1.0 Introduction 

1.1    Background to the Study 

              In every religion there is a scripture which is considered its canon of law. People of the past also had theirs; Tawrāh,  Injīl(  the  Bible),  Zabūr  (the  Psalm) and  the Qur‟ān were revealed to Mūsā (Moses),„Īsā(Jesus),Dāwūd(David)and  Muhammad respectively. The  last  revealed  scripture,  which  is  the Noble Qur‟ān,  occupies  a  very  important position  in  the  life  of  Muslims.  It  is  the  word  of  Almighty  Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad through Angel Jibrīl. Its recitation serves as an act of worship. Recitation of the  Holy  Qur‟ān  is  highly rewardable  in  Islam  as it  attracts  many  rewards.  It  was reported  that  the  Prpohet Muhammad said: “Whoever  recites  a  letter  from  the  Book  of  Allah  will have a reward and that reward will be multiplied by ten. 

I  am  not  saying  that Alif Lām  Mῑm is  a  letter,  rather  I am saying Alif is  a letter, Lām is a letter and Mῑm is a letter”.1      

Furthermore, there has been a thirst for such great reward among the Muslims of the past till the time of the contemporary Muslims.  The virtue gained in recitation of the Qur‟ān encourages the Muslims towards learning  and  teaching  recitation  of  the Qur‟ān.  This attitude  also  serves  as  part  of  the  features  of  the  best among the ummah. This is in consonance with the sayings of Prophet Muhammad who was reported to have said:  

“The  best  amongst  you is  the  one  who learns the Qur‟ān  and teaches it”.2 

The  Prophet  of  Islam  was  himself  a  reciter  of  the Qur‟ān;  he  was  taught  by Angel Jibrῑl and  his companions also learned it from him. Thus, there were many reciters among the companions such as Ubayy bn Ka῾b, Zayd  bn  Thābit,  Abdullah  bn  Mas῾ūd  among  others. It is  documented  in  the  books  of  Hadῑth  that  the Prophet  once  asked  one  of  his  companions (Ibn  Mas῾ūd)  to  recite  the Qur‟ān for  him  and  that  when the companion reached verse 41 of chapter 4, the Prophet burst into tears.3 

During  the  time  of  the  first  caliph,  Abūbakr,  the Qur‟ān was  compiled  after  the  loss  of  eminent reciters among the companions in the battle of Yamāmah.4 It was done in order to safeguard the Qur‟ān from alteration so also to enhance the recitation of the Qur‟ān. The trend of Qur‟ān recitation continued after the era of  the  companions  till  date.  Also, Qur‟ān recitation  later  became  a  field  where  scholars  have had  various 3 contributions. It was an attempt to correct the wrong recitation of the Qur‟ān among people. This happened as a result  of  wide  range  of  the  non-Arabs  entering  into  the  fold  of  Islam.  In  order  to  correct  errors  in  the recitation of the Qur‟ān, scholars started writing books on the science of Tajwīd.  

Historically,  writing  in  the  science  of  Tajwīd  started  in  the  2nd  century.  Although  it  was  not  until  the 4th century of Hijrah that Tajwīd started as a separate science on its own.  As a matter of fact, it started with Abu Muzāḥim  Al-Khāqānī 320  A.H whose  name  is  Mūsā bn  „Ubaydullāh  bn  Yaḥyā bn  Khāqān5.  Abū Muzāḥim wrote some metres of poem emphasizing the importance of Tajwīd in the recitation of the Qur‟ān. 

He says: 

                ركذلل سردلا نمدأ لات ةولات # تنيز ةحاصفلا نأ يخأ ملعا لاأ  

                ردصلا ىذأ هنع نامدلإاب بهذأو # هناسل قرأ يلاتلا لات ام اذإ 

                يرجي اذإ هيف نحللاب ةفرعمو # هظفح ناقتإ ركذلا ملع لوأف 

                رذع نم نحللا فرعي لا  امو # هليزت اميك هيف نحللاب افراع نكفيذلل


(1)  O my  brother be aware that  eloquence (i.e  Tajwid)  beautifies  the  recitation  of  every  reciter  who gets addicted to frequent recitation. 

(2) When  a  reciter  recites,  he  awakens  his  tongue  and  wipes  away  the  problem  of  the  heart  with  its addiction. 

(3) The first thing to learn is perfection of its memorization and identifying errors when they occur. 

(4) Be acquainted with errors of recitation in order to avoid them, for there is no excuse for an ignorant. 

                  Among those who followed the legacy of Abu Muzāḥim was Muhammad bn Muhammad Al-jazarī (d833 AH) who managed to bring forth great contributions which none of his predecessors were able to do.7 

His Matnul-Jazariyyah is among his famous works on Tajwīd. 

                 In  Nigeria,  the  Northerners  are  the  pioneers  in the  field  of  Islamic  knowledge  especially  Qur‟ān recitation. The science of Qur‟ān recitation then came from there to the southern part of the country. It should be  noted that  in  Ibadaland,  there  are  notable  scholars  who  have immensely  contributed  to  Qur‟ān recitation. 

Amongst those scholars is Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya Al-qārī. 

1.2  Statement of the Problem

                   Many works have been written on Qur‟ān recitation in Yorubaland in general and in Ibadanland in particular.  Those  works  contain  eminent personalities  who  have  left  indelible  marks  on  Qur‟an  recitation  in Ibadanland. It is obviously incomplete to mention personalities in the field of Qur‟an recitation in Ibadanland without the name Abbas Zakariyya Al-Qārī‟. This is not far-fetched as the man has contributed a lot to the field Qur‟ān recitation. 

1.3 Objectives of the Study 

                  This  study  is aimed  at  examining  the  roles  that Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya  Al-Qārī plays  in  the development of Qur‟ān recitation in Ibadan. This is in order to: 

· explore the roles he plays in the development of Qur‟ān recitation in  Ibadanland. Other specific objectives are to: 

· explore some of his discoveries in the science of Tajwīd. 

· know more about some of his intellectual contributions to the field. 

· document  the  contributions  of some  of  his  students  who  have  excelled  in  the  society  both  national  and international levels. 

1.4 Significance of the study 

As the topic indicates the contributions of Shaykh Abbas Zakariyya Al-Qārī to Qur‟an recitation in Ibadanland, it would be of great use to those who are in research of Qur‟ān recitation in Ibadan and potential Qur‟ān reciters. 

1.5 Scope and Limitation 

This  work is  limited  to  examining the  contributions  of Abbas Zakariyya  Al-Qārī  to  Qur‟ān recitation in Ibadanland. 

1.6 Research methodology 

This work will adopt the use of texts, magazines, personal interviews, published and unpublished materials related to this study. Also, internet materials will be used. 


1. Nawawi, Riyadus-Salihin, hadith no.999, pg180, Darul-Fikr Publication. 

2. Nawawi, Riyadus-Salihin, hadith no.993, pg180, Darul-Fikr Publication. 

3. Nawawi, Riyadus-Salihin, hadith no.1008, pg181, Darul-Fikr Publication. 

4. Abu Ameenah,B.P, “Usool at-Tafseer”,(Ibadan, Alwaseelat Publishers, 1997), pg150-153. 

5.  Retreived  from,“  History  of  Tajweed”  Retreived  on 


6. Zakariyya, A.” Istidrākāt „alal-ahkām at-Tajwīdiyyah, ”,(Ibadan, Daylight Publishers, 20130), pg26. 

7.  Zakariyya, A.” Istidrākāt „alal-ahkām at-Tajwīdiyyah”,(Ibadan, Daylight Publishers, 20130), pg28.