The Dawn: In the gardens of Nahāwand
Tilāwat: Sūrah al-Fajr
Riwāyah: Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim (al-Shāṭibiyyah)
Archive: Ashara Mubaraka 1436 AH (Surat)
Today’s recitation demonstrated a beautiful morning to what will be the most unique Ashara Mubaraka ever witnessed by this generation of mumineen. While our homes were transformed into masājid during Ramaḍān of this year itself, we are now witnessing the haqīqī “adhān” of our Mawlā TUS resonating through our walls and purifying them from the evil eyes of shayṭān.
The Sūrah al-Fajr was recited in the riwāyah of Ḥafṣ ʿan ʿĀṣim through the ṭarīq of al-Shāṭibiyyah. Much has been discussed about this ṭarīq and the riwāyah of Ḥafṣ is commonly recited throughout the Islamic world.
Part of the recitation was a beautiful rendition of nahāwand, a maqām of unmatched elegance and style, which, coupled with the refinement of the recitation, gave way to a melodious assembly of Qurʾānic verses.
A word on Nahāwand
Technicalities of notes, keys and chords aside, this article will discuss how the maqām of Nahāwand has been employed by the mashāhīr in their recitations.
This maqām is characterized by a special beauty of sadness and gloom uncommon among the rest of the maqāms. Evoking emotions of grief, the maqām is staple to most qurrāʾ with the notable exception of Sheikh Abdul Basit who uses it rarely in his recitations. Below is an example of Abdul Basit reciting in nahāwand:
Most qurrāʾ treat nahāwand as an integral element of their recitations. The beauty of their recitations is based on this maqām. As such, this maqām has benefited from immense skilled-input from the reciters of the Qurʾān-e-Majeed. For instance, Sheikh Mustafa Ismail, over the course of his career, developed an entire school of thought based on his rendition of nahāwand. His unique style in rendering the various cadences and dynamics of this maqām made him one of the foremost proponents thereof in the field of Qurʾānic recitation. As a result, subsequent generations of qurrāʾ have adopted his style as a model for this maqām.
The second undisputed leader in the developmental corpus of this maqām is none other than Sheikh Mahmood Khalil al-Husary. His special style of rendering this maqām is such that no qārī wishing to master the art of nahāwand can overlook Sheikh al-Husary’s style in this maqām. In fact, it is imperative for beginner qurrāʾ to memorize as many excerpts of al-Husary as possible should they wish to perform a reasonable rendition in nahāwand.
The third and perhaps the best proponent of nahāwand cannot be anyone other than Sheikh Mohammad al-Minshawi. The vocal range of al-Minshawi represented in his qarār (base), jawāb (mids) and jawāb al-jawāb (highs) complements his rendition of nahāwand in a way that most qurrāʾ can only dream of achieving his prominence in this maqām.
Finally, the following two qārīs have made substantial inroads in furthering the development of this maqām in a Qurʾānic context. Here are two short clips of Sheikh Mustafa Ghalwash and Sheikh Mohammad Imran in the maqām of nahāwand:
This article has briefly touched upon nahāwand with the mention of a very few examples of some prominent reciters. It attempts to provide a basic understanding of nahāwand and how it is used by qurrāʾ.
In the upcoming articles, we will discuss this maqām in detail and also study the sequence of other maqāms in relation to nahāwand.
It is hoped that your journey today through the gardens of nahāwand has been “fruitful” to a certain extent.
May Allah Taʾālā aid us in understanding the Qurʾān, and in reciting it according to what our Mawlā TUS wishes us to.