Q/A of the Qur’anic Ijazah | Part 4
(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.)
Q9. What is the time frame in which a student should complete the Qur’an in a Riwaayah or Qiraa’ah, or more than this to his shaykh in order to obtain the Ijazah?
A9. Ibn al-Jazari talks about this issue in his book, المنجد, pages 64-66, where he states:
It is preferable treat he them equally based on their number, except if one is traveling, or the shaykh can see that the student excels his peers in his recitation, or otherwise, and for such students, he is to teach them as he wishes.
As for what has been narrated from the Salaf, that they used to teach 3 at a time, or 5, or 10 at a time, then they did not exceed this, and this is in the situation where the shaykh recites and the students recite after him. However, in the situation where the student wants to have his recitation corrected, or he is reciting a Riwaayah, etc., then there is no problem if the shaykh teaches him what he wishes.
And Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه recited to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم from the beginning of Surat al-Nisaa’ until Allah’s words:
So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness?
[Surat al-Nisaa’, verse 41]
And Imam Naafi’ said to [his student] Warsh, when he came to him and asked to recite to him, “Spend the night in the Masjid.” And when Imam Naafi’s companions gathered in the Masjid, he asked Warsh, “Did you spend the night in the Masjid?”
Warsh replied, “Yes.” So Imam Naafi’ replied, “You are the first to recite.” Then Warsh went on to recite to him the entire Qur’an in fifty days, and thus the teachers of Qur’an spent the year.
Shaykh Najm al-Deen ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Mu’min, the author of the book, الكنز, recited the 10 Qira’aat simultaneously for the entire Qur’an in a span of 17 days to Sh. Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Saa’igh when he travelled to him in Egypt.
And I (Sh. Hasan al-Mustafaa al-Warraqi) myself have recited to our shaykh, al-‘Allamah Shams al-Deen Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Rahman bin al-Saa’igh when I travelled to him what was my first journey to Egypt, and travel overcame me so I recited to him until the end of al-Hijr, in the 7 Qira’aat simultaneously as included in الشاطبية, العنوان and التيسير. So I began with reciting to him al-Nahl on the night of Friday, and I finished the Qur’an the night of Thursday, the following week.
And at another gathering, I recited to him from the beginning of al-Waaqi’ah and I kept reciting until I finished in one sitting at night.
And a student came to me while I was in Damascus, from Aleppo, who recited the entire Qur’an to me in the recitation of Ibn Katheer in five consecutive days. Then he recited the Qiraa’ah of al-Kisaa’ee in 7 days, likewise.
This can be done only when given the precision and expertise of the student in his recitation and also when the shaykh has time to accommodate it, even if the student recited the entire Qur’an to his shaykh in one day, and this is not considered being negligent, except if the student is excessive in his recitation and the shaykh leaves him to finish.
Q10. Is it allowed for an Ijazah to be given when it is simply recited as well as heard?
A10. The Qur’anic Ijazah can be for the oral recitation or taking the recitation by listening to it, but this is very rare. As for learning the recitation by listening alone, then this was how the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم learned the Qur’an from Jibreel عليه السلام. As for taking the recitation by reciting it to the teacher, then this is the way that is most common amongst the Qurra’ today. Therefore, the student either recites and the shaykh listens and corrects him whenever there is a mistake or the shaykh recites and the student listens, and this latter way is again, very rare when it comes to the recitation of the Qur’an, but very common when it comes to Hadeeth. And the highest level of Ijazah is one where it is done in both ways, both the student recites, as well as the shaykh, and all three ways explained here are [theoretically] allowed.
Having said that, is it then allowed for the student to go to a shaykh and request the Ijazah from him without reciting to him anything or hearing something from him? The scholars disagreed on this matter; some allowed it and some disallowed it. As for those who allowed this way absolutely, then they were scholars such as al-Ja’bari and among those who disallowed it were Abul-‘Alaa’ al-Hamdaani. Dr. Muhammad bin Fawzaan mentions in his book, إجازات القراء, page 42:
It is not absolutely allowed to give the Ijazah based on recital and listening, and it is not absolutely disallowed either. But it is only allowed when the recitation of the student is of a high rank and he only seeks a higher sanad, increase in the number of turuq, follow-up, and acknowledgment. As for other than this, then Ibn al-Jazari did not approve.
I (Sh. Hasan al-Mustafaa al-Warraqi) say that the meaning of this is that whoever has a recitation that is precise and correct, reflecting his expertise, and recited to many shuyookh and he seeks a higher sanad from another shaykh by requesting the Ijazah in that, then there is nothing wrong with this. As for the beginner or someone who is not precise and correct in his recitation, then this is not allowed for him.
It is important to add to the above that while the way of taking a recitation by both reciting it or listening to it from the teacher, was something practiced during the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. The accuracy of passing down the recitation was not risk because the Qur’an was revealed in the Arabic tongue, and it came easily to the Arabs at that time. However, today when most of the Ummah is not well versed in the Arabic language, and with the emergence of dialects within the language itself, taking the recitation by listening to the teacher (completely or partially) is not an accurate way to ensure that recitation has been passed down precisely to the student. It is also not always the case that the student recites as good as the teacher. Because of this, it is essential that the teacher listens to each and every letter and harakah the student recites to ensure its accuracy and correct any mistake that is made therein, and Allah knows best. –The Rightful Recital Team