Qira’aat. Recitations. Like other parts of Islam, Qira’aat have been codified–it’s a science, just like the science of hadith.
And, just like ahadith, qira’aat have different types. What kind of types? Four types, actually:
- Saheeh: Authentic qira’aat. To be saheeh, a qira’ah must have an authentic chain of narration back to the Prophet (S), and it must conform with the Uthmanic mushaf. There are ten of these puppies–not seven, as is the common misconception.
- Shaadh: These qira’aat have an authentic chain of narration back to the Prophet (S), but they don’t fit into the Uthmanic mushaf. By consensus of the ‘ulama, you cannot recite shaadh qira’aat in salaah. Why are they considered so, if they have an authentic chain? Perhaps because of the importance of the second compilation of the Qur’an. The sahaba made ijmaa, and we have to respect it.
- Da’eef: weak. These qira’aat don’t have an authentic chain of narrators, but a broken chain.
- Baatil: these are qira’aat that others invented. (Yes, people forge qira’aat, just like they forge ahadith. It’s disgusting, I know.)
Which are these ten qira’aat that are authentic? That’s another topic for another post!
Oh, and shaadh qira’aat? You can still study them that higher institutions of Islamic learning. A few people study in the faculty of Qur’an and memorize all ten qira’aat–and fewer still study the four shaadh.
Yasir Qadhi. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Route 114: Qur’anic Sciences. University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, March 2008.