Ulum al Qur'an
CONTENTS ONLINE LIBRARY
From these different opinions, of which only some have been listed above, by way of illustration, a generally-accepted conclusion is that the 'seven modes' are at the basis of several distinct ways of reciting the Quran, reflecting the different usage at the time of revelation, comprising variations in pronunciation and even minor differences in wording. The 'seven 'ahruf are however, not identical with the well-known 'seven readings'. These came about in a later age. Although much of what the 'seven readings' contain is also found in the seven ahruf, there are some differences, which will be explained when discussing the seven readings.
Only a few examples for 'ahruf have been transmitted to us. They are of importance for Tafsir, rather than qira'a.