Types of Qiraat in the Quran

The Quran is the holy book of Islam bestowed upon the last Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) over 23 years ago. This book was revealed in the Arabic language, which was further translated into Persian, Farsi, and desired languages over the years. With different languages in the world, each having its own dialects and accents, the Arabic language has its own pronunciation, tones, and accents around the world. These variations in the recitation of the holy Quran are labelled as Qirat.

What is Qirat?

Qirat also spelled qira’at or qiraat, is an Arabic term with a literal meaning of “reading” or “recitation.” In Islamic terminology, it refers to the different ways of reciting the Quran. The holy book of Islam has specific styles in which it should be recited and each has its own set of pronunciation rules, rhythm patterns, and melody regulations. These different modes are known as qiraat. 

History of Qiraat

The historical progression of Qiraat dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It was during this time that he got revelations in different forms, just so it would help comprehension among various Arab tribes. The Prophet was assigned the task of conveying the Quran in a way that made sense to all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Hence, he then passed down his teachings on recitation to Sahaba Ikraam to make sure that they learned it accurately.

Abu Huraira reported Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saying,

“The Quran was revealed in seven modes, so recite it in the way that is easier for you.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari)

Classification of Qiraat

  1. Mutawatir Qiraat 

It is the most reliable type as it was transmitted by many narrators who ensure its authenticity. It has spread across time through a lot of people, making it real not made up. Examples of Mutawatir Qiraat include the recitations of Hafs and Warsh, which have been meticulously transmitted through chains of reliable narrators.

  1. Shadhdh Qiraat

It does not have as many narrators in its chains. Although it is considered valid, this type does not carry the same level of agreement among scholars as Mutawatir Qiraats does. For instance, Khalaf and Al-Duri’s recitations are recognised but are not as popular as Mutawatir’s recitations.

Umar ibn al-Khattab stated,

“I heard Hisham ibn Hakim reciting Surah Al-Furqan differently from the one I used to recite it, and Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) had himself recited this Surah to me. Consequently, I was about to jump over him during his prayer, but I waited patiently and when he had finished his prayer, I put his upper garment around his neck and seized him by it and said, ‘Who taught you this Surah which I heard you reciting?’ He replied, ‘Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) taught it to me.’ I said, ‘You have told a lie, for Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) taught it to me in a different way from yours.’ So, I dragged him to Our Prophet (PBUH) and said, ‘I heard this person reciting Surah Al-Furqan in a way which you did not teach me!’ The Prophet (PBUH) ordered me to release him and asked Hisham to recite it. When he recited it, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, ‘It was revealed in this way.’ He then asked me to recite it. When I recited it, he said, ‘It was revealed in this way. The Quran has been revealed in seven different ways, so recite it in the way that is easier for you.'”

(Sahih Muslim)

Types of Qiraat in Quran

1. Qirat Naafi’ Al-Madani (Madinah)

Imam Malik (RA) and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (RA) most frequently recited the Holy Quran in this way. This method of reading was preserved by two Qaris: Qaloon and Warsh.

2. Qirat Ibn Katheer Al-Makki (Makkah)

Qunbul, Al-Buzzi, and Imam Shafi used to read the Quran in this dialect. Two qaris who have preserved this reading are Buzzi and Qunbul.

3. Qirat Abu Amr al-Basri (Basra)

Preserved by Doori and Soosi.

4. Qirat Ibn Aamir ash-Shami (Syria)

Preserved by Ibn Dhakwan and Hisham.

5. Qirat Asim Al-Kufi (Kufa)

Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (RA) mostly recited the Quran in this manner. The two qaris who preserved this dialect are Hafs and Shuba.

6. Qirat Hamzah al-Kufi (Kufa)

Two well-known qaris who have preserved this style of reading are Khallad and Khalaf. He also has his own style known as “Qirat Khalaf al-Bazzar.”

7. Qirat Al-Kisaa’i (Kufa)

Al-Layth and Ad-Doori have both preserved this manner of recitation.

Total Qiraat in the Quran

There are a total of 10 different Qiraat in the Quran that most Quranic teachers, scholars, and Shuyukh (Singular: Sheikh) can agree on. But, only 7 are considered to be distinct and notable. The reason behind this difference is Abu Bakr Ibn Mujahid, who mentioned exactly seven in his book Kitab al-sabʿa fil-qirat. Later, however, Ibn al Jazari added three more reciters to the list, which make up a total of 10 Qira’at of the Holy Quran. 

Final Note 

Qiraat is absolutely necessary when it comes to studying the Quran. It brings out the linguistic diversity and richness of the Holy Book. By delving into this profound insight, we can make our spiritual journey better as well as connect ourselves deeper to the divine message within the Quran. For additional guidance, you can rely on our expert Quranic teachers to learn Quran reading by attending Quran classes online in the UK.


  1. How can I learn Quran reading with the proper understanding of Qiraat?

Hiring a good Quranic teacher online is the way to learn Quran reading with Qiraat. Look into reputable platforms and see what they have to offer. 

  1. Is there any platform where I can learn the Quran free online?

While it may seem like finding resources for learning Quranic recitation without paying is impossible, some websites and apps can help you. Services offered by Quraan Teacher provide Quran classes online in the UK in addition to beginner-level lessons, interactive exercises, audio recordings of the text, and comprehensive guidance to assist students in learning the Quran.

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