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Are the Qira’at Based on Ijtihadi Recitations of the Companions?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Assalamu ‘Alaikum,

There are some who say:

“Not all which is recited from the Ten Qira’at today was taught by angel Jibril  to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Rather, some of the words in the Qira’at originate from the Ijtihadi-based recitations of some of the Sahabah for ease of facilitation. These recitations were not taught by the angel Jibrl to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), nor did the Prophet himself teach the companions these words. Rather, the Prophet gave his companions an open concession (rukhsa) to recite the Qur’an in a manner that conforms to their dialect as long as the meaning of the Qur’an remains intact.

The angel Jibril only taught the Prophet one harf of the Qur’an. Regarding the other six ahruf, they represent a concession (rukhsa) from Allah for the companions to substitute words from the first harf with words in conformity with their own dialects as long as the meaning remains intact. Some of what was permitted from this concession has made its way to our Ten Qira’at in conformity with the Uthmanic rasm. These recitations are still considered “Qur’an” because Allah gave the companions permission to substitute the words with their own. This is despite the fact that they weren’t actually taught by and revealed through angel Jibril to the Prophet.

This is the true meaning of the hadith: “The Qur’an has been revealed in seven ahruf.” We should not understand this hadith based on its apparent meaning which suggests that the angel Jibril literally taught the Prophet seven ahruf himself.

Rather, the angel Jibril only revealed to the Prophet one harf with a single set of words, while the remaining recitations originated from the Ijtihad of the companions (e.g. Maaliki yawm al-din and Maliki yawm al-din were not both taught by the angel Jibreel to the Prophet).”

What is the ruling on this opinion?


Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

I pray you are well.

Every Word in the Qira’at Is Directly Revealed By Allah

This opinion is incorrect. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not allow the Companions to freely switch words of the Qur’an. This would negate the promise of the preservation of the Qur’an and the i’jaz of the Qur’an, because the word choice is a big part of this.

Please watch this lesson for an explanation of the Seven Ahruf. Over the next few weeks, we will be covering the topic of the Qira’at in the Essentials of Qur’anic Understanding Certificate in detail, and your question will be answered in the course of those lessons.

Please see SeekersGuidance Essentials of Qur’anic Certificate: quran-studies-stream

I pray that helps.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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