Concepts, Islamic Culture, Side Feature

FB Q&A: A Question on Mutawatir Recitations (Qira’at) of the Noble Qur’an

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh, our eminent Ameer. I ask Allah (swt) that you are in the best of health and wellbeing, and I ask Allah (swt) to aid you and make you steadfast. I would like to raise a point and I ask Allah’s success to do so. Please read it and decide on it.

It was mentioned in the book, The Islamic Personality Volume I, in the chapter: “The Ummah’s need today for Mufassirin” the point about the Arabs’ habit to dispense with some words in preference for the use of synonymous or words close in meaning, as long as the intended meaning is conveyed. And on the subject of recitations, we cited an example on page 309 (Arabic version), I expect that we hold the correct view, which is His saying (swt), “لنبوئنهم من الجنة غرفا” “To them We shall surely give (li nubawwi’annahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58] when we combined it with the recitation (Qira’at) of Abu Jaafar from his two narrations, “لنبوينهم من الجنة غرفا” “To them We shall surely give (li nubawwiyannahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58]

And this is from two aspects:

First: It is true that Abu Jaafar recites it by substituting the Hamza to the letter -ya, but he recites it by the connection to the -meem of plural in one word, “لنُبَوِّيَنَّهُمُ من” (li nubawwiyannahum) and thus, it negates merging (Idgham) the -meem of, ‘نبوينهم’ (nubawwiyannahum) with the -meem of ‘min’ as in the example given in the book p.309 (the Arabic version). Reciting with the substituted words with the merging (Idgham) of -meem is not mentioned in any of the Mutawatir recitations. The other matter is that the rule of substitution does not affect the meaning of the word, and it is one of the rules of Usul. As long as the topic is about the Arabs dispensing with words and use words that are synonymous to or close words in meaning, this is not correct as an example, because the meaning of, ‘(baww’)بوأ ’ And ‘(bawwa) بوا’ does not differ because the word is the same, but it follows the rule of substitution.

The second: The example is correct if we replace the recitation of the Hamzah, or al-Kisa’i, or Khalaf al-A’shir with the recitation of Abu Jaafar. And this is because they recite it, “لَنُثْوِيَنَّهُمْ من الجنة غرفا”. “To them We shall surely give (la nuthwwiyannahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise”” Al-Thawa’ differs from ‘Al-Tabaw’a’ in terms of origin, and this is what the context requires. Allah knows best. Oh Allah, if I am right, it is from you, and if I am wrong, it is from myself. And I ask Allah (swt) to make us with those who contribute to keeping this culture pure. May Allah (swt) reward you and aid you and make you steadfast.

From: Ashraf Bader

Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh, and may Allah bless you for your good supplication for me.

Your question, or your comment, is on the following subject in the book, “The Islamic Personality”, volume I:
[… When it comes to using the words in their phrase or the phrase itself, Qur’ān follows the well-known pattern of the Arabs in whose language it was revealed. Although the Qu’ran disabled the Arabs when it challenged them to bring the like of it, it did not abandon the continuous custom of the Arabs in their disposal of the Arabic language. In this case the nature of Quranic speech is similar to the nature of Arabic speech.

This is similar to what happens in the Qur’ān, where certain words are dispensed with in preference for the use of synonymous (Muradif) or close to them in meaning. like the different recitations (Qira’at) in the Quran:

(مَٰـلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّين)“The Only Owner (maalik) of the Day of Recompense” [TMQ Faatihah: 4] (مَلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ) “The Only Owner (malik) of the Day of Recompense” [TMQ Faatihah: 4] (وَمَا يَخۡدَعُونَ إِلَّآ أَنفُسَهُمۡ) “They only deceive (yakhda’una) themselves” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 9] (وَمَا يُخۡادِعُونَ إِلَّآ أَنفُسَهُمۡ)“They only deceive (yukhadi’una) themselves” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 9] (لَنُبَوِّئَـنَّهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ غُرَفاً) “To them We shall surely give (li nubawwi’annahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58] (لَنُبَوِّيَـنَّهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ غُرَفاً) “To them We shall surely give (li nubawwiyannahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58] And other verses according to recitations.] End of Quote.

And you see that in the book, “The Islamic Personality”, Volume I, there is a mistake in two places:

The first: making the -meem in (li nubawwiyannahum) in the book as ‘sakina (have no vocalization), which is why it is merged (Idgham takes place) into the -meem that follows it in the letter (min), and thus, the -meem appeared in the letter (meem) as stressed (has shadda) in the book and thus indicates the ‘Idgham’, and this is not correct according to your opinion because (li nubawwiyannahum) which is of Abi Jaafar, it is related to the -meem of the plural, so there is no merging (idgham) of the -meem in it.

The second: that the example given of reciting (li nubawwiyannahum) is not correct because the word (li nubawwi’annahum) is like the word (li nubawwiyannahum) in the meaning, and what took place is that the Hamza happened to be replaced by the -ya, and this does not fit, according to your opinion, with the matter intended to be referred to as the example.

The answer to that is as follows:

1- With regards to your first observation, i.e. the appearance of a (shadda) on the -meem in the letter (min), which means the Idgham of -meem (li nubawwiyannahum)) into the -meem (of min), and this is in contrast to the aforementioned recitation of Abi Jaafar because he reads it with the link to the meem of the plural i.e. he reads (li nubawwiyannahum min ) , so he does not merge the first -meem into the second… This observation is correct, as it came from the recitation of Abi Jaafar:
(An-Nashr Fi Al-Qiraat Al-Ashr) (273/1)

They differed in the link of -meem of the plural with the -waw and making it ‘sakina’, if it came before a letter that is vocalized (mutahrik), like in: ” أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ“ “The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger” [Al-Fatiha: 7] ”وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُون“ “…and spend out of what We have provided for them” [Al-Baqara: 3] “عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنْذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنْذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ” “it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe” [Al-Baqara: 6].

”عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ“ “Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment” [Al-Baqara: 7]. So he connected the -meem in all of this, to the waw in the pronunciation, like in the case of Ibn Katheer and Abu Jaafar Faridat Al-Dahr Fi Ta’seel wa Jamm’ Al Qiraat **(73/4) Recitation (2) Abi Jaafar reciting (li nubawwiyannahum) by substituting the Hamzah with -ya (vocalized with Fatha) and linking the -meem.)

Accordingly, what is in the book is a typographical error, and it was not present in the previous editions of the book, The Islamic Personality, Volume I. For example, the third edition had no (vocalization) on the letters, and the text of the verse in it was according to the recitation of Abi Jaafar: (لنبوينهم من الجنة غرفا) “To them We shall surely give (li nubawwiyannahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58] Without (Shadda) i.e., without Idgham. But later on, the Qur’anic verses were placed in the book in the Uthmanic script and in vocalization, so the first recitation was correct, according to what is proven in the Qur’an: (لَنُبَوِّئَـنَّهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ غُرَفاً) “To them We shall surely give (li nubawwi’annahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58] And when the example of the verse was given, of the second recitation, the recitation of Abi Jaafar, it seems that the coordinator changed the Hamza in the text of the first reading. And he put the -ya in its place according to the recitation of Abi Jaafar without paying attention to the topic of the connection of the -meem of the plural, so he kept the vocalization as it is, (لَنُبَوِّيَـنَّهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ غُرَفاً)“To them We shall surely give (li nubawwiyannahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58] and this is how the stress (Shadda) on the letter -meem appeared in the word (min), and this is a typographical error.

2- As for your second observation that the giving the example of Abi Jaafar’s recitation (li nubawwiyannahum) is not accurate because (the meaning of bawwa’ and bawwa does not differ because the word is the same but they follow the rule of substitution), it is an inaccurate observation, because the example used in this place in the book, ‘The Islamic Personality’ is for the use of two words indicating one meaning, as the absence of a difference in meaning does not affect the validity of the use of the example, on the contrary, the meaning must be the same or close for the accuracy of the example. He says: (This happened in the Qur’an by dispensing with some of the words in preference to synonymous or close to them in meaning, such as the recitations in the Qur’an) That is, what is required is the union of the meaning or its closeness with a difference in the pronunciation… And giving examples from two different recitations because of the substitution is the with two different pronunciations even if the meaning is completely uniform. This is because the pronunciations that includes substitution are different words and not a single one… Al-Suyuti referred to this matter in His book (Al-Mizhar), when talking about substitution, he said: [The thirty-second type is knowledge of substitution (Ibdal)

Ibn Faris said in “Fiqh Al-Lughah”: Among the Arab traditions are the substitution of letters, and the placement of some of them in place of the other: (To praise him) مَدَحَه ومَدَهَه (horse with long tail) وفرس رِفَلّ ورِفَنّ which is very well-known, and scholars have written about it… Among those who wrote about this type are Ibn Al-Sakkeet, and Abu Al-Tayyib, the linguist.

Abu al-Tayyib said in his book: What is meant by substitution is not that the Arabs deliberately substituted a letter for a letter, but rather that they are different languages with consistent meanings. The two words in two languages have the same meaning, so they differ only in one letter. He said: The evidence for that is that a single tribe does not speak the word Tawra with Hamza and Tawra without Hamza nor does it say “saad” once, and another with “sin”; Likewise, replacing the -lam of the definition with a -meem, and the Hamzah of Masdar as -ain like when they say ‘An’ and ‘A’n’. The Arabs do not share any of that, rather this is what some people say and what others say…] End

Replacing a letter with a letter in one word makes the two pronunciations different, even if their meaning is the same, because each of them is in the language of the Arabs: some Arabs say about praise (madh) with Haحاء , and some say (madh) with ha’هاء and the meaning is one, and some of them say (saqr) with the -seen and others say (saqr) with the saad and the bird is one, and some of them say (li nubawwi’annahum) with the Hamza and others say (li nubawwiyannahum) with -ya and the meaning is one… And the Noble Qur’an used in some cases multiple words to express the same meaning in the same verse when the Qur’anic recitations of the verse were multiplied due to the multiplicity of Arabic languages, and from this is the multiplicity of languages due to substitution (Ibdal), as is the case we are talking about in the book of The Islamic Personality Volume I. The word (li nubawwi’annahum) is pronounced differently to the word (li nubawwiyannahum) because of the substitution, although the meaning is the same, but some Arabs say (li nubawwi’annahum) and some of them say (li nubawwiyannahum), And the Qur’an used this language and that as there were many recitations, so some of the reciters read (li nubawwi’annahum) and Abi Jaafar’s recitation is (li nubawwiyannahum)

Thus, it appears that we were correct when we mentioned Abi Jaafar’s recitation (li nubawwiyannahum) alongside the recitation (li nubawwi’annahum) because what is required is fulfilled by mentioning the two different recitations where two different pronunciations are used because they are two languages of the Arabs to express the same meaning.

**But the example of the other recitation (li nathwwiyanahum) with -tha’, which is in the place of the -ba, may be farther from the occurrence of confusion and clearer in highlighting what is meant in the text mentioned in The Islamic Personality. Therefore, we will amend the text by putting (li nathwwiyanahum) with -tha’ in the place of (li nubawwiyannahum) with the -ya.
This recitation is possible for the same verse as stated in the publication on the ten recitations: [They (disagreed) on: (li nubawwi’annahum) in paradise. Hamza, Al-Kisa’I and Khalaf recited it with -tha’, the the ‘Muthalatha’ non-vocalized after the -noon and the Hamza was substituted with -ya, it is from Al-thawa’, which is to dwell. The rest have read it with -ba (al-Muwahada) and Al hamz from (tabaww’) is the house. The substitution of its Hamza came first in ‘Al Hamz Al Mufrad by Abi Jafaar] End Quote. In the interpretation of At-Tabari it states: (لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ غُرَفاً) “To them We shall surely give (li nubawwiyannahum) lofty dwellings in Paradise” [TMQ Al-Ankabūt: 58]. He said: We will make their abode high places in paradise. The reciters read it differently, as the general reciters read in Medina, Basra and the Kufis recited it as: {li nubawwi’annahum} [An-Nahl: 41] with the -ba. The general reciters in Kufa read it with – tha’: (li nathwwiyanahum). Regarding this, what I see correct is that they are two famous recitations by the reciters of the lands. Each recitation was recited by scholars of recitations, they are close in meaning, so whichever recitation is used by reciters, it is correct. His saying: {li nubawwi’annahum} [An-Nahl: 41] from “bawwa’”, to dwell, to reside. Also: (li nathwwiyanahum), it is from thawa’, i.e., gave him a place to reside in, a place of residence] End Quote.

Thus, the Mutawatir recitations from the Messenger of Allah (saw), of the Noble Qur’an, which is the only valid recitation, does not depart from the language of the Arabs. (قُرآنًا عَرَبِيًّا غَيْرَ ذِي عِوَجٍ“An Arabic Qur’ān, without any crookedness” [TMQ Az-Zumar: 28]. And also Allah’s (swt) saying:

(إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ“Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ān that you might understand” [TMQ Yusuf: 2]. That is, in the language of the Arabs.

In conclusion, I appreciate your keenness and interest in the science of recitations, as well as your enthusiasm for accuracy, and I ask Allah (swt) to grant you the good.

Your Brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

23 Rabii’ Al-Akhir 1443 AH – 28/11/2021 CE

The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page