Continued from Part 1
Question: What are the initial steps taken by students of the Qur’an when first entering this field? I have finished memorizing the entire Qur’an as well as the poem Tuhfat al-Atfaal. What do you advise me, may Allah bless you?
Answer: Dear noble brother, may Allah grant you the Tawfeeq and make you amongst the People of the Qur’an, well-versed in its recitation, accompanying the messenger angels, noble and dutiful. The steps you should take are as follows:
- You should look for a shaykh who carries the Ijazah in the Qiraa’aat whose recitation is precise and sound and recite to him from your memory, the recitation (قراءة) of ‘Aasim, from the narration (رواية) of Hafs, according to the way (طريق) of Shatibiyyah.
- After this, you complete the Qur’an again by joining together the two narrations (رواية) of ‘Aasim: Shu’bah and Hafs. You could use the book الرياش في رواية شعبة بن عياش to help you. You could also recite both Shu’bah and Hafs as step 1, if the teacher sees that you are fit to do so.
- After this, you complete another Khatmah of the Qur’an in another Qiraa’ah or Riwaayah. It is preferred to recite the Riwaayah of Qaloon or Warsh upon the authority of Naafi’. You can use books authored by Sh. Muhammad Nubhan al-Misri which is laid out very nicely in tables which show the differences between Hafs and Qaloon, or Hafs and Warsh. You should also listen to the Rub’ (about 2.5 page sections) that you are going to recite to the shaykh from the recitations found on Islamway.com
- After this, you should recite the first Hizb (10 pages) from Surat al-Baqarah to your shaykh, reciting each recitation individually, one at a time, of the 10 Qiraa’aat. For example, you would begin by reciting the Riwaayah of Qaloon, followed by Warsh, then al-Bazzi and Qunbul from Ibn Katheer, then al-Doori and al-Soosi from Abu ‘Amr, etc., until you have become well-accustomed to the rules of each recitation. You would need to use books explaining Shatibiyyah and Durrah, such as the book الإضاءة by Sh. al-Dhabbaa’ and البدور الزاهرة by Sh. ‘Abd al-Fattaah Qaadhi.
- After this, you would begin another Khatmah of the Qur’an from the beginning of Surat al-Fatihah until the end of Surat al-Naas where you would recite the 7 Qiraa’aat according to the way of Shatibiyyah simultaneously, or the 10 Qiraa’aat according to the ways of Shatibiyyah and Durrah. This is according to what your teacher will suggest is the best thing for you, whereby you would memorize 5 lines from the Shatibiyyah poem, and you would recite it to your shaykh from memory each time until you complete its memorization. You would do the same thing for the Durrah poem. After you’ve completed your recitation of the Qur’an in all 10 Qiraa’aat to your teacher, you would then be given the Ijazah from him with a chain of narration that goes back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, from Jibreel عليه السلام from the Lord of the Worlds سبحانه وتعالي. And thus, you would have completed your recitation of al-Sughraa and can begin preparation for the recitation of al-Kubraa.
These steps, from beginning to end would require from you a number of years, so it is important to commit yourself to this endeavor and to be prepared for it. You should say to your teacher as Musa عليه السلام said to his:
سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ صَابِرًا وَلَا أَعْصِي لَكَ أَمْرًا“You will find me, if Allah wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.”[Surat al-Kahf, verse 69]
However, these years will be the happiest years in your life whereby your time will be built with the Qur’an. How joyful a time it will be to sit and recite an Ayah with all of its different ways to your shaykh, reciting it beautifully tens of times simultaneously each way, and each is filled with beauty and totality. And every letter you recite carries with it 10 rewards. You will discover the mysteries from the meanings contained within the book of Allah as well as its advice, what you would not have uncovered had you read only one kind of Qiraa’ah. It is as al-Imam al-Shatibiy said:
وخير جليس لا يمل حديثه…..وترداده يزداد فيه تجملا
The best companion to sit with is the one whose speech does not bore you…
and its frequent repetition only increases in beauty.
May Allah grant you Tawfeeq in your endeavor and allow you to gain what you seek, Ameen.