I would like to ask about the Mus-haf al-Tajweed that has coloured letters to help the reader pronounce the letters correctly. Are the colours, squares and spaces indicating pauses contained in this Mus-haf regarded as innovations or not?.
After examining the Mus-haf al-Tajweed with coloured letters, it is clear that there is nothing wrong with using these colours, rather it makes it easier to learn tajweed, for those who are not able to learn directly from experts.
The Dar al-Ma’rifah (publisher’s) website has published a copy of the approval of the Islamic Research Council in al-Azhar of this Mus-haf in which different colours are used; it also cites the approval of the senior scholar of Qur’aan in Syria, Shaykh Muhammad Kareem Raajih, and the approval of Shaykh Dr. Wahbah al-Zuhayli. This is the text of what it says on the site:
With regard to this work of ours, the senior scholar of Qur’aan in Syria, Shaykh Muhammad Kareem Raajih stated on 21 Safar 1412 AH that this work “is acceptable and even it is of no benefit then it does not cause any harm, moreover it serves as a reminder and indication of the rules of tajweed, but it does not do away with the importance of learning tajweed directly from the mouths of the shaykhs.” At the same time, Shaykh al-Qaari’ Muhiy al-Deen al-Kurdi stated on 18 Safar 1415 AH that “those who away from educational circles and elderly people may benefit from this work, because they cannot learn directly.” Professor Wahbat al-Zuhayli, a member of the Islamic Fiqh Council in Jeddah and the President of the Faculty of Islamic Fiqh and Madhhabs at the University of Damascus stated on 18 Muharram 1415AH: “Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And We have indeed made the Qur’aan easy to understand and remember; then is there any one who will remember (or receive admonition)?’ [al-Qamar 54:17]. This clearly indicates that everything that makes it easy to recite Qur’aan, which we are required in Islam to study it, understand its meanings and act in accordance with what it says, is a must according to sharee’ah for those who study knowledge, fiqh and the tafseer of the Book of Allaah. As reciting the Qur’aan in the manner that is known in the science of tajweed is obligatory, then every means that makes it easy for the reader to learn the rulings on tajweed and follow them when reciting is something that is permissible according to sharee’ah, whether it is letters printed in one colour or several colours. The good reading is that which imprints the letters in the mind, and this printing of the Holy Qur’aan in different colours makes it easy to read the Qur’aan, and establishes the rulings in the mind, so it is a contemporary means that is to be encouraged and it does not contradict the way in which Qur’aan was traditionally transmitted to us and the traditional way of writing it. May Allaah help Dar al-Ma’rifah with this blessed work. End quote.
A copy of the approval of the Islamic Research Council at al-Azhar may be seen by clicking on this link:
There is no way that these colours can be ruled to be an innovation, because the scholars of Qur’aan at the time of the Taabi’een introduced dots and vowels in the Mus-haf and wrote the dots and vowels in red.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The Sahaabah did not write dots and vowels in the Mus-hafs because they were Arabs who did not make mistakes in pronouncing the words, so they did not need the dots. A single word could be read in two ways, with a ya’ or a ta’, such as ya’maloon (يعملون) and ta’maloon (تعملون), which they would read in only one way because they knew that the other was not correct.
But at the time of the Taabi’een, when it become common for people to mispronounce words, some of the Taabi’een added vowels and dots to the Mus-haf, and they wrote them in red. They wrote the fathah as a red dot above the letter, and the kasrah as a red dot below the letter, and the dammah as a red dot before the letter. Then they expanded the red dots and they denoted the shaddah by writing “shadd” and the maddah by writing “madd”. They made the sign for the hamzah look like the letter ‘ayn, because the hamzah is the sister of the ‘ayn. Then they abbreviated them and made the sign for the shaddah look like the main part of the letter seen, and the sign for the maddah an abbreviated sign, as those who keep records may abbreviate numbers etc, and as the scholars of hadeeth abbreviated words such as akhbarana (he informed us) and haddathana (he narrated to us) by writing the first and last part of the word in the forms ana (أنا) and thana(ثنا) .
The scholars disputed as to whether it was makrooh or not to add vowels and dots to the Mus-haf and there are two well known views, both of which were narrated from Ahmad, but there was no dispute concerning the fact that if there are vowels and dots in a Mus-haf, they must be respected just as the letters are respected. End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (12/101).
Shaykh Dr. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Muhammad al-Mutlaq (may Allaah preserve him) said: The following things were not originally part of the ‘Uthmaani text:
1 – The dots by means of which letters are distinguished, for they were added to the Arabic letters at the time of the Taabi’een. Before that the letters were written without dots. Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthmaan ibn Sa’eed al-Daani (d. 444 AH) said: Chapter on the first ones among the Taabi’een to add dots to the Mus-hafs, and those who regarded it as makrooh and those among the scholars who granted concessions allowing that: the reports we have vary as to who was the first to add dots to the Mus-haf among the Taabi’een, but we think that the first one who did that was Abu’l-Aswad al-Du’ali.
We narrated that Ibn Sireen had a Mus-haf to which dots had been added by Yahya ibn Ya’mar, and that Yahya was the first one to add dots to it. [Kitaab al-Naqd, printed alongside al-Maqna’ fi Ma’rifat Arsoom Masaahif Ahl al-Amsaar, p. 129].
2 – Vowels and tanween – the first one to add them was Abu’l-Aswad al-Du’ali, and they were dots. That was because he wanted to write Arabic in such a way that the people would correct the mistakes that they had started to make in their speech, as that had become common among the elite and the common folk. So he brought someone to hold the Mus-haf, and he brought ink of a different colour, and he said to the one who was holding the Mus-haf for him: If I open my mouth then put the dot above the letter, and if I stretch my mouth then put the dot beneath the letter, if I purse my lips then put the dot before the letter, and if I follow these letters with ghunnah (i.e., tanween), then put two dots, until I reach the end of the Mus-haf. And it was said that the first one who did that was Nasr ibn ‘Aasim al-Laythi. [Kitaab al-Naqd, printed alongside al-Maqna’ fi Ma’rifat Arsoom Masaahif Ahl al-Amsaar, p. 129].
Then al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad developed that when he invented vowel signs derived from the letters. [al-Itqaan fi ‘Uloom al-Qur’aan, p. 219].
3 – Hamzah, shaddah, rawm and ishmaam. The first one who introduced these was al-Khaleel ibn Ahmad al-Faraaheedi.
4 – Signs of tajweed and signs of al-wasl (joining) and al-waqf (pausing). These did not exist in the ‘Uthmaani text, rather they were developed later on in ‘ilm al-tajweed. End quote from Kitaabat al-Qur’aan il-Kareem bi Khatt Braille lil-Makfoofeen, published in Majallat al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah (66/337).
And Allaah knows best.