IN THE TUHFAH AND JAZARIYYAH.
THE ESSENCE FOR THE ONE WHO SEEKS IJAZAH – Book Sample
About the Book – THE ESSENCE FOR THE ONE WHO SEEKS IJAZAH
This booklet comprises two works in the field of Tajwīd which are
probably the most read, studied and taught texts in the field; Tuhfah al-Atfāl of Jamzūrī and al-Muqaddimah al-Jazariyyah of Ibn al-Jazarī. It is aimed at the student who wishes to study and receive (ijāzah) license to transmit and teach these texts to others. I have named it: The Essence for the One Who Seeks Ijāzah in the Tuhfah and Jazariyyah. The book details how I transmit these texts from various teachers.
The links transmitting the text of the Jazariyyah are numerous. With regard to the Tuhfah, up until recently a sanad to the author Sulaymān al-Jamzūrī was unheard of. As a result, many who give ijāzah for this text link their sanad to Nūr al-Dīn ˘Ali al-Mīhī, the teacher of Jamzūrī to whom he alludes in his poem. This sanad to al- Mīhī is a link through which knowledge is transmitted, whether it is the narration of Hafs, another narration, qirā`ah etc. It is not necessarily a link in which each individual in the chain had read the Tuhfah to the previous link. This is the case since al-Mīhī is not the author of the book, so the book cannot be transmitted from him but should be done so through his student, Jamzūrī. Recently, I saw an ijāzah linked directly to Sulaymān al-Jamzūrī himself, claiming that each person in its sanad had read the book in its entirety to the link above it. However, I remain sceptical about this direct link to Jamzūrī for the reasons outlined below:
- The Tuhfah is a famous text, being taught and studied by children and individuals across the globe. If it is so well- known, why has a sanad to the author surfaced only recently?
- The biographical details about Jamzūrī are extremely sparse, resulting in no mention of the names of his students.
- The student of Jamzūrī mentioned in the ijāzah is written as Sulaymān al-Baysānī or Bīsānī. It should instead be Sulaymān al-Baybānī, the teacher of Ahmad Salamūnah. Though the time period in which he lived makes it possible for him to have learnt from Jamzūrī, his name is incorrect. If the person who wrote the sanad is not even sure of the name of an individual who learnt this from Jamzūrī, how can he guarantee that he transmits this entire text from him?
- The scholar through whom this sanad goes is the famous Sheikh ˘Abd al-Bāsit Hāshim. Being blind he has memorized all the texts in the field of Tajwīd and Qirā`āt, quoting them easily at will. This gained him title of al-Mutqin; he who is extremely accurate and precise in what he transmits. In spite of this, in his original ijāzah of qirā`āt there are erroneous discrepancies.
- Numerous well-known teachers still give ijāzah for this poem but mention their sanad to Sheikh Mutawallī, who is considered a “revivalist” of this science. In this link there is not much room for doubt that each link in the chain had read the text to the previous link, since many other works are transmitted via Mutawallī in this manner. If they had links directly to Jamzūrī, surely they would have mentioned it instead of stopping at Mutawallī.
- My personal deliberations with shuyūkh of qirā`āt in which they explicitly state that no direct link to Jamzūrī exists wherein each link had read or transmitted this poem. Allah knows best.
The original works do not have chapters or sections. These divisions were included by later scholars. The last two verses of the Jazariyyah are also not part of the original text but is an addition to the text. Furthermore, with regard to the wording of these texts, it should be borne in mind that there are countless possibilities which are backed by sound grammatical laws. This work is not meant to exhaust all these possibilities. I restrict myself to what I have read to various teachers. If there is difference in the wording of the Tuhfah, I will give preference to what I read to Sheikh Hasan ibn Mustafā al- Warrāqī, relying on his research and editing of the text. In the text of the Jazariyyah, I will give preference to what I gained from my esteemed teacher Qāri Ayyūb ibn Ibrāhīm Ishāq.
This is because I spent months reading line after line of the text at his feet, after which he would explain the meaning of each line; expounding upon each word, the grammar, every rule, including the differences in the wordings of the text itself. Many of the differences explained to us by Qārī Ayyūb can be found in Mullā ˘Ali al-Qārī’s explanation on the Jazariyyah, Minah al-Fikriyyah. I pray that Allah blesses my ustādh with a long life so that many more can benefit from his expertise.
The student should remember that the Jazariyyah was written around 798 A.H. The author lived another 33 years after writing the text. During this period many changes and alterations were made by the author; inserting words which he felt better suited to clarify the intended meaning. Consequently, diverse readings do not signify that one is correct and the other is not. Both stem from the author, the one possibly being an earlier rendition than the other. Recently, scholars like Dr. Ayman Suwayd collected all manuscript copies of the text. Through his study and comparison of these manuscripts he provided us with an edited text of the Jazariyyah.
The result is that many scholars across the world now read and teach the Jazariyyah as edited by Dr. Ayman. This does not in any way indicate that all other readings are incorrect since consideration has to be made of the oral transmission of the text, as well as subsequent generations like Sheikh al-Islam Zakariyyā al-Ansārī, Khālid al-Azharī, Mullā ˘Ali al-Qārī, ˘Abd al-Dā`im al-Azharī and Ibn Ghāzī who detail how the text had reached them. These scholars would also clarify errors that are made in the text.
With this in mind, any student studying the text should firstly: not make the differences mentioned in them a course of dispute between themselves or their teachers, but understand that all these readings are correct as long as the student had received it from another who has been licensed in it by his teacher before him.
Secondly, that this work has been written by a person and thus renders it open to flaws and errors, unlike the kalām of Allah.
Thirdly, this book should not be the object of a student’s study in that it is just a means for him to gain the understanding and insight into the science of Tajwīd. It is a steppingstone for him to achieve a higher and greater level of learning. Fourthly, the study of these books does not in any way make an individual a better reciter. It is incumbent on the student to humble himself before a well-versed teacher and that he chooses to be rectified, since no reciter is without error.
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