YasSarNal QuR'aN

An Effort in Facilitation

The Science of Recitations (Qiraa’aat)

Qiraa’aat” linguistically: The plural of Qiraa’ah (a recitation) is the infinitive of the verb “Qara’a” meaning to read or recite.

Qiraa’aat technically: Articulation of the words of the Quran as they were articulated by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and was taught or heard from him by his companions. 

The subject matter of this science is the words of the Glorious Quran with regards to the manner and method of pronunciation of such words as well as that of implementing the said method. It is from the Noblest of sciences since it guards one from making mistakes when pronouncing the Qur’anic vocabulary, thus protecting it from distortion and alteration, as well as helping to distinguish between that which is read and that which is not.

Qiraa’aat and Revelation: The sole source for the “Qiraa’aat” is the revelation sent down from the heavens to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. [The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] then relayed this revelation in minute detail, with every diacritical mark, to his companions may Allaah be pleased with them. He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would recite to his companions as it was revealed to him; Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrates: “He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would recite to them ten [verses] and they would not continue on to ten others until they had learned that which was contained in them from knowledge and actions. After this, if he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had taught them the Quran and they had perfected its recitation, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would like to listen to them recite to confirm [their ability to recite properly.]”

Qiraa’aat and alteration: A Qiraa’ah (a varying recitation) is a followedSunnah. It was transmitted through both oral and written narration from the mouth of the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is the Quran in and of itself, not in any way separate from the Quran, nor is there any difference to be made [between one recitation and the other]. A Qiraa’ah is different wordings [and or pronunciations] which the Holy Spirit (Jibreel – Archangel Gabriel) was sent down with on various occasions [to recite to the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam].

Imaam Muslim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, narrates from Ubay Ibn Ka’b, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: “I was in the Masjid (mosque) and a man walked in to pray, he then recited in a manner which caused me to censure him. Then another man entered and recited in a manner different than the manner in which the first one recited. After each of us had finished praying we went to the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; I said to him “this man recited so I censured him, then another entered and recited differently than the first” The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then ordered both of them to recite. They did and he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam endorsed both of the manners [in which they recited, confirming that they were all various ways in which the Quran was revealed]”.

The scholars of “Qiraa’aat” have divided the Qur’anic recitations into two main categories: Acceptable Recitations and irregular recitations.

1-     That it agrees with a sound principle from the principles of the Arabic language.

2-      That it agrees with the written scripture as collected byUthm’aan may Allaah be pleased with him.

3-     That it has reached us through an authentic successive chain of transmission.

As for the irregular recitations, they are those in which one or more of the previous pillars are missing.

Those Qiraa’aat (recitations) that have reached us through an authentic successive chain of transmission are ten in number. They were transmitted by a group of Reciters who were known for precise narration and accurate pronunciation, as well excellent proficiency. Those mentioned in the following are the Narrators of these recitations along with their most famous students:

  1. The recitation of Naafi’ Al-Madani. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Qaaloon and Warsh.

  2. The recitation of Ibn Katheer Al-Makki. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Al-Bazzi and Qunbul.

  3. The recitation of Abu Amru Al-Basri. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Ad-Doori and As-Soosi.

  4. The recitation of Ibn ‘Aamir Ash-Shaami. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Hishaam and Ibn Thakwaan.

  5. The recitation of ‘Aasim Al-Koofi. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Shu’bah and Hafs.

  6. The recitation of Hamzah Al-Koofi. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Khalaf and Khallad.

  7. The recitation of Al-Kisaa’ee Al-Koofi. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Abu Al-Haarith and Hafs Ad-Doori.

  8. The recitation of Abu Ja’far Al Madani. The most famous of those who narrated from him are ‘Eesa Ibn Wardaan and Jimaaz.

  9. The recitation of Ya’qoob Al-Masri. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Ruwayis and Roouh.

  10. The recitation of Khalaf Ibn Hishaam Al-Bazzaar Al-Baghdaadi. The most famous of those who narrated from him are Is-Haaq Ibn Ibraaheem and Idrees Ibn ‘Abdul-Kareem.

When attributing the Narration of a narrator from among those mentioned to the Imaam which he narrates the recitation from we call the said narration a “Riwaayah”. Thus, for example, we would say this is theQiraa’ah of ‘Aasim with the Riwaayah of Hafs, or the Qiraa’ah of Naafi’ with the Riwaayah of Warsh, et cetera.

Attribution of the seven recitations to the seven reciters is one of selection and fame, not one of opinion and desire; rather it is done through following transmission and narration. The Qiraa’aat are based on learning and narration, not opinion and interpretation. All of the Qiraa’aatwhich have reached us with an authentic chain are revelation from Allaah The Most High, having been revealed to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is for this reason that we find the scholars warning about learning the Quran in a method other than one based on education, audition, and oral transmission.

Allaah Alone grants success and guides to the right path. All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds.

Courtesy: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=articles&id=159207


July 3, 2010 - Posted by | The Science of Recitations

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