`These Raawis learnt the qiraa’a from their Imaam, and each preserved some of the variations of the recitation of the Qaaree. ...can you clarify what this means?

Question

Assalaamu 'alaykum,

In a book by Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi

Chapter 11 of An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’aan, pp. 184-202 (1999), Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution.

 It mentions that: `These Raawis learnt the qiraa’a from their Imaam, and each preserved some of the variations of the recitation of the Qaaree. Sometimes, the Qaaree taught different qira’aat to each Raawi. Hafs quoted ‘Aasim as saying that the qiraa’a he taught him was that of Aboo ‘Abd al-Rahmaan as-Sulamee (d. 70 A.H.) from ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib, while the one that he taught Aboo Bakr ibn ‘Iyaash (i.e., Shu’ba, the other Raawi of ‘Aasim) was that of Zirr ibn Hubaysh (d. 83 A.H.) from Ibn Mas’ood.  449 Wohaibee, p. 106`

can you clarify what this means?

Answer

Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh,

This is a singular transmission (Aahad) in which Hafs complained to his Sheikh, Imam ‘Aasim that he found that there were differences in the way he and Shu’bah read, and Imam ‘Aasim explained that he gave them each a way he learned from two different Taab’ieen, who took from two different companions.  This is found in Ghaayah an-Naahaya fee Tabaqaat Al-Qurraa’ by Imam Ibn al-Jazaree in the biography of Hafs. 

Besides this source, we have many books which Imam Al-Jazaree relied upon as sources in An-Nashr to compile and prove the authenticity of the over 1000 turuq he compiled for the Muslim nation in this work. 

The single transmission is one of the few, if not the only information we have of which riwaayah an Imam of the qira’at taught from which of his teachers. 

For example, we know that Naafi’ read to over 70 of the taabi’een, but we do not know which riwaayah or tareeq he took from which.  It was not documented.  We know who Naafi’ recited to, we know who ‘Aasim recited to etc, but we do not know which tareeq each took from which of the Imam’s or taab’i above them in the sanad.  This is not something which have access to on the whole, except in this case we have information indicating which taab’I Aasim took which way he taught two of his students. 

This information is therefore unique, but we cannot access this for others, so when we state Hafs read to ‘Aasim and he read to the various named taab’ieen and they to named sahabah, we do not differentiate the ways for each.  It is not possible to do for others and not done by any scholar in the past.

And Allah knows best