The Effects of Parents’ Actions on their Children: Ibn Rajab

In his famous collection of forty hadeeth, Imam al-Nawawi mentions the long hadeeth of ibn ‘Abbaas which begins with the Prophet saying:

يَا غُلاَمُ إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ احْفَظِ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ

Oh boy, I am going to teach you some words: Preserve [the limits of] Allah, He will preserve you …

Commenting on this in his explanation of al-Nawawi’s Arba’een, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali mentioned some of the different ways that Allah may preserve His servants, including preserving his offspring upon righteousness and protecting them from harm:

وقد يحفظ الله العبد بصلاحه بعد موته في ذريته كما قيل في قوله تعالى : وكان أبوهما صالحا [ الكهف : 82 ] : أنهما حفظا بصلاح أبيهما . قال سعيد بن المسيب لابنه : لأزيدن في صلاتي من أجلك ، رجاء أن أحفظ فيك ، ثم تلا هذه الآية وكان أبوهما صالحا

Due to one’s righteousness, Allah may even preserve a slave after his death as it relates to his offspring, as it is said concerning Allah’s statement:

وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا

And their father had been righteous [18:82]

meaning, they were protected due to the righteousness of their father.

Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib said to his son, “I increase in my [optional] salah for your sake, in hopes that you will be preserved as a result” and he then recited the ayah:

وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا

And their father had been righteous [18:82]

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam 1/468]

See also: Ibrahim’s interactions with his father: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: Know that your wealth and your children are but a trial: Tafsir al-Tabari

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An Example of Reconciling Multiple Reports on the Reasons for Revelation: al-Suyooti

In many of the books of tafsir, a single ayah might come with several different narrations about its sabab al-nuzool – “the reason for revelation” – or the event or question that led to this ayah being revealed. To many readers, this can be confusing. In the midst of a larger discussion about how to approach and deal with these different reports, Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti provides the following example of how to use the science of hadith grading to determine which reports can be relied upon.

وإن ذكر واحد سببا وآخر سببا غيره ، فإن كان إسناد أحدهما صحيحا دون الآخر فالصحيح المعتمد … ـ

If one person mentions one reason for revelation and another person mentions a different reason for revelation, if the chain of narration for one of these reports is authentic while the other is not, then the one with the authentic chain is taken to be the reason for revelation. …

ومن أمثلته – أيضا : – ما أخرجه ابن جرير وابن أبي حاتم ، من طريق علي بن أبي طلحة ، عن ابن عباس أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – لما هاجر إلى المدينة ، أمره الله أن يستقبل بيت المقدس ففرحت اليهود ، فاستقبله بضعة عشر شهرا – وكان يحب قبلة إبراهيم – فكان يدعو الله وينظر إلى السماء ، فأنزل الله : فولوا وجوهكم شطره [ البقرة : 150 ] فارتاب من ذلك اليهود ، وقالوا ( ما ولاهم عن قبلتهم التي كانوا عليها ) ! فأنزل الله : قل لله المشرق والمغرب [ البقرة : 115 ] وقال : فأينما تولوا فثم وجه الله . [ البقرة : 115 ] ـ

… Another example of this is

(1) what ibn Jarir and ibn Abi Hatim reported through the route of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah from ibn ‘Abbaas that

when Allah’s Messenger migrated to al-Madinah Allah commanded him to face Jerusalem, which was something that pleased the Jews. So he prayed facing Jerusalem for somewhere between ten and twenty months – although he used to love the qiblah of Ibrahim – while he was asking Allah and looking towards the sky. So then Allah revealed

فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ

so turn your face towards it [2:150]

This raised some misgivings among the Jews, who said, “What caused them to turn away from the qiblah that they used to follow?” So then Allah revealed

وَلِلَّـهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ

And to Allah belongs the east and the west. [2:115]

and He said Continue reading

What to do when Multiple “Reasons for Revelation” are Mentioned for the Same Ayah?: al-Suyooti

In his famous manual of the Qur’anic science, Imam Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti included a chapter dealing with the sub-field of the Asbab al-Nuzool or the “Reasons for Revelation”. He dedicated one part of that chapter to how describing how to approach multiple differing reports of the reasons for revelation about a single ayah, providing copious examples. Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool condensed this section to its core contents, which we have translated below:

المسألة الخامسة‏ [إذا تعددت أسباب النزول] : ـ

The Fifth Issue: What to do When Multiple “Reasons for Revelation” are Mentioned?

كثيرا ما يذكر المفسرون لنزول الآية أسبابا متعددة ، وطريق الاعتماد في ذلك أن ينظر إلى العبارة الواقعة : ـ

It frequently happens that the mufassiroon will mention multiple reasons for the revelation of a single ayah. A reliable way to approach such a situation is to look at the wording used:

فإن عبر أحدهم بقوله : نزلت في كذا ، والآخر : نزلت في كذا ، وذكر أمرا آخر ، فقد تقدم أن هذا يراد به التفسير لا ذكر سبب النزول ، فلا منافاة بين قوليهما إذا كان اللفظ يتناولهما . ـ

○ If one person used the phrase, “It was revealed about such-and-such” and another said, “It was revealed about such-and-such” while mentioning another situation, then we have already explained that the intended meaning of this phrase is an explanation of the ayah, not mentioning the reason for its revelation. Therefore there is no conflict between the two statements if they both used this wording.

وإن عبر واحد بقوله : نزلت في كذا ، وصرح الآخر بذكر سبب خلافه فهو المعتمد وذاك استنباط . ـ

○ If one person used the phrase, “It was revealed about such-and-such” while another person explicitly mentioned a reason for revelation contrary to that, then the explicit statement should be taken to be the reason for revelation while the other one is just someone deriving a point or benefit related to the ayah.

وإن ذكر واحد سببا وآخر سببا غيره ، فإن كان إسناد أحدهما صحيحا دون الآخر فالصحيح المعتمد . ـ

○ If one person mentions one reason for revelation and another person mentions a different reason for revelation, if the chain of narration for one of these reports is authentic while the other is not, then the one with the authentic chain is taken to be the reason for revelation. Continue reading

The Meaning and Goal of Beautifying the Qur’an with Your Voice: Ibn Kathir

In addition to his valuable explanation of the Qur’an itself, the Tafsir of al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir also offers up a significant introduction that discusses many important areas of ‘Uloom al-Qur’an. One of those discussions is presented below – Ibn Kathir’s discussion of the hadith narrations which encourage us to beatify our voices when reciting the Qur’an. Some mistranslate or misconstrue these narrations to encourage “singing” the Qur’an, but ibn Kathir’s explanation provides clarity about how to understand and implement these Prophetic instructions in the desired way:

 وقال أبو داود : حدثنا عبد الأعلى بن حماد ، حدثنا عبد الجبار بن الورد ، سمعت ابن أبي مليكة ، يقول : قال عبيد الله بن أبي يزيد : مر بنا أبو لبابة فاتبعناه حتى دخل بيته فدخلنا عليه ، فإذا رجل رث البيت ، رث الهيئة ، فانتسبنا له ، فقال : تجار كسبة ، فسمعته يقول : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ليس منا من لم يتغن بالقرآن . قال : فقلت لابن أبي مليكة : يا أبا محمد ، أرأيت إذا لم يكن حسن الصوت قال : يحسنه ما استطاع . تفرد به أبو داود . ـ

Abu Dawud said …’Abd al-Jabbar ibn al-Ward said: I heard ibn Abi Mulaykah saying: ‘Ubaydullah ibn Abi Yazeed said: Abu Lubabah passed by us so we followed him until he went into his home and so we went in to visit him. He was a man with run-down house and with an unkempt appearance. We spent some time with him and learned that he was a fruit merchant. I heard him say,

“I heard Allah’s Messenger say, ‘Whoever does not recite the Qur’an in a melodious voice is not one of us.” I [‘Abd al-Jabbar] said to ibn Abi Mulaykah, “O Abu Muhammad, what if someone doesn’t have a nice voice?” He replied, “He should make it as pleasant as he can.”

Abu Dawud was alone in reporting this narration.

فقد فهم من هذا أن السلف ، رضي الله عنهم ، إنما فهموا من التغني بالقرآن : إنما هو تحسين الصوت به ، وتحزينه ، كما قاله الأئمة – رحمهم الله – ويدل على ذلك – أيضا – ما رواه أبو داود حيث قال : حدثنا عثمان بن أبي شيبة ، حدثنا جرير ، عن الأعمش ، عن طلحة ، عن عبد الرحمن بن عوسجة ، عن البراء بن عازب قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : زينوا القرآن بأصواتكم . وأخرجه النسائي وابن ماجه من حديث شعبة ، عن طلحة وهو ابن مصرف به . وأخرجه النسائي من طرق أخر عن طلحة وهذا إسناد جيد . وقد وثق النسائي ، وابن حبان عبد الرحمن بن عوسجة هذا ، ونقل الأزدي عن يحيى بن سعيد القطان أنه قال : سألت عنه بالمدينة ، فلم أرهم يحمدونه . [ ص: 63 ] ـ

So it is understood from this narration that what the Salaf (may Allah be pleased with them) understood from “reciting the Qur’an in a melodic voice” was only to beautify one’s voice while reciting it and to recite it in a melancholy way. This is as the leading scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) said, and also as is indicated by what Abu Dawud relayed when he said … that al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib said:

Allah’s Messenger said, “Beautify the Qur’an with your voices.”

al-Nasaa’i and ibn Majah also reported this from one route … and al-Nasaa’i also reported it via another route with a good chain of transmission. Continue reading

When One Plans to Sin but then Does Not: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In surah al-An’aam, Allah describes the Day of Judgement by saying:

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا ۖ وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof, and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged. [6:160]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir gave a thorough and beneficial explanation of this ayah in part of his famous book of tafsir. He began by linking it to another related ayah, and then proceeded to mention several slightly different and seemingly contradictory hadith narrations on the same subject before explaining how these differences could be reconciled and understood properly:

وهذه الآية الكريمة مفصلة لما أجمل في الآية الأخرى ، وهي قوله : ( من جاء بالحسنة فله خير منها ) [ النمل : 89 ] ، وقد وردت الأحاديث مطابقة لهذه الآية ، كما قال الإمام أحمد بن حنبل ، رحمه الله : حدثنا عفان ، حدثنا جعفر بن سليمان ، حدثنا الجعد أبو عثمان ، عن أبي رجاء العطاردي ، عن ابن عباس ، رضي الله عنهما ، عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فيما يروي عن ربه ، عز وجل قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” إن ربكم عز وجل رحيم ، من هم بحسنة فلم يعملها كتبت له حسنة ، فإن عملها كتبت له عشرا إلى سبعمائة ، إلى أضعاف كثيرة . ومن هم بسيئة فلم يعملها كتبت له حسنة ، فإن عملها كتبت له واحدة ، أو يمحوها الله ، عز وجل ، ولا يهلك على الله إلا هالك ” ورواه البخاري ، ومسلم ، والنسائي ، من حديث الجعد بن أبي عثمان ، به . ـ

This great ayah serves to clarify what was previously only mentioned in a general sense in another ayah, that ayah being Allah’s statement:

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهَا

Whoever comes with a good deed with have something better than that … [27:89]

and a number of hadith narrations have been transmitted which fall in the same vein as this ayah, such as what Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said … that ibn ‘Abbaas relayed something of what Allah’s Messenger conveyed from his Lord. He said: Allah’s Messenger said:

Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, is merciful to the believers. Whoever intends to do a good deed but then does not actually do it will have one good deed recorded for him. But if he does do that good deed, he will have ten up to seven hundred or even higher multiples of good deeds recorded for him. And whoever intends to do a sin but then does not actually do it will have one good deed recorded for him. But if he does do that sin, it will be recorded as a single sin for him. Or Allah may even wipe that sin out. And Allah does not subject anyone to destruction except those who persist in sinfulness.

This was recorded by al-Bukari, Muslim, and al-Nasaa’i from the hadith of Ja’d ibn Abi ‘Uthman. Continue reading

Is the Qur’an Sufficient on its Own?: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote:

قال : اﻻ يكفي القرآن فقط..ام انه (يحتاج) الي سنة؟؟ ـ

A person asks, “Is the Qur’an sufficient on its own, or is it in need of the Sunnah?”

الجواب : القرآن العظيم يحتاج إلى السنة لتبينه، وهي قاضية عليه . قال الله تعالى : ﴿…وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ٤٤﴾ [النحل: 44]. وقال تعالى: ﴿وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ٦٤﴾ [النحل: 64]. ـ

Response: The Qur’an needs the Sunnah to clarify it, and the Sunnah is a definitive word regarding the Qur’an. Allah said:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

And We sent down the dhikr to you in order to make clear to the people what has been sent down to them and in order that they would reflect. [16:44]

and He said:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And We did not reveal the Book to you for any other reason than to clarify for them what they have been differing about and as a guidance and a mercy for the believing people. [16:64]

فالسنة تبين القرآن وتفسره، فلا يكفي القرآن العظيم بدون السنة؛ والسنة وحي أوحاه الله إلى نبيه محمد – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال تبارك وتعالى: {مَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى. إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى} (النجم:3 – 4). والرسول – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أوتي القرآن ومثله معه. ـ

The Sunnah acts as a clarification and explanation of the Qur’an, therefore the Qur’an is not sufficient without the Sunnah. The Sunnah is divine revelation which Allah gave to His prophet Muhammad. Allah said:

مَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى * إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

The Prophet does not speak of his own desires * It is only a divine revelation that has been sent. [53:3-4]

and the Messenger was given both the Qur’an and something like it along with it. Continue reading

Craving Wealth and Rulership: ibn Taymiyah

In one of his many writings, sheikh al-Islam ibn Taymiyah made the following insightful comments:

لا ريب أن الحرص والرغبة في الحياة الدنيا وفي الدار الدنيا من المال والسلطان مضر كما روى الترمذي عن كعب بن مالك قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ” { ما ذئبان جائعان أرسلا في زريبة غنم بأفسد لها من حرص المرء على المال والشرف لدينه } ” قال الترمذي حديث حسن صحيح . فذم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم الحرص [ ص: 143 ] على المال والشرف وهو الرياسة والسلطان وأخبر أن ذلك يفسد الدين مثل أو فوق إفساد الذئبين الجائعين لزريبة الغنم . ـ

There is no doubt that craving and pining after this worldly life and the wealth and rulership in it is something harmful. This is just as al-Tirmidhi relayed from Ka’b ibn Malik who said: Allah’s Messenger said:

Two hunger wolves let loose in the sheep pen is no more destructive to them than a person’s craving for wealth and rulership is to his religion.

and al-Tirmidhi said that this was a hasan saheeh hadeeth. So the Prophet criticized pining after wealth and al-sharf – which is positions of rulership and authority – and he informed us that such things corrupt one’s religion as much if not more than the destruction that two hunger wolves unleash upon an enclosure of sheep.

وهذا دليل على أن هذا الحرص إنما ذم لأنه يفسد الدين الذي هو الإيمان والعمل الصالح فكان ترك هذا الحرص لصالح العمل وهذان هما المذكوران في قوله تعالى { ما أغنى عني ماليه } { هلك عني سلطانيه } وهما اللذان : ذكرهما الله في سورة القصص حيث افتتحها بأمر فرعون وذكر علوه في الأرض وهو الرياسة والشرف والسلطان ثم ذكر في آخرها قارون وما أوتيه من الأموال وذكر عاقبة سلطان هذا وعاقبة مال هذا ثم قال : { تلك الدار الآخرة نجعلها للذين لا يريدون علوا في الأرض ولا فسادا } كحال فرعون وقارون ; فإن جمع الأموال من غير إنفاقها في مواضعها المأمور بها وأخذها من غير وجهها هو من نوع الفساد . ـ

This is a proof that this craving is dispraised precisely because it corrupts one’s deen, that is, one’s eemaan and righteous deeds. So a person should leave off this avarice for the sake of doing good deeds. And these objects of desire are also mentioned together in Allah’s statement: Continue reading

How the Prophet Would Recite the Qur’an

Sheikh Muhammad Moosaa Aal Nasr, one of the salafi scholars of recent times who specialized in the qiraa’aat and Qur’anic sciences, compiled this beneficial discussion of how the Prophet would recite the Qur’an. Sheikh Muhammad Moosaa was also a long-term student of sheikh al-Albani and limited himself to only using authentic hadith narrations throughout this chapter:

صفة قراءة النبي للقرآن الكريم
How the Prophet Would Recite the Qur’an

قال ابن القيم في [ زاد المعاد (١/٣٣٧) ] : وكان صلى الله عليه وسلم يقطع قراءته ، ويقف عند كل آية فيقول : ( الحمد لله رب العالمين ، ويقف ، الرحمن الرحيم ، ويقف : مالك يوم الدين ) وذكر الزهري أن قراءة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كانت آية آية ، وهذا هو الأفضل ، الوقوف على رءوس الآيات وإن تعلقت بما بعدها .  ـ

وذهب بعض القراء إلى تتبع الأغراض والمقاصد ، والوقوف عند انتهائها ، واتباع هدي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وسنته أولى . وممن ذكر ذلك البيهقي في “شعب الإيمان” وغيره ، ورجح الوقوف على رءوس الآي وإن تعلقت بما بعدها . أ.هـــ.

Ibn al-Qayyim wrote in Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/338):

The Prophet used to pause while reciting, stopping at every ayah. So he would say

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

and then pause

الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

and pause

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

al-Zuhri mentioned that the recitation of Allah’s Messenger went one ayah at a time, and this is what is best – pausing before the beginning of each new ayah, even if the meaning of the preceding ayah is linked to it. Continue reading

“Allah commanded me to recite to you”: Sharh al-Nawawi

It is reported in both al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Qatadah that Anas ibn Malik said:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لأُبَىٍّ ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أَقْرَأَ عَلَيْكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ آللَّهُ سَمَّانِي لَكَ قَالَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُ سَمَّاكَ لِي ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَجَعَلَ أُبَىٌّ يَبْكِي ‏.‏

The Prophet said to Ubay, “Allah has commanded me to recite to you.” Ubay said, “Did Allah mention me by name to you?” The Prophet replied, “Allah mentioned you by name to me.” Anas said: That caused Ubay to cry.

[Muslim #799]

And in the narration of al-Bukhari, there is an addition to the end of the hadith from one of the subnarrators:

قَالَ قَتَادَةُ فَأُنْبِئْتُ أَنَّهُ قَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ ‏{‏لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ‏}

Qatadah said: I was told that the Prophet recited surah al-Bayyinah (97) to him.

[al-Bukhari #4960]

In his commentary on Saheeh Muslim, Imam Abu Zakariyyah Yahya al-Nawawi mentioned the following commentary on this hadith:

وفي الحديث فوائد كثيرة . منها : استحباب قراءة القرآن على الحذاق فيه وأهل العلم به والفضل ، وإن كان القارئ أفضل من المقروء عليه ، ومنها : المنقبة الشريفة لأبي بقراءة النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – عليه ، ولا يعلم أحد من الناس شاركه في هذا ، ومنها : منقبة أخرى له بذكر الله تعالى له ، ونصه عليه في هذه المنزلة الرفيعة ، ومنها : البكاء للسرور والفرح مما يبشر الإنسان به ويعطاه من معالي الأمور . ـ

There are a number of benefits to be found in this hadith.

One benefit is the encouragement to recite the Qur’an to someone who is skilled in it, a person of knowledge and virtue. That is the case even if the one reciting is more virtuous than the one to whom he is reciting. Continue reading

The Dispute Between ‘Umar and Hisham: Ibn Hajr

Imam al-Bukhari mentioned the following narration in his Saheeh, in the section on the merits of the Qur’an:

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عُفَيْرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي اللَّيْثُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُقَيْلٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، أَنَّ الْمِسْوَرَ بْنَ مَخْرَمَةَ، وَعَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ عَبْدٍ الْقَارِيَّ، حَدَّثَاهُ أَنَّهُمَا، سَمِعَا عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ هِشَامَ بْنَ حَكِيمٍ، يَقْرَأُ سُورَةَ الْفُرْقَانِ فِي حَيَاةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاسْتَمَعْتُ لِقِرَاءَتِهِ فَإِذَا هُوَ يَقْرَأُ عَلَى حُرُوفٍ كَثِيرَةٍ لَمْ يُقْرِئْنِيهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَكِدْتُ أُسَاوِرُهُ فِي الصَّلاَةِ فَتَصَبَّرْتُ حَتَّى سَلَّمَ فَلَبَّبْتُهُ بِرِدَائِهِ فَقُلْتُ مَنْ أَقْرَأَكَ هَذِهِ السُّورَةَ الَّتِي سَمِعْتُكَ تَقْرَأُ‏.‏ قَالَ أَقْرَأَنِيهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ كَذَبْتَ فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَدْ أَقْرَأَنِيهَا عَلَى غَيْرِ مَا قَرَأْتَ، فَانْطَلَقْتُ بِهِ أَقُودُهُ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ هَذَا يَقْرَأُ بِسُورَةِ الْفُرْقَانِ عَلَى حُرُوفٍ لَمْ تُقْرِئْنِيهَا‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ أَرْسِلْهُ اقْرَأْ يَا هِشَامُ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ الْقِرَاءَةَ الَّتِي سَمِعْتُهُ يَقْرَأُ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كَذَلِكَ أُنْزِلَتْ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ اقْرَأْ يَا عُمَرُ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَرَأْتُ الْقِرَاءَةَ الَّتِي أَقْرَأَنِي، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ كَذَلِكَ أُنْزِلَتْ، إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

… al-Miswar ibn Makhramah and ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd al-Qari told us that they both heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab say:

I heard Hisham ibn Hakeem reciting surah al-Furqan while the Prophet was still alive, so I listened to his recitation and I noticed that he recited it differently in several ways from how Allah’s Messenger had recited it to me. I nearly struck him while he was still praying, but I held myself back until he completed the prayer and then I grabbed him by his shawl and said, “Who taught you this surah that I just heard you recite?” He said, “Allah’s Messenger recited it to me.” I said, “You have misspoken, for Allah’s Messenger recited it to me in a different way than how you recited it.”

So I immediately set off to see Allah’s Messenger, taking him along with me. I said to the Prophet, “I heard this person recite surah al-Furqan in some ways other than how you taught it to me.”

Allah’s Messenger said, “Let him go. Recite it, Hisham.” So he recited it in the way I had heard him recite it before. Then Allah’s Messenger, “That is how it was sent down,” and then said, “Recite it, ‘Umar.” So I recited it in the way I had been taught, and Allah’s Messenger said, “That is how it was sent down. This Qur’an was sent down in seven ahruf [dialects], so recite whatever of it is easy for you.”

[Saheeh al-Bukhari #4992]

While there has been much differing among the scholars as to the meaning of the seven ahruf, the correct meaning – inshaAllaah – is that they are different dialects of the Arabic language in which the Qur’an was revealed. However, as scholars have pointed out, ‘Umar and Hisham were both from the tribe of Quraysh and thus shared the same dialect. This raises the question: if they shared the same dialect, why would they differ in which harf they recited the Qur’an in?

The great scholar of hadith ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaani addressed this point in his explanation of Saheeh al-Bukhari by writing:

قوله : ( فإن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قد أقرأنيها ) هذا قاله عمر استدلالا على ما ذهب إليه من تخطئة هشام ، وإنما ساغ له ذلك لرسوخ قدمه في الإسلام وسابقته ، بخلاف هشام فإنه كان قريب العهد بالإسلام فخشي عمر من ذلك أن لا يكون أتقن القراءة ، بخلاف نفسه فإنه كان قد أتقن ما سمع .ـ

Regarding ‘Umar’s statement, “For Allah’s Messenger recited it to me…” Continue reading