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Abu ‘Amr

Ḥafṣ ibn Sulayman

al-Asadi al-Kufi
حفص بن سليمان
BornAD 706
DiedAD 796(796-00-00) (aged 89–90)
Home townMakkah
  • Sulayman ibn al-Mughirah ibn Abi Dawud (father)
Known forQiraat (Quran Recitation)
Muslim leader
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] was one of the primary transmitters of one of the seven canonical methods of Qur'an recitation (qira'at). 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 bismillah as a separate verse in Chapter (surah) 1.[7]

In the 10thC, in his Kitāb al-sabʿa fī l-qirāʾāt, Ibn Mujahid mentioned the seven readings of the Quran which originally were all recited by the Prophet of Islam to his followers.[8] Three of their readers hailed from Kufa, a centre of early Islamic learning.[9] 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.[10] 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 ibn Abu Talib, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, and Zaid ibn Thabit from Muhammad.

Hafs' Recitation Chain of Transmission
Level Reciter
1 Muhammad
2 Uthman ibn Affan, Ali ibn Abu Talib, 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]


  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. ^ https://sunnah.com/muslim:819a
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Ibn Warraq, Which Koran? Variants, Manuscript, Linguistics, pg. 45. Prometheus Books, 2011. ISBN 1591024307