Why do the Transmitters of a Single Qiraa’ah Differ?: Makki ibn Abi Taalib

In one of his writings, Makki ibn Abi Taalib, a great scholar of the qiraa’aat from the earlier generations, took up the question of why two transmitters of a single qiraa’ah would differ if they both learned from the same reciter. In his answer, he used the example of the most common recitations from his home of North Africa and al-Andalus as his primary examples:

باب: “العلة في كثرة اختلاف المروي عن الأئمة القراء” ـ
The Reason Why There are Many Differences Transmitted from the Leading Reciters

فإن سأل سائل، فقال: ما العلة التي من أجلها كثر الاختلاف عن هذه الأئمة، وكل واحد منهم قد انفرد بقراءة اختارها مما قرأ به على أئمته؟ ـ

If someone were to ask, “Why is it that there are many differences relayed from these leading reciters when each one of them has just one recitation which he chose and which he recited to his teachers?”

فالجواب: أن كل واحد من الأئمة قرأ على جماعة بقراءات مختلفة، فنقل ذلك على ما قرأ، فكانوا في برهة من أعمارهم يقرئون الناس بما قرءوا، فمن قرأ عليهم بأي حرف كان لم يرده عنه، إذا كان ذلك مما قرءوا به على أئمتهم. ـ

We could respond by saying that each one of the leading reciters used to recite a number of different qiraa’aat, and so they transmitted these different qiraa’aat to their students. At any particular moment in their lives, people were reciting to them with the recitation that was most familiar to them. So whoever recited in any of the acceptable ways, they would not reject that so long as it was something which they themselves had recited to their teachers.

ألا ترى أن نافعا قال: قرأت على سبعين من التابعين، فما اتفق عليه اثنان أخذته، وما شذ فيه واحد تركته؟. يريد، والله أعلم، مما خالف المصحف. فكان مما قرأ عليه بما اتفق فيه اثنان من أئمته لم ينكر عليه ذلك. ـ

Haven’t you seen what Naafi’ said? “I recited to seventy of the taabi’oon, so I took whatever two of them agreed on, and I left whatever was particular to just one.” Here, and Allah knows best, he was referring to the things which differed from the text of the official ‘Uthmani mushaf. So then, whoever recited to him with anything that two of his teachers had both held, he would not disapprove of that.

وقد روى عنه أنه كان يقرئ الناس بكل ما قرأ به حتى يقال له: نريد أن نقرأ عليك باختيارك مما رويت. ـ

And it has been relayed from him that he used to let the people recite to him according to whichever way they wanted unless they told him, “We want to recite to you in the way you have chosen out of what you have been taught.”

وهذا قالون ربيبه وأخص الناس به. وورش أشهر الناس في المتحملين إليه، اختلفا في أكثر من ثلاثة آلاف حرف، من قطع وهمز، وتخفيف، وإدغام وشبيهه. ـ

That was what his stepson Qaaloon did, and he was the closest of people to him, while Warsh was the more well-known of the two who transmitted from him. The recitations of these two vary in more than 3,000 places when it comes to the articulation of the letter hamzah, lack of shaddah, idghaam, and other such things.

ولم يوافق أحد من الرواة عن نافع رواية ورش عنه، ولا نقلها أحد عن نافع غير ورش. وإنما ذلك؛ لأن ورشا قرأ عليه بما تعلم في بلده، فوافق ذلك رواية قرأها نافع عن بعض أئمته، فتركه على ذلك. وكذلك ما قرأ عليه قالون وغيره. ـ

None of those who transmitted from Naafi’ transmitted the same qiraa’ah that Warsh transmitted from him, and no one except for Warsh transmitted that particular qiraa’ah from Naafi’. That is only because Warsh recited to Naafi’ according to what he had learned in his home country [Egypt]. What Warsh recited matched with what Naafi’ had learned from some of his teachers, so Naafi’ did not make him change that. Likewise with the approach that he took with with Qaaloon and others recited to him.

وكذلك الجواب عن اختلاف الرواة عن جميع القراء. ـ

And this same answer is applicable to explain the differences among the transmitters of all of the reciters.

وقد روي عن غير نافع أنه كان يرد على أحد ممن يقرأ عليه، إذا وافق ما قرأ به على بعض أئمته. فإن قيل له: أقرءنا بما اخترته من روايتك اقرأ بذلك. ــ

And it has also been transmitted from some of the other leading reciters besides Naafi’ that they would not accept what someone recited to them even if it did match something that they had learned from their teachers if the student had said to them, “Teach us the recitation that you have selected so that I can recite it just like that.”

[al-Ibaanah ‘an al-Ma’aani al-Qiraa’aat pg 83-85]

For more information on these topics, please explore our Qiraa’aat Article Index

See also: Attributing the Qiraa’aat to the Seven Reciters: Muhammad Bazmool

See also: Why do the Qiraa’aat Differ?: Makki ibn Abi Taalib

Learn more about Makki ibn Abi Taalib here

2 thoughts on “Why do the Transmitters of a Single Qiraa’ah Differ?: Makki ibn Abi Taalib

  1. Pingback: Attributing the Qiraa’aat to the Seven Reciters: Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Why do the Qiraa’aat Differ?: Makki ibn Abi Taalib | Tulayhah

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