The 4th of December, 2015, celebrated the second graduation of al-Tanzil. Worthy of note in the programme was the culmination of the “Kisai Project”, which marked the completion of the Qira’ah of Kisai, as well as the Qira’ah of Khalaf al-Ashir by:
• Ibrahim Floris
• Akhlaq Oldey
• Muhammad Zayn Alexander
• Abdullah Petersen
• Munawwar Harneker
• Muhammad Alawi Alexander
• Ridwaan Saiet
• Sulayman Mohamed
Besides the Kisai Project being a rigorous and intense programme, it was also exclusive to those who previously held ijazah. Thus, out of the many, only 14 qualified and were accepted to take part. The programme’s structure required its participants to recite to selected teachers on a regular basis until the entire Reading of Kisai was completed – from the start of the Quran until the end.
The project was supplemented by the Khalaf al-Aashir programme, which unique design allowed all the participants to render the Quran to Sheikh Ihsaan Davids and Sheikh Saleem Gaibie, according to the Qira’ah of Khalaf al-Aashir. The graduation witnessed the above-mentioned names receiving sanad and ijazah in these two Readings.
In addition to these Qira’at being completed, the graduation also saw Hafith Amir Brinkhuis, Sheikh Muhammad Zayn Alexander and Hafith Akhlaaq Oldey completing the narration of Hafs. The latter also completed the narration of Susi.
Kaashif Isaacs completed his memorisation of the Quran. Furthermore, certificates were presented to both Muhammad Riyaadh Devan and Amir Brinkhuis for studies completed at al-Tanzil.
One of the highlights of the graduation was the keynote address by the Sheikh al-Qurra’ of South Africa, Qari Ayoob Ishaaq, preceding the completion of the Seven Qira’at by Sheikh Abdullah Petersen and Sheikh Muhammad Alawi Alexander.
Qari Ayoob acknowledged the momentous occasion in which a number of young men had dedicated much of their youth and energies into the study of the Noble Quran. In the same manner, during the prophetic period, the Prophet and the Companions gave due diligence to the learning, teaching and propagation of the Quran. He quoted Imam Shatibi who relates that as the Quran was memorised in the time of the Prophet and the earlier generations, so it will continue to be memorised until the end of time.
He then recollected the virtues of those who studied the Quran, relating Hadith of the Prophet, which refuted those who emphasised the understanding the Quran and deemed the mere recitation of the Quran as insignificant and void of merit.
Qari Ayoob relayed that it was this consideration that the Prophet and his Companions showed to the Quran, which dispatched many Quranic teachers throughout the then-known Muslim world:
• Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr was sent to Medina before the hijrah to teach them the Quran. He became known as “al-Qari” (the reciter) and “al-Muqri” (the Quranic teacher).
• Mu’adh ibn Jabal was sent to Yemen.
• Amr ibn Hazam was sent to Najran.
• ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud was sent to Kufa, teaching more than 4000 students.
• Abu Musa al-Ash’ari was sent to Basra.
• Abu al-Darda’ was sent to Sham, his learning circle encompassing around 1700.
• Abdullah ibn ‘Aamir (student of Abu al-Darda’) extended the circles until it encompassed 4000.
Qari Ayoob also spoke about the oral and written transmission of the Quran and how it preserved its text. He concluded by saying that many speakers concentrate on all the virtues and merits of those involved with the study of the Quran. In contrast, he wished to list some vices of reciters; he stated that many pride themselves on their ability as melodious reciters, the number of students they have, the big schools they run, their long breaths and so forth, yet feign ignorance to the commandments of the Quran. He emphasised that one could not focus all one’s attention on the correct recitation of the Quran and not live the Quran, or having such character which is unbecoming of an ambassador of the Quran. He cautioned against being oblivious to Quranic teachings and encouraged all to solemnly make an effort to live the Quran as well.
After the talk, the new database of sanad-holders was announced, as well as an English commentary on the Shatibiyyah that would soon be published by al-Tanzil. The program concluded with Sheikh Abdullah Petersen and Sheikh M. Alawi Alexander completing the Seven Qira’at via the Shatibiyyah. Subsequently, Qari Ayoob ended the proceedings with a dua.