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The Three Tusaʿ

The Three Tusaʿ


Riwāyah: Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ (al-Azraq)

(This article is approximately 5 to 7 minutes long)

Today’s excerpt is of a pure display of the riwāyah of Warsh from the qirāʾah of Nāfiʿ through the ṭarīq of al-Azraq.

The excerpt recited in the maqam of ʿajam awakened the remembrance of the champion qārī, Muhammad Siddiq al-Minshawi of upper Egypt (click here to listen to a collection of ʿajam in the voice of different qurrāʾ). The exquisite elongations of these qurrāʾ linger on long after the recitation is over, whisking away the listener into a reverie of qurʾānic melodies and instilling a love for the music of ḥalāl, the music for which Rasulullah (SAW) has stated: There is nothing more beloved to me than the melodious recitation of the Qurʾān.

The first article of this year’s TajweedExplained series discussed the riwāyah of Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ. Let us now further understand the terms qirāʾah, riwāyah and ṭarīq. Whereas the Qurʾān was revealed to Rasulullah (SAW) and compiled by Amīrul Muʿminīn (AS), the various methods of its recitations were popularized in a systematic manner by subsequent individuals to whom the readings are attributed. While discussing the reading of Nāfiʿ, one must understand that Nāfiʿ did not “invent” the reading, he merely popularized it. The following illustration will help clear the concept of qirāʾah, riwāyah and ṭarīq to a great extent.

The Riwāyah of Warsh from Qirāʾah of Nāfiʿ through the Ṭarīq of al-Azraq

The most popular narration of Nāfiʿ’s reading is of Warsh and the most popular path of Warsh’s narration is of al-Azraq. In present times, this particular reading is very popular in North African countries and parts of Sudan.

Apart from the naql, taqlīl and tarqīq of the letter rāʾ, this reading is also characterized with the thick pronunciation of the letter lām in instances which, in the case of Ḥafṣ, pronounce the lām the “thin” or the “light” way (tarqīq). The taghlīẓ of lām, as it is called, occurs when the following three conditions are met together: (1) The letter lām must be vowelled with a fatḥah (zabar); (2) The letter lām must be preceded by either a ṭāʾ (ط), a ẓāʾ (ظ) or a ṣād (ص); (3) The three letters mentioned in point 2 must either be vowelled with a fatḥah (zabar) or be silent.

Some examples of when the letter lām is preceded by:

  • The letter ṭāʾ with a fatḥah: فانطلقا
  • The silent letter ṭāʾ: مطلع الفجر (sole instance)
  • The letter ẓāʾ with a fatḥah: ظلمونا
  • The silent letter ẓāʾ: ومن أظلم
  • The letter ṣād with a fatḥah: الصلوة
  • The silent letter ṣād: يصلونها

Another feature of the Warsh narration is the treatment of the mīm (م) of plurality i.e. the mīm that occurs in the compound form هم or كم and similar combinations that indicate plurality. While there are four conditions of this mīm, Warsh follows the majority of readings in three and adopts a different rule in one. The one where Warsh diverges from the majority is where the mīm of plurality is followed by the hamzah al-taḥqīq. Here, Warsh elongates the mīm for a full madd (ishbāʿ lasting six ḥarakāt). An example is: هم أولاء على أثري where Warsh recites hum as humū.

The narration of Warsh is generally characterized with taḥqīq as opposed to tartīl where taḥqīq is to fulfill all attainable conditions with regards to ḥarakāt and tartīl is a degree below that. This is why Warsh elongates the madd al-wājib (muttaṣil and munfaṣil) for a full six ḥarakāt (ishbāʿan) and opens up the opportunity to elongate the madd al-badal as well as the madd al-līn (involving a hamzah) up to six ḥarakāt.

This narration combined with the recitation of famous qurrāʾ such as al-Minshāwī results in a vivid display of powerful and immersive Qurʾānic melody that leaves the audience spellbound and at a loss for appropriate words of appreciation. May we, the audience, continue to see such mesmerizing displays of qirāʾāt for a long time to come.

May Allah Taʿālā prolong the healthy presence of our Mawla al-Dai al-Ajal Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) till the day of judgement, Ameen.

  • Abde syedna TUS qaizaar 2:16 pm 03/09/2019 Reply

    Subhanallah. Allah o Akber!
    Shazada saheb truly mersmises a mumin into a exhalted trance with beauty, sweetness, tranquility in his recitations.. At times moving one to tears..
    Allah grant Aaliqadr Moula a long long life ta qayamat ba salamat and nazaraat upon Shazada saheb.

    • Dr Cumel Links 3:08 pm 03/09/2019 Reply

      Warsh an nafey an tariq al azraq anka (-:

  • TAHER 4:54 pm 03/09/2019 Reply

    Quraan tajweed karvu chei

  • Farida Aliakbar Imani 5:04 pm 03/09/2019 Reply

    Mashallah! Subhanallah!
    Our hearts yearn to keep on listening to Shehzada Saheb’s engulfing enchanting sweet recitation of Quran.
    May Allah TA grant our beloved Moula TUS a very very long healthy life till the day of Qayamat. Ameen

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