The Contributions Of Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya Al-QāRī To Qur‟An Recitation In Ibadanland

Project and Seminar Material Under Religious and Cultural Studies

The Contributions Of Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya Al-QāRī To Qur‟An Recitation In Ibadanland

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

In every religion there is a scripture which is considered its canon of law. People of the past also had theirs; Tawrāh, Injīl( the Bible), Zabūr (the Psalm) and the Qur‟ān were revealed to Mūsā (Moses),„Īsā(Jesus),Dāwūd(David)and Muhammad respectively. The last revealed scripture, which is the Noble Qur‟ān, occupies a very important position in the life of Muslims. It is the word of Almighty Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad through Angel Jibrīl. Its recitation serves as an act of worship. Recitation of the Holy Qur‟ān is highly rewardable in Islam as it attracts many rewards. It was reported that the Prpohet

Muhammad said:

“Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah will have a reward and that reward will be multiplied by ten.

I am not saying that Alif Lām Mῑm is a letter, rather I am saying Alif is a letter, Lām is a letter and Mῑm is a letter”.

Furthermore, there has been a thirst for such great reward among the Muslims of the past till the time of the contemporary Muslims. The virtue gained in recitation of the Qur‟ān encourages the Muslims towards learning and teaching recitation of the Qur‟ān. This attitude also serves as part of the features of the best among the ummah. This is in consonance with the sayings of Prophet Muhammad who was reported to have said:

“The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur‟ān and teaches it”.

The Prophet of Islam was himself a reciter of the Qur‟ān; he was taught by Angel Jibrῑl and his companions also learned it from him. Thus, there were many reciters among the companions such as Ubayy bn Ka῾b, Zayd bn Thābit, Abdullah bn Mas῾ūd among others. It is documented in the books of Hadῑth that the Prophet once asked one of his companions (Ibn Mas῾ūd) to recite the Qur‟ān for him and that when the companion reached verse 41 of chapter 4, the Prophet burst into tears.

During the time of the first caliph, Abūbakr, the Qur‟ān was compiled after the loss of eminent reciters among the companions in the battle of Yamāmah.4 It was done in order to safeguard the Qur‟ān from alteration so also to enhance the recitation of the Qur‟ān. The trend of Qur‟ān recitation continued after the era of the companions till date. Also, Qur‟ān recitation later became a field where scholars have had various contributions. It was an attempt to correct the wrong recitation of the Qur‟ān among people. This happened as a result of wide range of the non-Arabs entering into the fold of Islam. In order to correct errors in the recitation of the Qur‟ān, scholars started writing books on the science of Tajwīd.

Historically, writing in the science of Tajwīd started in the 2nd century. Although it was not until the 4th century of Hijrah that Tajwīd started as a separate science on its own. As a matter of fact, it started with Abu Muzāḥim Al-Khāqānī 320 A.H whose name is Mūsā bn „Ubaydullāh bn Yaḥyā bn Khāqān5. Abū Muzāḥim wrote some metres of poem emphasizing the importance of Tajwīd in the recitation of the Qur‟ān.

He says:

ركذلل سردلا نمدأ لات ةولات # تنيز ةحاصفلا نأ يخأ ملعا لاأ ردصلا ىذأ هنع نامدلإاب بهذأو # هناسل قرأ يلاتلا لات ام اذإ يرجي اذإ هيف نحللاب ةفرعمو # هظفح ناقتإ ركذلا ملع لوأف رذع نم نحللا فرعي لا امو # هليزت اميك هيف نحللاب افراع نكفيذلل


  1. O my brother be aware that eloquence (i.e Tajwid) beautifies the recitation of every reciter who gets addicted to frequent recitation.
  2. When a reciter recites, he awakens his tongue and wipes away the problem of the heart with its addiction.
  3. The first thing to learn is perfection of its memorization and identifying errors when they occur.
  4. Be acquainted with errors of recitation in order to avoid them, for there is no excuse for an ignorant.

Among those who followed the legacy of Abu Muzāḥim was Muhammad bn Muhammad Al-jazarī (d833 AH) who managed to bring forth great contributions which none of his predecessors were able to do.

His Matnul-Jazariyyah is among his famous works on Tajwīd.

In Nigeria, the Northerners are the pioneers in the field of Islamic knowledge especially Qur‟ān recitation. The science of Qur‟ān recitation then came from there to the southern part of the country. It should be noted that in Ibadaland, there are notable scholars who have immensely contributed to Qur‟ān recitation.

Amongst those scholars is Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya Al-qārī.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many works have been written on Qur‟ān recitation in Yorubaland in general and in Ibadan land in particular. Those works contain eminent personalities who have left indelible marks on Qur‟an recitation in Ibadan land. It is obviously incomplete to mention personalities in the field of Qur‟an recitation in Ibadan land without the name Abbas Zakariyya Al-Qārī‟. This is not far-fetched as the man has contributed a lot to the field Qur‟ān recitation.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This study is aimed at examining the roles that Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya Al-Qārī plays in the development of Qur‟ān recitation in Ibadan. This is in order to explore the roles he plays in the development of Qur‟ān recitation in Ibadan land.

Other specific objectives are to:

  1. Explore some of his discoveries in the science of Tajwīd.
  2. Know more about some of his intellectual contributions to the field.
  3. Document the contributions of some of his students who have excelled in the society both national and international levels.

1.4 Significance of the Study

As the topic indicates the contributions of Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya Al-Qārī to Qur‟an recitation in Ibadanland, it would be of great use to those who are in research of Qur‟ān recitation in Ibadan and potential Qur‟ān reciters.

1.5 Scope and Limitation

This work is limited to examining the contributions of Abbas Zakariyya Al-Qārī to Qur‟ān recitation in Ibadan land

1.6 Research Methodology

This work will adopt the use of texts, magazines, personal interviews, published and unpublished materials related to this study. Also, internet materials will be used.

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