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Reciters, Narrators and a Hint of Melody – Part 2

13/09/2018 Archives

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. 

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