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What is meant by 'Seven Versions'?

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What is meant by 'Seven Versions'?

Post  al-'Abd on Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:16 pm

What is meant by 'Seven Versions' in the hadith of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم:

إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ
(Sahih al-Bukhari no:4608)

There are several scholarly positions in this connection but according to scholars who have conducted painstaking and exhaustive research on the subject, the weightier meaning of this expression is that the variations found in different readings of the Holy Qur'an are of seven types. These are as follows (note the differences in the Arabic text):

(1) The difference in nouns:
This includes the difference concerning singular, dual, plural, as well as masculine and feminine. For instance, in one reading it is تَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ while in
another it is تَمَّتْ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّكَ .

(2) The difference in verbs:
That there is the past tense in one reading, the present in another and the imperative in yet another. For instance, it is رَبَّنَا بَاعِدْ بَيْنَ أَسْفَارِنَا in one reading, while
رَبُّنَا بَاعَدَ بَيْنَ أَسْفَارِنَا in another.

(3) The difference in the placement of diacritical marks:
That which shows variance in I'rab, which reflects variance in grammatical mode of a word and is demonstrated through desinential inflections, such as Kasrah, Fatbah, Dammah. For instance, reading لاَ يُضَآرَّ كَاتِبٌ as لاَ يُضَآرُّ كَاتِبٌ and ذُو الْعَرْشِ الْمَجِيدِ as ذُو الْعَرْشِ الْمَجِيدُ

(4) The difference caused by addition and deletion of words:
That there be some word missing in one reading while it has been added on in another; for instance, the words تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ appear in one reading while the words تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الأَنْهَارُ appear in another.

(5) The difference of precedence and succession:
That there is a word which precedes in one reading, while it succeeds in the other. For instance وَجَاءتْ سَكْرَةُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْحَقِّ and وَجَاءتْ سَكْرَةُ الْحَقِّ بِالْمَوْتِ .


(6) The difference caused by transposition:
This happens when a word found in one reading is replaced by another word in another. For instance نُنْشِزُهَا and نَنْشُرُهَا , also فَتَبَيَّنُوْا and فَتَثَبَّتُوْا , and طَلْعٍ and طَلْحٍ .

(7) The difference caused by manners of reading:
It includes variations in tafkhim (velarization, making sound heavy), tarqiq (making a letter sound soft), imala (inclination; bending the sound of a short vowel), madd (prolongation), qasr (to shorten), hamz: hamzatation (providing a letter with hamzah), izhar (clear pronunciation) and idgham (assimilation). It means that, by doing these, the actual word does not change but the mode of its pronunciation does change. For instance, the word, مُوسی is rendered as مُوسَی in one of the readings.

Anyhow, many readings were revealed incorporating these seven types of different renderings. This difference between them really made no difference in meaning. The latitude so given was aimed at making recitation easy.

Refer to 'Ma'aarif al-Qur'an' Mufti Muhammad Shafi Saheb, vol1 pg31, I'tiqad publishing house, Delhi.

al-‘abd
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Re: What is meant by 'Seven Versions'?

Post  ibn munayyar on Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:20 pm

i've always wondered; how do these seven types of differences make the recitation of the Quran easier?

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Is Saba hard?

Post  al-'Abd on Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:27 pm

You have to forgive me sheikh but it sounds like you are implying that recitation of the Quran is difficult. On the contrary sheikh even you will agree with me in this regard that when one is given multiple options in one task then the task becomes easier to fulfill. For example if I was to say please contact me regarding your issues via e-mail ONLY then it becomes difficult for those people who don’t have internet access, however if I gave more options such as post, sms, phone call and fax then it becomes easier as everyone will adopt the method most suitable for them.

This is exactly what is happening here. In order that the noble Qur'an becomes easily recitable, Allah Ta’aala has blessed the Muslims with special convenience by allowing them to read the words of the Qur'an in more than one way. If there are situations when a person is unable to pronounce some words in one manner, he could recite it in another. During the early period if Islam when the Quran started to spread beyond the arab world, many ajam’s (non-arab people) found it very difficult to recite the Quran. Prophet (S) foresaw this and requested that the Quran be recited In other readings as it appears in a hadith of Sahih Muslim that the Holy Prophet (S) was once sitting by the pond of Banu Ghifar while Hadhrat Jibreel (AS) came and said: 'Allah Ta’aala has commanded you to ask your people to recite the Quran following one method of reading.' He said: 'I seek from Allah His pardon and forgiveness. My people do not have the ability to do so.' Then, hadhrat Jibreel returned to him and said: 'Allah has commanded you to let your people recite the Qur'an following two readings.' He said: 'I seek pardon and forgiveness from Allah. My people do not have the ability to do even that.' Then, Jibreel came the third time and said: 'Allah has commanded you to let your people recite the Qur'an following three readings.' Again he said: 'I seek pardon and forgiveness from Allah. My people do not have the ability to do even that.' Then he came for the fourth time and said: 'Allah has commanded you to let your people recite the Qur'an following seven readings. So, whichever of these they follow to read the Qur'an, their recitation will be correct.'
(Sahih Muslim no:1357)

Sheikh I assume that you are suggesting that it is hard (that is, IF you are) when you try to do Jama’ or recite all seven dialects collectively. From this perspective I agree it is quite difficult but what you need to understand here is that this is not the perspective of the hadith as in the hadith it is clearly stated that recite WHICHEVER one is easy, the arabic injunction ‘Maa tayassar’ indicates this.

إِنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أُنْزِلَ عَلَى سَبْعَةِ أَحْرُفٍ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ
(Sahih al-Bukhari no:4608)

Hence we are being instructed to pick one style, in due course making recitation of the Quran easy. Also, it isn’t stated anywhere to do jama’ of all the readings. Had it suggested as such it would be difficult indeed, although for someone of your calibre even that should be a piece of cake.

And Allah Ta’aala knows best

Please correct this Naaqis al-‘aql.

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Re: What is meant by 'Seven Versions'?

Post  ibn munayyar on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:35 pm

Jazakallah for your perspicuous reply, what i really meant to ask was that because the differences in recitation are not vastly different from one another, for example, a difference in Fathah or Kasrah, then how would one recitation be 'easier' than the other? I mean, isn't it just as easy to recite kasrah as it is to recite Fatha?

One answer to this question is in Uloom-ul-Qur'aan, where it says something to the effect that some Arabs became accustomed to pronouncing a word in a particular way, (for example with Imaalah), therefore, this option remained for them when it came to Quraanic pronunciation.

It may be one of those things where you have to be an Arab to fully understand, Wallahu A'lam bis sawaab

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