The science of Qiraat is one of the Islamic branches which is concerned with the different types of readings of the Quran.

 It deals with the words of the Noble Quran, such as extending and shortening, mitigating and emphasizing, and other aspects of the principles of Quranic recitation.

The word qiraat is an Arabic word and means: readings of the Quran according to what was revealed to the prophet, peace be upon him.

 Allah revealed to Muhammed, peace be upon him, Quran in different dialects, seven letters, and on the authority of  Ubayy bin Kaab – may God be pleased with him, he said: “The Messenger of God, peace, and blessings be upon him, met Gabriel, and he said: O Gabriel, I have been sent to an illiterate nation, among them are the old man, the boy, the maidservant, and the man who has never read a book. He said: O Muhammad, the Quran was revealed in seven letters.”

Now we will sail together in the science of qiraat, its history, rulings, and how we could learn it.

Qiraat meaning

Qiraat is an Arabic word which means Quranic readings according to what was revealed to the prophet peace be upon him, that Quran was revealed in different aspects to the prophet considering the difference between Muslims.

Revelation in seven letters:

The Quran was revealed to our beloved prophet in seven different letters, the closest meaning of the letter here is accents and dialects, and the most famous seven qiraat not the same meaning, but it’s an indication that the Quran was revealed in different ways recognizing the difference between Muslims.

There are many authentic Hadiths about the revelation of the Quran in seven letters,

  1.  Ibn Abbas, may God be pleased with them, said that the prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: “Gabriel recited to me a letter, so I reviewed it, and I kept asking for more and recited more until it reached seven letters”
  2. Ubayy bin Kaab, may God be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of God, peace, and blessings be upon him, met Gabriel, and he said: O Gabriel, I have been sent to an illiterate nation, among them the old man, the boy, the maidservant, and the man who has never read a book. He said: O Muhammad, the Quran was revealed in seven letters

Science of qiraa

Ibn al Jazari, one of the most prominent scholars in Qiraat science, May Allah give him mercy, said about the science of Qiraat:

“ It is a knowledge of how the words of the Quran are performed, and their differences attributed to its transmitter”

The importance of qiraat science

  1. Protection of the Quran from distortion and alteration
  2. to facilitate the Muslim’s Quran reading and memorizing; the Quran was first revealed in one dialect, then the Prophet, peace, and blessings are upon him, asked Allah to ease his nation, as they are in different dialects.
  3. Mercy that Allah bestowed over Muslims to learn more and more about the Quran.
  4. One of the Quranic miracles, although there are many qiraat, Allah protects them all as he swore to do.

Correct Qiraat conditions

Ibn Al Jazari, may Allah have mercy on him, explained the terms of the correct reading in his poem,” The Goodness of publishing in the ten Readings” and those terms are:

  1.  matching The Arabic Language in one way at least.
  2. Matching with one of the Ottoman’s Quran books.
  3. Isnad, which means the narrator’s chain that ends with the prophet PBUH.

how many types of Qiraat are there?

Before we can talk about the sorting of qiraat, we will talk about the history of initiating the science of Qiraat, and sorting it into types.

The history of qiraat

  1. As we previously explained that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad, PBUH in seven letters, which means seven dialects and ways related to the Arabic language. Then the companions of the prophet PBUH memorized the Quran in its different “letters”.
  2. After the death of the Holy Prophet PBUH, in the era of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him and after killing many Quran reciters in Yamama Battle, Abu Bakr ordered all Quran papers to be collected in one book.
  3. Then in the era of ottoman Ibn Affan, may Allah be pleased with him and grant him,  he ordered to write the Quran in one book, which is now called the Ottoman Quran.

Then he sent to each country a copy of the Quran with one of the memorizers to teach them how to read the Quran in one of the recitations.

Every reciter has heard even one Qiraat in the Prophet’s tongue and has become skilled in it.

  1. Then those Qiraat were narrated and transmitted through the companions and the followers and their followers.
  2. Then there were scholars who devoted their lives to studying these readings, mastering them, and memorizing them, and each reading became famous in the name of one of its scholars.

Types of Qiraat

As we mentioned before, there are three mandatory conditions of the correct recitation, matching with the Arabic language in Grammar or pronunciation, matching one of the ottoman Quran books, and “Isnad”.

And there is another condition“ al tawator”, which means the recitation was narrated by a large group of people who are famous for their honesty and never lying. 

According to those four conditions, we will mention 5 types of qiraat:

  • Al mutilator or the frequent

The recitation met the four conditions and the 10 qiraat are Mutawatir, and we will talk about them in detail shortly.

  •  Well-known recitation

Here, the recitation met the three mandatory conditions, but it didn’t reach the extent of” al tawator”, the scholars accept those qiraat as correct qiraat.

  • Monolithic recitation

Here, the chain is correct” Isnad”, but one of the three conditions has been breached, “matching the Arabic language in one of its terms”, grammar or pronunciation, so this reading should be avoided.

  • Odd recitation

Here, it doesn’t match the frequency, the chain is not correct, and also it doesn’t meet one of the three conditions, the Arabic language in grammar or pronunciation.

  • The fabricated recitation

This is a false narration that was claimed to be recited by the authentic reciters, it’s fabricated, and it’s not permissible to be used.

And the table below will illustrate the difference between the five types of qirat Quran:

Al mutawtir well-known monolithic odd fabricated
Arabic terms × × ×
Ottoman Quran _ _ ×
Isnad × ×
tawator Not reached × × ×

how many qiraat are there in quran?

There are 10 different qiraat in the Quran, now we will explain how they were chosen.

The seven in qiraat

After the era of Ottoman Bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him and grant him, there were many reciters who were concerned and skilled in the different types of qiraat.

After that due to a large number of reciters, Al-Imam bin Mujahid, one of the prominent scholars of the Quran and Hadith, chose seven reciters and their qiraat were from al mutawater.  He wrote that in his book “the seven in qiraat

Each reciter was skilled in one of qiraat, and each qiraa was attributed to its reciter.

Then, Al imam bin Mujahid was selected for each reciter two of the narrators.

The lightened pearl of the satisfying three

In the eighth century of migration, and after five centuries of deciding the seven qiraat for seven reciters, the scholar Al imam Al jazari wrote about three other reciters that were not mentioned in the third century.

He mentioned the three recitations in his book”The lightened pearl of the satisfying three”

Then he selected for each reciter two narrators, following bin mujahid in his action, now the correct recitations are 10 qiraat.

what are the 7 types of qiraat?

Now we knew the history and the rules that the correct recitations of the Quran were recorded and written according to, and here we will mention the 7 qiraat, reciters, and narrators of each one:

Qiraat nafi’

It belonged to nafi’ bin Abdurrahman Al Madani, he was born in Isfahan in the 70th year after the migration of the Prophet Peace be upon him, and he learned and recited the Quran in front of more than 70 of his followers. He died in Medina in 169th after migration.

He had many narrators, but the most famous are Qalon and Warsh, so the recitation will be called qiraat warsh an nafi’, or Qaloon an nafi’.

Qiraat bin katheer

He was considered one of the late followers, he learned and recited the Quran between the hands of companions of the prophet PBUH as Abdullah bin Al zubayer, and Anas bin Malik.

His narrators are Ahmad bin Muhammed Al Bizzy, and Qunbul Muhammed bin Abdurrahman.

Qiraat Abu Amr

The reciter was Abu Amr ibn Al Alaa al Basri, and he was the imam of the reciters of Basra in Iraq, and his narrators were hafs bin Omar al Durri and sales bin ziyad al susi.

 Bin Amer qiraat

He is Abdullah bin Amer al shamy, he is one of the reciters who recite Quran between the companions of the prophet peace be upon him.

 The commander of the believers, Omar bin Abdulaziz, prayed behind him, and he was al imam to the Levant.

His narrators were Hesham Ibn Ammar, and Bin Zakwan.

Asim qiraat

He is Asim bin Abi Nujud, he became the imam of Kufa, and his narrators were shubah bin Ayyash, and Hafs bin Suleiman, the famous Hafs qirat Quran an ASEM belongs to them.

Al Kofy qiraat

He is Hamza bin Habib al koufi, he was one of the Most prominent reciters of al kufah, he was known for his knowledge of the language, and Hadith.

His narrators are khalad bin Khaled al koufi, and Khalaf Bin Hisham al Baghdadi.

Al kisai qiraat

He was one of the most prominent scholars of the Arabic language, Fiqh, and Quran.

His narrators were Al Laith bin Khaled and Hafs al douri.

what are the 10 qiraats of the quran?

In the previous passage, we knew seven reciters of the ten reciters according to the recording of bin Moujahed, may Allah have mercy on him, and now we will mention the remaining three qiraat:

1- Abou jaafar qiraat

He was one of the followers of the companions, and om salamah, the mother of the believers, prayed to Allah to give him blessings, and he was the prominent reciter of al Madinah.

The famous nafi’ was one of his narrators, bin ward, and ibn jammaz.

2- Jakob qirat

He was the imam of al basrah, and he wrote “Al Jame’a book”

His narrators are rwais and rawh.

3- Qirat khalaf

He was one of the prominent reciters of Baghdad.

His narrators are is’haq and idris.

where is each qiraat most known?

Each qiraat of the 10 different qiraat was most known in one city, and we will mention the city of each qirat:

  1. Nafi’ : it’s the qirat of Al-Madinah
  2. Ibn katheer: the qirat of Makkah
  3. Abou Amr: most known in Al-Basra, Iraq
  4. Ibn Amer: it’s the qiraat of Damascus
  5. Asim: the most known in Al-Kofa
  6. Hamza: it’s also qiraat of Al-Kofa
  7. Al kisa’i: in  Al-Kofa
  8. Abou jaafar: in  Al-Medina
  9. Jakob:in Al-Basra
  10. Khalaf:in  Al-Kofa

Now, we will illustrate all the important information about the 10 different qiraat in the below table:

Reciter Year of Death Narrators City
Nafi’ 169 A.H Qalon and Warsh Medina
Ibn Katheer 120 A.H Al Bizi And Qunbul Mecca
Abu Amr 154 A.H Al Duri and Al Susi Al Basra
Bin Amer 118 A.H Hisham and Ibn Zakwan  Damascus
Asim 127 A.H Sho’eba and Hafs Al Kofa 
Hamza 156 A.H Khalaf and Khalad Al Kofa 
Al Kisa’i 189 A.H Abu Alharith and Al Duri Al Kofa 
Abu Ja’afar 130 A.H Bin Wardan and Bin Jamaz Medina
Jaqup 205 A.H Rowais and Rawh Al Basra
Khalaf 229 A.H Is’haq and Idris Al Kofa 

how to learn proper qiraat?

There are many ways that you can learn qiraat, and now we will mention some steps that would help you in learning.

  1. First, you have to be skilled in Arabic, and one of the Arabic learning techniques is qiraat ar rashida.
  2. You have to end up memorizing the whole Quran, then search for one skilled sheik in al qiraat.
  3.  Begin to recite the entire Quran from your memory,  by qiraat Hafs an Asim, alshatibya way.
  4. Then recite from your memory in qiraat Asem, by the two narrations Sho’ba and Hafs qiraat.
  5. Then learn qiraat al Quran in one of the t0 qiraat, by one of its two narrations.
  6.  Recite from your memory the first part of surah Bakara, for each narrator of the ten reciters.
  7. Finally, start the entire Quran reciting, for the ten reciters by Shatibya and dura ways.

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Summary

The science of qiraat is one of the Quranic sciences which is concerned with the reading of the Quran as it was revealed to the prophet, peace be upon him.

The benefits of differences between qirats are many, to facilitate the Islamic nation’s recitation and memorizing of the Quran as Quran was revealed in different dialects.

There are 3 main mandatory conditions that must be met in the qiraat and the fourth one which is al tawator is mandatory in the opinion of Al imam al jazari, may Allah give him mercy.

The first imam who wrote about the 7 qiraat was bin mujahid, then al jazari completed the 10 qiraat.

Finally, this science is a great science because it is concerned with learning and reciting the Quran, the words of Allah, the early reciters knew its importance, so they devoted their lives to learning and teaching it.