Department of Qera'at
It is a department of the College of Da'wa and Usul-ud-Din, Umm Al-Qura University. It is also one of the earliest academic departments in the College. It was established by virtue of the decision taken by the college's board in its fourth session held on Shaban 26 1402. Courses started at the beginning of the second semester of 1402/1403 A.H, when only male students were admitted into the Department, until 1420 A.H. During the early years, the number of enrollees was very small, so that a class would comprise seven students or slightly more. Afterwards, the number of enrollees increased largely till it became 35 students in the latest classes.
In 1421 A.H, after approving the establishment of a branch for girls, the Department started to enroll girls. There was very large numbers of female applicants (88 girls), in comparison with male students. Memorization of the Holy Quran and successful fulfillment of the interview were set as prerequisites for girls' admission.
The girls' branch of this department is considered as a source of pride and prestige for Umm Al-Qura University. This is because it is the only department through which girls can learn Qera'at and its sciences across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the other Saudi and world universities do not have a separate department for girls where they can receive such sciences.
In addition, courses are given by a number of male and female professors (nearly 66 professors).
Therefore, we come to know that, some years ago, Qera'at was a rarely-handled field. However, greater numbers of students have started to enroll, thanks to the perseverant and serious academic efforts exerted by the Department.
They are the same admission prerequisites stipulated in the regulations as regards the admission of new students and set forth in articles (2, 3 and 4), the legislative rules of the Study and Exam Regulations for university stage, the executive rules applicable at Umm Al-Qura University, and the following prerequisites:
1- The earnest memorization of the Holy Qur'an
2- The successful fulfillment of the interview.
Admission prerequisites at the department of Qera'at in master's degree:
1- An applicant shall have the bachelor's degree certificate or an equivalent one in the field of Qera'at.
2- An applicant shall have the bachelor's degree certificate or an equivalent one in any of Shari'ah fields; provided that (s) he has an Ijaza (licentiate) in the seven Qera'ats that is approved by a recognized Qur'an reciter.
3- An applicant shall successfully pass the written exams and interviews held by the Department.
Degrees Awarded by the Department:
1- Bachelor's degree:
The Department of Qera'at awards the bachelor degree in ten Qera'ats, related through the chain of Ash-Shaatibiyyah and Al-Durrah.
2- Master's degree
The Department of Qera'at awards the master's degree in the ten major Qera'ats through the chain of Taybat al-Nashr.
Course Objectives at the Department:
1- Reviving the tradition of memorizing the Holy Glorious Qur'an and learning Qera'ats from the authenticated sheikhs generation after generation;
2- Reviving the science of Qera'at and spreading it among those who seek knowledge;
3- Studying the ten minor Qera'ats through the chain of Ash-Shaatibiyyah and Al-Durah, in addition to the ten major Qera'ats through the chain of Taybat;
4- Qualifying students of the Department in the different Qera'at sciences.