As-salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa
Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Jazakum Allahu khairan for your generous dua’. May Allah give you the highest place in Paradise and grant you, those you guide, and your family all khair in this world and the Hereafter.
1. Yes, there are turuq (plural of tareeq), as you indicated, of Hafs ‘an ‘Aasim that have the shortening of to two vowel counts. One way has two vowel counts of and four vowel counts for . We have laid out the rules of what must be observed in the special words for Hafs when reading this way, and you may find this and previous discussions on this subject at the following links. The first link contains PDF download with the rules for reading two vowel counts of and four vowel counts of :
If you can read Arabic, then you can find the different ways of for all the ten qira'aat including Hafs 'an 'Aasim in An-Nashr fi-l-qira'aat al-'Ashr by Imam Ibn Al-Jazaree, and for Hafs 'an 'Aasim alone in:
by Ash-Sheikh Muhammed Ad-Dabbaa'.
2. The riwaayah of has a , meaning breathless pause, on a saakin letter at the end of a word before a hamzah as the first letter of the next word (as in: ), when continuing reading, as one of two allowed ways. When reading this way, we stop for a brief period after pronouncing the saakin letter without taking a breath, then continue on to the next word that begins with a hamzah. The other allowed way is with no sakt, so in this case, the saakin letter is read and then we continue normally on to the hamzah afterwards. does not have a sakt on a saakin before a hamzah between two words when continuing reading.
When stopping on the word beginning with a hamzah and preceded by a word ending with a saakin, things are different. For there are three allowed ways, and these ways are directly linked to whether we are reading with a sakt on a word that ends with a saakin followed by a hamzah or not. As we described above, both ways are allowed in the reading of . When reading without a sakt on the hamzah before a saakin and stopping on this word combination there we read the word with either , transferring of the vowel of the hamzah to the saakin before it, or with a pure sukoon on [the saakin letter preceding the word beginning with a hamzah] or with a pure sukoon on the saaking letter. When we are reading with the sakt (in our normal reading of ) and we stop on a word combination as explained above, we stop either with of the vowel on the hamzah to the saakin letter preceding it, or we can stop with a sakt. Either way is allowed.
The riwaayah of has only two allowed ways of stopping on these type of combinations, either with or with a pure sukoon on the saakin letter preceding the word beginning with a hamzah.
Note: If the saakin letter is the and the next letter is a hamzah, such as in the words: and , or the word with any vowel on the end, then has a required sakt before the hamzah when reading in continuum, and has an allowed sakt as one of two ways of reading, the other allowed way is that of a pure sukoon before the hamzah. When stopping on a word saakin before a hamzah as in both and have two allowed ways of stopping, one with , or transference of the vowel of the hamzah to the laam saakinah of the and the other allowed way is with the sakt. When stopping on the word with any of the three vowels on the hamzah, there is another set of rules which are applied which requires detailed explanation. We will explain that later when we explain all the rules of the recitation of , insha’ Allah.
In brief though, the occurrence of the , is only when stopping, as one of two or more allowed ways.
3. The rules of Ibn Katheer will be explained next, insha’ Allah, and the first lesson will be soon, insha’ Allah.