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Sunday, November 22, 2009

What exactly are the different Qiraat? (3)

I was wondering why Qiraat appear to be such a problematic issue . After going through all the reliable sources & resources I could reach , it turned out to be indeed a thorny subject . It is only God's Mercy that helped me come out with my faith intact , . I put within your reach what I have concluded to , not saying that this is the best reply , but it is simply my very best . In the Name of Allah do I start :

* The Ahruf are different from Qiraat .

* There are ONLY 7 Ahruf but up to 14 Qiraat ( even more )

* The Ahruf are what you may call in Eng : aspects أوجه . What are these 7 aspects : well they are connected with grammar or lexical rules in Arabic ; that is Alnahw & Alsarf النحو و الصرف & Al-erab الإعراب & other rules . In short , they are seven aspects hard to explain in Eng (at least for me ) because they are connected with the properties of the Arabic languages which have no equivalents in the foreign ones ( those studying Arabic may understand )

* The Qiraat may amount to 14 or more , but the major & most reliable of which are 7 still in use . For those who learn the science of Qiraat , they stop at number ten and that is it . An example is the famous Qiraa of Hafs an Asem : حفص عن عاصم

* To make it more conceivable : let's imagine a circle . This circle represent Ahruf ( the 7 aspects ) . The centre of the circle represent th Qiraat . The centre of the circle ie emitting rays . The rays spread only within the circle . Hence , all the various Qiraat are limited within those seven aspects .

* Another example : In Arab countries we have three famous kinds of cheese : white , istanboli & roumie . All these various types fall within the same category : cheese . All the various ways of Qiraa fall in one of theses 7 categories .

* No matter how many variations there are , they are all limited within these seven categories or aspects .

* then , where did this seven Ahruf came from ? Why ? & can this be taken as a proof that the Quran -God Forbid- has been falsified or altered ??!! Please keep reading patiently if you wish to know the answers .

* The seven Ahruf were revealed to the Prophet through Gabriel by the command of God . There are over ten Hadith Sahih حديث صحيح from Bukhari , Muslim , Mustadrak & Musnad Amhad telling us that the Ahruf were reavelation from Allah to the Prophet , not some modern invention or Bidaa بدعة

I do not Know how to get the English translation of those Hadithes , so I just put them in Arabic ( in case anyone can help ) and the general meaning in English ( my cracked Eng so please bear with me & keep reading)

All those Hadithes revolve around the same story that the companions sometimes heard pronunciation of words or Qiraa in general different from that they heard from the Prophrt directly . the other side who are reading in another Qiraa are also companions and said they had heard the Prophet directly reciting like that . What would the companions do ?? Quite obvious , immediately rush to the Prophet .

These companions mentioned in the Hadithes are all relaible & trustworthy of course : Abu Bakr , Omar , Hisham bin Hakim , Ubai Bin Kaab , Amru , Zaid , ...

The first story with Omar & Hishm about Surat Alfurqan . They went to the Prophet , he listened to each of them at a time , then said (not quoting)
It was revealed like this (meaning with these Qiraat) This Quran have been revealed in Seven Ahruf , read what you can ( again my translation is not precise )

" هكذا أنزلت ، إن هذا القرآن أنزل على سبعة أحرف فاقرؤوا ما تيسر منه

Another story with Ubai . When he heard two men in the Masjid reciting in two Qiraat unlike his . They went to the Prophet , he listened to each of them and he approved all of them . The interesting here is that Ubai had a flashing tinge of ... doubt ! The Merciful Prophet understood from his look what was struggling inside him . He gently ...poked ( this may not be the correct word ) him in the chest and said that it was him ( the prophet ) who asked Allah for those Ahruf , and was granted seven (ways of reciting) . Why ?? this comes later , don't rush me !

فقال لي : يا أُبَيّ ، أرسل إلي أن إقرأ القرآن على حرف ، فرددت إليه أن هوِّن على أمتي ، فرد إلى الثانية : اقرأه على حرفين ، فرددت إليه أن هون على أمتي ، فرد إلي الثالثة أن اقرأه على سبعة أحرف ..."

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