Ministry of Awqaf & Islamic Affairs :: The Reading of the Holy Qur’an
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The Reading of the Holy Qur’an

Al-Bukhary and Muslim said that Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) had said: (I heard Hisham Bin Hakeed reading the Chapter of “Al-Furqan” about the life of the Prophet (PBUH), so I listened to him reading. He was stressing many letters that weren’t read by the Prophet (PBUH), so I almost interrupted his reading but I was patient until he finished – he held garment from the neck and I said: Who made you read this chapter? He said: The Prophet (PBUH), so I said: You lie, so I took him to see the Prophet (PBUH) and said: I heard him reading the Chapter of Al-Furqan according to letters you had not read before, so he said: Let him go – Read Hisham, so he read the way I heard him read before, and he said: This is the way it was descended, then he said: Read Omar, so I read the way I was asked to read, and said: This is the way it was descended (The Holy Qur’an was descended according to 7 readings, so read what becomes available from them).

Scientists agreed that the Holy Qur’an was conveyed to us by the Prophet (PBUH) in various stories, and the scientists named it the science of “Qur’an Readings”, in which they clarified what is meant by this science and its divisions and types, and the most important readers of these readings, in addition to the most important publications that were registered in this field.

Readings are a language, and the plural of reading, and it is originated from the verb “Read”. The science of reading according to the scientists means the science through which the reading of the words in the Qur’an are recited and their differences, and referred to its conveyer.

Scientists divided the reading of the Qur’an into two main parts: Correct (Al – Saheeha) Reading and (Irregular) Al-Shatha Reading

Al-Saheeha reading includes three main pillars which are:

-         For it to be in accordance with a correct aspect of the Arab Language aspects.

-         For the reading to be in accordance with the ottoman drawing of the Qur’an.

-         For it to frequently convey to us or is supported by a famous Al – Saheeh.

Each reading with the above mentioned pillars is a Holy Qur’an Reading, which is permitted to be read during Prayer, and it is used for worshipping, which is what conveyed by the majority of scientists. As for the Irregular Reading, it is the reading that does not include one of the 3 pillars mentioned.

There is a division of readings that had been stopped, which was correctly supported, and was in accordance with the Arabic Language, however it contradicted with ottoman drawing, and the parts that fall under this division are called “Explanatory Readings”, and they were conveyed for the sake of exposition, like the reading of Saed Bin Aby Waqqas of the verse: (He has a Sister) (Al Nisa: 176), He read it (He has a sister from a mother). And the reading of Ibin Abbas of the verse: (For there was a king behind them who is taking every ship by force. And as for the lad, his parents were believers) (Al-Kahf: 79-80), He read it: (For there was a king in front of them who is taking every ship by force. And as for the lad, he was an infidel).

The scientists said: the aim of irregular reading is the exposition of famous reading and clarifying its meanings: Like the reading of A’esha and Hafsa the verse: (Be guardians of your prayers, and of the midmost prayer) (Al-Baqara: 238). They read it: (The midmost prayer is the afternoon prayer), and the reading of Ibin Masoud of the verse: (Cut off their hands) (Al-Maeda: 38), he read it: (Cut off their faith), and the reading of Jaber the verse: (And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful) (Al-Noor: 33), he read it: (After forcing them, Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful). These letters – readings – and whatever is similar to them became what explains the Qur’an.

The scientists agreed that whatever came after the 10 readings gathered by readers, irregular and not recurrent, cannot be considered from the Qur’an, and cannot be used in prayer or worship. They said: It may however be learned and taught and written down, and showed from the side of language and syntax.

There are 10 readings that arrived to us successively, and were conveyed by a group of readers who had the qualities of precise story conveying, correct vowelization, and quality in performance, they are:

The reading of Nafe’e Al - Madani, and the most famous to narrate about him were Qalown and Warash.

The reading of Ibin Katheer Al – Makki and the most famous to narrate about him were Al Bazzi and Qanbal

The reading of Aby Amro Al - Basry, and the most famous to narrate about him were Al Dawry and Al Soosy

The reading of Ibin Amer Al – Shamy, and the most famous to narrate about him were Hisham and Ibin Thakwan

The reading of Hamza Al – Koofy, and the most famous to narrate about him were Khalaf and Khallad.

The reading of Al Kesaey Al Koofy, and the most famous to narrate about him were Abo Al – Hareth and Hafs Al – Dawry.

The reading of Aby Al – Ja’far Al – Madany, and the most famous to narrate about him were Ibin Wardan and Iben Jammaz.

The reading of Yaqoub Al – Basry, and the most famous to narrate about him were Roways and Rawh.

The reading of Khalaf, and the most famous to narrate about him were Ishaq and Idrees.

And all who were ascribed to those 10 Imams, is called (Reading) (Qera’a), and all that is ascribed to the narrator about the Imam is called (A Novel) (Rewayeh), for example it is said: Asem narrated by Hafs, Reading of Nafe’e narrated by Warash, and so on.

Ibin Ashour mentioned in his exposition “Publishing and Enlightening” (Al - Tahreer and Al –Tanweer) that the readings that are read daily in the Islamic world are: The reading of Nafe’e narrated by Qalown, in areas of Tunisia, and areas of Egypt and in Libya. And by the narration of Warash in parts of Tunisia, and parts of Egypt and all of Algeria, and all of the far west and it’s countries, and Sudan. And the reading of Asem narrated by Hafs in all of the east, and most of the Egyptian countries, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan. He said to Ibin Ashour – Inform me that the reading of Aby Amro Al–Basry is read in Sudan which is neighboring Egypt.

Scientists composed many books in the readings science, and Abu Obeid – Al  Qasem Bin Sallam – was the first to write about this science, whereas he wrote the book entitled “readings” in which he included 25 readers, and Ibin Mujahed sufficed in writing about only 7. Makky Bin Aby Taleb wrote the book entitled “Al–Tathkara”.

The most important of these books is “Harz Al-Amany Wa Wajh Al-Tahany” written by Al–Qasem Bin Feerah, and it is poetic system for everything that is related to readers and readings, and this system is known as “Al-Shatebeyeh”, and it was described by Al-Imam Al – Thahaby: The riders moved with his poem, and it was memorized by many, whereas he excelled and summarized and made the difficult easy.”

The authentic books about readings include “Al-Nasher Fe Al–Qera’at Al – Asher” written by Al-Imam Al-Juzary, and he covered what was written about this subject, and it had many elucidations and it has a poetic system called “Teebet Al–Nasher”.

We conclude this article by saying: The reference of these 7 readings to the 7 readers is based on choosing and fame, not opinion or desire, rather it is based on conveying and affect, and these readings are based on reception and narrating not on opinion and diligence. All the readings we learned were through Saheeh, successive or famous, descended from Allah Al-Mighty, and inspired to the Prophet (PBUH), which is the reason why scientists warned that we shouldn’t receive Qur’an by ways other than lessons, listening or orally. May Allah provide fortune and guide to the correct path, Thank Allah. 

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Ministry of Awqaf & Islamic Affairs - State of Kuwait