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Saktahs in the Qur’aan

Fatwaa ID: 1087

Assalamualaikum bai. Just wanted to know what the purpose behind the سكتة is in the Quran. Where does it come from? Jazakumullah khayran

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

The purpose of saktah is to provide the listener clarity in understanding the structure and meaning of a word in an ayah or clarity in recognizing a letter or word.

The first type is found in four places in the Qur’aan only and that is via the narration of Hafs, عوجا قيما, مرقدنا هذا, من راق and بل ران.

  1. If someone was reading the first two verses of Surah Kahf together, then a thought may cross the mind that قيما is connected to عوجا, which are in reality opposites.
  2. In Surah Yaaseen, without the saktah, there may be a doubt regarding the word هذا, is it connected to the sentence before it or after it. The correct understanding is that it is connected to the sentence after it.

3-4. In Surahs Qiyaamah and Mutaffifeen, it is to clarify that they are two words and not one. Without it, a listener may assume that the words are one, مراق and بران.

These four places are narrated and established from Nabi ﷺ. For a saktah to be valid and recited, it is necessary for it to be established from Nabi ﷺ. Besides these four, some of the Indo-Pak prints have a few more places. Those are baseless and may not be acted upon. There is no personal ijtihaad in this regard.

As for the other type, clarity in letter or word, this is found in Hafs via other tareeqs and also in other riwaayahs. This is found where there is a hamzah after a sukoon saheeh. The purpose and benefit of this is to highlight the hamzah. When reciting swiftly, there is a chance that the hamzah may become dropped while the previous letter gets its harakah. In some cases, this may affect the meaning. Examples of this form of saktah: الْأرض, قدْ أفلح, يسْئلونك, والقرْءان, etc.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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