Different Recitations Imply Different Meanings
Fatwa No: 370690

  • Fatwa Date:15-2-2018 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 30, 1439
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Question

Assalamu Alaikum,Dear Sheikh,There is a group which says that Quran variants is with respect to pronounciation only and not related to variations in wordings.They say Imam Warsh is unreliable according to the science of hadith. If he is unreliable for hadith how can he reliable for Quran. Kindly clarify.Jazakallah

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.

With regard to your first question, what is mentioned is not correct; the recitations differ in the wording as they differ in the meaning. We will mention one example about the verse in which Allah Says { وَمَا هُوَ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ بِضَنِينٍ } (which means): {And Muhammad is not a withholder of [knowledge of] the unseen.} [Quran 81:24]

The word ضَنِينٍ was recited with ض, [in which case the word] means stingy, and it was also recited with ظ meaning the accused. Therefore, the meaning is different according to the two different recitations, but both recitations are true and are revealed from Allah, and both are Quran and it is permissible to recite either of them.

As for your second question, a person may excel in a specific knowledge and may be prominent in it, but in another knowledge, he may be weaker than in the first knowledge in which he excelled.

This is not objectionable, because that is the virtue of Allah and He gives it to whomever He Wills. For example, even though al-A’mash had a recitation that is known among the Salaf (righteous predecessors) but it did not become famous because he was not concerned about the recitation in the same manner as he was concerned about recording the Hadeeth; contrarily to ‘Aasim Ibn Abu an-Najood who lived at the same time like him, and he was an evidence and very strong in recitation because he dedicated his interest to it. However, his interest in the Hadeeth was not likewise, as stated by ath-Thahabi in as-Siyar.

In any case, a specific knowledge should be taken from someone who excelled in it, and who is very grounded in it, and the experts in the field should testify to his mastery of that knowledge.

Allah knows best.

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