[Sharh Muwatta Imam Malik – Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai] – Hadith No.47 –:– The Explanation of the Seven (Qur’anic) Recitations

Itihaf ul-Basim Fi Tahqiq Muwatta al-Imam Malik [Talkhis al-Qabisi] Riwayah Abdur Rahman ibn al-Qasim

Tahqiq, Takhrij, Sharh

Muhadith Zubair Ali Zai

Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

The Explanation of the Seven (Quranic) Recitations

Abdurahman Ibn Abdul Qari: One Hadith

[47] From Malik from Ibn Shihab from Urwa Ibn az-Zubayr that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari said that he had heard Umar Ibn al-Khatab say, “I heard Hisham ibn Hakim ibn Hizam reciting Surat al-Furqan (Sura 25) differently from me, and it was the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) who had recited it to me. I was about to rush up to him but I granted him a respite until he had finished his prayer. Then I grabbed him by his cloak and took him to the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) and said, ‘Messenger of Allah, I heard this man reciting Surat al-Furqan differently from the way you recited it to me.’ The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) said, ‘Let him go.’ Then he said, ‘Recite, Hisham,’ and Hisham recited as
I had heard him recite. The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) said, ‘It was sent down like that.’ Then he said to me, ‘Recite’ and I recited the sura, and he said, ‘It was sent down like that. This Qur’an was sent down in seven ways, so recite from it whatever is easy for you.’ ”


Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri clarified hearing (this hadith from Urwa Ibn az-Zubayr) in Bukhari (no.4992)


Al-Muwatta (Yahya’s narration 1/201 hadith no.474, book 15, chapter 4, hadith no.5) at-Tamhid (8/272), al-Istidhkar: (no.443)    

Transmitted by Bukhari (no.2419) and Muslim (no.818) from the hadith of Malik.


1) The hadith which states that the 7 recitation’s was sent down (revealed) along with the Quran is mutawatir. (Qatful Azhar: (no.60), Nadhmul Mutanathar: (no.197))

2) The meaning of seven ways is that there is a difference in reciting some words where its clarification is shown in the following examples: Example 1: the Qari (reciter) Asim Ibn Abi an-Nujud al-Kufi and other than him recited, “Maaliki yawmidin”. Whereas the Qari (reciter) Nafi’ Ibn Abdurahman Ibn Abi Na’im al-Madani recited, “Maliki yawmidin”. The first recitation is mutawatir in the Indian subcontinent etc. and the second recitation is mutawatir in Africa etc. Example 2: The Qari (reciter) Hafs Ibn Sulayman al-Asadi (from Asim Ibn Abi an-Nujud) recited, “Famaa tastatee’oona sarfawn wa laa nasraa”. (Surah al-Furqaan ayah 19) Whereas Qari Nafi’ al-Madani recited, “Famaa yastatee’oona sarfawn wa laa nasraa”. Qur’an (narration of Qalun (pg.309), narration Warsh (pg.293)) Example 3: Qari Asim, Qari Qalun and other reciters have recited “Qul a’udhu bi rabinas” whereas in the recitation of Qari Warsh it is “Qula a’udhu bi rabinas”. Qur’an (recitation of Warsh (pg.712) Jaza’ir print (published), other manuscript, Egyptian print (published)). T.N. The seven ways also mean many different accents. 

3) Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) was always ready to defend Islam, perform Jihad in the path of Allah and love Islam.

4) If one person is acting upon an issue from two well established issues from the Quran and hadith and another person is acting upon the other issue then they both shouldn’t harshly refute each other as the paths to verification are always open. Wal hamdullilah.

5) If one person thinks that another brother has committed (is guilty of) an ijtihadi mistake then he should respond and refute with softness and proofs at a selected appropriate time.

6) It is allowed to recite the Quran with the seven recitations however it is better to recite in the most known recitation in your area so that the general people do not become victims of misunderstanding.

7) May Allah fill Uthman’s (Radi Allahu Anhu) grave with mercy and nur since he gathered the Muslims together on one written script of the Mushaf (Quran) in which other recitations are recited from.

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