Hamzah az-Zaiyyat

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Abu ‘Imarah Hamzah Ibn Habib al-Zayyat al-Taymi, better known as Hamzah az-Zaiyyat (80-156AH),[1][2] was one of the seven canonical transmitters of the Qira'at,[3][4] or methods of reciting the Qur'an.[2] His appellation "az-Zaiyyat" was given to him because he used to work transporting natural oils to Hulwan and then bringing cheese and walnuts back to Kufa.[5]

His style of recitation was traditionally one of three preferred in the historic city of Kufa,[6] his hometown.[5][7] Az-Zaiyyat himself had been taught to recite the Qur'an by al-A'mash, and al-Kisa'i was one of his students.[5] The two primary students who preserved and spread his method were Khalaf al-Bazzar and Khallad.[2][8][9] Az-Zaiyyat was not without his critics: Ahmad ibn Hanbal intensely disliked some characteristics of his reading, and fellow reciter Shu'bah considered his method of reading to constitute bid'ah.[10]

In addition to his Qur'anic reading, az-Zaiyyat was also known as an Arabic grammarian and linguist. However, his efforts in the latter two fields were largely unrecognized, and the people of Basra in particular disliked his way and alleged that he had grammatical errors.[11]

He died in the year 772CE/156AH[1][2][3][12] at the age of 76 in Hulwan.[5]


  1. ^ a b Edward Sell, The Faith of Islam, pg. 341. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2013 reprint. ISBN 9781136391699
  2. ^ a b c d Muhammad Ghoniem and MSM Saifullah, The Ten Readers & Their Transmitters. (c) Islamic Awareness. Updated January 8, 2002; accessed April 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Aisha Bewley, The Seven Qira'at of the Qur'an. International Islamic University Malaysia. Accessed April 18, 2016.
  4. ^ Edward Sell, Islam, pg. 54.
  5. ^ a b c d Ibn Khallikan, Deaths of Eminent Men and History of the Sons of the Epoch, vol. 4, pg. 478. Trns. William McGuckin de Slane. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1843.
  6. ^ Claude Gilliot, Creation of a fixed text, pg. 50. Taken from The Cambridge Companion to the Qur'an by Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 9780521539340
  7. ^ Abd al-Amir Hussain Amin, Islam in Bilad al-Rafidayn, pg. 211. Taken from The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture vol. 3: The Spread of Islam Throughout the World, ed. Idris El Hareir and Ravane M.Baye. Place de Fontenoy: UNESCO, 2011. ISBN 9789231041532
  8. ^ Claude Gilliot, Creation, pg. 51.
  9. ^ Shady Hekmat Nasser, Ibn Mujahid and the Canonization of the Seven Readings, p. 129. 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
  10. ^ Nasser, The Transmission of the Variant Readings of the Qur'an, p. 58.
  11. ^ Kees Versteegh, Arabic Grammar and Qurʼānic Exegesis in Early Islam, pg. 176. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1993. ISBN 9789004098459
  12. ^ Shady Nasser, Canonization, pg. 49.