The Guidance

Tilāwah: Sūrah Luqmān 8 – 19 & Sūrah al-Ḍuḥā

Riwāyah: Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ

The sounds of “Allah, Allah” filled the masjid and necks were strained to catch a glimpse of the majlis from where Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb DM recited Sūrah Luqmān in the narration of Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ from the tarīq of al-Azraq.

Reminiscent of the 7th of Muharram, twenty days later, this same recitation was as fresh as a fragrant myrtle diffusing its scent into the audience and generating exclamations of praise and thanks. Accompanying Luqmān was the Sūrah al- Ḍuḥā recited in the same narration as its predecessor.

Being the second most commonly read narration of the Qur’an-e-Karīm, Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ from the ṭarīq of al-Azraq is easily recognizable from among the various readings and narrations mainly owing to its ubiquitous naql al-ḥarakah and madd al-badal. The taqlīl, the thick lām and the various farsh words (الكلمات الفرشية) only add to its glory and luminescence. 

Here is an opportunity to explain two terms prevalent in the science of Qur’anic readings. Firstly, the principles (uṣūl) which are applicable wherever their definition becomes manifest in a particular reading. For example, the naql al-ḥarakah of Warsh is a principle. Secondly, the distinctions (farsh) which are mostly individual differences in a particular reading and which do not accumulate under a specific principle. For example, the addition of an alif in ملك يوم الدين is not a principle but an individual preference of ʿĀṣim, al-Kisāʾī, Yaʿqūb and Khalaf while the rest read it as maliki (ملك) instead of māliki (مالك). 

In this tilāwah, the following farsh words were observed (there were no farsh words in al- Ḍuḥā): 

  1. Anu-shkur (أنُ اشكر) instead of ani-shkur (أنِ اشكر) [First instance in Verse 12]
  2. Yā bunayyi (بنيِّ) instead of yā bunayya (بنيَّ) [First instance in Verse 13]
  3. Mithqālu (مثقالُ) instead of mithqāla (مثقالَ) [Verse 16]
  4. Walā tuṣāʿir (ولا تصاعر) instead of walā tuṣaʿʿir (ولا تصعّر) [Verse 18]

Several aspects of tajweed with regard to vocal modulations and maqamāt were observed in this tilāwah. Placing significant emphasis on meaning, Shehzada Saheb DM halted after each phrase in the 17th verse where Allah TA mentions the establishing of prayer, the enjoining of good and the forbidding of iniquity. This verse was repeated thrice owing to its apparent significance. The last verse was recited in a base voice considering the mention of lowering the voice and adopting a moderate path. 

There were hints of the maqām of jahārkah (originally chahargah from Persian) , a maqām closely resembling the maqām of al-ʿajam which is used to create excitement and and incite passion among the audience. To listen to a few verses of jahārkah, click here.

The tilāwah also exhibited several displays of vocal power and breath retention when Shehzada Saheb not only recited continuously for over a period of 30 seconds in a single breath but did so in a high tone. 

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