(This is a continuation of the series of posts on Q/A regarding the Qur’anic Ijazah and its process (translated from here), as mentioned in the concise treatise on this topic by Sh. Hasan Mustafaa al-Warraaqi حفظه الله.)
Q4. Is it allowed for the student to recite to his shaykh over the phone or the internet?
A4. It is allowed for the student to recite to his shaykh over the phone or anything besides that, especially if the shaykh is blind, for it is known that a shaykh who is blind does not see who is reciting to him, even if he is sitting with his student in the same room. So what then is the difference between a student reciting to his shaykh while sitting in front of him and reciting to him over the phone or besides that?
There are, however, some points to keep in mind:
- The shaykh should be able to distinguish the movements of the mouth in regards to the completion of the harakaat, not circling the lips when there is no dhammah ( ُ ) present, and other details of this nature.
- The voice over the phone should be clear, without any cutting of the sound or interference of any kind, so that it is possible for the shaykh to listen to the recitation properly. The same is said in regards to the internet, whether it’s over Messenger or PalTalk, or other means.
- The shaykh should be able to trust this student in regards to the perfection of his articulation and recitation, especially in regards to the movements of the mouth, and especially if this student already has an Ijazah from another shaykh.
- There are some matters that are necessary for the student to learn from his shaykh while he is looking at him during the recitation, such as the روم, إشمام, and other matters such as these. It is upon the student to ask his shaykh about this.
Caution: It is not allowed to become lenient or lax in this matter (taking all students by phone when they can recite in person); this the case only for those students who live far away from their teacher, for then the doors of ease and mercy open for such an individual.
Q5: Should the Ijazah be witnessed by others or not?
A5. Witnessing the Ijazah is allowed, there is nothing wrong with it, and it is not considered one of the modern innovations as some assume. It is actually one of the important aspects of the process of documenting the Ijazah and proving it. It is like the witnessing and documentation of the marriage contract. So is it an innovation, considering that the testimony in the religion of Allah is significant? Dr. Muhammad al-Fawzaan mentions in his book, إجازات القراء, pages 34-36:
Requesting the witnessing of the Ijazah from the shaykh is important for its documentation and evidence since the testimony in the religion of Allah is significant, the Hudood is established by it, and by it the the grievances are brought forth.
And the witnessing should be requested from those who are of the same rank as the shaykh or from his students, or from anyone who is reliable and just. Ibn al-Jazari mentions in his book, منجد المقرئين, page 67:
As for what takes place habitually when requesting the presence of others to witness the shaykh bestowing the Ijazah upon a person for his recitation, then this is good and it eliminates any suspicion and puts the heart at ease. The matter of this witnessing is in relation to the reciter, who is witnessed by those the shaykh chooses, preferably his outstanding peers, from the Qurra’ of the highest degree, because this is better for him should he find in himself any arrogance or pride.
Q6: Clarify the wording of the Ijazah that is given by the shaykh to the student.
A6: Most of the time, the shaykh is to write at the beginning of the page, his name, the name of the one giving the Ijazah and the Riwaayah or Qiraa’ah that the student recited to him. Then he mentions an introduction and after that, that so and so, his student, recited from beginning to end, from his memory, the Riwaayah or Qiraa’ah of so and so (and some do not write that it was from memory). After this, the shaykh will mention some advice or conditions for the student to follow, followed by his Sanad (chain of transmission) to the student. Some with give the student only one Sanad, while others will mention all of the chains that the shaykh has from all of his teachers he recited the same Riwaayah or Qiraa’ah to. At the end, the shaykh signs the Ijazah and puts his seal on the document. Others have the witnesses also sign the document. Some also just write the Ijazah on one sheet of paper, mentioning only a short introduction, the name of the shaykh, his student, and the Sanad in brief.
It is better for the shaykh to write in a notebook with him of some kind, the name of the student who finished reciting to him, the date of his completion, his address and, if possible, his phone number. He should also make this student known to his children that he recited to him, for this is more reliable so that no fraud or anything like it occurs. And if it is possible for the student to record his concluding recitation for the Ijazah, then this is also more reliable, so that there will be both a written, as well as a verbal, Ijazah.