Is Tajweed Mandatory? And is it Part of the Religion?: Muhammad Bazmool

In part of his explanation of the book al-Itmam al-Dirayah li-Qurra’ al-Niqayah, sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool addressed the question of whether tajweed in reciting the Qur’an is an obligation and whether the science of tajweed has any basis or not, as some assert.

ـ▪من أجل هذا قيل بوجوب ضبط القرآن في حروفه، فيُعطىٰ كل حرف حقّه ومُستحقّه، بما يخرج بقراءته عن اللّحن الجليّ. ـ

… Due to this, some say that it is mandatory to be precise in one’s pronunciation of the Qur’an and that one must give each letter its due rights, so as to avoid falling into obvious major errors when reciting.

أما تجنب اللحن الخفيّ، وهو ما يتعلّق بمخارج الحروف بالضّبط، ومقدار المدود وما يشبه ذلك مما لا يؤثّر في بُنية الكلمة ومعناها؛ فهذا يُستحبّ. وهذا وجه تقرير طلب علم التّجويد؛ فإن القراءة باللّحن الجليِّ لم ينزل القرآن بها، وليست بقرآن. ـ

As for avoiding subtle minor errors – i.e. those related to the exact makharij al-huroof (places of articulation), the length of the mudood (elongated vowels), and other such things which do not have any effect on the form or meaning of a word – then this is virtuous but not obligatory. So this is what the student of tajweed should remember, for reciting the Qur’an with obvious major errors is not how the Qur’an was revealed and is not, in fact, the Qur’an.

فإن قيل: ما الدّليل على أن تجنّب اللّحن الخفي ليس بواجب؟ فالجواب: جاء في الحديث عن عائِشَةَ رضي اللّه عنها، عن النبيِّ ﷺ قال: (مثل الذي يقرأُ القرآنَ وهو حافظٌ له مع السَّفَرَة الكرامِ البررةِ، ومثل الذي يقرأُ، وهو يتعاهَدُهُ، وهو عليه شديدٌ، فلَهُ أجرَانِ)، وفي رواية: (الماهر بالقرآن مع السّفرةِ الكرام البررَةِ، والَّذي يَقْرَاُ القُرآنَ ويَتَعْتَعُ فِيهِ، وَهُوَ عَليهِ شاقٌّ؛ لَهُ أجْرَانِ) أخرجه البخاري في كتاب التفسير. ـ

Now, what if one were to say, “What is the evidence that avoiding subtle minor errors isn’t mandatory?”

One could reply by mentioning what has come in the hadith of A’ishah that they Prophet said:

Whoever recites the Qur’an, having memorized it, is with the righteous and noble messenger angels. And whoever recites the Qur’an, struggling to do so and experiencing difficulty, then he will have two rewards.

And in another narration: Continue reading

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

As is well known, the qiraa’aat – recitations of the Qur’an – are commonly referred to by the names of certain transmitters and reciters, such as the qiraa’ah of Hafs ‘an ‘Asim or the qiraa’ah of Warsh ‘an Nafi’. However, some people then question why the qiraa’aat are attributed to these transmitters and reciters if they were all recited and taught by the Prophet. In part of a response to some doubts surrounding the qiraa’aat, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool wrote the following important clarification on this topic:

اعلم أن نسبة القراءة إلى العلماء الذين اشتهرت عنهم إنما هي نسبة أداء ورواية واختيار لا نسبة اختراع وابتداع ؛ فإن القراءة تلقي واتباع لا اختراع وابتداع! ـ

You ought to know that the attribution of a certain qiraa’ah – a recitation of the Qur’an – to those scholars who were known for reciting in that way is merely an attribution that they did recited and transmitted and preferred that qiraa’ah, not attributing it to them as if they invented or created it! The qiraa’aat are something received and followed, not something that people can create or invent themselves! Continue reading

How to Distinguish Muhkam from Mutashaabih: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following question and answer:

كل أهل البدع يستدلون بالقرآن والسنة، ويرون أدلتهم محكمة وأدلة مخالفيهم من المتشابه! ما السبيل الذي استطيع أن أميز أن استدلالي بالآية أو الحديث هو استدلال بالمحكم دون المتشابه؟ ـ

[Question] All of the people of innovation use the Qur’an and the Sunnah as evidences to support their positions and consider their own evidences to be muhkam (clear-cut and definitive) while believing that the evidence of those who oppose them are mutashaabih (ambiguous and uncertain). How can I determine if my use of an ayah or hadith to support a position is actually relying on something muhkam rather than something mutashaabih?

هذا السؤال يجول في خاطر بعض الناس ويبحث عن جواب، واسأل الله تبارك وتعالى أن يعين عليه ، فأقول: ـ

[Response] This question deals with a challenge that some people face and for which they are searching for an answer. I ask Allah to aid us in that, and I would respond:

أولاً : لتعلم أنه ليس مجرد الاستدلال بالآية أو بالحديث يجعل استدلالك مبني على حجة صحيحة، حتى يتحقق في الآية التي تستدل بها والحديث أنهما من المحكم وليسا من المتشابه. ولذلك جاء عن عبدالله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنه: “العلم آية محكمة أو سنة ماضية أو فريضة قائمة”؛ فانظر لم يقل العلم الآية و الحديث، حتى قيد الآية بأن تكون محكمة والسنة بأن تكون ماضية . ـ

First, you should know that just because you bring an ayah or a hadith to support your point does not necessarily mean that what you are trying to prove is built of a strong foundation until you verify that the ayah or hadith which you are using as evidence is actually muhkam and not mutashaabih. There is something in this vein from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas where he said,

“Knowledge is a muhkam verses or an established sunnah or a valid derived ruling.”

Notice that he did not say “knowledge is an ayah or a hadith” without stipulating that the ayah had to be muhkam and that the sunnah had to be established. Continue reading

Forms of the Qur’an Explaining the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, summarized the following points in a post of his social media:

صور تفسير القرآن بالقرآن : ـ
Forms of the Qur’an Explaining the Qur’an

ـ – ما أجمل في مكان يفسر بما فصل في مكان آخر. ـ

What is mentioned in a general way in one place is explained in further detail elsewhere.

 ـ – أن يفسر اللفظ بما جاء في تفسيره بعده مباشرة، كما في قوله تعالى: ﴿وما أدراك ما الطارق . النجم الثاقب﴾. ـ

A word or phrase could be explained by what comes immediately after it, such as with Allah’s statement:

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ * النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ

And what will make you know what al-Tariq is? * A strikingly bright star [86:2-3]

 ـ – أن يفسر بالمقابلة، كما في قوله تعالى: ﴿وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَغْنَى وَأَقْنَى﴾ (النجم: 48). ـ

Something could be explained by way of contrast, such as with Allah’s statement:

Continue reading

Ibn Mas’ood and the Prophet’s Final Review of the Qur’an

In a small booklet dedicated to a study of the narrated statements regarding the final review of the Qur’an that the Prophet performed with the angel Jibril in the year of his death, sheikh Muhammad Bazmool included the following valuable and clarifying discussion:

المسألة التاسعة : العرضة الأخيرة ، هي قراءة زيد أو قراءة ابن مسعود؟ ـ
Issue #9: The Final Review of the Qur’an, was it in the recitation of Zayd ibn Thabit or the recitation of ibn Mas’ood?

عن شَقِيقُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ، قَالَ خَطَبَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ فَقَالَ وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ أَخَذْتُ مِنْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِضْعًا وَسَبْعِينَ سُورَةً، وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمَ أَصْحَابُ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنِّي مِنْ أَعْلَمِهِمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا بِخَيْرِهِمْ‏.‏ قَالَ شَقِيقٌ فَجَلَسْتُ فِي الْحِلَقِ أَسْمَعُ مَا يَقُولُونَ فَمَا سَمِعْتُ رَادًّا يَقُولُ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ‏.‏ ـ

Shaqeeq ibn Salamah said: ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood addressed us one day and said:

I swear by Allah that I learned seventy-something surahs directly from Allah’s Messenger, and I swear by Allah that the Companions of the Prophet know that I am one of the most knowledgeable of them when it comes to the Qur’an, although I am not the best of them.

and Shaqeeq said, “I sat in the sittings, listening to what was said and I did not hear anyone refuting what he said.”

ولفظ مسلم : عَنْ شَقِيقٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ ‏{‏ وَمَنْ يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ‏}‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ عَلَى قِرَاءَةِ مَنْ تَأْمُرُونِي أَنْ أَقْرَأَ فَلَقَدْ قَرَأْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِضْعًا وَسَبْعِينَ سُورَةً وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَ أَصْحَابُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنِّي أَعْلَمُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَلَوْ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّ أَحَدًا أَعْلَمُ مِنِّي لَرَحَلْتُ إِلَيْهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ شَقِيقٌ فَجَلَسْتُ فِي حَلَقِ أَصْحَابِ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَمَا سَمِعْتُ أَحَدًا يَرُدُّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ وَلاَ يَعِيبُهُ ‏.‏ ـ

In the wording of Muslim, Shaqeeq relayed that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said

Continue reading

Reasons Why the Tafsir of the Sahabah Differed: Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote a brief post accounting for the differences found among the Qur’anic explanations of the Sahabah. We have translated it below:

الاختلاف الواقع بين الصحابة في التفسير هو من اختلاف التنوُّع، ولا يقع بينهم اختلاف من باب التضادِّ، إلا فيما لا يصحُّ عنهم. ـ

The differing that did occur among the Sahabah in the field of tafsir is simply variations on a theme. There was not any differing among them that was actual in opposition or conflict, except for things that cannot actually be authentically attributed to them.

ووجه ما يجيء عنهم من اختلاف في التفسير يعود إلى أمرين: ـ

The reasons why there were some differences among their explanations of the Qur’an all go back to two issues:

الأمر الأوَّل: أن تتعدَّد أسماء الشيء وأوصافُه، وشروطه وأركانه، فتارةً يذكره أحدُهم باسمٍ غير ما يذكره به الآخر، وتارةً يذكره بركن فيه غير ما يذكره الآخر، ولا اختلاف تضاد بينهما، كمن يقول: اركع ركعتين، والآخر يقول: اسجد سجدتين، فالسجود والركوع من أركان الصلاة، ويعبَّر بهما عن الركعة من القيام والقراءة والركوع والرفع منه والسجود والجلوس بين السجدتين والسجود الثاني. ـ

1. A single thing can have multiple names, or multiple characteristics, conditions or key parts. So sometimes one of the Sahabah would call something a certain name while another mentioned it by a different name. In other instances, perhaps one of them would refer to the entire thing by one of its essential components while another mentioned it by a different key part. So there is no conflict or contradiction between the two. This is just like if one person said, “Pray two raka’aat” and another person said, “Pray to sajdahs”, because the sujood and the rukoo’ are both essential pillars of the salaah. So the term rukoo’ can be used to refer to the entire salaah without the need to mention the standing, recitation, bowing, coming back up from bowing, prostrating, sitting between the two prostrations or the second prostration. Continue reading

Paying Attention to Who the Qur’an is Addressing: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

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

تحت عبارة: اتباع كلام الله، وكلام الله أولى! ومثلها عبارة: أريد حديثاً أن الرسول فعله أو قاله؛ تحت هاتين العبارتين ترد شريعة الله ، ويخالف دينه! يصدق على هاتين العبارتين أنهما: كلمة حق يراد بها باطل! وتوضيح ذلك؛ ـ

Consider the phrase, “Follow the Speech of Allah, for the Speech of Allah comes first!” or the phrase, “Give me a hadith that the Prophet did that or said that!” Both of these phrases run counter to the sharee’ah that Allah legislated and go against His religion! It would be accurate to say that both of these phrases are true statements which are used to support falsehood.

Let me explain:

لا خلاف في أن الأصل هو اتباع كلام الله، وليس ذلك أولى بل هو الواجب على المسلم؛ ولكن ذلك محله فيما كان محكماً لا متشابهاً، وإلا كنا من الذين في قلوبهم زيغ، فيتبعون المتشابه منه. ـ

There is no disagreement that the very foundation of the religion is following Allah’s Speech. That is not just something good; it is something binding on every Muslim. However, the place for that is when it comes to the clear and definitive verses, not the ambiguous verses. If we were to do otherwise, then we be among those people who have deviation in their heart and follow the ambiguous parts of the Qur’an as a result.

ومن المتشابه أن تأت إلى الآية التي ليست في حق عموم المسلمين إنما خاصة بالحكام، أو خاصة بفئة من المسلمين في حال معين، فتأت وتجعلها عامة في حق كل المسلمين. ـ

An example of this ambiguity which some people follow is that they take an ayah that is not directed at the Muslims as a whole but is exclusively dealing with the rulers or specifically directed at military units of the Muslims in a particular circumstance and then treat it as if it applied generally to all Muslims. Continue reading

Responding to Doubts About the Prohibition of Music: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

One of the most commonly-cited evidences for the prohibition of music is the ayah from surah Luqman

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

And among the people are those who purchase idle talk to mislead others from the path of Allah without knowledge and who take it as a mockery. For these ones, there is a humiliating punishment. [31:6]

and the “idle talk” in this ayah was explained to refer to music, as was explained by ibn Mas’ood, ibn ‘Abbaas and others. Another commonly-cited evidence is the hadeeth of the Prophet

لَيَكُونَنَّ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَقْوَامٌ يَسْتَحِلُّونَ الْحِرَ وَالْحَرِيرَ وَالْخَمْرَ وَالْمَعَازِفَ

There will be some people from my nation who will consider illicit sexual intercourse, silk, alcohol and musical instruments to be permissible.

which is reported in Saheeh al-Bukhari (#5590). We have previously translated an explanation of this ayah from surah Luqman which brings several more pieces of evidence for the prohibition of music. We would recommend reading that article before proceeding, as it serves as a foundation for this topic.

After understanding the evidences for the prohibition of music, it bears mentioning that there are some who cast doubt on the validity of these primary pieces of evidence listed above. While these doubts may appear to be academic, they are ultimately without a sound foundation, as Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool explains below:

قال : هذا التفسير اجتهاد من ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه. وحديث المعازف مختلف فيه . ـ

Some say: This explanation of ibn Mas’ood is simply his personal scholarly opinion, and there is some differing as to the hadith of musical instruments.

قلت : لاحظ ان تفسير ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه للآية ليس فيه ما يخالف لفظها بل هو يقرر معناها فهو يقول : من لهو الحديث في الآية الغناء لانه يحصل به اضلال للناس في باب الشهوات. فاللام ليست للتعليل بل للعاقبة، كاللام في قوله تعالى: ({فَالْتَقَطَهُ آلُ فِرْعَوْنَ لِيَكُونَ لَهُمْ عَدُوّاً وَحَزَناً إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا كَانُوا خَاطِئِينَ }) (القصص:8). ـ

I say: It must be noted that ibn Mas’ood’s explanation of this ayah does not contain anything that is at odds with the ayah itself. Rather, his explanation affirms the ayah‘s meaning, as he is saying that one example of the “idle talk” mentioned in this ayah is music because it leads to the misguidance of people by way of lowly desires. So the preposition laam in the ayah is not meant to imply causation but rather consequence, like the laam in Allah’s statement: Continue reading

“Ask the Ahl al-Dhikr if You Don’t Know”: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

The following question was posed to sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca:

سؤال: ما التقسيم والمفهوم الصحيح في قول الله تعالى:{فسئلوا أهل الذكر إن كنتم لا تعلمون} النحل ؟ ـ

Question: What is the division of people and correct understanding regarding Allah’s statement:

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

So ask the ahl al-dhikr if you do not know [16:43]

جواب : الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين سيدنا محمد وعلى اله وصحبه وسلم. أما بعد: فإن قوله تعالى: {فسئلوا أهل الذكر إن كنتم لاتعلمون}النحل[7] يدل على أمور: ـ

Answer: All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the prophets and messengers, our leader Muhammad, as well as upon his family and companions.

To proceed: Allah’s statement:

فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

So ask the ahl al-dhikr if you do not know [16:43]

points to a number of things:

الأمر الأول : أن المسلمين ينقسموا إلى قسمين قسم هم أهل العلم ،وقسم هم ليس من أهل العلم وهم الذين يسمون بالعوام. ـ

Point #1: That Muslims can be divided into two categories. One category is the people of knowledge, and the other category are those who are not the people of knowledge, those who are referred to as the laypeople. Continue reading

All of the Islamic Sciences Originated in Service to the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote the following words on one of his social media channels:

هل تعلم …أن جميع العلوم في الثقافة الإسلامية أو الحضارة الإسلامية نشأت خدمة للقرآن الكريم؟! فاللغة من أجل ضبط ألفاظ القرآن الكريم. والنحو من أجل عدم اللحن في نطقه. والبلاغة من أجل الوصول إلى وجه الإعجاز في بيان القرآن ومعانيه . والحديث من أجل تفسير القرآن وبيان معانيه. والفقه من أجل إبراز ما في القرآن من أحكام تتعلق بأفعال المكلفين. والتاريخ من أجل معرفة تواريخ الأمم التي قص الله لنا في القرآن قصصهم وأخبارهم. والعقيدة من أجل معرفة الله سبحانه وتعالى كم في القرآن العظيم. وأصول الفقه من أجل فهم القرآن واستنباط الأحكام منه. وعلوم القرآن من أجل إبراز ما فيه من العلوم وما بيساعد في تفسيره وفهم معانيه. وقس على هذا!. ـ

Did you know that all of the fields of knowledge of Islamic culture or Islamic civilization originated in service to the Qur’an?

The study of linguistics came about in order to precisely preserve the wordings of the Qur’an.

The study of grammar came about in order to avoid grammatical errors when articulating the Qur’an.

The study of linguistic eloquence came about as a means to understand the inimitable nature of the rhetorical style of meanings of the Qur’an. Continue reading