Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Seven Readers - By Muhammad Allie Khalfe

There are seven qira'at/recitations each having authentic chains of transmission outlined by Imam Ash-Shatibi. Each of the seven are named after a particular reciter that made the recitation famous. Each of the seven Imams have two branches/students off them either directly from the imam himself or with a shaykh or two in between them. Each recitation has a main name, the name taken from the Imam who made it famous and two names for those imams that learned from this main imam either directly or indirectly. The two branches may have different rules, as each has its own chain of transmission.

Nafi’ – Qalun and Warsh

Ibn Kathir – Bazzi and Qunbul

Abu ‘Amr – Duri and Susi

Ibn ‘Amir – Husham and Ibn Dhakwan

‘Asim – Hafs and Shu’ba

Hamza – Khalaf and Khallad

Kisa’I – Abu al-Harith and Duri

The first of the seven readers is Imam Naf'i, his full name is Ibn Abd Al-Rahman bin Abi Na'im. Naf'i recited to seventy of the tabi'in, the most notable, Abu Ja'far Al-Qa'qa'.

According to Abu Qurra ibn Tariq, Nafi’ studied recitation with seventy of the Tabi'un, but he was also interested in hadith. Ibn 'Adi reports to us that Nafi' left us a text of a hundred Ahadith of Nafi' from al-A'raj, as he left another text of more than a hundred Ahadith from him from Ibn al-Zinad from al-A'raj, and he also left us about fifty Ahadith in at-Tafariq.

Imam Malik’s words

Abu Sa'id 'Abdu'l-Malik ibn Qurayb al-Asma'i asked him about the basmala and Malik replied, "In any knowledge, question its proper people. Nafi' is the Imam of the people in recitation”.

The Dreams

Abu 'Amr ad-Dani related to us, "A man among those who learned recitation with Nafi' said, "When Nafi' spoke, the fragrance of musk could be smelt from his mouth. I said to him, 'Abu 'Abdullah! Do you use perfume whenever you sit to recite to the people?' He replied, 'I do not touch perfume, but I saw in a dream that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was reciting into my mouth and from that moment I have smelt this fragrance from my mouth.'"

Al-Musayyabi informed us, "It was said to Nafi', 'How resplendent your face is and how handsome your physique!' He replied, 'How could it not be when the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, breathed on me and I recited the Qur'an (i.e. in the dream).'


The first branch of Imam Naf'i is Qalun. His name is 'Iysa bin Mina, and he was nicknamed Qalun by his Shaykh Naf'i because his excellent smooth recitation.

His Kunya Abu Musa. He was as deaf as a mule but when the Qur’an was recited, he could hear clearly. The word Qalun in the Roman language means good.

He was born in 120Hijri and and lived for One-hundred years.


The second branch of Imam Naf'i is Warsh. His name is Abu Sa'id 'Uthman bin Sa'id Al-Misri. Qalun nicknamed him Warsh because of his strong white color. He was born in 110 Hijri. He travelled from Egypt to Madina to read to Imam Nafi’. He later returned to Egypt where he taught for a long time. He passed away in Egypt in 197 Hijri.

No comments: