A Note on the Different Qiraa’aat: Sheikh bin Baaz

Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez bin Baaz, the former grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, was asked:

 يقولون أن تعدد القراءات في القرآن معناه اختلاف في القرآن حيث يؤدي إلى معان ثانية، مثل آية الإسراء وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنْشُورًا عند يلقاه منشورا. ـ

Some say that the plurality of the qiraa’aat (recitations) for the Qur’an – that their meanings differ in the Qur’an such that it results in a second meaning, such as the ayah of surah al-Israa’:

وَنُخْرِ‌جُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورً‌ا

and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open. [17:13]

as it relates to “which he will encounter spread open.”

So Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez bin Baaz replied:

 ثبت عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أن القرآن نزل من عند الله على سبعة أحرف أي لغات من لغات العرب ولهجاتها تيسيرا لتلاوته عليهم، ورحمة من الله بهم، ونقل ذلك نقلا متواترا، وصدق ذلك واقع القرآن، وما وجد فيه من القراءات فهي كلها تنزيل من حكيم حميد. ـ

It is confirmed on the authority of the Prophet (ﷺ) that the Qur’an was revealed from Allah in seven ahraf – i.e. seven tongues from the Arab tongues and their dialects – in order to facilitate its recitation for them and as a mercy from Allah towards them. This has been transmitted through a mutawaatir (mutually well-attested) transmission, and the reality of the Qur’an attests to that. And what one finds among the different qiraa’aat is that all of them are revelation from al-Hakeem al-Hameed (The Wise, the Praise-Worthy, i.e. Allah).

ليس تعددها من تحريف أو تبديل ولا لبس في معانيها ولا تناقض في مقاصدها ولا اضطراب، بل بعضها يصدق بعضا ويبين مغزاه، وقد تتنوع معاني بعض القراءات فيفيد كل منها حكما يحقق مقصدا من مقاصد الشرع، ومصلحة من مصالح العباد، مع اتساق معانيها وائتلاف مراسيها، وانتظامها في وحدة تشريع محكمة كاملة لا تعارض بينها ولا تضارب فيها. ـ

The plurality of qiraa’aat is not due to distortion or substitution or concealing their meanings nor is it a deficiency in their messages, nor are there contradictions. Rather, they affirm one another and clarify the meaning. The meanings of some of the qiraa’aat may be varied, so each one of them provides a ruling which realizes an objective from among the divinely legislated objectives and a benefit from among the beneficial matters to the slaves. All this while at the same time their meanings are in harmony, their firmly established principles are in agreement and their ordering is according to a single precise and perfect divine legislation. There is no contradiction among them nor is there conflict between them.

فمن ذلك ما ورد من القراءات في الآية التي ذكرها السائل وهي قوله تعالى: وَكُلَّ إِنْسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنْشُورًا ، فقد قرئ وَنُخْرِجُ بضم النون وكسر الراء، وقرئ يَلْقَاهُ بفتح الياء والقاف مخففة، والمعنى: ونحن نخرج للإنسان يوم القيامة كتابا هو صحيفة عمله، يصل إليه حال كونه مفتوحا فيأخذه بيمينه إن كان سعيدا أو بشماله إن كان شقيا، وقرئ يُلَقَّاه مَنْشُورًا بضم الياء وتشديد القاف. والمعنى: ونحن نخرج للإنسان يوم القيامة كتابا – هو صحيفة عمله – يعطى الإنسان ذلك الكتاب حال كونه مفتوحا، فمعنى كل من القراءتين يتفق في النهاية مع الآخر، فإن من يلقى إليه الكتاب فقد وصل إليه، ومن وصل إليه الكتاب فقد ألقى إليه. ـ

And an example of that is what is reported of the qiraa’aat of the ayah which the questioner mentioned which is Allah’s statement:

وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَ‌هُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِ‌جُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورً‌ا

And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open. [17:13]

So it was recited

وَنُخْرِجُ

And We will produce

with a dhammah on the letter noon and a kasra on the letter raa’. And it was recited:

يَلْقَاهُ

he will encounter

with a fathah on the letter yaa and without a shaddah on the letter qaf.

And its meaning is: And We will bring forth for mankind on the Day of Judgement a book which is the record of one’s deeds; it will reach him in a condition of it being opened, so he will take it with his right hand if he is one of those of ultimate prosperity, or with his left hand if he is one of those of ultimate sorrow. And it is (alternatively) recited:

يُلَقَّاه مَنْشُورًا

it will be brought to him spread open

with a dhammah on the letter yaa and a shaddah on the letter qaf. And the meaning of that is: And We will bring forth for mankind on the Day of Judgement a book which is the record of one’s deeds; man will be given that book in a condition of it being opened. So the meaning of both of these two qiraa’aat coincides with the other in the end one, for whoever is made to encounter the book, then it has reached him, and whomever the book has reached him then he has been made to encounter it.

ومن ذلك قوله تعالى: فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ قرئ يَكْذِبُونَ بفتح الياء وسكون الكاف وكسر الذال، بمعنى: يخبرون بالأخبار الكاذبة عن الله والمؤمنين، وقرئ يُكَذِّبون بضم الياء وفتح الكاف وتشديد الذال المكسورة، بمعنى: يكذبون الرسل فيما جاءوا به من عند الله من الوحي. فمعنى كل من القراءتين لا يعارض الآخر ولا يناقضه بل كل منهما ذكر وصفا من أوصاف المنافقين، وصفتهم الأولى بالكذب في الخبر عن الله ورسله وعن الناس، ووصفتهم الثانية بتكذيبهم رسل الله فيما أوحي إليهم من التشريع وكل حق فإن المنافقين جمعوا بين الكذب والتكذيب. ـ

And another example of that is Allah’s statement:

فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَ‌ضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مَرَ‌ضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ

In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they used to habitually lie [2:10]

It is recited:

يَكْذِبُون

they lied

with a fathah on the letter yaa and a sukoon on the letter kaaf and a kasrah on the letter dhaal, meaning: they informed others of false information concerning Allah and the believers. And it is (alternatively) recited:

يُكَذِّبُون

they belied

with a dhammah on the letter yaa and a fathah on the letter kaaf and a shaddah on the dhaal with a kasrah, meaning: they belied the messengers in respects to what they came with of revelation from Allah. So the meanings of each of these two qiraa’aat do not conflict with the other nor does it negate it; rather both of these mention a characteristic from the attributes of the munaafiqoon (hypocrites). Their first description is of lying in regards to Allah and His messengers and in regards to the people, and their second description is of belieing the messengers of Allah concerning what was revealed to them of the divine legislation, and both of these are true, for indeed the munaafiqoon combine both lying and belieing.

ومن ذلك يتبين أن تعدد القراءات كان بوحي من الله لحكمة، لا عن تحريف وتبديل، وأنه لا يترتب عليه أمور شائنة ولا تناقض أو اضطراب، بل معانيها ومقاصدها متفقة. والله الموفق. ـ

And from this it is clarified that the plurality of qiraa’aat is in accordance with the revelation from Allah for a reason – not due to distortion or substitution. And it is clarified that this does not entail any faults or inconsistencies or disorder; rather their meanings and purposes are in agreement. And Allah is the One who grants success.

[Fee Rawdhah al-Qur’an al-Kareem pg. 55-58. See also al-Lajnah al-Daa’imahfatwaa #1977]

See also: An Example of Added Meaning from the Different Qiraa’aat

For more from Sheikh bin Baaz and other contemporary scholars regarding the subject of tafsir, see also: About the Books of Tafsir

See also: Qiraa’aat and their Conditions for Acceptance: Sheikh Muqbil

See also: Recite the Book with its true Recitation

See also: The Preservation of the Qur’an and the Preservation of the Tawrah: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Tafsir of the Qur’an and its Connection to the Qiraa’aat: al-Suyooti

See also: The Qur’an, the Tawrah and the Injeel: Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”: Ibn Kathir

See also: Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Which is more virtuous – memorizing the Qur’an, or seeking ‘ilm? : Ibn Taymiyah

See also: The Disconnected Letters: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

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13 thoughts on “A Note on the Different Qiraa’aat: Sheikh bin Baaz

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