Aasim ibn Abi al-Najud

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Aasim Ibn Abi an-Najud
عاصم بن أبي النجود
Died745 CE
127 AH
Main interest(s)Quran
Other namesAbu Bakr ‘Aasim Ibn Abi al-Najud al-'Asadi
Senior posting
TeacherAbu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami

Abu Bakr ‘Aasim Ibn Abi al-Najud al-'Asadi (died 745 CE / 127 AH),[1][2] commonly known as ‘Aasim ibn Abi an-Najud, was one of the seven primary transmitters of the Qira'at, or variant readings of the Qur'an. Of Persian[3] origin, his method of reciting the Qur'an as transmitted by Hafs is the most common and popular way of reciting the holy book in the Muslim world in general.[4]

Though he lived much of his life in Kufa, he was associated with Banu Asad ibn Khuzaymah due to a pact. His fellow recitation transmitter Abu 'Amr ibn al-'Ala' also studied under him.

Despite being from Kufa, Aasim's reading was not popular there at first.[5] Unlike most reciters in Kufa, he did not accept the pre-Uthmanic style of the Qur'an written by the companion of the Prophet, Abdullah ibn Masud;[5] most of the people of Kufa continued reciting based on that style for a period even after the Uthmanic version became canon.[1] Eventually this changed with the standardisation of the mushaf, and in time Aasim's reading became the norm for the Muslim world. In fact, of the seven primary methods of recitation, only two have become particularly common in the Muslim world: that of Nafi‘ al-Madani in much of Africa outside of Egypt and that of Aasim in the rest of the Muslim world in general.[6]

He died in the year 745 CE, corresponding to the year 127 AH.[2]

Comparison of Warsh and Aasim's recitation[edit]

The Warsh 'an Naafi' recitation of the Quran differs from Hafs 'an Aasim' in orthography. The majority of differences do not affect the meaning. Yet in some cases the differences change the implications of the verse. In verse 2:184 Hafs recites the verse to be "... a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person...". On the other hand, Warsh reads it "... a ransom [as substitute] of feeding poor people..."[7] Other variants orthography include :

رواية ورش عن نافع رواية حفص عن عاصم Ḥafs Warsh Chapter and Verse
يَعْمَلُونَ تَعْمَلُونَ you do they do Al-Baqara 2:85
وًأَوْصّى وَوَصَّى enjoined instructed Al-Baqara 2:132
سَارِعُوا وَسَارِعُوا And hasten to Hasten to Al 'imran 3:133
مَا تَنَزَّلُ مَا نُنَزِّلُ we do not send down... they do not come down... Al-Ḥijr 15:8
قُل قَالَ he said say! Al-Anbiyā' 21:4
كَثِيرًا كَبِيرًا mighty multitudinous Al-Aḥzāb 33:68
بِمَا فَبِمَا then it is what it is what Al-Shura 42:30
نُدْخِلْهُ يُدْخِلْهُ he makes him enter we make him enter Al-Fatḥ 48:17

Another major difference between Hafs and Warsh recitation of the Quran is the pronunciation of the words. Modern Qurans have diacritical marks (known as Tashkil) and in some cases pronouncing the word differently could imply different meaning. Here are some examples:

رواية ورش عن نافع رواية حفص عن عاصم Ḥafs Warsh Chapter and Verse
مَلِكِ مَالِكِ Owner King Al-Fatihah Q1:4 (Q1:3 in Warsh)
يٌكَذّبُونَ يَكْذِبُونَ they lie they were lied to (or) they deny Al-Baqara Q2:10 (Q2:9 in Warsh)
قُتِلَ قَاتَلَ And many a prophet fought And many a prophet was killed Al 'imran Q3:146
سَاحِرَانِ سِحْرَانِ two works of magic two magicians Al-Qasas Q28:48


  1. ^ a b Shady Hekmat Nasser, Ibn Mujahid and the Canonization of the Seven Readings, p. 57. Taken from The Transmission of the Variant Readings of the Qur'an: The Problem of Tawaatur and the Emergence of Shawaadhdh. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2012. ISBN 9789004240810
  2. ^ a b Muhammad Ghoniem and MSM Saifullah, The Ten Readers & Their Transmitters. (c) Islamic Awareness. Updated January 8, 2002; accessed April 11, 2016.
  3. ^ Frye, R.N., ed. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 467. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6. Of these four were Persians: Asim b. Abi'l-Najiid, whom Ibn al-Nadim lists among the mawali, Nafi', whom the same source considers as having originated in Isfahan, Ibn al-Kathir and Kisa'i, whose full name, 'Ali b. Hamza b. 'Abd- Allah b. Bahman b. Firuz, reveals his Persian origin.
  4. ^ Bewley, Aishah. "The Seven Qira'at of the Qur'an" Archived 2006-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, Aisha Bewley's Islamic Home Page
  5. ^ a b Nasser, Canonization, p. 57.
  6. ^ Cyril Glasse, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 268. Intr. by Huston Smith. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. ISBN 9780759101906
  7. ^ A.Brockett, Studies in Two Transmission of the Qur'an, doctorate thesis, University of St. Andrews,Scotland, 1984, p.138