It really matters to learn the Quran, as it is a great worship that Allah loves, it is the word of Allah SWT.
He orders us to recite it and act according to it. It is the Muslim`s constitution and law till the day of judgment. It is the last sacred book revealed to people, Allah promised to save it from distortion that happened to the other books.
We will talk today about a special thing about the Quran, that is not known by many Muslims, and this matter is considered as an additional miracle to the many miracles of the Quran, which is “the ten recitations” that Muslims read the Quran throughout it.
Therefore, what is the “Qira`at – recitations”? It is the recitations that came by the prophet peace be upon him, which means, ways lead us to recite the Quran, and all of it came by the prophet, companions and who followed them in a right way and by many people. so, there is no doubt about it.
It has the same writing, but it differs in some pronunciations or the movements of the letters or in the meanings sometimes, or in the position of where to stop and from where you should start, but the writing formation is the same.
The Quran was revealed into 7 modes of recitations as it came in the Hadith and that difference in pronunciation or when to stop or the movements of the letters came due to the differences of the Arabs in pronouncing the words, or due to the existence of some different linguistic formations with some tribes. According to this simple difference among the Arabic tribes, these recitations appeared, which consider as a miracle to be added to the Quran.
There is no sacred book has been revealed in seven dialects although the writing is the same but the great Quran.
The presence of the recitations means that there is as “an example of a verse written in the same words and the same handwriting, but has more than one pronunciation or formation, add a new meaning to the meaning of this verse.”
It must be remembered that all these recitations are all read by the Prophet peace be upon him before the Companions and conveyed by the Prophet Muhammad through (Jibril), peace be upon him.
This is a great miracle added to the miracles of the Quran and the Messenger of Allah said about
“إن هذا القرآن أنزل على سبعة أحرف كلها شافٍ وكافٍ فأقرأوا كما عُلمتم”
“The Quran has been revealed with seven different modes of recitation, all of which are good and sound so, read as you have been taught”
These recitations had been conveyed to us by scholars and had been memorized in the hearts of millions of Muslims in every age and passed on to others until it was reached to us. Even the young children learned the Quran with recitations.
Since the companion Othman bin Affan may Allah be pleased with him, collected the Quran in one book, so the Quran be saved in one single book till this day, as it also be saved in the hearts of millions in every age.
We mention here as an example the incident narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim that occurred between the companion Umar b. Khattab and the companion Hisham bin Hakim may Allah be pleased with them. ‘Umar b. Khattab said:
I heard Hisham b. Hakim reciting Surah al-Furqan in a style different from that in which I used to recite it, and in which Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had taught me to recite it. I was about to dispute with him (on this style) but I delayed until he had finished that (the recitation). Then I caught hold of his cloak, and brought him to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 (ﷺ) 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 Quran was sent down in seven dialects. So, recite what seems easy.
We can learn from this hadith that the Quran was revealed in seven dialects and the Prophet recited it all and the companions learned that and the reason behind these recitations is the different dialects of the Arabs.
The companions conveyed these recitations to the followers and the followers conveyed them beyond until it reached us through millions of reciters in each era.
Scholars have worked in the past in writing books including all these recitations, they did not invent anything but they wrote to us about these recitations and made rules for people to learn, generation after generation.
every single scholar is known for a certain mode of recitation when he worked hard and wrote its rules and when he taught it to his students, but it was present before; in the Quran and in the breasts of the people, even the boys knew it and kept it.
As for the recitations these days, it exists as it was in the time of the Prophet and the companions.
Muslims around the world do not recite in just one of these recitations, for example, there are millions around the world read the recitation of Hafs on the authority of Asim, as the situation in Egypt and elsewhere.
There are millions read the recitation of Warsh on the authority Nafi as in Morocco and there are those who read the recitation of Qalun as in Libya and others…
These recitations as we explained, has been raised by different dialects in the Arabian Peninsula among the tribes as the areas were large between each tribe, and each tribe had a different dialect and linguistic formation than others.
We ask Allah to teach us what we do not know and to make us benefit with what we have learnt.