This Ramadhaan, the shores of Cape Town have been blessed by a giant in the field of Qur’anic recitation/ qirā-āt, Sheikh Dr. Abdullah ibn Salih al-Obeid. You haven’t heard of him before, but what an ocean of knowledge this sheikh is, MaShaAllah. 

He has kindly offered students to recite to him to be part of his sanad, which is a continuous, recorded chain of narration that goes way back to the Prophet (SAW). Basically, the Qur’an was orally transmitted from the Prophet (SAW) to his companions, from his companions to their followers… up until today. So imagine how honourable it is to be part of that chain?! Plus, we learn to recite the way he (SAW) recited. 

I’m humbled and honored to have the privilege of reciting to him, along with my group. I didn’t know you could recite for sanad & ijaaza as a group. We’re made up of seven huffaath and five haafithaat. Maybe I am stereotyping him as a Saudi, but I find it open-minded of him, for lack of a better word, to have us (males and females) recite together in one room, and we aren’t required to wear niqaab. It is a condition that we have to hear each other recite, as the ijaaza (qualification) will be based on us reciting portions as well as listening to the entire Qur’an. Some days not everyone got a chance to recite, but they had to be present regardless, due to this condition of listening. 

Side-note: Did you know that one could get ijaaza (permission to teach) for just being present and listening to books of Hadith being taught? (The Sheikh will be teaching some books as well InShaAllah.)

Back to this ijaaza thing, how does it work? So we sit in a big circle, and each person recites a maqara (one eighth of a juz) from memory. Sheikh Abdullah stops and corrects the person’s Tajweed or tells him/her to change his/her pace. There are three paces as explained below: 

Then the next person recites and so forth, until our time is up. Sheikh also has been making us aware of another science called Rasm, which refers to the way certain words are written in the mushaf (Qur’an). This is important because it’s what causes the different types of recitations/qirā-āt. 

Sorry if sharing this info is too much or out of place, I should probably put some in another post. But this door is creaking open to a whole new world! I am intrigued. I’m inspired to study the qirā-āt full time next year, InShaAllah! 

I pray that this inspires you to find out more about the world of qirā-āt and to further your Tajweed and Qur’anic studies. If you’re nowhere near that, then make the  niyyah/intention to do so. A simple niyyah/intention can be more profound than you could ever imagine. Not to brag but to illustrate my point, at the beginning of this year I made the niyyah to complete my recitation for sanad & ijaaza this year and then Sheikh Abdullah, out of Allah’s infinite Rahmah, graced our shores. Just like that. SubhanAllah. May Allah SWT accept ALL of our pure niyyāt/intentions. Aameen. 

Lastly, I have to thank Ml. Saleem Gaibie for facilitating the process for us and for his encouragement of females in this auspicious field of qirā-āt. 

I end off with the bio of our esteemed teacher. 

About Sheikh Dr. Abdullah ibn Salih al-Obeid

· Born in 1966

Basic Studies:

· Graduated from the University of Imam Muhammad ibn Saud; Faculty of Shariah.

· Received his Master’s degree from the University of Washington DC; Faculty of Islamic Studies.

· Received his Doctorate from the University of Yemen; Faculty of Arts.

Written Works:

· He has numerous books, including a two volume dictionary of the names of his teachers, their profiles, biographies, qualifications etc. His teachers exceed more than 400 in number.

Teachers in Quran

He has read the Seven (Sab’ah), Ten (Asharah), via the Shatibiyyah, the Durrah and the Tayyibah, as well as the Four Shadhdh Qira’at to many. They include:

· Ahmad Ahmad Mustafa Abu Hasan – one of the senior students of al-Zayyat. 

· Muhammad Eid Abideen – he read to one of the students of Abdul Fattah Hunaydi (Zayyat’s teacher).

· Ibrahim al-Samannudi (Egypt).

· Abdul Basit Hashim (Egypt).

· Abu al-Hasan Muhy al-Din al-Kurdi (Syria).

· Muhammad Abdul Hamid (Alexandria) – had the highest sanad in the Asharah via the Tayyibah.

· Sheikhah Umm al-Sa’d (Alexandria) – has the highest sanad in the Asharah via the Shatibiyyah and the Durrah.

· Bakri al-Tarabishi (Syria) – had the highest sanad in the Sab’ah.

· Misbah Widn (Egypt) – currently has the highest sanad the Asharah (Sughra).

· Qadi Zayd al-Athari (Yemen) – this is a unique Yemeni sanad.

· Abdul Hamid (Usyut, Egypt) – sanad goes through the Alexandrians.

· Tamman al-Rayfi (Upper Egypt) – sanad goes through the Alexandrians as well.

With best wishes for your hifdh success,