Quran Reading Rules

quran reading rules

Every field of knowledge has its own set of rules that need to be followed to ensure the proper practice of it. Similarly, reciting the Quran as it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad PBUH requires learning several recitation rules to maintain fluency in quran recitation and an accurate understanding of the verses.

The fundamental rules of Quranic recitation, understanding the various signs that indicate when to stop or pause, as well as when to continue reading, is integral to the proper and respectful engagement with the holy text.

These signs, rooted in the science of Tajweed, provide a nuanced approach to recitation, ensuring not only accurate pronunciation but also a deep comprehension of the verses. The signs to stop or pause include the end of the verse (۝), obligatory stop (مـ), complete pause (قلى), permissible stop (ج), permissible pause (صلى), anticipation mark (قف), silence symbol (س), longer pause (وقفة), and the embracing stop (∴ ∴).

Golden Rules of Quran Reading

These rules are concerned with the signs that you see while reciting the Quran which is used to guide your reading in online quran recitation course; to help you know when to take a long or short pause and when to continue reading. Here’s a detailed account of these signs along with examples:

1. Signs to Stop or Pause While Reading

Quran Reading Rules

1. The end of the verse ۝ 

Starting off with the easiest and clearest one; the stop sign at the end of a Quranic verse. This is a recommended pause that gives way to reflection and pondering over the meaning of the verse you have just read. It is called “Waqf e Taam”.

2. The Obligatory Stop مـ

The second sign (مـ) stands for an obligatory stop. As in the case of verse 36 in Surah Al-An’am, the sign (مـ) found on top of the word “يسمعون” and before “والموتى” guides the Qari to take a pause after the first one, otherwise, the meaning will be completely 


3. The Complete Pause قلى

This sign (قلى) is called “Waqf Kafi” and it indicates the choice that is given to the Qari whether to stop or continue but it is more prefered to stop.

An example of this pause is found in Surah Az-Zumar, verse 9 where it is permissible to stop or continue reciting after the word (لا يعلمون) without causing change in meaning, but it is recommended to stop.   

4. The Permissible Stop ج

Also known as  Waqf Ja’iz/ وقف جائز, this stop sign means that the Qari has the choice to stop or to continue his/her recitation without one being more preferred than the other. 

The verse (إلا ما شاء الله إنه) includes the sign of permissible stop in which you can stop or continue reciting after (الله).

5. The Permissible Pause صلى

This type of pause presents an optional stop while reciting the Quran. In this case which is also called Waqf Hassan, it is preferable to continue the recitation. An example of this pause is found between these two words in verse 17 of Surah Al-Fajr: (كلا بل).

6. The Anticipation Mark قف

This sign which has the word قف, meaning stop, as its symbol indicates a pause or a stop in a sentence that does not immediately appear to the Qari. 

7. The Silence Symbol س

While one of the purposes of the stopping signs in Quran is to allow the reader to catch their breath as they are reciting, whenever you come across this symbol, the situation is different. In this verse of Surah Al-Qalam, the reciter should briefly stop but not too long for him/her to be able to take a breath between the words (بل) and (ران).

8. The Longer Pause وقفة

If you look closely, you will be able to recognize some of the letters that were found earlier in the symbol for the Anticipation Mark. That is because the Arabic word “وقفة” is used to signal a longer pause in a sentence without completely obstructing its flow and one that doesn’t require taking a breath.

9. The Embracing Stop  ∴ ∴

The signs that have been mentioned so far are found in single form above certain words in Quran. On the other hand, this sign which is called the Embracing Stop or Mu’aanaqah is found twice as in the verse at the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah on top of the words (لا ريب) and (فيه). This means that the Qari can pause after the first word or after the second but not both. It is also allowed to continue reciting without stopping after either one.

2. Signs to Continue Reading

The function of the previously mentioned signs was to guide us as to when to stop or pause while reciting the Quran. However, the following signs serve the purpose of showing us when it is better to continue reciting:  

1. Continue Reading ز

When you come across the symbol “ز”, this stands for “waqf e mujawwaz”. As a result, it is recommended to continue reading without a pause. Nevertheless, it is also permissible to pause if required. 

2. The Licensed Pause ص

The Licensed Pause or “waqf e murakh-khas” is not used as freely as other kinds of pauses. It is specifically used in cases of exhaustion where a break is needed. This means that if this need is not found, the Qari should continue reciting.

3. No Need for Stopping لا

As the word لا means in Arabic no, this symbol signifies that the Qari shouldn’t pause or discontinue their recitation after this word because this puts the meaning of the verse at the risk of being changed. There are some examples of this symbol in the Quran, including verse 32 in Surah Al-Nahl in which the sign لا is found after the word (طيبين) which means that you shouldn’t stop after this word when you’re reciting.

3. Waqf-un-Nabi (The Pause of Prophet PBUH) 

Muslims are expected to follow the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH in their daily lives. Reciting the Quran is not an exception to this; therefore, Waqf-un-Nabi or the Pause of the Prophet is one that ought to be observed while reciting the Quran. While this pause doesn’t have a clear sign, it should be followed, such as at the end of (يا حسرة على العباد).

4. Waqf e Ghufraan(The Sign of Supplication) 

This is yet another example of pauses in the Quran following the Prophetic tradition because it corresponds with his manner of reciting the Quran. We are told to follow his path by engaging and reflecting over the meaning of the verses.Waqf e Ghufraan or the sign of supplication is an example of this interaction with the Quran because it asks the Qari to take a pause in order to seek forgiveness from Allah. 

5. Waqf e Manzil (The Sign of Jibrael)

This last type of pause is related to the Angel Jibrael because it refers to the pauses that were made as the Angel Jibrael revealed the Quran from Allah to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. These designated stops have come to be known as Waqf e Manzil.


Understanding the symbols of pauses or stops in the Quran is crucial for accurate Quran reading. Almuhammadi Academy offers comprehensive courses that delve into these rules and equip learners with the necessary knowledge and skills. By enrolling in these courses, individuals can enhance their Quranic recitation and deepen their connection with the divine message.