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Abu ‘Amr

Ḥafṣ ibn Sulayman

al-Asadi al-Kufi
BornAD 706
DiedAD 796(796-00-00) (aged 89–90)
ReligionSunni Islam
Home townMakkah
  • Sulayman ibn al-Mughirah ibn Abi Dawud (father)
Senior posting
TeacherAasim ibn Abi al-Najud

Abū ʽAmr Ḥafṣ ibn Sulaymān ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Abi Dawud al-Asadī al-Kūfī (Arabic: أبو عمرو حفص بن سليمان بن المغيرة الأسدي الكوفي‎), better known as Hafs (706–796 CE; 90–180 AH according to the Islamic calendar),[1][2] is a significant figure in the art of Qur'an reading and variant recitations (qira'at). Being one of the primary transmitters of one of the seven canonical methods of Qur'an recitation, his method via his teacher Aasim ibn Abi al-Najud has become the most popular method across the majority of the Muslim world.[3]

In addition to being the student of Aasim, Hafs was also his son-in-law.[4] Having been born in Baghdad, Hafs eventually moved to Mecca where he popularized his father-in-law's recitation method.[4]

Eventually, Hafs' recitation of Aasim's method was made the official method of Egypt,[5] having been formally adopted as the standard Egyptian printing of the Qur'an under the auspices of Fuad I of Egypt in 1923.[4] The majority of copies of the Quran today follow the reading of Hafs. In North and West Africa there is a bigger tendency to follow the reading of Warsh.[6]

Hafs recitation[edit]

Of all the canonical recitation traditions, only the Kufan tradition of Hafs included the basmala as a separate verse in Chapter (surah) 1.[7]

In the 10thC, in his Kitāb al-sabʿa fī l-qirāʾāt, Ibn Mujahid established seven readings of the Quran which would later be known as the canonical 'Seven'. Three of their readers hailed from Kufa, a centre of early Islamic learning.[8] The three Kufan readers were Al-Kisa'i, the Kufan; Hamzah az-Zaiyyat; and Aasim ibn Abi al-Najud.

It is, alongside the Hafs 'an 'Asim tradition which represents the recitational tradition of Kufa, one of the two major oral transmission of the Quran in the Muslim World.[9] The influential standard Quran of Cairo that was published in 1924 is based on Hafs 'an ʻAsim's recitation.

Chain of Transmission[edit]

Imam Hafs ibn Suleiman ibn al-Mughirah al-Asadi al-Kufi learned from Aasim ibn Abi al-Najud al-Kufi al-Tabi'i from Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami from Uthman ibn Affan, Ali, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, and Zaid ibn Thabit from the prophet Muhammad.

Hafs' Recitation Chain of Transmission
Level Reciter
1 The Prophet Muhammad
2 Uthman ibn Affan, Ali, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Abdullah ibn Masud, and Zaid ibn Thabit
3 Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami
4 Aasim ibn Abi al-Najud
5 Imam Hafs

See also[edit]

Khalaf al-Bazzar



  1. ^ Muhammad Ghoniem and MSM Saifullah (8 Jan 2002). "The Ten Readers & Their Transmitters". Islamic Awareness. Retrieved 11 Apr 2016.
  2. ^ Shady Hekmat Nasser (2012). "Ibn Mujahid and the Canonization of the Seven Readings". The Transmission of the Variant Readings of the Qur'an: The Problem of Tawaatur and the Emergence of Shawaadhdh. Leiden: Brill Publishers. p. 129. ISBN 9789004240810.
  3. ^ Bewley, Aishah. "The Seven Qira'at of the Qur'an" Archived 2006-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, Aisha Bewley's Islamic Home Page
  4. ^ a b c Peter G. Riddell, Early Malay Qur'anic exegical activity, p. 164. Taken from Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World: Transmission and Responses. London: C. Hurst & Co., 2001. ISBN 9781850653363
  5. ^ Cyril Glasse, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 268. Intr. by Huston Smith. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. ISBN 9780759101906
  6. ^ Aisha Geissinger, Gender and Muslim Constructions of Exegetical Authority: A Rereading of the Classical Genre of Qurʾān Commentary, pg. 79. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2015. ISBN 9789004294448
  7. ^ Stefan Wild, Al-Baydawi. Quran: an Encyclopedia
  8. ^ Dutton, Yasin (2012). "Orality, Literacy and the 'Seven Aḥruf' Ḥadīth". Journal of Islamic Studies. 23 (1): 1–49. doi:10.1093/jis/etr092. ISSN 0955-2340. JSTOR 26201011.
  9. ^ Ibn Warraq, Which Koran? Variants, Manuscript, Linguistics, pg. 45. Prometheus Books, 2011. ISBN 1591024307