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Qalun: The Narrator of the Quran

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This is the biography of one of the narrators of the Quran, Imam Qalun, who narrated the Quran from Nafi` Al-Madani. Read and share..
Written by Dr. Taha Faris
Translated by Umar Hasan

His name is `Eisa ibn Mina ibn Wardan ibn `Eisa Az-Zarqi. He was nicknamed Qalun. It was said that he was a stepson of Nafi` ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman who nicknamed him Qalun because of the quality of his recitation. The word “Qalun” means in the Roman language “good”.

It was also said that he was Roman by descent; his great grandfather `Abdullah was a Roman captive during the era of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him). He was bought in Medina to some people of Al-Ansar. Qalun was born in 120 AH.

His Characteristics

Qalun was deaf and could not even hear a horn. But if someone recited the Glorious Qur’an to him he could hear. Some biographies say that people used to recite the Qur’an before him. He used to note the reciter’s two lips and correct the mistakes.

Qalun’s Rank and Knowledge

He is one of the seventh narrators. He was a leading figure in Arabic language and recitation of the Qur’an in the Hejaz at his time. He had a high rank with his Sheikh “Nafi`” and read the Qur’an before him more than once in 150 AH. He even wrote the Qur’an in his own book.

His Sheikhs

Qalun recited the Glorious Qur’an before of his Sheikh Nafi`. Asked about how often he read the Qur’an before his Sheikh “Nafi`”, Qalun replied countless times. Then, he remained with Imam Nafi` for 20 years learning at his hands. Additionally, he took the knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah at the hands of other Sheikhs including Abu Ja`far (Yazid Ibn Al Qa`qa`), `Eisa ibn Wardan and others.

Those Who Narrated from Qalun

Many people narrated on the authority of Qalun including Ibrahim ibn Al-Hussein Al-Kasa`i, Ibrahim ibn Muhammed Al Madani, Ahmed ibn Salih Al-Masri, Ahmed ibn  Yazid Al-Halawani, Isma`il ibn Is-Haq Al-Qadi, Al-Hasan ibn `Ali Ash-Shahham, Al-Hussein ibn `Abdullah Al-Mu`allim, Salim ibn Harun Abu Sulayman, `Abdullah ibn  `Eisa Al Madani, etc.

Qalun’s Rank in Narration and Hadith

He narrated Hadith from Ibn Ja`far ibn  Abu Katheer, `Abdur-Rahman ibn Abu Al-Zinad, Nafi` ibn  Abu Nu`aym, etc.

Among those who narrated from are Isma`il Al-Qadi, Abu Zar`ah Ar-Razi. Ibn Dizil, Musa ibn Is-Haq Al-Ansari, Ahmed ibn Salهh, Abu Nashهt, Musa ibn Is-Haq, `Ali Al-Hasenjani etc.

His Death

Qalun died in Al-Madinah in 220 AH which is the most verified view, according to Adh-Dhahabi. He lived for 100 years, may Allah shower His Mercy upon him!


Translated from the author’s “Tarajim Al-Qurra’ Al-Mash-hurin Al-`Ashrah wa Ruwatihim” (Biographies of the Famous 10 Reciters and Their Narrators)

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