[Tajweed 101] Ishmām 101

(This article is 330 words or 3 minutes long. Should you choose to view the video, it will take you 4 minutes to complete the article)

Let’s talk about one of the most talked about ḥukm, the great and mighty Ishmām.

In this article, we’ll discuss about what is Ishmām: how it is pronounced, how it is applied, its types, and the instances where it is applicable, especially in the riwāyah of Ḥafṣ. Ishmām 101 is a basic version of this ḥukm which will be followed by an advanced version, Ishmām 102.

What is Ishmām?


The word ishmām (الإشمام) is derived from the root “al-shamm” which means “to smell”. In the context of tajweed, however, Ishmām generally means to lend a slight effect of a letter (ḥarf) or a vowel (zabar, zer, pesh) to another, and more specifically, by circling the two lips in the shape of the letter “o”.


Ishmām is a method of manipulating the stoppage (waqf) to provide clarity on the stopping vowel. In this context, Ishmām is only used when the vowel is a pesh (ḍammah). It is always silent and does not involve any vocalization. There are other forms of Ishmām which are not restricted to stoppages. See Ishmām 102 to know about the different types and applications of Ishmām.

How to pronounce and apply Ishmām?

Ishmām is expressed by circling the lips in the shape of the letter “o”. In the riwāyah of Ḥafṣ, Ishmām is to be applied during the ghunnah of nūn in the word “taʾmanna” (Yusuf: 11). This means that your lips will acquire the shape of an “o” while you are pronouncing the ghunnah in the word “taʾmanna”. Click here to see how to pronounce Ishmām in taʾmanna.

As an exception to the general rule, Ishmām here is expressed to denote the first nūn which has been absorbed into the second nūn (by way of idghām) resulting in the original word “taʾmanuna” becoming “taʾmanna”. Therefore, by circling the lips, you denote the omitted pesh of the first nūn.

Practice ishmām and let us know how you fared in the comments section below.

The Two Seas

Tilāwah: Sūrah al-Zumar Verses 53 to 75

Riwāyah: Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim (Shāṭibiyyah)

The resting place of the great companion who was among the notable shīʿah of Amīrul Muʿminīn AS, Ṣaʿṣaʿah b. Ṣawḥān RA, was abound with auspiciousness and divine blessings that accompanied the visit of Syedna Aaliqadr Mufaddal Saifuddin to Bahrain marking the occasion of
the Yawm-e-Shahādat of Imām Ḥasan (AS). As is customary, the waʿẓ mubārak was preceded by Shehzada Husain Bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb’s recitation of the Qurʾān. The audience was blessed with a recitation that still bore the vestiges of Yawm-e-ʿĀshūrāʾ when Shehzada Saheb had recited these very same verses albeit in a different riwāyah. This time, the recitation contained notable traces of the maqām ʿajam, as though in consideration of the influence of that maqām in those parts of the Gulf region.

Coming to the technical aspect of the recitation and in continuation of the previous article where the concept of turuq was briefly touched upon, this article will explore the specific differences between the tarīq al-ṭayyibah and the tarīq al-shāṭibiyyah of the riwāyah of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim. The reader may devote some time comprehending and memorizing these differences which, if neglected, often results in the mixing of qirāʾāt which is not a desirable practice.

Mostly, the differences pertain to the uṣūl aspect of the riwāyah and can be easily recalled once memorized. The following table lists some of these differences:

RecitationShāṭibiyyahṬayyibah / al-Azmīrī
Madd MunfaṣilTawassuṭ (4, 5 ḥarakāt)Qaṣr (2 ḥarakāt)
The word (يبسط)With the letter sīnSame
The word (بسطة)Same as aboveSame
The application of
Saktah in: 1. Marqadinā
2. ʿIwajā 3. Man Rāq 4. Bal Rāna
ApplicableNot applicable
The letter ع in the
beginning of Sūrah
Maryam and Sūrah al-Shūrā
Tawassuṭ or IshbāʾQaṣr
TakbīrNo TakbīrNo Takbīr

Now this is where it gets interesting. The previous article had mentioned the ṭarīq of al-Miṣbāḥ. The reader should know that Ibn al-Jazarī, the compiler of Ṭayyibah has narrated a total of fifty-two ṭuruq for the riwāyah of Ḥafṣ ʿan Āṣim in his compilation, Ṭayyibah al-Nashr. Five additional ṭuruq attributed to Ibn al-Jazarī have also been narrated by al-Azmīrī which are not part of the original Ṭayyibah but are nonetheless added to Ibn al-Jazari’s fifty-two ṭuruq. One of these five is the ṭarīq of Ibn al-Muʿaddal sourced from his book: Rawḍat al-Ḥuffāẓ. This is the ṭarīq most commonly used by those who memorize the Qurʾān among our brethren. The column under Ṭayyibah in the above table, therefore, contains the differences from the Rawḍah of Ibn al-Muʿaddal.

There are some differences between the ṭarīq of al-Miṣbāḥ and that of Ibn al-Muʿddal too. For example, al-Miṣbāḥ mandates the application of saktah when a reciter does not intend to stop at the four designated places. Similarly, the above chart does not contain all the differences between the ṭuruq of al-Ṭayyibah and the ṭarīq of al-Shāṭibiyyah. This article is therefore cut short in order to not exceed a reasonable length, enough to hold the reader’s attention. 

InshaAllah, forthcoming articles will discuss the ṭuruq of Ḥafṣ in more detail. Stay tuned.

Note: The material in this article is primarily sourced from the books mentioned therein.

The Tradition

Tilāwah: Sūrah al-Isrāʾ, Verses: 70 to 87

Riwāyah: Ḥafṣ ʿan Āṣim

On the Chehlum of Imām Ḥusayn AS, an occasion also known globally as “Arbaʿīn”, Shehzada Husain Bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb DM delivered an eloquent recitation of Sūrah al-Isrāʾ in the narration of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim, the most widely read narration of the Qurʾān in the world.

Contrary to what many would assume, this recitation was part of the  Lesser Ten Readings and not the Greater Ten. This difference and a brief explanation of what are the Lesser and the Greater ten is given below:

Firstly, let us discuss the Lesser Ten Readings of the Qurʾān. As is known to those who have read previous blog articles, the Lesser Ten Readings are a collection of 20 narrations stemming from 10 readings, 14 of which have been compiled by Al-Shāṭibī in his composition: Ḥirz al-Amānī and the remaining 6 by Ibn al-Jazarī in his composition: al-Durrah. These 20 narrations have been transmitted through a single channel (ṭarīq) only. For example, in the case of the narration of Ḥafṣ, Al-Shāṭibī compiled it while adhering to the ṭarīq of ʿUbayd b. al-Ṣabbāḥ who narrated from Ḥafṣ directly and thus this particular channel being attributed to him in the case of Al-Shāṭibī’s narration thereof.

Secondly, and on the other hand, Ibn al-Jazarī himself compiled a further set of narrations where he did not limit himself to a single channel. This compilation is entitled: Ṭayyibah al-Nashr. It contains multiple turuq emanating from each narrator (rāwī), for example: In the Ṭayyibah, Ibn al-Jazarī narrated from the ṭarīq of ʿUbayd b. al-Ṣabbāḥ as well as from that of ʿAmr b. al-Ṣabbāḥ both of whom directly narrated from Ḥafṣ. Due to the multiplicity of ṭuruq, the narrations contained within the Ṭayyibah are referred to as the Greater Ten Readings.

It was immediately noticeable in the recitation of Shehzada Saheb DM that the madd munfaṣil was being elongated till 4 ḥarakāt. This was a clear indication that Shehzada Saheb DM was narrating from the Lesser Ten Readings and not the Greater Ten. The reason for that is as follows: 

The narration of Ḥafṣ contained in Al-Shāṭibī’s composition and categorized as part of the Lesser Ten does not permit the limiting of madd munfaṣil to two ḥarakāt. It compels the reader to elongate this madd in equal measure as the madd muttaṣil. Whereas, one of the ṭuruq contained in the Ṭayyibah viz. the ṭarīq of al-Ḥammāmī transmitted from al-Waliyy from al-Fīl from ʿAmr b. al-Ṣabbāḥ from Ḥafṣ and popularly known as the Ṭarīq al-Miṣbāḥ in attribution thereof to the book Kitāb al-Miṣbāḥ of al-Shahrazūrī, one of the principle sources of Ṭayyibah with regard to the narration of Ḥafṣ does permit the limitation (qaṣr) of the madd munfaṣil to two ḥarakāt. This is a widely read tarīq of the narration of Ḥafṣ often used by students memorizing the Qurʾān. 

With regard to the chain of narration of Ḥafṣ himself, it is as follows: Ḥafṣ directly narrated from ʿĀṣim who directly narrated from ʿAbdullāh b. Ḥabīb al-Sulamī who directly narrated from Mawlānā ʿAlī b. Abū Ṭālib AS. As acknowledged by Al-Shāṭibī himself, the reading of Ḥafṣ is the most perfect: 

فأما أبو بكر وعاصم اسمه * فشعبة راويه المبرز أفضلا
وذاك ابن عياش أبو بكر الرضا * وحفص وبالإتقان كان مفضلا

Coming to the recitation itself, Shehzada Saheb DM narrated the second last verse several times making waqf on different words. This particular verse was narrated in the maqām of ṣabā. It invoked an emotion of gratitude unto Allah Taʿālā who reminds mankind through Rasulullāh SAW in this verse that if He wills He could surely withdraw what He has revealed of the Qur’an and man would then be helpless against Allah Taʿālā. 

The recitation came to a close on the subsequent verse.

The Guidance

Tilāwah: Sūrah Luqmān 8 – 19 & Sūrah al-Ḍuḥā

Riwāyah: Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ

The sounds of “Allah, Allah” filled the masjid and necks were strained to catch a glimpse of the majlis from where Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb DM recited Sūrah Luqmān in the narration of Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ from the tarīq of al-Azraq.

Reminiscent of the 7th of Muharram, twenty days later, this same recitation was as fresh as a fragrant myrtle diffusing its scent into the audience and generating exclamations of praise and thanks. Accompanying Luqmān was the Sūrah al- Ḍuḥā recited in the same narration as its predecessor.

Being the second most commonly read narration of the Qur’an-e-Karīm, Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ from the ṭarīq of al-Azraq is easily recognizable from among the various readings and narrations mainly owing to its ubiquitous naql al-ḥarakah and madd al-badal. The taqlīl, the thick lām and the various farsh words (الكلمات الفرشية) only add to its glory and luminescence. 

Here is an opportunity to explain two terms prevalent in the science of Qur’anic readings. Firstly, the principles (uṣūl) which are applicable wherever their definition becomes manifest in a particular reading. For example, the naql al-ḥarakah of Warsh is a principle. Secondly, the distinctions (farsh) which are mostly individual differences in a particular reading and which do not accumulate under a specific principle. For example, the addition of an alif in ملك يوم الدين is not a principle but an individual preference of ʿĀṣim, al-Kisāʾī, Yaʿqūb and Khalaf while the rest read it as maliki (ملك) instead of māliki (مالك). 

In this tilāwah, the following farsh words were observed (there were no farsh words in al- Ḍuḥā): 

  1. Anu-shkur (أنُ اشكر) instead of ani-shkur (أنِ اشكر) [First instance in Verse 12]
  2. Yā bunayyi (بنيِّ) instead of yā bunayya (بنيَّ) [First instance in Verse 13]
  3. Mithqālu (مثقالُ) instead of mithqāla (مثقالَ) [Verse 16]
  4. Walā tuṣāʿir (ولا تصاعر) instead of walā tuṣaʿʿir (ولا تصعّر) [Verse 18]

Several aspects of tajweed with regard to vocal modulations and maqamāt were observed in this tilāwah. Placing significant emphasis on meaning, Shehzada Saheb DM halted after each phrase in the 17th verse where Allah TA mentions the establishing of prayer, the enjoining of good and the forbidding of iniquity. This verse was repeated thrice owing to its apparent significance. The last verse was recited in a base voice considering the mention of lowering the voice and adopting a moderate path. 

There were hints of the maqām of jahārkah (originally chahargah from Persian) , a maqām closely resembling the maqām of al-ʿajam which is used to create excitement and and incite passion among the audience. To listen to a few verses of jihārkah, click here.

The tilāwah also exhibited several displays of vocal power and breath retention when Shehzada Saheb not only recited continuously for over a period of 30 seconds in a single breath but did so in a high tone. 

The Culmination


Qabl al-Ẓuhr: Sūrah al-Zumar Verses 53 to 75; Sūrah al-Ṭāriq

Qirāʾah: Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim, Hishām ʿan Ibn ʿĀmir, Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ

Baʿd al-Ẓuhr: Sūrah Āl ʿImrān Verses 185 to 195; Sūrah al-ʿAṣr; Sūrah al-Kawthar

Qirāʾah: Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ

Qabl al-Ẓuhr

The tilāwah began with Shehzada Saheb (DM) opting to recite a substantial passage of verses in the most familiar narration of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim. The recitation in Ḥafṣ continued till Verse 69 barring one verse, the 56th, that was recited in multiple narrations. The changes in this verse are listed below:

  1. Yā ḥasratā (يا حسرتى) with fatḥah = Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim
  2. Yā ḥasratae with taqlīl = Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ
  3. Nafsui yā ḥasratae with imālah and without idghām = Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah
  4. Yā ḥasratāya = Ibn Jammaz ʿan Abū Jaʿfar
  5. Yā ḥasratāi (with madd 6 ḥarakāt) = Ibn Wardān ʿan Abū Jaʿfar
  6. Yā ḥasratāh (يا حسرتاه) at the time of waqf only = Ruways ʿan Yāʿqūb

Click here to listen to all wujūh listed above.

Upon reaching the 69th verse of Sūrah al-Zumar, Shehzada Saheb (DM) transitioned into the narration of Hishām ʿan Ibn ʿĀmir. This narration contains an interesting phenomenon where the kasrah (zayr) on the first letter of certain words is changed into 1/3rd ḍammah (paysh) and 2/3rds kasrah (zayr). This same phenomenon also occurs in the narration of Ruways ʿan Yaʿqūb and the qirāʾah of al-Kisāʾī, however, Ruways’ narration contains qaṣr al-munfaṣil (the non application of madd munfaṣil) and al-Kisāʾi does not read the subsequent word فتحت with a tashdīd on the letter تاء (futtiḥat). Shehzada Saheb (DM) not only elongated the madd munfaṣil but also read the word فتحت as futtiḥat indicating that the narration being recited was of Hishām.

The phenomenon mentioned earlier is termed  إشمام كسر الحرف الأول ضما i.e. to provide a hint of paysh before continuing with zayr. Shehzada Saheb (DM) did so in several words which can be heard in the links provided below:

  1. Verse 69, Word: وجيئ
  2. Verse 71, Word وسيق
  3. Verse 72, Word وقيل

After completing Sūrah al-Zumar, Shehzada Saheb (DM) recited Sūrah al-Ṭāriq in the riwāyah of Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ. In this narration, the word lammā is recited without tashdīd as lamā.

Baʿd al-Ẓuhr

This soulful recitation touched many a heart and wet many an eye. It was entirely in the narration of Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ. The narration of Warsh has been transmitted through two main turuq i.e. paths. These are the tarīq of al-Azraq and the tarīq of al-Iṣbahānī. Al-Shāṭibī, who has narrated the seven mutawātir recitations, has chosen the tarīq of al-Azraq over that of al-Iṣbahānī. Therefore this narration is also referred to as the riwāyah of Warsh from the qirāʾah of Nāfiʿ from the tarīq of al-Azraq brought to us through the tarīq of al-Shāṭibīyah (رواية ورش عن نافع من طريق الأزرق من طريق الشاطبية). The path of al-Azraq is the most commonly recited narration of Warsh especially in North Africa and Sudan outside of Egypt. 

This brings us to the culmination of this series of Tajweed Explained. May Allah ta’ala forgive the errors contained herein and carry the reward of whatever is accurate, precise and beneficial to Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. May Allah ta’ala grant Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM) jazā-e-khayr for this opportunity bestowed on the keen followers of Qur’an-e-Majeed and its various sciences. May Allah ta’ala grant Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin a long and healthy life till the day of judgement. (Aameen). 

Cure and Mercy

Tilāwah: Sūrah al-Isrāʾ Verses 70 – 96 & Sūrah al-Ikhlāṣ

Qirāʾah: Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ and some transitions.

On the 9th of Muharram, Shehzada Saheb (DM) recited two and a half pages of fascinating tilāwah in the reading of Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ. This was followed by a recitation of Sūrah al-Ikhlāṣ in multiple readings.

As far as the tilāwah of Sūrah al-Isrāʾ is concerned, Shehzada Saheb (DM) continued in the reading of Warsh till Verse 77 (سنة من قد). He then recited this particular verse again in the qirāʾah of Abū ʿAmr. This difference was highlighted when Shehzada Saheb read the hamzah in والأرض (wal-arḍ) with taḥqeeq (wal-arḍ) instead of naql (wa-larḍ), the latter being the norm in Warsh. Furthermore, the word رسلنا was recited as ruslinā instead of rusulinā. Abū ʿAmr’s reading is the lone reading which contains this difference. 

In the very next verse, Shehzada Saheb (DM) transitioned into the reading of Ibn Kathīr which was highlighted when the word قرآن was recited as qurān instead of qurʾān

After this, Shehzada Saheb (DM) transitioned back into Warsh and continued in that reading till he reached Verse 82 (وننزل من القرآن) and changed to the reading of al-Dawrī ʿan Abū ʿAmr (and those who match him in this instance) that was highlighted through the following difference: The word ننزل was recited as nunzilu instead of nunazzilu. The recitation continued in Warsh till Verse 88. This verse was again repeated in the reading of Ibn Kathīr as mentioned in the previous paragraph and the word qurʾān was changed to qurān along with ṣilah al-mīm (صلة الميم) in the word بعضهم (baʿḍuhumū).

The next verse (ولقد صرفنا) was first recited in Warsh and then in the reading of al-Dawrī ʿan Abū ʿAmr. This was made clear when Shehzada Saheb (DM) did the idghām of the letter دال into the letter صاد in the phrase ولقد صرفنا rendering the phrase as walaqaṣ-ṣarrafnā. There was an addition of imālah in both instances of the word al-nās.

The subsequent recitation continued in Warsh till the end of Verse 96. Let us now discuss some peculiarities of the reading of Warsh which help us identify it with relative ease: 

  1. You will come across instances when the letter lām is recited with tafkhīm. Listen here.
  2. There are instances in this reading where the madd badal is elongated 2, 4 or 6 ḥarakāt. Listen here
  3. There are naql al-ḥarakah of hamzah to the silent letter (حرف ساكن) that comes before it. Listen to examples here.
  4. There are instances of imālah and taqlīl.
  5. There are instances where the mīm of plurality is elongated to the extent of a madd munfaṣil when it occurs before a hamzah. Listen here.
  6. There are instances when the letter rāʾ is recited with tarqīq. Listen here.

The second part of the tilāwah contained a mixed recitation of Sūrah al-Ikhlāṣ. The differences are listed below: 

  1. Kufuʾana-ḥad = Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ
  2. Kufuʾan aḥad = Ibn Kathīr and others
  3. Kufuwan aḥad = Hafṣ
  4. The three wujūh of Ḥamzah: Kufʾana-ḥad (naql), Kufʾan aḥad (taḥqīq of hamzah), Kufʾan aḥad (saktah and taḥqīq).

Dazzlingly Luminous

Tilāwah: Sūrah al-Nūr Verses 36 – 40; Sūrah al-Fajr

Qirāʾah: Base Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah, al-Dawrī ʿan Abū ʿAmr, Al-Kisāʾī

Today, was a luminous day for the followers of tajwīd. Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM) recited the dazzling verses of Sūrah al-Nūr in a luminous display of tilāwah that was replete with the various melodious maqāmāt and riwāyāt.

Today’s tilāwah was dazzlingly luminous because it contained references to almost all qirāʾāt. While Shehzada Saheb (DM) based his recitation on the narration of Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah, he carved his way through several other narrations and recitations which are listed down below in full detail. Some portions are attributed to one qirāʾah even though multiple qirāʾāt might contain those particular references. This is to make it easy and less confusing for the reader. 

Shehzada Saheb (DM) began the recitation of the āyah al-nūr in the narration of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim. Quickly transitioning into Khalaf, evident through the naql al-ḥarakah and saktah while doing waqf on the word والأرض (wal-arḍ), he repeated the phrase دري يوقد five times in five different recitations. All five are listed below:

  1. Durrīyun tawaqqada (with ikhfāʾ) = Qunbul ʿan Ibn Kathīr (Listen)
  2. Durrīyun tūqadu (with ikhfāʾ) = Khalaf al-ʿĀshir (Listen)
  3. Dirrī-ʾun tawaqqada (with madd and ikhfāʾ) = al-Sūsī ʿan Abū ʿAmr (Listen)
  4. Dirrī-ʾun tūqadu (with madd and ikhfāʾ) = Al-Kisāʾī (Listen)
  5. Durrī-ʾun tūqadu (with madd and ikhfāʾ) = Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah (Listen)

Shehzada Saheb (DM) continued the tilāwah in the narration of Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah until he reached the next verse, fī buyūtin (في بيوت). Here he transitioned into the recitation of Shuʿbah ʿan ʿĀṣim which is identical in this verse to the qirāʾah of Ibn ʿĀmir from both his narrators. The differences are as follows: 

  1. The word buyūt replaced with biyūt. (Click here to listen)
  2. The word yusabbiḥu replaced with yusabbaḥu
    (Click here to listen)

Interestingly, there were several instances of imālah in this recitation of Khalaf which have rarely been seen recently as a matter of coincidence. These were in Verses 39 and 40 of Sūrah al-Nūr. They are listed below:

  1. Ḥattā izā jāʾahū (جاءه)
  2. Fawaffāhu ḥisābah (فوفىه)
  3. Yaghshāhu mawjun (يغشاه)
  4. Lam yakad yarāhā (يرىها)

Click on the Arabic words to listen to their pronunciations in the form of imālah

In one of the most dazzling mornings of the year Shehzada Saheb (DM) recited the entire Sūrah al-Fajr in several interesting forms. Below is a list of the changes he incorporated in the recitation. 

  1. The word watr changed to witr = This change is narrated by Khalaf and al-Kisāʾī
  2. The word yasr changed to yasrī = This change is narrated by Ibn Kathīr, Yaʿqūb, Nāfiʿ, Abū ʿAmr and Abū Jaʿfar (latter three conditionally, former two unconditionally).

Shehzada Saheb (DM) continued to recite in the narration of Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah until he reached the 20th verse. From here, he went back to the 15th verse (فأما الإنسان) and began reciting in the narration of al-Dawrī ʿan Abū ʿAmr until the 26th verse that ends with aḥad. Some of the changes in the latter narration were as follows: 

  1. The word rabbī changed to rabbiya with a fatḥah (zabar).
  2. The word tukrimūn changed to yukrimūn.
  3. The word taḥāḍḍūna changed to yaḥuḍḍūna.
  4. The word taʾkulūna changed to yaʾkulūna.
  5. Taqlīl in the word annā and imālah in the word zikrā.

After reaching the 26th verse, Shehzada Saheb (DM) went back to the 25th verse and transitioned into the recitation of Abū al-Ḥārith ʿan al-Kisāʾī’s narration. The changes in this narration are as follows:

  1. The word yuʿḏḏibu changed to yuʿḏḏabu
  2. The word yūthiqu changed to yūthaqu
  3. The imālah of hāʾ al-thaʿnīth in al-muṭmaʾinnah and marḍīyah.

The recitation ended with a lot more to be desired (in a positive sense) even though Shehzada Saheb (DM) had given more than we, the audience, deserved. May Allah Ta’ala bestow Shehzada Saheb (DM) with a long life in the khidmat of our Maula Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS).

Worthy of Praise

Tilāwah: Sūrah Luqmān 8 – 22, Sūrah al-Ḥamd

Qirāʾah: Qālūn & Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ; Assortment of Readings

No words of praise would do justice to the tilāwah of Sūrah al-Ḥamd by Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM) today. The recitation contained references to the narrations of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim, Qunbul ʿan Ibn Kathīr, al-Sūsī ʿan Abū ʿAmr and Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah. The changes in the recitation effectively covered all ten readings even while direct references were made to the aforementioned four readings. 

  1. The two mīms of rahīm and mālik were joined in a display of idghām kabīr and a reference to the reading of Abū ʿAmr (al-raḥīm-maliki).
  2. The alif in māliki was dropped in congruence with the reading of Abū ʿAmr.
  3. The recurring word ṣirāṭ with a ṣād was changed to sirāṭ with a sīn in a reference to the reading of Qunbul.
  4. Qunbul’s reading also caused the ṣilah of the mīm of plurality (ʿalayhimū).
  5. The same word ṣirāṭ was repeated with a hint of the letter zāy while pronouncing ṣād in a reference to the reading of Khalaf.
  6. The same reading caused the letter hāʾ in the word ʿalyhim to be read as ʾalayhum.

This tilāwah served as a reminder to the famous qirāʾah of Shaikh ʿAbdul Bāsiṭ where he had delivered a similar rendition of Sūrah al-Ḥamd. Click here to listen.

While reciting Sūrah Luqmān, Shehzada Saheb (DM) brilliantly delivered the maqām of ḥijāz twice in a row. Listen to some examples of this maqām below. 

  1. From Sūrah al-Aḥzāb
  2. From Sūrah al-Ḥajj

Sūrah Luqmān was recited in the twin narrations of Qālūn and Warsh from the qirāʾah of Nāfiʿ. Find attached a page from the muṣ-ḥaf of Warsh and try to read it following the tajweed markings given in it. Then match your recitation with the audio provided below. Post your observations/questions in the comments section below after you have successfully finished the activity.

Audio of above page in the narration of Warsh.

Reciters, Narrators and a Hint of Melody – Part 3

TilāwahSūrah al-Fatḥ Verses 1 – 10 & 27 – 29, Sūrah al-Balad 

Qirāʾah: Qunbul ʿan Ibn Kathīr, al-Sūsī ʿan Abū ʿAmr, Abū al-Ḥārith ʿan al-Kisāʾī

Today Shehzada Saheb (DM) did not leave any stone unturned to keep the followers of tajweed interested. His recitation was divided into three parts and all three were delivered in different qirāʾāt and riwāyāt

The first part of Sūrah al-Fatḥ was recited in the riwāyah of Qunbul from the qirāʾah of Ibn Kathīr al-Makkī. The first indication of this riwāyah came when Shehzada Saheb (DM) recited the letter sīn in place of the letter ṣād in the word صراط. Only two readings allow for this change, one of them being of Qunbul. This reading is also characterized with the ṣilah of the mīm al-jamʿ (the mīm of plurality). One will often hear the sound of  while the Qur’an is being recited in this riwāyah. It also contains the ṣilah of the hāʾ al-ḍamīr (هاء الضمير) which led to Shehzada Saheb reciting the word تسبحوه as yusabbiḥuhū (the change of tāʾ to yāʾ is unrelated to the ḥukm of ṣilah) as can be heard here. 

The second part of the recitation in the narration of al-Sūsī introduces a new term related to the ʿilm al-qirāʾāt. This term is taqlīl (تقليل). It pertains to the pronouncement of the ḥarf al-madd alif and is one of its three stages. These stages are fatḥah, taqlīl and imālah. This alif, henceforth referred to as the alif layyinah, is either pronounced ‘normally’ for example in the word sīmāhum (سيماهم), or with a little slant towards the sound of the letter yāʾ but closer to the letter alif, the sound one would hear when the reciter reads the word sīmāhum with a smile. This is taqlīl. On the other hand, imālah is when the slanted alif layyinah is closer to the sound of the letter yāʾ than to the letter alif. In other words, an imālah is a slanted version of the taqlīl. The three examples can be heard here

The third part of the recitation in the narration of Abū al-Ḥārith from the qirāʾah of al-Kisāʾī also introduces a new term. This is the imālah of hāʾ al-taʾnīth (هاء التأنيث). Grammarians will note that there is no such thing as the “hāʾ” of taʾnīth; however, this term has become ubiquitous in the circles of the ʿilm al-qirāʾat and hence we will continue to use it in this article. Al-Kisāʾī has uniquely chosen to perform imālah on the letter occurring before a hāʾ al-taʾnīth as we heard in Sūrah al-Balad today. This is done when a reciter stops at a word that contains the hāʾ al-taʾnīth at the end of it. For example: مسغبة. Instead of reciting the final syllable of this word as bah, al-Kisāʾī chooses to slant the zabar of the second last letter, i.e. bāʾ in this case, and reads the word as masghabeh. The pronunciation of the letter bāʾ is closer to a kasrah but not entirely a kasrah (zer). Listen to the امالة هاء التأنيث here. This ḥukm is one of the unique aḥkām of tajweed and provides an interesting angle to the tilāwah.

The Maqām of Ṣabā

This is a maqām characterized with a deep emotion of sorrow and lamentation. It is a maqām, which if rendered to its greatest effect, produces tearful eyes and soulful hearts. Shehzada Saheb (DM) often incorporates the various aspects of this maqām into his recitation.
Click the following links to listen to some famous reciters performing their tilāwah in this maqām: 

  1. Shaikh Abdul Basit reciting Sūrah Ghāshiyah
  2. Shaikh Abdul Basit reciting Sūrah Al-Qiyāmah

Tajweed Answers

Q. What is the uniqueness of the riwayat of Hafs from Asim? And why was this qira’at opted by the Ahlul Bayt apart from it being easy to read and memorize? Please do share some light on this.
A. The reading of Hafs from Asim has been directly transmitted from Amirul Mumineen Maulana Ali b. Abu Talib AS. This may be one of the primary reasons why the reading was well acclaimed across all sections of the Islamic society.
Q. There were some places where Shehzada saheb didn’t applied any Saktah like سوء Sawinw in this ayat يااخت هارون…Question is why?
A. The ḥukm of saktah varies across the different qirāʾāt. Some reciters also allow both versions - with and without saktah - in their narrations. Such aḥkām are referred to by the phrase بخلف عنه written after the ḥukm. There are other places where reciters or their narrators allow for the naql al-ḥarakah
Q. I noticed tht Shzsaab (DM) used to take a very short pause in between aayat itself, especially when the next word’s first letter was alif in tht particular aayat itself. Can u discuss this hukum in detail? Shukran.
A. This ḥukm is the saktah. An interesting and often delightful ḥukm, it is found commonly throughout the various qirāʾāt. Hafṣ has incorporated the saktah in five instances in his narration. Here, a person reciting the qur'an is expected to take a short breathless pause before moving on to the subsequent letter. The saktah almost always happens before the hamzah mufradah but is not limited to that. Listen to an interesting use of the saktah here

Back to Basics – 1

Tilāwah: Sūrah Maryam, Verses 1 – 36

Riwāyah: Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah

Rasulullah (SAW) said concerning the Qur’an: The Qur’an has descended upon seven letters. نزل القرآن على سبعة أحرف. 

Several explanations have been provided to explain the meaning of these seven letters. The significance of the number seven is also well known to us. However, the seven letters from a ẓāhirī perspective are the differences between the various readings as listed out in the article entitled “The Readings.”

This brings us to the question of the origin of these readings. 

It is narrated that Rasulullah (SAW) used to visit the various Arabian tribes and present the Qur’an to them in their local dialect. Several scholars used to memorize and recite the Qur’an exactly as they had heard from Rasulullah (SAW). However, when the scholars multiplied and so did their readings, there arose a need to authenticate what the scholars had memorized. This led to the rise of a subsequent generation of scholars who dedicated their time and effort to research into the various readings and determine which were authentic and which were not. 

A consensus was reached upon ten readings being authentic. They were named mutawātir readings because their chain of narration was replete with authentic narrators. One of these ten authentic readings is that of Ḥafṣ from ʿĀṣim. This reading is simple and easy to read and memorize. Most people who recite the Qur’an are unaware of any other reading except this. Among the main reasons for the mass acceptance and deep outreach of this reading is that it has been directly transmitted from Amirul Mumineen Maulana Ali b. Abu Talib AS. 

There are three terms one should be aware of while discussing the different Qur’anic readings. The first term is “reading” itself. The original term in Arabic for this word is qirāʾah (قراءة). This is the actual text of the Qur’an. The second term is “narration.” In Arabic, it is riwāyah (رواية). This is the narration of the qirāʾah from the original qārī to whom the reading is attributed. There are two narrators for each qārī. For example, ʿĀṣim has two narrators, Ḥafṣ and Shuʿbah. Therefore, there are a total of 20 narrations, two for each of the ten qirāʾah. The final term is tarīq (طريق). This is the final leg in the journey of a reading’s transmission. In a practical context, the term tarīq is used to refer to the path from which the narration i.e. riwāyah has reached us. The first seven readings have reached us from the tarīq of Al-Shaṭibīyah, a name given to the composition ḥirz al-maʿānī of Abū-l-Qāsim b. Firroh al-Shāṭibī. The last three readings have come to us from the tarīq of Al-Durrah, a name given to the composition al-durrah al-muḍīʿah of Ibn al-Jazarī. These are known as Al-Qirāʾāt al-Ashr al-Sughrā (The Lesser Ten Readings). There are several more turuq and wujuh, all of which are collectively known as Al-Qirāʾāt al-ʿAshr al-Kubrā (The Greater Ten Readings) and are contained in Ibn al-Jazarī’s Tayyibah al-Nashr (طيبة النشر). 

Students of these readings often encounter two other important terms. The first of those is uṣūl or principles. The uṣūl are fixed rules that govern the various aspects of a particular reading. The aḥkām al-tajwīd that we often learn and memorize are also part of the uṣūl. The second term is furushāt. These are the individual differences in each reading which do not conform to a fixed principle. These must be memorized independently. 

Today, Shehzada Saheb (DM) recited in the oft discussed narration of Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah. The entire tilāwah of the first 36 verses of Sūrah Maryam were completed in this reading. 

Do you remember any peculiarities of this Qirāʾah from what was recited today? Do use the space below to post your comments and questions.