Sunday, May 29, 2011

Q&A: Regarding the manner of reciting the Quran?

The following is a translation from Arabic.

Question: Is it permissible to read the Qur'an on the pattern of "maqamaat-sort of rhythm", using as evidence the hadith that says: «He is not one of us that does not sing with Qur'an»? I have heard from someone that there is another hadith which is opposite to this, ie, «He is not one of us that sings with Qur'an», and, accordingly, he replied that acting upon both hadiths indicates dislike of singing with Qur'an. Is this true?


Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayrah, he said: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: «He is not one of us that does not sing with Qur'an"; others added ‘spoke out of it.'

Al-Hakim reported it in his book (Al-Mustadrak) through Saad bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, and said that it is of sound narration, but they did not narrate it through this chain. It was also reported in the Musnad of Abd ibn Hamid, and the Musnad of Al-Qadaa'i.

There was difference in the interpretation of the word "sing ‘ustaghna' with it":

- It was interpreted by Sufyan bin ‘Uyaynah as "dispense with it", meaning that the one that does not dispense with Qur'an from amassing worldly matters he is not of us; ie he is not following our way.

- Ibn Al-A'raabi interpreted it as letting Qur'an be his hijjir (ie his habit and his issue) like the traveler and the free of work make singing their habit,

Ibn Al-A'raabi said the Arabs used to sing when they mounted on camels, as well as when they sat in their yards and in most of their situations. When the Qur'an was revealed the Prophet, peace be upon him, wanted their habit to be reading Qur'an instead of singing.

- Al-Layth ibn Sa'd explained it saying: sing with it means be saddened of it and softening the heart with it, as it was reported from him by Abu ‘Awaana

- According to Tabari, Al- Shafi'i was asked about the interpretation of Ibn ‘Uyaynah of (taghanni) as dispensing of it, but he did accept it and said: Had the hadith meant dispensing with it it would have said (lam yastaghni- he did not dispense of it),; he rather meant to beautify the voice. And Al-Tabari said, "Had its meaning been dispense of it then there was no need to mention speaking out of it in the other narration." (And others added speaking out with it)".

Thus, what I outweigh is that singing with Qur'an means improving the voice by reading the Qur'an according to the rules of recitation reported from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, which is supported by the hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him, narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Nasa'i and Ibn Majah from Al-Baraa' ibn ‘Aazib, that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: «Beautify Qur'an with your voices».

So, the meaning is to improve the reading by voice according to the rules of recitation which were soundly reported from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. The one who does not sing with Qur'an in this manner, ie the one who does not improve recitation with his voice according to the reported recitation rules, he would not be, in terms of reading, following the way which the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him ordered to recite with.

- As regarding recitation musical tones/patterns  "called maqamaat and their like....." the scholars differ about it in terms of reading by musical tones: Can this reading be regulated according to the rules of the readings or not? Accordingly, some of them said that reading by musical tones is haram because it goes outside the rules of reading, where there is stretching in the letters and departure from its known limit. While others made it conditional: if reading by musical tones did not depart from the right mode it would be allowed, otherwise it would not be allowed ... etc...

That which I outweigh is that reading by musical tones is not allowed because most likely the letters are not regulated according to the rules of readings. I have read on this issue, " it is often that the one who takes account of the melodies of reading would not take account of the performance," and this is what I outweigh to happen when reading by musical tones.

This is regarding the hadith that says "He is not one of us that does not sing with Qur'an".

As regards the other hadith that says: "He is not one of us the one who sings with Qur'an", I do not know that there is a hadith like this.

In conclusion: The improvement of reading of the Qur'an by good voice according to the rules of recitation is a desirable matter, ie mandoob. Reading of the Qur'an by hymns is not permissible, where the letters go beyond the limits decided by the rules of readings, and they include stretching of the letters that depart them from the rules of readings transmitted from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, as it is usually the case in the tunes.

7 Rabee' II 1432



Anonymous said...


Is it possible to mention the name of the individual answering these questions and perhaps some of their credentials?


Islamic Revival said...

We usually include the source fot these, if u look at the bottom of the post u will see the source hyperlinked. In this case it is from the media office of hizb ut tahrir, thus the answer is from its Ameen, sheikh ata abu rashta

Anonymous said...

Assalaam alaikum,

Would it be right to conclude that attending gatherings in which recitation of Qu'ran is done along the lines of the Maqammat should be avoided?

And likewise any recordings of such should be avoided when listening to qiraat.

A clarification would be greatly appreciated.

wasalaam alaikum

Islamic Revival said...

Yes, this is correct for those who follow this opinion, however as there is legitimate difference over the matter it should not be seen or treated as a munkar (evil)