Qiraa’aat and their Conditions for Acceptance: Sheikh Muqbil

Sheikh Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waad’iee was asked the following question regarding the different qiraa’aat, or recitations of the Qur’an:

نص السؤال: هل القراءات السبع أو العشر متواترة ؟

Question: Have the seven qiraa’aat or the ten qiraa’aat come to us through mutawaatir transmission (i.e. through a large number of independent routes of transmission)?

نص الإجابة: القرآن متواتر ، وأغلب القراءات متواترة ، أما بعض الأحرف فقد ذكر الشوكاني رحمه الله تعالى عند تفسير قول الله عز وجل : ” وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامِ ۚ” [ النساء : 1 ] هي بالمصحف ” وَالْأَرْحَامَ ” ذكر أن هذا الحرف لا ينبغي أن يقال أنه متواتر لكن يقال : هو ثابت عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – . ـ

Response: The Qur’an has reached us through mutawaatir transmission, and most of the qiraa’aat have reached us through mutawaatir transmission.

As for some of the individual letters, al-Shakwaani mentioned a variant reading in his explanation of the first ayah of surah al-Nisaa’:

وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامِ ۚ ـ

And have taqwa of Allah, through whom and through the ties of kinship you ask one another for your mutual rights

with the word “ties of kinship” there taking the genitive case, while in the mushaf it comes as:

وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ ـ

And have taqwa of Allah, through whom you ask one another for your mutual rights, and have taqwa of the ties of kinship (i.e. do not break them)

where the word “ties of kinship” takes the accusative case.

So al-Shawkaani mentioned that is is not proper to refer to this particular variant letter change as having reached us through mutawaatir transmission, although one may say that it is authentically attributed to the Prophet (ﷺ).

وهكذا ذكر نحو هذا عند تفسير قول الله عز وجل : ” وَكَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلَادِهِمْ ” لأن فيه إضافة ” هنالك ” فذكر أن مثل هذا ما يقال فيه إنه متواتر . ـ

Similarly, he also mentioned something like this under his explanation of Allah’s statement:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلَادِهِمْ

And likewise, they have made the killing of their children well-seeming to many of the polytheists… [6:136]

because of the noun phrase that occurs in the ayah. So, just as before, he mentioned that it is not correct to say that this variant reading has reached us through mutawaatir transmission.

وذكر أيضاً في كتابه < نيل الأوطار > يقول : ما جمع ثلاث شروط صح القراءة به ، وإن لم يكن متواتراً فيقول ناقلاً عن ابن الجزري : ـ

وكل ما وافق وجه النحوي **** وكان لرسم الإمام يحوي
وصح إسناداً هو القرآن **** فهذه الثلاثة الأركان

يعني : كل ما وافق وجه النحوي لا يكون خارجاً عن اللغة العربية . ـ
وكان لرسم الإمام يحوي رسم يعني مصحف عثمان رضي الله تعالى عنه . ـ
وصح إسناداً إلى النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – هو القرآن ، فهذه الثلاثة الأركان . ـ
فهو لا يشترط في القراءة أن تكون متواترة ، يشترط فيها هذا الذي سمعته . ـ

And he also mentioned in his book Nayl al-Awtaar that, “Whatever fulfills all three of these conditions, then it is an authentic recitation even if it has not reached us via mutawaatir transmission,” and he then quoted the couplets on ibn al-Jazari on this subject:

Everything which is grammatically correct, **** and which was included in the leader’s ledger,
and which has an authentic chain of narration is the Qur’an **** These are the three conditions

Meaning:

○ whatever is grammatically correct and not outside the bounds of the Arabic language
○ “and which was included in the leader’s ledger” – meaning in the mushaf of ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him)
○ and whose chain of narration is authentically traced back to the Prophet (ﷺ)
○ then this is considered the Qur’an, and these are the three conditions that must be met.

So he did not stipulate that the variant reading had to be relayed through mutawaatir transmission; he only stipulated these conditions which you just heard.

السائل : وحديث : أنزل القرآن على سبعة أحرف ؟

Question: What about the hadeeth, “The Qur’an was sent down in seven ways”?

الشيخ : سؤالٌ حسن ، الحديث أنزل القرآن على سبعة صحيح ، وبعد أن اختلف أهل العلم أي اختلاف ، منهم من يقول : القراءات السبع وليس بصحيح ، والصحيح فيه أن معناه أنه نزل على سبعة لغات ، هذا هو ، على لغة يمنية ، ولغة نجدية ، ولغة حجازية ، ولغة مضرية إلى غير ذلك من لغات العرب ، فمعناه توسعة من الله عز وجل على هذه الأمة أن أنزله الله على سبع لغات كما في بعض طرق الحديث أن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – يقول : ” أقرأني الله على حرف ، فاستزته فزادني ، ثم على حرفين فاستزدته – إلى أن قال : – على سبعة أحرف ” فالمراد به على سبع لغات . ـ

Response: Excellent, this is a good question. The hadeeth, “The Qur’an was sent down in seven ways” is authentic, and there has been some differing among the scholars as to what it means. Some of them have said that this is referring to the seven qiraa’aat, and this is not correct. The correct position is that it was sent down in seven dialects, this is what is correct. It was sent down in the Yemeni dialect, and the Najdi dialect, and the Hijaazi dialect, and the Madhariyyah dialect, and so on with the various Arab dialects. So the correct meaning is that of Allah’s generosity towards this Ummah that He revealed the Qur’an in seven dialects. And this is as has come in some narrations of the hadeeth that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah taught me the Qur’an (initially) in one way, but then I requested more so He gave me more. So then it was in two ways, and I requested more…” until he said, “so then it was in seven ways.” And the intended meaning here is “seven dialects”.

[From the audio cassette tape Fataawaa #2, retrieved from the sheikh‘s website here.]

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

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

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

See also: The Meanings of Muhkam, Mutashaabih, and Ta’weel: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

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

Some of the books of tafsir devoted special attention to the different qiraa’aat and their meanings. To learn more about which books focused on this topic, please explore our Mufassir Profiles.

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

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6 thoughts on “Qiraa’aat and their Conditions for Acceptance: Sheikh Muqbil

  1. Pingback: An Example of Added Meaning from the Different Qiraa’aat | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: A Note on the Different Qiraa’aat: Sheikh bin Baaz | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Conditions for Making Tafsir: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Tafsir of the Qur’an and its Connection to the Qiraa’aat: al-Suyooti | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: The Types of Tafsir: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: Preservation of the Wordings and Meanings of the Qur’an among the Salaf: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

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