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Jazariyyah (Line 1-8): Introduction
By Qari Mawlana Mizanur Rahman
20 Rajab, 1444 AH / 1 February, 2024 CE

All praise is to Allah, the all-hearing and all-knowing. Peace be upon His final Prophet who was sent to us with the Quran. Blessings be upon his companions who preserved and forwarded the Quran. Mercy be upon those who carried on this mission till it has reached us untainted and unchanged.

This is an explanation of al-Muqaddimah fī-mā ʿalā Qār’ihi ʿan Yaʿlamah (more commonly known as al-Muqaddimah al-Jazariyyah) of Imam Ibn JazarĪ ʀʜ. The poem outlines the rules on how to correctly pronounce the letters and words of the Quran whilst being considerate of the places of stopping and starting as well as the way it is written.

Line 1-8

يَقُـولُ رَاجـِي ِعَفْـوِ رَبٍّ سَـامِعمُحَـمَّـدُ بْـنُ الْجَـزَرِىِّ الشَّافِـعِي
الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ وَصَلَّى اللَّهُعَلَى نَبِيِّهِ وَمُصْطَفَاهُ
مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِوَمُقْرِئِ الْقُرْآنِ مَعْ مُحِبِّهِ
وَبَعْدُ إِنَّ هَذِهِ مُقَدِّمَهْفِيمَا عَلَى قَارِئِهِ أَنْ يَعْلَمَهْ
إذْ وَاجِبٌ عَلَيْهِمُ مُحَتَّمُقَبْلَ الشُّرُوعِ أَوَّلاً أَنْ يَعْلَمُوا
مَخَارِجَ الْحُرُوفِ وَالصِّفَاتِلِيَلْفِظُوا بِأَفْصَحِ اللُّغَاتِ
مُحَرِّرِي التَّجْوِيدِ وَالمَوَاقِفِوَمَا الَّذِي رُسِمَ فِي المَصَاحِفِ
مِنْ كُلِّ مَقْطُوعٍ وَمَوْصُولٍ بِهَاوَتَاءِ أُنْثَى لم تكن تكتب بها

The words marked red indicate that it has been read differently.

  • ʿAfwi (عفوِ) ⟶ afwa (عفوَ)
  • Muqaddimah (مقدِّمَة) ⟶ muqaddamah (مقدَّمَة)
  • Li-yalfiẓū (ليلفظوا) ⟶ li-yanṭiqū (لِيَنْطِقُوا)
  • Muḥarrirī (محرري) ⟶ muḥaqqiqī (محققي)
  • Rusima (رُسِمَ) ⟶ russima (رُسِّمَ)

Translation: Muḥammad b. Jazari al-Shafiʿī, hopeful of forgiveness from the All-Hearing Lord, says: All praise is to Allah. May the salutation of Allah be upon His Prophet and His chosen one, Muhammad, his family, his companions, and the reciters of the Quran along with those who love it. Thereafter, this is an introduction to that which its reciter must know. Because, for sure it is necessary for them to know at first, before they start, the place and manner of articulation for letters so that they may pronounce the most eloquent of the languages. [Such that they are] experts [in the rules of] tajwīd (pronunciation), and mawāqif (the places of stopping). [Whilst also knowing] that which is written in the maṣaḥīf from every disjointed and joined [words] and the feminine tā (ة) when not written with a (ه).

The author

يَقُـولُ رَاجـِي ِعَفْـوِ رَبٍّ سَـامِعمُحَـمَّـدُ بْـنُ الْجَـزَرِىِّ الشَّافِـعِي

Trans: Muhammad b. Jazari al-Shafii, hopeful of forgiveness from the All-Hearing Lord, says: 

Cizîra Butān

The author of the Muqaddimah is Abū al-Khayr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. Yūsuf al-Jazarī ʀʜ (751-833 ᴀʜ). This is how he noted it in Ghāyat al-Nihāyah (v.2 p.217). In the poem, he presented his name in short form as Muhammad Ibn al-Jazari. He is commonly referred to as Ibn Jazari which is a reference to Jazīrah Ibn Umar (a place between Turkeye and Syria; today called Cizîra Butān). He is also referred to as Shaykh al-Qurraʾ and Imam Azam. The commentators of Jazariyyah when referring to him call him ‘Nāẓim’ (the author). Hence his son, Abu Bakr Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Jazari is referred to as ‘Ibn al-Nāẓim’ (son of the author).

Although he has written in hadith and fiqh, he is pre-eminent in ʿilm al-qirāʾāt. All after him are dependent upon him in one way or another in this field.

I will allude to points from his biographies that are of interest in the study of Jazariyyah. For a detailed biography, you may read Ghayāt al-Nihāyah (v.2 p.217) where Imam Ibn Jazari writes about himself. ʿAllm. Sakhāwī (831-902 ᴀʜ) also expands upon it in Ḍawʾ al-Lāmiʿ (v.9 p.255).

In fiqh, he adheres to the Shafii school. He describes himself as ‘Shafii’ in the poem which confirms his position in fiqh, as affirmed by Ibn Nāẓim ʀʜ. This is useful as it helps us contextualise when he states fiqh rulings relating to Qiraʾāt as well as how he conveys meanings. For example, Shawafi (in contrast to the Ahnaf) allow double meaning in one word such as taking the literal and metaphoric from the same utterance in one instance as I will highlight soon.

His era was wrought with significant political turmoil. The Ottoman sultanate fell for a period and Tamerlane scoured the East. Imam Jazari served under the patronage of both. He grew concerned at the disinterest of the people in studying Qirā’āt so he went about collating and distilling the subject to make it easy for the people. In this effort, he wrote his magnum opus, al-Nashr fī Qiraʾat al-ʿAshr. This has become the ultimate reference for Qirā’āt after his time as it contains all the reliable positions in one. He summarised ‘Nashr’ and wrote Taqrīb al-Nashr in prose and Ṭayyibāt al-Nashr in poetry. In Taḥbīr al-Taysīr, he appended the three qirā'āt to the seven that Imam Shatibi summarised in Ḥirz al-Amānī. He concisely summarised the rules of Tajwīd in the poem commonly known as Muqaddimah al-Jazariyyah. Another work of his that is of note is Ghāyat al-Nihāyah which is a biographical dictionary of Qurrā' from his time and before.

Imam Jazari traveled widely including Alexandria, Cairo, Damascus, Makkah, Madinah, Yemen, Turkey (Rūm), Transoxiana (mā wara' al-naḥr), Hirāt, Isfahan, Basrah, and Shirāz. He established a Dar al-Quran in Damascus and another in Shirāz. Wherever he went he taught the Quran so his students are many and spread all over the Muslim world.

His students include Ibrāhīm b. ʿUmar al-Biqāʿi (d. 885) and Riḍwān b. Muḥammad al-ʿUqbi (d. 852 ᴀʜ). Sh. Zakariyya Ansari (d. 926) studied from them both. He wrote a commentary on Jazariyyah called al-Daqāʿiq al-Muḥkamah. Imam Jazari ʀʜ also taught ʿAbd al-Dāʾīm al-Ḥadīdī ʀʜ who along with his student Khalid al-Azhari (d. 905 ᴀʜ) wrote commentaries of Jazariyyah titled al-Ṭirāzāt al-Muʿlimah and al-Ḥawashi al-Azhariyyah respectively. Ahmad b. Asad Amyūti was also a student of Imam Jazari. His student Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Qastalani (d. 923 ᴀʜ) wrote a commentary entitled al-Lāliʿ al-Saniyyah. The son of Imam Jazari (Ibn Nāzim) Abu Bakr Ahmad b. Muhammad ʀʜ also wrote a commentary entitled Ḥawashi al-Mufhimah. Imam Jazari ʀʜ was happy with this work and it is considered a definitive reference to determine his intent.

Tashkubrizada (d. 968 ᴀʜ) combines and expands upon these commentaries in his Sharḥ al-Muqaddimah al-Jazariyyah. Mulla Ali Qari ʀʜ (1014 ᴀʜ) in Minaḥ al-Fikriyyah expands it further with a critique of Tashkubrizada and others. Minaḥ al-Fikriyyah is an indispensable classical commentary. I have noted other related works in the resource list (available here).

Acknowledgments

الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ وَصَلَّى اللَّهُعَلَى نَبِيِّهِ وَمُصْطَفَاهُ
مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِوَمُقْرِئِ الْقُرْآنِ مَعْ مُحِبِّهِ

Trans: All praise is to Allah. May the salutation of Allah be upon His Prophet and His chosen one, Muhammad, his family, his companions, and the reciters of the Quran along with those who love it.

As per the norm of classical texts of the era, the author introduces himself, gives praises to Allah ﷻ, and sends salutations to the Prophet ﷺ and those associated with him. As the focus of this work is on tajwīd, I will not delve deeply into the linguistics of praise and salutation. Those who want to delve deeper with particular reference to Jazariyyah can read the discussion in al-Hawashi al-Mufhimah or al-Daqa’iq al-Muḥkamah. For a more broad and detailed discussion consult any of the larger tafsīr works on Surah Fatihah.

However, I will allude to a few points. The praise and salutation highlight the spiritual connection of tajwīd to recitation. This work should not be studied merely to understand the mechanics of recitation as an academic endeavour or to acquire certificates. Rather one should consider, how one can, with it, recite seamlessly to get closer to Allah ﷻ.

He beseeches Allah ﷻ with his quality of being all-hearing which is apt. One of the objectives of the recital of the Quran is to present it to Allah ﷻ the way it was revealed. Riyāʾ (ostentation) must be avoided especially by gifted reciters. The asking of forgiveness is also apt as we are likely to falter in doing justice in presenting the perfect words to the perfect being.

Tashkubrizada et al. have suggested that in place of “Nabi” if the author wrote “Rasūl”, it would have been better as it denotes a prophet who was sent with a book. There is merit to the argument but it does not impact the meaning significantly as "Nabi" is a man sent by Allah with an important message.

There is another discussion on the word “muqri” (مقرئِ). Tashkubrizadah states that it is plural with the end marker (ين) omitted due to iḍāfah (possessive noun). Hence, “muqri” should be translated as ‘reciters’. Mulla Ali Qari suggests that there is no need to consider it plural as the singular form can convey the same meaning. This also works well if one assumes the singular pronoun (ه) on muḥibbihi (محيه) was referring to the singular reciter. However, some suggest that the pronoun on muḥibbihi is referencing the Quran (viz. lover of the Quran). Naturally, a person who loves the Quran will love its reciters also, and vice versa so the overall meaning is not impacted. Some have suggested that the author by stating “reciters” (مقرئِ) is referring only to the reciters from the sahabah and tabiʿūn and not the later generations. Mulla Ali Qari et al. reject this notion as it is limiting that which is expansive.

Imam Ibn Jazari has listed notable muqriʾīn in his Ghāyah from the time of the Prophet ﷺ to his time (800 AH). Qari Ilyas Barmawi in Imtāʾ al-Fuḍalāʾ continued from 800 AH to our time. In al-Nashr, Imam Ibn Jazari lists his teacher along with the chains of narration in qira’at. The following teachers of his are of note: Abu Maʿāli b. Labbān Dimashqi ʀʜ (d. 776 ᴀʜ), Abd al-Rahman al-Baghdadi ʀʜ (d. 781 ᴀʜ), Abu Bakr Aydughdi Ibn al-Jundi ʀʜ (d. 769 ᴀʜ), Muhammad b. Abd al-Rahman Ibn Sāigh al-Hanafi ʀʜ (d. 776 ᴀʜ), and Abu Ḥafṣ al-Marāghi ʀʜ (d. 778 ᴀʜ).

As an exemplar, I will state one chain of Imam Ibn Jazari ʀʜ to the final Prophet ﷺ. Ibn Jundi (d. 769 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Taqiuddin al-Sāʾigh (d. 725 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Ali b. Shujaʿ (d. 661 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Ibn Firru al-Shātibi (d. 590 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Ali Balanisi ⟶ Sulayman b. Najah (d. 496 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Abu Amr al-Dani (d. 444 ᴀʜ)⟶ Ṭāhir Ibn Ghalbūn (d. 399 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Abu Hassān Hashimi ⟶ Ahmad b. Sahl al-Ushnāni (d. 307 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Ubayd b. Sabbah (d. 219 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Ḥafṣ b. Abu Najūd (d. 180 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Asim b. Abu Najūd (d. 127 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Abu Abdullah al-Sulami (d. 74 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Zayd b. Thabit ʀᴀ (d. 45 ᴀʜ) ⟶ Rasulullah ﷺ (d. 11 ᴀʜ).

The poem

وَبَعْدُ إِنَّ هَذِهِ مُقَدِّمَهْفِيمَا عَلَى قَارِئِهِ أَنْ يَعْلَمَهْ
إذْ وَاجِبٌ عَلَيْهِمُ مُحَتَّمُقَبْلَ الشُّرُوعِ أَوَّلاً أَنْ يَعْلَمُوا
مَخَارِجَ الْحُرُوفِ وَالصِّفَاتِلِيَلْفِظُوا بِأَفْصَحِ اللُّغَاتِ
مُحَرِّرِي التَّجْوِيدِ وَالمَوَاقِفِوَمَا الَّذِي رُسِّمَ فِي المَصَاحِفِ
مِنْ كُلِّ مَقْطُوعٍ وَمَوْصُولٍ بِهَاوَتَاءِ أُنْثَى لم تكن تكتب بها

Trans: Because, for sure it is necessary for them to know at first, before they start, the place and manner of articulation for letters so that they may pronounce the most eloquent of the languages. [Such that they are] experts [in the rules of] tajwīd (pronunciation), and mawāqif (the places of stopping). [Whilst also knowing] that which is written in the maṣaḥīf from every disjointed and joined [words] and the feminine tā (ة or ت) when not written with a hā (ه).

Imam Ibn Jazari describes this poem as “an introduction to that which the reciter must know”. This is the formal title of the poem (al-Muqaddimah fī-mā ʿalā Qār’ihi ʿan Yaʿlamah) which we now commonly refer to as Muqaddimah Jazariyyah.

In terms of reading the Quran, there are two aspects; the recitation and the rules governing recitation. The first is primary and the second is ancillary. Correct recitation is wajib according to the Shariah as will be highlighted in line 24 of the poem. If one recites the Quran correctly through practice, natural disposition, or symbols without knowing the rules per se, it would suffice not knowing the rules. However, for a person seeking expertise in reciting it is needed. Hence, Imam Jazari ʀʜ states with emphasis, “For sure, it is necessary”. Most commentators highlight that in this instance ‘necessary’ (wajib) in the poem is alluding to ‘need’ rather than an Islamic ruling.

Allah ﷻ states ‘Read the Quran with tartīl'.1 Tartīl is to recite with a clear pronunciation of letters and recognition of the proper places of stopping (tajwid al-ḥurūf bi maʿrifat al-wuqūf). To this effect, Imam Jazari outlines the objective of the rules of recitation as being “to pronounce the most eloquent of the languages”. The ‘most eloquent of the language’ is a referring to classical Arabic. Subsequently, Imam Jazari highlights the method and requisites needed to achieve this objective in doing so he outlines the overall structure of the Muqaddimah.

There are three main sections; Tajwīd, Mawaqif, and Rasm.

The first section is tajwḍ. It deals with the primary topic which is pronunciation of the letters. There are two aspects of consideration. The place from where it is pronounced (makhārij) and how it is pronounced (ṣifāt). The ṣifāt can be further subdivided into two; intrinsic qualities (lāzimah) as in always present and extrinsic qualities (ʿariḍah) as in sometimes present. During the discussion, he will state additional rules, exceptions, and common mistakes (taḥzīrāt).

The second section is mawāqif. It deals with the place where the reciter should stop and by extension where they should start. There are two aspects of consideration. The place where one will stop (mawāqif) and how one will stop (kayfiyat al-waqf).

The third section is rasm. Imam Jazari outlines how the manner of writing affects stopping. Technically, mawāqif is a subset of rasm. As he intends only to discuss stopping rather than the entire science of rasm, he limits the discussion to a couple of issues. The first issue is maqtu’ (disjoint) and mawsūl (joint) words. Such as the difference in stopping in حيث ما verses حيثما. The second issue is how to pronounce the tā-tānīth (ة or ت) when stopping.

  • 1Muzzammil: 4
  • Type: Article

  • Author: Qari Mizanur Rahman

  • Collection: Notebook

  • ID: 240201501

  • Updated: 21-February-2024