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Fourteen Transmissions

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Fourteen Transmissions are the fourteen different readings of the Qur'an that are different transmissions of the recitations by the Seven Reciters. Until the 4th/10th century, different recitations of the Qur'an were common among Muslims for reasons such as various manuscripts of the Qur'an at the disposal of Muslims, the primitiveness of the Arabic orthography, and personal styles of Quranic reciters (that is, people who taught the Qur'an). In the 4th/10th century, Ibn Mujahid selected seven recitations whose reciters came to be known as the "Seven Reciters". Since each of these seven recitations was transmitted in two different ways, the Fourteen Recitations of the Qur'an came into existence.

Qur'an
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The Fourteen Transmissions are said to have 1100 cases of difference. Both the Shiites and the Sunnis accept all the Fourteen Transmissions. Today, the most common recitation of the Qur'an among Muslims is the recitation of 'Asim as transmitted by Hafs. Printed versions of the Qur'an are based on this transmission. Some people believe that 'Asim has transmitted this recitation of the Qur'an from someone who transmitted it directly from Imam 'Ali (a). Hafiz, the well-known Iranian poet, memorized all the Fourteen Transmissions of the Qur'an, as he pointed out in one of his poems.

The Formation of the Fourteen Transmissions

Until the 4th/10th century, different recitations of the Qur'an were common among Muslims for reasons such as the availability of different Qur'anic manuscripts among Muslims, the primitiveness of the Arabic orthography at the time, the letters without dots[1], the letters without diacritic marks, the existence of different Arabic dialects, and personal styles of Qur'anic reciters (that is, people who taught the Qur'an).[2]

In the 4th/10th century, Ibn Mujahid, the master of the scholars of Qur'anic recitations in Baghdad, selected seven recitations from among all available recitations of the Qur'an, and the reciters of these selected recitations came to be known as Seven Reciters. After this, scholars of Qur'anic recitations selected two more accurate recitations compared with the others, from each of which there were seven transmissions available, and thus, Fourteen Recitations of the Qur'an came to be common among Muslims.[3]

Difference between the Fourteen Recitations and the Fourteen Transmissions

Books of Qur'anic sciences sometimes talk about the "Fourteen Recitations" which should not be confused with the "Fourteen Transmissions".[4] The Fourteen Recitations are the seven recitations of the Seven Reciters plus seven other recitations added by some people.[5] Each of these Fourteen Recitations are transmitted in two ways, which yields 28 transmissions overall. But the "Fourteen Transmissions" refers to transmissions of the Seven Reciters of the Qur'an that have been common among Muslims.[6]

Seven Recitations

Main article: Seven Reciters

Here are the reciters of the Qur'an from whose recitations, the Fourteen Transmissions are taken:

Differences of the Recitations

According to the book, al-Taysir fi l-qira'at al-sab', written by Abu 'Umar Dani, there are about 1100 cases in which the seven recitations differ. These differences are mainly concerned with 'idgham[8] and 'izhar (pronouncing clearly)[9], as well as the present tense of the verbs being active or passive.[10] Some different recitations in Sura al-Hamd include:

  • "Mālik" (مالِک)/ "Malik" (مَلِک): 'Asim and Kisa'i have recited this word as "Mālik" (the Owner) and other reciters have recited it as "Malik" (the King).[11]
  • "Ṣirāṭ" (صِراط)/ "Sirāṭ" (سِراط): According to Ibn Kathir's recitation, the word has "s" (س) which means an easy path,[12] but according to Hamza's recitation, it is pronounced as something between "s" and "z", and according to other recitations, it has "ṣ" (ص).[13]
  • "'Alayhim" (عَلَیْهِم): Hamza has recited this word with a damma (ــُـ) on the letter, "h" (هـ), that is, "'Alayhum" (عَلَیْهُم). Ibn Kathir and Nafi' pronounced it as "'Alayhimū" (عَلَیْهِمُو), and others have pronounced in the standard form "'Alayhim".[14]

Transmitters of the Fourteen Transmissions

Since Hafs b. 'Umar al-Dawri has transmitted the recitations of two reciters, the Fourteen Transmissions have been transmitted by thirteen people.[15] Here are the Fourteen Transmissions and their transmitters:

  1. The transmission of Hisham b. 'Ammar (b. 153/770 - d. 245/859 ) from 'Abd Allah b. 'Amir al-Damishqi
  2. The transmission of Ibn Dhukwan (b. 173/789 - d. 242/856 ) from 'Abd Allah b. 'Amir al-Damishqi
  3. The transmission of Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Bazzi (b. 170/786 - d. 250/864 ) from Ibn Kathir al-Makki
  4. The transmission of Abu 'Amr Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Rahman (b. 195/811 - d. 291/904 ) from Ibn Kathir al-Makki
  5. The transmission of Hafs b. Sulayman (b. 90/709 - d. 180/794 ) from 'Asim b. Abi l-Najud
  6. The transmission of Shu'bat b. 'Ayyash (b. 95/714 - d. 194/810 ) from 'Asim b. Abi l-Najud
  7. The transmission of Hafs b. 'Umar al-Dawri (d. 264/878) from Abu 'Amr
  8. The transmission of al-Susi (d. 261/875) from Abu 'Amr
  9. The transmission of Khallad b. Khalid al-Shaybani (b. 142/759 - d. 220/835) from Hamza b. Habib al-Kufi
  10. The transmission of Khalaf b. Hisham al-Bazzaz (b. 150/767 - d. 220/835) from Hamza b. Habib al-Kufi
  11. The transmission of 'Uthman b. Sa'id al-Misri (b. 110/728 - d. 197/813) from Nafi' b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Madani
  12. The transmission of 'Isa b. Mina (b. 120/738 - d. 220/835) from Nafi' b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Madani
  13. The transmission of Layth b. 'Umar (d. 240/854) from 'Ali b. Hamza al-Kisa'i
  14. The transmission of Hafs b. 'Umar al-Dawri (d. 264/878) from 'Ali b. Hamza al-Kisa'i[16]

The Best-Known Transmission

According to Muhammad Hadi Ma'rifat, the best-known recitation of the Qur'an has always been the recitation of 'Asim as transmitted by Hafs.[17] He maintained that this transmission is a completely Shiite transmission, because Hafs was a companion of Imam al-Sadiq (a), and 'Asim was a prominent Shiite figure in Kufa.[18] According to al-Tamhid, 'Asim received his recitation from someone who had received his from Imam 'Ali (a).[19] Shiite jurists permit the recitation of the Qur'an and prayer with other common recitations of the Qur'an as well.[20]

The Fourteen Transmissions in the Poem of Hafiz

Some people believe that Hafiz, a Persian poet in the 8th/14th century, was a master of the recitation of the Qur'an who memorized all the Fourteen Transmissions of the Qur'an, and that is why his pen-name was "Hafiz" (literally: a person who memorizes).[21] He himself referred to this fact in the following verse from his poem:

Notes

  1. In Arabic some letters have dots, such as (ب - ن - ت - یـ - ش)
  2. Maʿrifat, al-Tamhīd, vol. 2, p. 10, 12, 16, 25.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Ḥāfiẓnāma, p. 447.
  4. Sharīʿat, Chārdah riwāyat dar Qurʾān, p. 15-39; Nāṣiḥīyān, ʿUlūm Qurʾānī dar maktab-i Ahl al-Bayt, p. 199-200.
  5. See: Maʿrifat, al-Tamhīd, vol. 2, p. 226-227.
  6. Khurramshāhī, Ḥāfiẓnāma, p. 447.
  7. Maʿrifat, al-Tamhīd, vol. 2, p. 228.
  8. For example, the word (Yahtadi, یَهْتَدی), once has been pronounced (Yahtadi) in one recitation and once has been pronounced (Yaheddi, یَهِدّی) in another in assimilated form. (assimilation of a letter into another letter) For instance, (Rabb, رَبّ), originally, is (رَبب). Obviously, the pronunciation of two (ب) separately is too hard and thus, the first (ب) is assimilated into the second and therefore it is pronounced easier.
  9. For instance, in the word (Mustahzi'un, مُسْتَهْزِئُون), once (ئـ) has been pronounced which is said that (ئـ) has been "'Izhar" and once in another recitation (Mustahzun, مُسْتَهْزُون) has been pronounced, without (ئـ).
  10. Khurramshāhī, Ḥāfiẓnāma, p. 445-446.
  11. Sharīʿat, Chahārdah riwāyat dar Qurʾān, p. 45.
  12. Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Mufradāt, Under the word «السراط».
  13. Sharīʿat, Chahārdah riwāyat dar Qurʾān, p. 46.
  14. Sharīʿat, Chahārdah riwāyat dar Qurʾān, p. 46-47.
  15. Khurramshāhī, Ḥāfiẓnāma, p. 448.
  16. Maʿrifat, al-Tamhīd, vol. 2, p. 228.
  17. Maʿrifat, al-Tamhīd, vol. 2, p. 231.
  18. Maʿrifat, al-Tamhīd, vol. 2, p. 240.
  19. Maʿrifat, al-Tamhīd, vol. 2, p. 240.
  20. Nāṣiḥīyān, ʿUlūm Qurʾānī dar maktab-i Ahl al-Bayt, p. 199.
  21. Saʿīdī, "Qirāʾat-i Qurʾān dar chārdah riwāyat", p. 172-173.

References

  • Khurramshāhī, Bahāʾ al-Dīn. Ḥāfiẓnāma. Twelfth edition. Tehran: Surūsh, 1380 Sh.
  • Maʿrifat, Muḥammad Hādī. Al-Tamhīd fī ʿulūm-i l-Qurʾān. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 1412 AH.
  • Nāṣiḥīyān, ʿAlī Aṣghar. ʿUlūm Qurʾānī dar maktab-i Ahl al-Bayt. Mashhad: Dānishgāh-i ʿUlūm-i Islāmī-yi Raḍawī, 1389 Sh.
  • Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad. Mufradāt alfāẓ al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār al-Qalam, [n.d].
  • Saʿīdī, ʿAlī. 1387 Sh. "Qirāʾat-i Qurʾān dar chārdah riwāyat wa taḍmīn-i Ḥāfiẓ." ʿUlūm-i Islāmī 12:159-176
  • Sharīʿat, Muḥammad Jawād. Chahārdah riwāyat dar qirāʾat-i Qurʾān. Tehran: Asāṭīr, 1386 Sh.

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