Monday, 4 August 2014

The 7 Ahruf & 10 Qiraat Of Quran

First off, let's talk about the different ahruf. What are the different ahruf? You see, the Quraishi - the Arabs in Arabia at the time did not speak one different dialect of Arabic. They were not a homogeneous group of people. No, they were different groups of people, there were different kinds of Arabs at the time. Even then, even now to this day especially there are different kinds of Arabs and they spoke different kinds of Arabic. For example, one example that we know is that the Prophet (saw) once encountered a group of people who: instead of saying "al" for example: "al-kitab" they said "am," like "am-kitab." So for example they would say "rasul amlah" (the Messenger of God). So, they would say "am" instead of "al." They spoke different dialects of Arabic, and these different dialects were actually captured in the Quran originally. Originally, they were captured and these are called the different ahruf. The Quran was revealed in different ways to accommodate for these different people who spoke different dialects of Arabic, because it was not standardized at the time. We have a Hadith in:
Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Number 1782:
"'Umar b. Khattab said: I heard Hisham b. Hakim b. Hizam reciting Surah al-Furqan in a style different from that in which I used to recite it, and in which Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) had taught me to recite it. I was about to dispute with him (on this style) but I delayed till he had finished that (the recitation). Then I caught hold of his cloak and brought him to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Messenger of Allah, I heard this man reciting Surah al-Furqan in a style different from the one in which you taught me to recite. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) told (me) to leave him alone and asked him to recite. He then recited in the style in which I beard him recite it. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) then said: Thus was it sent down. He then told me to recite and I recited it, and he said: Thus was it sent down. The Qur'an was sent down in seven dialects. So recite what seems easy therefrom.."
And this is reported in Muslim, so it is an authentic Hadith. So we know that the Quran was revealed in seven different ways - originally. seven different ahruf - styles of dialects of the Quran. And this book: "Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran" defines it is:
"...a temporary definition would be given as follows: the ahruf are the various ways that the verses of the Quran are read. Imam al-Qurtubi said, |very variation of a word in the Quran is said to be a harf. So, for example, when we say the harf of Ibn Masud, it means the way that Ibn Masud used to recite that verse or word [1]." (Chapter 10, Page 172).
In other words, there are different ways of reciting the Quran that were given to different people - different dialects at the time. Each of these is correct. So the question then is: well how come we don't have ahruf of the Quran? How come we don't have different dialects of the Quran to this today? Uthman in his wisdom at the time, when he was compiling the Quran into one single document - one single Mushaf (one single book), burned the other ahruf of the Quran. Burned them, and he only preserved one of them, which was the one original Quraishi harf of the Quran - the original Quraishi dialect. He preserved that Quran.
Now you my ask: what is the different Qiraat of the Quran? What are they? The different Qiraat are: from that one hard of the Quran which Uthman preserved - from that one reading style or one dialect: come the different Qiraat. The different Qiraat are the different ways that the one Quraishi harf can be read. The different styles of that one harf. The variations within that one harf, that one dialect which Uthman preserved. So for example you have:
Surah Duha 93:1-3: Transliteration:
"Waadduha. Waallayli itha saja. Ma wadda AAaka rabbuka wama qala."
That's the standard way that we think of, right? Now, listen to this one:
Surah Duha 93:1-3: Transliteration:
"Waadduheh. Waallayli itha sejeh. Ma wadda AAaka rabbuka wama qaleh."

You see the difference? "Duha - Duheh." There's a difference there. These are the different styles of reciting the same exact letters. You also have for example:
Surah Fatiha 1:1-3: Transliteration:
"Alhamdu lilla hirabbil Alameen. Ar rahman niraheem. Maliki yawm middeen."
That's how we usually think of it. Now listen to this one:
Surah Fatiha 1:1-3: Transliteration:
"Alhamdu lilla hirabbil Alameeen. Ar rahman niraheeem. Maliki yawm middeeen."

There's other ways too. The thing is the Quran can be recited in different ways. The majority of the Muslim world settled on the hafs reading - the hafs Qiraat of the Quran - the hafs recitation style. However, other styles of the Quran still are read, in fact some places exclusively use one style. North Africa for example for the most part uses warsh style. Other parts exclusively use the Aduri style. Other parts exclusively use the Qaloon style. So there are different styles of reciting the Quran. The ahruf are one thing and the Qiraat are another thing. Uthman burned the different ahruf of the Quran from the one harf that was preserved, come the different Qiraat. Every single one of these different Qiraat is from the prophet's mouth directly (saw) and it is the authentic Quran 100%. There are 7 authentic Qiraat and there are 3 that are considered questionable.



Now, coming to the 5th view which is considered by many to be a really acceptable view. This was actually first given by Imam Malik. It states that the 7 readings are actually the variation in recital. They refer to the variations in the recital or the Quran of 7 kinds. So they refer to the 7 kinds of variations in the recital. Although the recitals are more than 7, the variations found in then evolved around 7 basic points. Imam Malik stated that the 7 readings denoted the 7 variations in the recital of the Quran. These variations are:
1. Variations in numbers such that 1 word is read as singular in 1 recital and plural in the other.
2. Variations in gender - masculine in 1 recital become feminine in the other. For example: "la yakbal" becomes "la thakbal."
3. Variations in placements of diacritical marks. The kasara, fatha, etc.
4. Variations in verb. So, "ya-rishun" becomes "yuwarishun."
5. Variations in syntax.
6. Variations caused by transposition.
7. Variations of pronunciation or accent. Variations in: Tafkheem, Tarqeeq, Imla, Maad, Kasar, Izar, Idgham which are actually rendering the sound heavy, soft, inclining it, prolonging it, shortening it, expressing clearly and assimilating.
Many prominent scholars adhere to this view. However, there is some difference in the formulation of those variations, because each arrange them individually. Imam Razi's enlistment is considered most concise, well arranged and firmly established. He says the variations in the recital of the Quran depend on 7 kinds:
1. Variations in noun. This includes difference in number and gender.
2. Variations in verbs. The same verb is read in the past, present or future tense, or as an imperative.
3. Variations in positions of diacritical marks.
4. Variations caused by omissions and additions. There is an extra word in one reading which is not found in another.
5. Variations of placement of words. A word proceeds in a reading while it follows in another.
6. Variations caused by replacement of words. There is a word in one reading, but quite another word in the other reading.
7. Variations of accent.

This is a reasonable opinion regarding the 7 readings, and many scholars agree that it refers to the 7 kinds of difference in reading. In the end, one thing is important to keep in mind that is: that the Prophet himself did not explain the 7 ahruf and hence one cannot say that 1 particular view is what the Hadith intended to mean. But the view of Imam Razi appears to be more correct, as it is applicable to the various forms of recitals current to date. So, we cannot judge and we cannot say that one view supersedes the other or one view is like the 100% most correct view. These are opinions of the scholars and their analysis regarding the different opinions.  So over here, it seems that Imam Razi's opinion is like much more muhkam that compared to the other opinions. But, however we cannot say that this was exactly what the Prophet meant, so that's one important thing which we have to keep in mind.

1 comment:

  1. The Seven Ahruf is associated with the Linguistic Science and Linguistic Engineering and the Language pathology guides revealed with the Holy Quran: Copy the following link and paste it in your browser to read More: