Usool of the Qiraa’aat | Part 4: Types of Qiraa’aat


This series is a translation of Ustaadhah Amani bint Muhammad ‘Aashoor’s work: الأصول النيرات في القراءات on the Usool of the 10 Qiraa’aat.  It presents the rules of recitation for all of the authentic Qiraa’aat, explanation of their history, common terms used, types of Qiraa’aat, their benefit, and much, much more.  Even if you don’t know what the Qiraa’aat are, you’ll still benefit from this series since it will give you all the information you need to understand and learn the Qiraa’aat, in sha Allah. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Firstly:  al-Mutawaatir

This type is what is recited today and is that which has the following 3 properties:

  1. That it is transmitted by those who are trustworthy from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
  2. It is found in the Arabic language and permissible.
  3. It conforms to the writing of the Mus-haf.

If these three properties are found, then this Qiraa’ah can be recited, and it has been established as originating from Allah, and as correct; because it has been accepted by concensus from the angle of it conforming to the writing of the Mus-haf, and the one who rejects it is a disbeliever, and examples of it are:

  • مَالِكِ & مَلِكِ
  • يَخْدَعُونَ & يُخَادِعُونَ
  • وَأَوْصَى & وَوَصَّى
  • يطوع & تطوع

In short:  all agree that the 7 Qiraa’aat are Mutawaatirah, and likewise according to the most correct and chosen opinion, the 3 Qiraa’aat (Abu Ja’far, Ya’qoob, Khalaf), and this is what we learned from the masses of Shyookh.

Secondly:  al-Aahaad

It is what has been correctly transmitted via Aahaad (singular reports), and is correct in the form of Arabic, but its pronunciation does not conform to the writing of the Mus-haf, so this is accepted, but not recited for two reasons:

  1. The first:  That is was not accepted via concensus, rather only via Aahaad report, and the recited Qur’an is not establishedby singular reports.
  2. The second:  That it is different from what was accepted by concensus so it cannot be established as having originated from Allah or as being correct, and whatever’s correctness cannot be established cannot be recited.

Nor is the person who rejects it a disbeliever, though he has committed an evil action if he rejects it, and examples of this are the recitation of Ibn Mas’ood and Abud-Dardaa:  والذكر والأنثى in place of:

وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنْثَى
[al-Layl:  3]

And the recitation of Ibn ‘Abbas regarding:  وكان أمامهم ملك يأخذ كل سفينة صالحة غصبا وأما الغلام فكان كافرا

Thirdly:  ash-Shawaadh

This is what has been transmitted by people who are not trustworthy, or trustworthy people have transmitted it but it does not match the Arabic Language, so this is not accepted even if it may conform to the writing of the Mus-haf, such as the recitation of Ibn as-Sameefa’ and Abu as-Sammaal and others regarding:

ننجيك ببدنك
[Yunus:  92]

They transmitted in place of the above:  ننحيك with the letter ح without dots; and likewise:

لتكون لمن خلفك آية
[Yunus:  92]

With fat-hah of the laam instead of sukoon.

And like the recitation attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah (رحمه الله) which Abul Fadl Muhammad bin Ja’far al-Khuzaa’i collected, and Abul Qasim al-Hudhali and others reported from him, but it has no basis.  Abul ‘Alaa al-Waasiti said:

Surely al-Khuzaa’i fabricated a book about huroof (letters) which he attributed to Abu Hanifah, so the writings of ad-Daraqutni and a group rated this book as fabricated with no basis.

Fourthly:  al-Mudrajah

This is extra wording inserted in the form of Tafseer such as the recitation of Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas:  وله أخ أو أخت من أم with the extra words من أم, so it is not allowed to believe that this extra bit is part of the Qur’an.

So after this presentation of the types of Qiraa’aat which the scholars mentioned, we can say:
The Qiraa’aat are divided into two types in terms of transmission:

  1. A Mutawaatirah Recitation
  2. An Aahaad Recitation:
    1. Mash-hoorah (famous) Recitation
    2. Non Mash-hoorah Recitation

The Qiraa’aat are divided into three types in terms of being accepted or rejected:

  1. The Accepted Recitation
  2. The Rejected Recitation
  3. The Suspended Recitation

As for the Accepted one, then this is of two types:

  1. The Mutawaatirah Recitation
  2. The Correct Mash-hoorah Recitation

And in both of them the following three conditions are fulfilled:

  1. The correctness of the chain of narration and its being of Tawaatur nature (narrated by mass numbers in each level of the chain such that it is inconceivable that they all gathered upon a lie)
  2. Its conformity with the Arabic Language
  3. Its conformity with the writing of the Uthmanic Masahif

And these two are that which are recited, and their recitation is an act of ‘Ibaadah, it is compulsory to believe in them, and it is not allowed to reject anything of them.

Imam Ibn al-Jazari said in (his peom) at-Tayyibah:

So whatever conformed to a way of grammar         and could be incorporated in the writing
And was correct in chain of narration, then it is Qur’an         for these three are the pillars
And wherever a pillar is missing, then affirm         its irregularity even if it were in the seven

So if one of these three pillars is missing the recitation is irregular and rejected, and its recitation is not allowed.

The Rejected Qiraa’aat are three types:

  1. The Recitation which conforms to the writing but goes against the Arabic Language
  2. The Recitation whose chain of narration is not authentic
  3. The Recitation which has no chain of narration

The Qiraa’aat which are Suspended المتوقف فها:

It is every recitation whose chain is authentic, and conforms with the Arabic Language, but goes against the writing of the Mus-haf.

*And the Qiraa’aat which are not authentic are taught, and rulings, tafseer and language are taken from them, but they are not recited as a form of ‘Ibaadah.

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