According to What are the readings (qira'at) of Quran?, there are different "readings" of the Qur'an. I'm seeking concrete examples of ayat (verses of the Qur'an) for which there are two or more non-identical sequences of Arabic words which would both be regarded as correct.

Question: What are some examples of ayat with two or more different readings?

They don't have to be substantially different (presumably, they wouldn't be), just not word-for-word identical. The motivation is to get a better feel for how different the different readings can be.

(There seems to be some relevant material between Answering Islam and Answering Christianity, but these are debating sites and I don't trust them.)

  • My answer of the linked post shows some examples. If you choose a couple of surahs you are familiar with i could try to point at the different readings in them.
    – Medi1Saif
    Feb 6 '17 at 6:30
  • Oh, I overlooked the examples in your answer (although that's a long post, and I'm still tempted to think this question would be beneficial as a future reader might similarly overlook those examples). I'm currently trying to memorize Surah al-Humazah (in an effort to refrain from backbiting). Perhaps Surah al-Kahf would be a good choice, I suppose. Feb 6 '17 at 6:40
  • Do you mean different with the same exact phonetics but different ways to translate? (I don't mean different interpretation, I literally mean different way to read), as like the‌ ‌*و* can be read as and like (اطیعوالله و اطیعوالرسول), it can also be read as while ( و هم راکعون) Or you mean same words but different phonetics?
    – Thaqalain
    Feb 6 '17 at 21:20

As you are not familiar with Arabic language it is difficult to explain, basically the rasm al-Othmany still allows some "linguistic interpretation" as at the time the Arabic language didn't consist of 29/30 letters and most of that amount was of letters which looked the same (as I stated in my answer of the Question about qira'aat)... but let's start with the example given from surat al-Humazah 104 سورة الهمزة:

Basically the difference between yahsibu and yahsabu is in the diacritics it is a common difference between two linguistic schools which applies for any incident of this verb in the whole Quran:

Let's say the rasm al-'Othmany is this:


Now the reading of 'Asim عاصم (from al-Kufa) the teacher of Hafs حفص and Sho'aba شعبة , ibn 'Amir ابن عامر (from a-Shaam) and Hamzah حمزة (from al-Kufa) is yahsabu:


While the rest of the seven quraa' like Nafi' نافع (Medina) teacher of Warsh ورش and Qalun قالون, Abu Amr (from Basra), al-Kissa'iy الكسائي (from al-Kufa) and ibn Kathir ابن كثير (from Mekka) were reading it yahsibu:


This also applies to other present conjugations of the verb hasiba حسب:

يحسبهم, يحسبون, يحسبه ...

Other differences in surat al-Humazah:

Note: If I say instead of "x" I mean that "x" is the reading followed by the majority among the 7 qiraa't!

Ibn 'Amir, Hamzah and al-Kissa-iy read in (102:2) with an emphasized "m":

جَمَّعَ (jamma'a) instead of جَمَعَ (jama'a)

Hafs the student of 'Asim (only), Abu 'Amr and Hamzah read here and in (90:20)

مُؤْصَدَة (mo'sada) with an extra hamzah (ء) instead of مُوصَدَة (moosada).

Note that these kinds of hamzah were "too heavy" for most Arabic tribes so Quraish never used to pronounce it while Hudhail used to taht's why they primiraly appear in most Kufi-qiraa't as they were following the reading of the hudhali sahabi Abudullah ibn Masu'd for a long time before accepting the rasm al-'Othmany.

Al-Kufa readers ('Asim, al-Kissa'iy and Hamzah and their students) except for Hafs read (104:9):

عُمُدٍ ('omodin) instead of عَمَدٍ ('amadin)

None of these differences has an impact of the meaning! It is like a word that can be spelled or pronounced in different ways.

This is a link to audio files of the Egyptian Sheikh of qiraa't Ahmad al-Ma'srawy أحمد المعصراوي were you may find the 10 different qiraat of the Quran to compare surat al-Humazah is apparently always present, normally all 20 riwayas (narrations) should be available, but on this link some are not (Hafs is the most striking absent one!). Maybe you can find the missing ones on an other rather salafi site called islamway.com.

Examples of general rulings in the seven qiraa't

Be aware that some difference come from "technical" tajweed details such as how and when to prolong a letter etc.:

  • For example the reading of Hamzah is well known for their special diacritic for example were ever you may read "عليهم" ('alayhim), "إِليهم" (ilayhim) and "لَديهم" (ladayhim) he reads it "عليهُم" (alayhom), "إِليهُم" (ilayhom) and "لَديهُم" (ladayhom) which in standard and spoken Arabic sounds rather strange!
  • Ibn Kathir and Warsh are adding the diacritic "dama" to the "m" of plural if a neutral diacritic is following in the next word like "عليهم" ('alayhim) which they read "عليهمُ" (alayhimoo) ...
  • Hamzah and Hisham (the student of ibn 'Amir) use to do a slight pause on each hamzah (ء) following some special rulings.
  • I could go more in details, but I'm afraid that wouldn't be helpful. A last example: If you went to Morocco or Algeria or any country where the reading of Warsh is prevalent you may notice in the adhan that the "L" of as-salat الصلاة in "Hayya a'la as-salat" is emphasized and sounds like "as-soloh" or "as-soloht". This is a kind of impact of the reading in the local Arabic "dialect". So Warsh is known to emphasize some "lam's"...

Some differences in surat al-Kahf

It is a long surah and as said there are some basic differences which are of general use I've quoted a few already and left out many more. So I'll just pick some examples here and there for this surah!

  • The reading of Hafs is known for the slight saktah سكتة (pause) after عوجا (that's why you find the letter س on it) this is also the case in surat yassin (36:52)
  • In (18:2) the word "المؤمنين" (al-mu'minyn) has a lightly recited hamzah in the readings of Hamzah and al-Kissa'iy however Warsh wouldn't even pronounce a hamzah here so it would be read "المومنين" (al-moominyn).
  • In (18:16) the "مرفقا" was read "مَرْفِقًا‬" (marfiqan) by Nafi' and ibn 'Amir while the rest read it "مِرْفَقًا".
  • The word "ثمر" in (18:34) and (18:42) is read "ثَمَر" (thamar) by 'Asim, "ثُمْر" (thomr) by abu 'Amr and "ثُمُر" (thomor) by the rest of the seven quraa'. Note we have three different readings, but the same meaning!
  • In (18:36) ibn Kathir, Nafi' and ibn 'Amir keep the dual plural saying "مِنْهُما" (minhuma) instead of "مِنْها" (minha) which refers to a singular. Also read What happend to the second garden of the disbeliever?
  • In (18:45) al-Kissa'iy and Hamzah read the singular "الريح" (ar-ryh) instead of the plural "الرياح" (ar-ryaah).
  • 'Asim only read "يأجوج ومأجوج" (ya'juj w a ma'juj) in (18:94) and (21:96), the rest reads it without hamzah "ياجوج وماجوج" (yajuj wa majuj) which sounds more like Yagog and Magog.
  • Ibn Kathir in (18:95) added a "n" in "مكني" (makkany) reading it "مكنني" (makkanany).

As said this is just a sample there are a lot more differences, some can be explained by general rulings of a reading others are single cases in this actual surah.


I get the feeling you are more after in terms of the wording then the sound (in which case I have no idea), but in case you are interested:

Some audio examples for Surah Humazah:

Video 1 (Hafs I think but please don't quote me. FYI this is the one I hear most commonly in Australia at least, can't speak for anywhere else. But maybe if you are going to memorise a style go for this one?)

Video 2 (Warsh) enter image description here (Image from the Youtube video above)

  • notice at 00:25 ish - "Yahsibuh" instead of Yahsabuh" - red marking on the page
  • at 00:44 - it sounds like addrehka instead of adraka i.e. eh as in "meh" instead of the normal sound (which I can't seem to think of an example of right now).
  • There's something different at 00:56 too but I can't quite put it in words. Just compare it to the first link.

If you want to find more just type the surah name followed by the name of the riwayat (listed on the link you linked in the question).

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