Books about biographies of Quran reciters
Fatwa No: 341437

Question

I have read in books about the sciences of the Quran that the first condition for acceptance of a Qira'ah (method of narration) of the Quran as authentic is for it to be narrated in Mutawaatir (conveyed by narrators so numerous that it is not conceivable that they have agreed upon an untruth thus being accepted as unquestionable in its veracity) form. The Mutawaatir chain of narrators has to be unbroken, and narrators should be known to be righteous and possess good memories. (Usool At-Tafseer, Bilal Philips, pg 183) However, I read in Al-Azami's Book: The History of Qur'anic Text (pg 192) that a book complied about the biography (place and date of birth, integrity, memory) of Quranic reciters entitled Al-Intisar fi Ma'rifat Qurra' Al-Mudun wa Al-Amsar by Abu Al-'Ala' Al-Hamadhani Al-'Attar has perished. In absence of this book (Al-Intisar) on biography, how can we then biographically prove that among the Mutawaatir chains of narrators, there are many known authentic chains (unbroken chains of righteous narrators with good memories)? In short, are there any other books on the biography or status of Quranic reciters which can justify that the Mutawaatir chains of narrators are real and that they could not have met to conspire on a lie? May Allaahr reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The book that you mentioned is not the only one about the biographies of the reciters of the Quran; indeed, there are many books in this field, among which are: Ghaayat An-Nihaayah fi Tabaqaat al-Qurraa’ authored by Ibn al-Jazari and Tabaqaat Al-Mufassireen authored by As-Suyooti.

In addition to this, their biographies are available in the books written about the biographies of the great figures of Islam ,such as Siyar A’laam An-Nubalaa’ authored by Ath-Thahabi, Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah authored by Ibn Katheer, Shatharaat Ath-Thahab authored by Ibn al-'Imaad, and others.

The biographies of the reciters can be known from these books.

Allah knows best.

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