(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.)
Q11. Is it allowed for the student to recite a portion of the Qur’an to his teacher and then take an Ijazah for the entire Qur’an?
A11. The answer is the same for Question 10 (see Part 4), given that the student executes his recitation with utmost perfection and and correctness; so if the student has reached a high level in his recitation and he has already recited to one shaykh or more, he wants to recite some of the Qur’an to another shaykh in order to get a Sanad (chain) and ends up receiving it, then there is nothing wrong with this. The shaykh would then say, “So and so has recited this portion of the Qur’an in this Riwayah, Qiraa’aah, 7 Qiraa’aat or 10, and I grant him the Ijazah for that which has been recited to me as well as what remains of the Qur’an.” The evidence for this is the saying of Ibn al-Jazari in his book, غاية النهاية:
Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Shahryar al-Asbahaani arrived in Turkey and met me in Antakya while intending to travel to the land of Shaam. He recited to me a portion of the Qur’an and I gave him the Ijazah. He then established himself in another city where he taught the people the Qur’an.
Q12. Is having an Ijazah a condition for teaching the Qur’an?
A12. Verily the absence of an Ijazah is not an evidence that his level of knowledge is lower. There are many examples of teachers whose reputation with regard to the knowledge was exceptional, but circumstances prevented him from attaining any Ijazahs from their teachers, or they did not mention them. And thus, this resembles one who has merely received a certificate in the field. It does not mean that they are an expert in the field by any means because it is possible they will not be accurate or as informed as someone who has received an actual Ijazah. al-Suyooti رحمه الله mentions in his book, الإتقان:
The Ijazah from a shaykh is not a condition for a person to teach the Qur’an or to provide benefit, because anyone who knows and is eligible is allowed to do this, even if he doesn’t have an Ijazah. The Salaf and the righteous heart understand this. Likewise is the case for all the branches of knowledge, in teaching the Qur’an, and in giving religious verdicts. This is opposed to what some of foolish claim, that an Ijazah is a condition for conveying the information. The “Ijazah” was only a term coined by the people because the eligibility of a person is not as well known to beginner students and their like as someone who holds an Ijazah. The real condition is to look for someone who is eligible before taking the Ijazah. And the Ijazah is considered like a Shahaadah (testimony) when the shaykh gives Ijazah only for someone’s eligibility.
Q13. What is meant by the “general” Ijazah? And is it allowed with regard to the Qur’an?
A13. The “general” Ijazah, or an Ijazah which is not specified, is like saying, “I give Ijazah to the Muslims,” or “to everyone” or “to everyone in my era.” And it is one of the types of Ijazahs, a type which does not stipulate any conditions for obtaining it because the purpose is connecting the chain of transmission and generalization of the narrators.
One of the attributes of this Ijazah is that it doesn’t give the student any statement or permission for its narration or certification for teaching as is the case for the traditional Ijazah. It was allowed by a group of the people of knowledge such has Abu al-Fadhl al-Baghdadi, Ibn Rushd al-Malik, Abu Taahir al-Salafi and others. It was preferred by Ibn al-Haajib and approved by al-Nawawi and many others. An example of this Ijazah is that which Ibn al-Jazari concluded his famous poem, طيبة النشر, with:
وقد أجزتها لكل مقرئ كذا أجزت كل من في عصري
And verily, I have granted the Ijazah to every reciter…. and likewise, I have given Ijazah to everyone in my era.
Dr. Muhammad Salim Muhaysin mentions in his book, الهادي, in the explanation of طيبة النشر:
The author (Ibn al-Jazari) informs (us) that he has given Ijazah to every reciter of the Qur’an in every corner and era of the world to narrate from him this poem, to recite according to it, and to teach others by it, according to the opinion of the one who allowed this type of general Ijazah.
And this type of Ijazah is very common in the field of Hadeeth, but extremely rare with regard to the Qur’an. This is because most of the scholars of Qur’an make it a condition that the student recites the entire Qur’an to the teacher, as opposed to the scholars of hadeeth, who give Ijazah even if the student didn’t read a single hadeeth to the teacher; some even give Ijazah by phone without having heard anything from the student.
Having said that, if a person were to go and say that they have an Ijazah in the Qur’an without having recited it to a shaykh, it would not be accepted from him because it was not transmitted through actual recital (as the Qur’an should be transmitted).
Some have said that a general Ijazah in the Qur’an can be strengthened with the presence of other Ijazaat that are obtained through a connected, oral chain. As for the general Ijazah by itself, then it is from the matters related to blessing and familiarity, not permission to teach and transmit.
And Allah knows best.