Can you please give the history of the qira’aat? For example did the prophet (saw) recite all the qira’aat or which one did he recite the most? And how it developed? and lastly is there any book on the history and origin of the ten qira’aat. My sheikh knows all 10 qira’aat and he told me there is more but these 10 are the ones supported by text.
Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
All the authentic qira’aat that are present today are part of the revelation and were recited and taught by the Prophet, to his companions and passed down in authentic chains to the shuyookh who have ijaazah in the 10 qira’aat today. All of the ten authentic qira’aat we have today are part of the seven dialects that the Qur’an was revealed in. We don’t know exactly what the seven “ahruf” encompass because there is no authentic hadeeth describing them in detail, but we do know that for a way of reading to be accepted as part of the seven revealed dialects it has to meet certain requirements which all of the lesser ten qira’aat by the way of Ash-Shaatibiyyah and Ad-Durrah and the grand ten qira’aat by the way of At-Tayyibah meet.
There are some qira’aat that do not meet all the requirements to be accepted as part of the revelation either because they do not have enough people passing it down from generation to generation, or it violates the writing or the Qur’an or the Arabic language, or the chain of transmission is not complete. These qira’aat are not part of the ten authentic qira’aat which we have today.
We do not know which of the ways of recitation the Prophet recited the most. This of course encourages us to learn all of the authentic qira’aat and not eliminate any of them. We do know however that he recited all of the ten authentic ways we have today because of the well documented authentic chains of transmission we have of them being passed down from the Prophet through the generations to us today.
There are many books about the ten qira’aat, but they are in Arabic. We are not aware of a complete book in English.