Role Model for Muslim Women – Umm al-Sa’ad

05Jun10

Umm Al-Sa’ad Ali Najm, age 77, is considered to be the most well known woman in the world of recitations of the Qur’aan. The only woman to specialize in the ten qira’aat, and has spent over fifty years granting ijaazas in the ten qira’aat. Umm Al-Sa’ad said, “It is from the blessings of my Lord that anyone who has obtained an ijaaza [license] in the Quran, in any Qiraa’ah, in Alexandria either received it directly from me (munaawala) or from someone whom I had given an ijaaza to.”

Umm Al-Sa’ad was born into a poor family in a town called Bandaariya, one of the towns of the larger city Munofiya (north of Cairo). She was afflicted by blindness shortly after her first year and, as was the practice of many in rural areas in dealing with blindness, her family sent her to learn the Qur’aan. She completed her memorization in Alexandria at the age of 15. She then completed the memorization of the ten recitations of the Qur’aan from Shaykha Nafeesah when she had reached the age of 23.

She had one of the highest Isnaads (chains of narration) in the world. Her isnaad in the recitation of Hafs from Aasim had 27 Shaykhs in between her and the Messenger of Allah [sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam].

Umm Al-Sa’ad once commented:

“Sixty years of memorizing the Qur’aan and it’s recitations has made me unable to forget any of it. I can recall every ayah [verse], it’s surah [chapter] and its juzz, I know the ayaat [verses] that are similar (mutashabih) and how to recite the same ayah in different qira’aat. I feel like I know the Qur’aan like my name, I cannot imagine forgetting a letter of it or making a mistake in it. I don’t know anything other than the Qur’aan and its recitations. I never learned a science, listened to a lecture, or memorized anything other than the Quran and the mutoon that were related to the Quran and tajweed. I don’t know anything other than that.”

Read the full article at Ideal Muslimah.



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