Was The Qur'an Revealed In Seven Modes?

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Was the Qur'an Revealed in Seven Modes?

Was the Qur'an Revealed in Seven Modes?


The Quran says al-ahruf al-sab'a. Ahrus is the plural for Arabic word Harf. Since, every word has many meanings, similarly the word harf means letter, edge, border and others. In the technical terms it means the various modes in which the Quran was revealed upon on Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) over a period of twenty two years. The North African Quran is different from the Quran as read in Jordan. Both the quran's are accepted and both have been transmitted upon the Muslim Ummah for their ease. The Quran was revealed in seven modes. This is clear from Hadith and Quran and is evident from the statements of the companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). There are many explanations for the fact that the Quran was revealed upon Muslims ins seven modes. The paper discusses in detail these explanations and gives evidence from the Quran and Hadith to prove the seven modes of the Holy Quran (Qadhi, 2005).


There are several Ahadith that stand to reinforce the claim that the Holy Quran, Irfan-ul-Quran was revealed in seven modes. There are Ahadith of the Hole Prophet (PBUH) and those of his companions that prove it. These companions include Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Usman Ibn Masud, Hazrat Umar, and Hazrat Ibn 'Abbas to name a few.

Abdullah bin 'Abbas narrated in Saheeh Bukhari, which is one of the authentic books on Hadith,

“Allah's apostle said: Gabriel recited the Qur'an to me in one way. Then I requested him (to read it in another way), and continued asking him to recite it in other ways, and he recited it in several ways till he ultimately recited it in seven different ways.” (Fatoohi, 2004)

On one occasion Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa Ahmed-e-Mujtaba (PBUH) was accompanied by Hazrat Umar (AS). Hazrat Umar (AS) complained to the Prophey Muhammad (PBUH) that he saw Hisham recite Surah-e-furqan. He said that the way he was reciting it was different than the way he had heard the Prophet (PBUH) recite it. Upon hearing this, the Last Prophet (PBUM) sais that the Quran has been revealed in seven modes or in Seven Ahruf. Hence, there are seven different ways of reciting it and a Muslim may recite it in the way he finds it easier. On another occasion, it has been reported that Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA) read a passage from 5:82. He read two versions, both in the presence of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

The Islamic scholars have argued that there is a reason behind the revelation of Minhaj-ul-Quran in seven modes. This is that the Muslim Ummah should be able to derive many benefits from it. Some of these are given as follows (Muslim, 2011):

As many people back in those days were illiterate and did not know how to read and write, it was essential that the followers of Islam should be able to read it and understand it too. It is only then that would be able to benefit ...
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