Reciters, Narrators and a Hint of Melody – Part 2

Today’s recitation (Day 3): Sūrah al-Rūm Verses 17 to 27 & Sūrah al-Burūj (full).

Today’s tilāwah brought about a pleasant change in the base qirāʾah from Ḥafṣ ʿan Āṣim to Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ, the second most commonly read Qur’anic reading in the world. The term “base qirāʾah” is used here in the context of a recitation where a qārī adopts a base reading and transitions from this base to other readings. Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM) began his tilāwah of Sūrah al-Rūm in the reading of Warsh. This reading is characterized with the naql al-ḥarakah, a phenomenon related to dialectic and accentual disposition where the ḥarakah between a lām sākinah (the letter lām with a jazm on it) and an alif mutaḥarrikah (the letter alif with a short vowel on it) succeeding it is skipped, thereby advancing the ḥarakah of alif to the lām and causing the alif to become silent. An example of this ḥukm is as follows: The phrase والأرض , under normal circumstances, would be read as wal-arḍ. However, if the ḥukm of naql al-ḥarakah is applied, then wal-arḍ would become wa-larḍ. Listen to an example of naql al-ḥarakah here.

Another feature of Warsh is the omission of the hamzah mufradah (أ and ؤ) and its replacement with either the madd letter wāw or the madd letter alif. An example for this is as follows: مؤمنون (muʾminūn) is changed to مومنون (mūminūn); يأكلون (yaʾkulūn) is changed to ياكلون (yākulūn). Click here to listen. Similarly, Warsh exclusively elongates the madd al-badal more than two ḥarakāt optionally i.e. Warsh allows for the madd al-badal to be elongated to 2, 4 or 6 ḥarakāt.

Keeping these points in mind, today’s recitation of Sūrah al-Rūm contained the aforementioned and some more features of Warsh which are mentioned below.

  1. Madd Badal in the recurring phrase ومن ءاياته was elongated till 4 ḥarakāt
  2. Naql al-Ḥarakah where applicable. 
  3. The word عالمين (ʿālimīn) was changed to (ʿālamīn).
  4. Madd Munfaṣil where the ميم الجمع (the mīm of plurality) was followed by the hamzah mufradah (أ). 
  5. Certain changes in the tarqīq of the letter rāʾ

Once more, the maqām of nahāwand reverberated throughout the masjid engulfing the souls in its intricate beauties. This maqām originates from a city of the same name located in Iran. Considered to be among the most melodious of maqāmsnahāwand comes in multiple forms. Let us have a look at some examples in the voice of famous reciters such as Shaikh Minshawi, among others. 

Follow this link to listen to a short clip of Shaikh Ahmed Nuʿaynah reciting in the initial stages of nahāwand: Reciting from Sūrah Āl ʿImrān

This is a link of Shaikh Minshawi reciting the mid-notes of nahāwand from Sūrah al-Ḥashr. 

This is a link to a near-comprehensive rendering of nahāwand by one of its finest proponents, Shaikh Mustafa Ismail (Sūrah al-Baqarah).

There was a brief transition into Sūsī during the recitation of Sūrah al-Burūj. It was an exciting moment where Shehzada Saheb (DM) offered a glimpse into a derivation of maqām ṣabā, a maqām of pure Arab origin and one which evokes the deepest emotions of sorrow and lamentation. Despite most recitations of Shehzada Saheb displaying subtle effects of ṣabā, today’s recitation, and especially the aforementioned portion stood out in that respect. 

The tilāwah ended on the maqām bayāt

Note: Detailed discussions on Warsh and his qārī Nāfiʿ will be posted subsequently. 

Reciters, Narrators and a Hint of Melody – Part 1

The first majlis of Ashara Mubaraka 1440 commenced with Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM) delivering a recitation containing two different readings that will be discussed briefly in this article. The recitation was adorned with a beautiful assortment of maqāmāt which too will be dealt in a brief, albeit sufficient manner.

The first of the two parts of the tilāwah (تلاوة) began from the 61st verse of Sūrah al-Furqān. The riwāyah i.e. narration was of Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah. This was quickly ascertained in the seventh word itself where Shehzada Saheb (DM) did not perform the idghām bil ghunnah (الادغام بالغنة) in the phrase: بروجا وجعل, and was further confirmed when Shehzada Saheb recited suruj (سرجا) instead of sirāj (سراجا), the latter being the narration of Ḥafṣ.

Here, the reader will recall that the previous article entitled “The Readings” contains a list of key differences which helps a listener distinguish between the various readings. The first difference mentioned in the previous paragraph pertains to the difference in accents and dialects while the second difference pertains to the changing of nouns from singular to plural.

Interestingly, the narration of Khalaf is characterized with frequent saktahs and the skipping of harakāt at instances of idghām on the letters wāw and yāʾ (الواو والياء). Khalaf also uses the imālah extensively but since there was no instance of imālah in today’s qirāʾah, its discussion can be postponed to a future article.

Shehzada Saheb (DM) transitioned beautifully between the various maqāmāt but two transitions and renderings stood out towards the end of the first part of the recitation. This was when Shehzada Saheb ended a verse on the maqām of ḥijāz and began the next verse with nahāwand. Whereas the different notes of nahāwand evoke emotions such as passion and compassion compelling the reader to contemplate, the maqām of ḥijāz excels in immersing the listener in emotions of spirituality (روحانية) and reverence (خشوع). This can be considered an ohbat for what was to come of the kalimāt nūrānīyah of Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) which, at their very commencement, resulted in a sea of tears from the mumineen who were eagerly waiting to hear the voice of their beloved Maula while he performed the amal of bukā and ibkāʾ on Imām Husain (AS).

The second part of Shehzada Saheb (DM)’s qirāʾah contained a recitation of the entire Sūrah al-Takwīr in the narration of al-Sūsī from the reading of Abū ʿAmr al-Baṣrī. Abū ʿAmr was a famed grammarian apart from being one of the seven main reciters of the Qur’an. The historian Ibn Khallikān narrated in his magnum opus “Wafayāt al-Aʿyān” (The Obituaries of Eminent Men) that Abu ʿAmr is part of the fourth generation of grammarians descended from Amīr al-Muʿminīn Maulānā ʿAlī b. Abū Ṭālib (AS).

The reading of al-Sūsī ʿan Abū ʿAmr is famously characterized with the idghām kabīr where two similar or same mutaḥarrik letters are combined into one. For example: The phrase على الغيب بضنين (ghaybi-biḍanīn) is changed to ghayb-biḍanīn. Listen to this clip to understand idghām kabīr in a more clear way. Shehzada Saheb (DM)’s recitation infused a new life into this Qur’anic narration and the air was filled with exclamations of “Allah, Allah” from the audience.

Note: Readers are encouraged to post valuable inputs, corrections (if any errors are to be found in this article) and queries (if any) in the comments space below. 

The Readings

There are ten authentic readings of the Qur’an. The most widely used across the Islamic world is the reading of ʿĀṣim narrated from Ḥafṣ. As such, it is known as the reading of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim (حفص عن عاصم), literally, the narration of Ḥafṣ from ʿĀṣim. 

ʿĀṣim is one of the ten authentic qārīs or qurrāʾ (قراء) who transmitted the Qur’an in a reading (قراءة) specific to him. The ten readings of the Qur’an are therefore attributed to ten different transmitters whose names are as follows:  Nāfiʿ, Ibn Kathīr, AbūʿAmr, Ibn ʿĀmir, ʿĀṣim, Ḥamzah, al-Kisāʾī, Abū Jaʿfar, Yaʿqūb and Khalaf.

Two readings from among these ten have become popular in the Islamic world to the exception of the other eight. They are the reading of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim which is most commonly read throughout the Islamic world and the reading of Warsh ʿan Nāfiʿ which is most commonly read throughout Africa outside of Egypt.

The readings can be distinguished from each other through seven key differences. 

  1. The changing of nouns from singular to dual to plural (الإفراد والتثنية والجمع). For example: The word مسكين in Verse 184 of Sūrah al-Baqarah is read as miskeen (singular) in the reading of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim but it changes to masaakeen (plural) in some other readings.
  2. The changing of tenses from past to present/future or to imperative verbs (تصريف الأفعال). For example: The word تطوع in Verse 158 of Sūrah al-Baqarah is read as taṭawwaʿa in the past tense in the reading of  Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim but it changes to يطوع (yaṭṭawwaʿa) in the present/future tense in some other readings.
  3. The changing of iʿrāb (الإعراب) in certain words. For example: The word تسئل in Verse 119 of Sūrah al-Baqarah is read as tusʾalu with a ḍammah (pesh) on the letter تاء and a ḍammah on the letter لام  in the reading of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim. However, in some other readings, it is pronounced as tasʾal with a fatḥah (zabar) on the letter تاء  and a sukūn (jazm) on the letter  لام . 
  4. The addition or subtraction of words or letters (النقص والزيادة). For example: The phrase وسارعوا in Verse 133 of Sūrah Āl ʿImrān is read as wa-sāriʿū in the reading of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim but the letter واو is dropped in some other readings rendering the phrase as such: سارعوا (sāriʿū). 
  5. Differences in the sequencing of words or letters by either bringing them forward or deferring them (التقديم والتأخير). For example: The phrase وقاتلوا وقتلوا in Verse 195 of  Sūrah Āl ʿImrān is read as wa-qātalū wa-qutilū in the reading of  Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim but the word wa-qutilū gains precedence in some other readings rendering the phrase as such: وقتلوا وقاتلوا (wa-qutilū wa-qātalū). 
  6. The replacement of letters (الإبدال). For example: The letter الباء in the word تبلوا (tablū) which is part of the phrase: هنالك تبلوا in Verse 30 of Sūrah Yūnus in the reading of  Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim is replaced with the letter التاء rendering the word: تتلوا (tatlū) in some other readings.
  7. The differences in accents and dialects (اللهجات). These include differences such as imālahidghāmtarqīq, tafkhīm etc. These will be discussed in detail in a future post.

The reading of Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah is notable owing to the fact that among its chain of transmission is Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq (AS) who oversaw this reading before it was transmitted from Ḥamzah, its original transmitter. Kindly read this article to know more.

The Victory

(This article contains links to audio files hosted on SoundCloud. Similarly, technical terms have been linked to a glossary. Kindly click on linked words to listen to the relevant audio or to read more about technical terms.)

The mumineen of Indore secured a clear victory when, on the day of ʿĪd, Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) declared Indore as the destination for Ashara Mubaraka 1440. The fundamental essence of this victory was highlighted on the day of istiqbaal, the 26th of Dhu-l-Hijjah, when Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM) recited the opening verses from Sūrah al-Fatḥ in a heartrending voice that not only heralded the victory of having succeeded in achieving the zikr of Imam Husain (AS) in the city of Indore but also served as a reminder of those memorable instances when Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin (RA) had visited Indore in 1407 and 1423 and prepared the ground for what mumineen would behold in 1440 of the zikr-e-husain through the nooraani kalimaat of Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS).

Shehzada Saheb (DM) began the tilawah with the istiʿādhah and basmalah reminiscent of Shaikh Muhammad al-Minshawi‘s supple renditions. The tilawah was entirely in the riwayah of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim, the most familiar of all readings especially in the subcontinent. It continued till the fifth verse of Sūrah al-Fatḥ after which Shehzada Saheb recited Sūrah al-Ḍuḥā and concluded the recitation at the end of this sūrah.

The next few paragraphs will discuss certain technicalities of the recitation which include a brief discussion on maqamaat and wuqūf.

You have already heard the short clip of Minshawi‘s opening in the previous link. That is the maqaam of bayāt. This particular maqaam is often employed by the reciters of the Qur’an – the qurrāʾ – due to its three main characteristics. Firstly, this maqaam is quite easy to learn and recite. Students of maqamaat are initially trained in this very maqaam because, and this is also its second essential characteristic, it is very easy to transition into other maqaams such as ṣabāʿajam and even nahāwand from this maqaam due to its proximity with all other maqamaat. The third characteristic is the versatility of this maqaam. A reciter who has mastered this maqaam will be able to extract numerous tones and will even be able to base his entire recitation on this single maqaam. This maqaam tends to attract the conscious towards the Qur’an and causes the listener to contemplate its verses. 

Shehzada Saheb (DM) began his recitation with bayāt quickly transitioning into several interesting intonations. Notable was the nahāwand that stretched across the first five verses of Sūrah al-Ḍuḥā, yielding a spirited response from the audience. The recitation ended with a brief return to bayāt followed by the kalimah al-taṣdīq.

Coming to the wuqūf, they play an important role in defining the quality of recitation especially in terms of the enhancement of meanings or suppression thereof. In this context, Shehzada Saheb (DM) made an unexpected waqf at the word “li-yazdādū” in the second verse of Sūrah al-Fatḥ. Stoppages like these cause the listener to pause and contemplate the words of the Qur’an. 

Another interesting element in the recitation was the joining of basmalah with the first verse of  Sūrah al-Ḍuḥā and repeating the first verse with the succeeding four verses, creating an atmosphere of anticipation and compelling the audience to maintain their attention to the recitation. Here is an example from the recitation of Shaikh Abdul Basit doing so.

Carrying forward from last year, had these verses (of Sūrah al-Fatḥ) been recited in the riwayah of Khalaf ʿan Ḥamzah, the following changes would have been noticed in the recitation:

  1. The letter ص in صراط (Verse 2) would have been recited with a hint of the letter ز like so.
  2. All the madd munfaṣil would have been elongated to six harakaat
  3. The harakah between wal and ʾarḍ in the word والأرض (Verse 4) would have been eliminated like so.
  4. There would have been a saktah (a breathless pause) before the hamzah of الأنهار (Verse 5) like so.
  5. The hamzah in سيئاتهم would have been changed to the letter ي and the word would be pronounced like so.

Technicalities apart, an oft repeated question pertaining to the basics is regarding the difference between tarteel and tajweed of the Qur’an. Perhaps the following example might serve to explain this difference in simple words: A wall that stands with exposed brick and mortar represents a recitation that is bereft of aḥkām and makhārij. Once coated and painted, it comes to represent a complete recitation that is technically sound, albeit bereft of melody and tone. Lastly, a painted wall decorated with embellishments is like a recitation with tajweed which not only includes the features of tarteel but adds to that and creates a perfect recitation in line with the hadith where Rasulullah (SAW) proclaims: “There is nothing more beloved to me than the melodious recitation of the Qur’an.”

This page will be updated daily with general discussions on Tajweed revolving around the tilawah of Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM). Stay tuned for updates.

Tajweed During Ashara Mubaraka – 1440 (Indore)

Often seen on the sidelines during the packed schedule of Ashara Mubaraka is the subject of tajweed which sees a brief mention around 30 minutes before the commencement of the Waaz Mubarak. 

Shehzada Husain bhaisaheb Burhanuddin Saheb (DM) is the flag-bearer of this art and delivers the beauties of tajweed to the audience which is left speechless at the skill and finesse of delivery they get to see live before them. 

However, despite there being sessions that elucidate points from the Waaz Mubarak itself, there is no session – public or private – to discuss tajweed, which undoubtedly is an integral part of the Ashara Mubaraka and holds a position of precedence in the sequence of events throughout the nine days of majlis.

This website aims to fill that space and post discussions directly pertaining to this art as delivered during Ashara Mubaraka – 1440 (Indore). Keep watching this blog to know more. 

Welcome to TajweedExplained!

The goal of this website is to offer you an in-depth knowledge of Tajweed, the art of reciting the Qur’an-e-Kareem, in the most interesting and absorbing manner along with presenting valuable insights into the various Qur’anic disciplines such as maqamaatriwayaat and tafseer – to name a few. 

From the tip of your tongue to the depths of your throat

The material will be primarily sourced from comprehensive works on Tajweed, notably the acclaimed book: Hidāyat al-Qārī ilā Tajwīd Kalām al-Bārī (The Reciter’s Guide to the Tajweed of Allah’s Word) and al-Burhān fī Tajwīd al-Qurʾān (The Evidence of the Qur’an’s Tajweed). 

The website will offer its material in multiple languages and in the most simplest of words so as to cater to a wide range of audience regardless of location, qualification or age. 

Similarly, a question page will be created where readers will be able to ask questions and be provided with authentic and relevant answers. 


Several more exciting features to be added soon.

Stay tuned and thank you for visiting TajweedExplained.com!