Can you please give a short explanation of the different Qira'a, and the differences between them? Also which one is closest to the..

As Salaamu alaikum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakaatu,

I have a question inshaAllah. Can you please give a short explanation of the different Qira'a, and the differences between them? Also which one is closest to the recitation of the Prophet Salla allahu alaihi wa salaam?  Is there a recitation that is more generally used in the recitors of today, and/ or among the common Muslims? Which is easier in terms of the rules of tajweed? In one of my classes, the teacher gave a chart which she outlined from which person for each recitation but I was confused, but the main point is that she was saying that Hafs an asim is closer but I would like some daleel for that please just for myself. Jazak Allahu khairan.

Answer

Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh.

All of the different qira’aat in the ten qira’aat are what the Prophet , read and all of them have documented authentic chains of transmission from the present day shuookh with ijaazah to the Prophet .  It therefore would not be correct to categorize one as closer to the recitation of the Prophet , than another since they are all part of the revelation and all transmitted to us from the Prophet . 

The qira’ah that is used by the majority of the Muslims today is the recitation of Hafs ‘an ‘Aasim.  This does not mean the Imam Hafs or Imam ‘Aasim made up this way of recitation, instead each way of recitation was named after an imam who was famous in this way.  In fact there are some different ways of qira’ah that have the same imam’s name, such as Khalaf, and Ad-Doori.  The different leaders of recitation were usually proficient in many or all of the different qira’aat, but the scholars named different qira’aat by the imam best known for his mastery in a particular way, and as stated previously, sometimes one imam’s name was used for more than one way of qira’ah.

Each way of recitation has its own rules, and the easiest for one person may not be the easiest for another.  It is not possible to explain the differences in the different qira’aat in a question and answer, but we pray that we will be able to add the rules for the ten qira’aat to this site in the near future.  May Allah make it a reality.

For information on the commonly used names of the qira’aat and a little information on the imam they are named after, please click on the following two links.

http://www.abouttajweed.com/30120202.htm

http://www.abouttajweed.com/260103.htm