If you want to do something surprisingly fun and genuinely enjoyable, gather your children and listen to the Quran in different qira’at (قراءات – recitation styles)!
Yesterday, in the car as we drove home, we didn’t listen to our usual sirah lesson. Instead, I put on a YouTube video of Juz’ `Amma in the qira’ah of خلف عن حمزة, Khalaf `an Hamzah.
The kids (and I) loved it! The kids were beyond delighted and excited to hear the same surahs that we know by heart, but in such a different recitation. It’s hard to explain here in words, in black and white, just how amazed and happy the kids were to hear the words and ayat that they had always recited in one particular way, being recited in a different way. They were literally giddy with delight!
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It’s like seeing a beloved friend in a different context, or wearing a new outfit. Something familiar with a slight tinge of the unfamiliar. The same, but slightly different.
The kids were extremely engaged as we listened. They excitedly and enthusiastically catalogued every single difference as each ayah was recited. They carefully noted every hamzah (ء) that was half-blurred (tas-hil, تسهيل), every slight pause before the hamzah (سكت), every Alif madd that was turned into a half-Alif-half-Ya combination sound (إمالة).
Everything distinct from what they’d memorized was automatically documented. It was like what one would do upon seeing an old loved one after a number of years. Every new change is immediately noted.
Most Muslims around the world learn the Quran in the most popular and widespread qira’ah: حفص عن عاصم , Hafs `an `Asim. This is what I teach my kids as well.
But every now and then, we will switch it up and listen to the surahs they know in ورش (Warsh) or خلف عن حمزة (Khalaf `an Hamza) or الدوري عن الكسائي (Ad-Duri `an Al-Kisa’i).
Yesterday as we listened to Surat An-Naba’, An-Nazi`at and `Abasa in the Khalaf recitation style. My 7-year-old said:
“This qira’ah would be perfect for Persians!”
He was was referring to certain specific deviations from the standard Hafs pronunciation of various letters and sounds of the Quran, which are easy for the kids, but hard for their Iranian relatives who have difficulty enunciating them correctly according to Hafs.
My son meant that the existence of different qira’at can provide some leeway to the Persians (or speakers of other language who aren’t native Arabic speakers) to find a way that may be easier for them to recite the Quran.
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A year or two ago, when I first exposed my kids to different qira’at, this is how I had explained the issue to them. These qira’at were transmitted from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, and we can choose from among them when we recite. They are all correct. But nobody can just come along now and decide to create his own new “qira’ah” because this isn’t how it works. You can learn one qira’ah, or advance to learn all of them, but you must follow the rules of each one correctly when reciting them.
In the existence of these varied recitation styles is a rahmah (mercy) and an ease from Allah to the ummah. Not all people speak the same language or have identical pronunciations of even the same Arabic letters! So by His rahmah and wisdom, Allah has allowed different people to follow different qira’at – all reciting the same beautiful Quran.
I also wanted to show my kids, and for them to understand, that the Quran and the science of its recitation is something vast, dynamic, and truly wondrous.
Bless you Umm Khalid for being a sweet inspiration to Muslim women & mothers.
May Allah guide the mothers and fathers so that they raise upright Muslims. Ameen.
I believe the differences in the qira’aat didn’t sit well with Yasir Quacky and Imran Notsane, and their madcap theories. Someone needs to spend some time to expose the kyfr and heresies in their talks.
There are no copyrights on the words ‘Quacky’ and ‘Notsane’ for these two individuals. Anyone is welcome to use them. 🙂
Who is Imran Notsane?
Several years ago I grew interest in the different Qira’aat. I started to educate myself and learn the rules of several Qira’aat. The most ones I was focused on were Ya‘qoub Al-Hadramy, Abullah bin Katheer and Hamza Azzayat with the narration of Khalaf. I had surprisingly not really to struggle memorizing the differences apart from the Usul. I really got used to Tasheel, Emalah and Sakt. And I recently started to train on Warsh. This helped me recite more accurately and improve pronunciation.
Correction: Abdullah bin Katheer (who was by the way the Imam of Quran in Mecca by the time of Tabe‘een). The most notable difference in his recitation style in my opinion is, that the word „Quran“ قرءان has to be recited without Hamza —> قران, which is a Tasheel form called „Naql“ (نقل حركة الهمز على التي قبله).
I feel so out of my depth here 😢 I learnt Qur’an in a neighbor’s garage 🙈 and there was no focus on tajweed or anything, not from my teacher or parents (we lived a very secular lifestyle with less than the bare minimum of deen being practised 💔) Alhamdulillah for hidayat and now my eldest daughter is doing hifdh SubhanAllah. That being said, i feel (a lot) clueless in how to help her do her best, i just make duaa and try to be supportive and strict when necessary. Jazakallahu khayr