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.
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