SEVEN DIALECTS. Arabic Sab’atu Ahruf سبعة احرف
The Prophet is related to have said that the Qur’an was revealed in seven dialects (Mishkat, book ii. Ch. Ii.). The word ahruf translated “dialects,” may admit of two interpretations. Some understand it to mean the the Qur’an contains seven kinds of revelation: Commandment (amr’), prohibition (nahy), history (qissah), parable (missal), exhortation (wa’z), promises (wa’dah), and threatening (wa’id). But the more common interpretation of ahruf is “dialects,” by which is understood that by changing the inflections and accentuations of words, the text of the Qur’an may he read in the then existing “seven dialects” of Arabia, namely, Quraish, Taiy, Hawazin, Yaman, Saqif, Huzail, Tamim.
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam