وكذلك جعلنــكم أمة وسطا
“And thus have we made you an Ummah Wasatan”
[Surat al-Baqarah, verse 143]
Wasatan can be translated as ‘just’ or ‘of the middle ground’ i.e. a nation which does not go to extremes but rather is always on the middle path.
When it comes to any issues the same principle can be applied, and this is true when it comes to the preservation of the Qur’an and the role of the Sanad (i.e. the oral chain of recital).
There are a group who will go to one extreme by disregarding the Sanad altogether. Their recitation is based on textual evidence alone and overrides what is found in the mass oral chains linked back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.
And then there is another group that will go to the other extreme of accepting anything which is claimed to be from the Sanad. Whether the Sanad is Mutawatir or Aahaad or broken or doesn’t exist at all.
So where does the Middle Ummah stand? The middle way is not to overrate the textual evidence and nor is it to ignore it altogether. The middle way is not to dump the Sanad and nor is it to take it at face value. Rather, the middle way is to put each in its correct place and give it its due rights. No more, no less. It is when things are taken out of their rightful place that dhulm occurs.
So the middle way In shaa Allah, is to base the recitation on that which is Tawatur of the Sanads. And it is to understand the textual evidence and documentation in light of this i.e. what has come down in the tawatur oral chains. And whenever there may seem to be a contradiction, it is to go by what is doubtless and strong and that is what has come down in the Tawatur oral chains.
This is the opinion of the vast majority of Scholars including the giants of Qur’an and Qiraa’aat such as Ibn AlJazari.
And Allah knows best.