagheer emphasizes their states, as the first letter is not voweled and the latter is.
Food for thought: Notice how the vowelless meem succumbs to the Meem with the Harakah in the other letter. Regardless of the fact that they are both the same, they have different Sifah (attribute) on their own. But, when they become one and align, making contact with each other and holding it tight, a sound known as “Gunnah” (nasal sound) is made, while also providing a base for the first meem to attach to other, and providing a voice.
The second rule of Meem Sakinah rules is Ikhfa which refers to concealing the labial movement of the Meem pronouncement, which occurs when the Meem Sakinah is preceded by “ب”, resulting in the closure of the lips during the recitation of the Meem Sakinah, prolonging it with a Gunnah – and opening it as a transitional note for pronouncing ‘ba’.
Following is one of the Ikhfa Shafawi examples in Quran with illustrations for Meem Sakinah.
After reading different examples of Ikhfa in Quran, here comes an important question: How many Ikhfa letters can you count on? It is just a single letter “ب”, making it simple for the reader to remember and read. When reciting from the Mushaf al Misri, the letters are marked with an eloquent green color, indicating the existence of Ikhfa Shafawi and allowing the Gunnah to be executed on two counts.
Consider the following while reciting for Ikhfa Shafawi: Each alphabet in Arabic has an origin for pronouncement, the source of articulation, as a result of which all alphabets are divided into different parts based on their Makharij (points of articulation). The alphabet ba’ is located at the edge of the lips, making it a companion to other alphabets such as waw and fa’ – the points of articulation are the same, making the Sifah simple to mix with.
Thus, when making signified Gunnah in Ikhfa Shafawi, one should be careful not to combine the sounds of Fa and Waw into Meem, as these are Izhaar Shafawi alphabets that need clarification when reading.
Izhaar Shafawi, our next topic of discussion, will help you organize your thoughts for the following note.
Izhaar Shafawi meaning – the interpretation contributes to an understanding of the concept, as an alphabet can be recited with stress on its own (Idgham), blending with other voices (Ikhfa), or clarification on its own basis, as is the case in Izhaar – which means to clearly enunciate the word without mingling the voice with any other voweled or silent letters.
Paying attention to the letter listed in the two rules mentioned above, it would be a simple grasp to understand how the Izhaar operates on all the other letters other than Meem and Ba, which remain to be 26 letters when occurring after the silent Meem, would have no effect, no Gunnah or nasal sound to be made, and all to be uttered with clarity and conciseness.
Following are some Izhar Shafawi examples from Quran:
To sum up, the benefits of learning Tajweed and applying it are numerous and we should all make it a top priority to become amongst the best of the Muslim Ummah.
There are 3 different Meem Sakinah rules to apply:
Now that we have clarified the Meem Sakinah rules as well as different examples of Ikhfa, Idgham, and Izhar, here is a short rundown of the article’s main takeaways, broken down into digestible chunks:
May we help our souls by reciting the Quran every day to remember its teachings and instill the right values in our lives! Help yourself learn the Meem Sakinah rules through one-on-one instruction from acclaimed and trusted platforms and enroll in our Special Tajweed Classes to get two free trials now!
Best wishes on your path to eternal benediction!