While performing Qirat on long ayaah of the Holy Qur'an, it is obvious to lose breath when in between the ayah. When losing breath, the recitation is paused and then continued from two or three words behind where it was stopped, after inhaling again. The Qari's (Performers of Qirat) don't seem to follow a single ruling on this. They sometimes go one word back, sometimes two, sometimes none.

It seems to me that the Qari goes back to a word from where if read, there would be a meaningful statement and the statement would not contradict the meaning of the Ayah as a whole.

  • Is my assumption true?

  • If true, how does a Qari who can just read but not understand Arabic go back to the correct word?

  • If false, what is the general ruling to continue a discontinued ayah while reciting The Holy Qur'an?

  • restart from one or two words before the discontinued word (This is what I learned from madrasa I don't have any evidence for it )
    – Tachyons
    Commented Jul 28, 2012 at 15:22
  • My Imam has said that you can start where you stopped, but I have no evidence from him. Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 17:18
  • @NesreenA, thanks for the bounty. . . . Jazaakallah. . . Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 17:36
  • I'll prepare an answer, but disclamier: I won't be a final answer, as this topic is very wide. Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 18:25
  • You almost answered it, your assumptions are correct. You can use the pause marks as references for non-Arabic speakers. Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 9:56

2 Answers 2


There are some general rules under the tajwid that are to be followed when you run out of breath.

Those rules (special punctuation marks) are called the "Rumūz al-Awqāf "رموز الاوقاف or "pause marks".

These symbols in the Qurʾān show where to stop or continue and this is to preserve the correct meaning of your recitation. For more information on these and its examples, see https://tanzil.net/wiki/Pause_marks

It is better to try to stop on one of the mentioned pause marks if possible.

If there are no pause marks to where you run out of breath, the general consensus is that you go 2 or 3 words back and resume the recitation (so as to make sure it forms a better sense of that ayah and perhaps to make sure the last word recited was complete). Most beginners however can omit this method and pickup from where they stopped (since they are learning).

It depends best on the Qari's ability to infer the ayah and decide if it would be better to pick up from 2-3 words from back or not.


Is my assumption true?

Yes it is true.

If true, how does a Qari who can just read but not understand Arabic go back to the correct word?

As far as i have been taught it depends on the meaning of the word. If he does not know the meaning, at least by reading continuously & regularly he should get a faint idea about what constitutes a complete meaningful word (reading by tajweed usually gives a faint idea. i learnt most of that way)

Like in Surah Al-Bayinah 98:8

جَزَاؤُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۖ رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِيَ رَبَّهُ

Transliteration with the stopping shown -

Jazaohum AAinda rabbihim jannatuAAadnin tajree min tahtiha al-anhar (stop), tajree min tahtiha al-anharu khalideenafeeha abadan radiya Allahu AAanhum waradooAAanhu thalika liman khashiya rabbah

Here two words are repeated because of the meaning

another example

وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ

Transliteration Wama omiroo illa liyaAAbudooAllaha mukhliseen (stop), mukhliseena lahu addeena hunafaawayuqeemoo assalata wayu/too azzakatawathalika deenu alqayyima

Here only one word is repeated.

thus you see there is no exact rule for repeating ayahs.

  • I had really hoped for a universal ruling. But thanks for answering. Jazaakallah. +1. Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 17:34

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