Most of us learnt to recite the Quran at the Islamic School. Here are some of the most popular reciters that every Muslim listened to while growing up.
Ali bin Abdul Rahman Al Huthaify (Huzaify)
Huzaif is a Saudi scholar and imam of the Mosque of Madina (Medina). For many in Ghana, though, Huzaif’s voice is the foundation of Quranic recitation.
He reads the Muslim Quran in a slow and deliberate manner, taking his time to mention each word appropriately. He has a long breath on him, and his voice is deeply satisfying.
Abdul Basit Abdul Samed
This Egyptian is arguably the most creative reciter of the Holy Quran. He reads slowly and steadily with elongated vowels. He probably has the longest breath among the most popular reciters.
What makes him creative is that he can change his tone from a thin auto to one brimming with bass. His voice is pretty hard to replicate, but there are advantages to listening to him, the greatest being you get to hear how the words should be properly recited.
Abdul Basit died a long time ago, but his timeless recitation still shakes a lot of pious hearts. May Allah be pleased with his soul.
Abdul Rahman Sudais
The crier of our generation, Sudais is the imam of the Holy Mosque in Makkah. His wide girth belies a man with a gentle voice and an even softer heart. Unlike the previous two, his recitations are punctuated with beautiful inflexions even within verses.
He cries a lot, especially when he comes across painful remarks about torment in the Holy Quran. He can run fast and smooth, or slow and full of tears.
Mishary Rashid Al Afasy
This one is modern with a voice full of verve. He has a sweet voice and a very long breath. A known poet who performs nasheeds, Afasy’s recitation can be calm as a soothing balm and piercing as a pointed edge.
He curls his voice like a ribbon tying a baby’s hair. He is a Kuwaiti national, and one of the favourites of many of today’s young learners of the Quran. While beautiful, his voice is not an easy one to follow.
Abdallah Al Matrood (Matroud)
If the Quran were a poem, Abdallah Matrood could easily be everyone’s favourite poet. His recitation is more relaxed than mechanical. There is also a lazy, sorrowful gait to the way he mentions each word, and yet the melody with which he recites means you will leave his verses on repeat throughout the day.
Unlike the slow reciters, Matrood can actually turn on the boosters when he so wishes. There is an urban legend about how he was asked to stop leading the prayer and the women protested. In effect, if you have a friend who recites the Quran like Matrood, don’t let him into your house. His voice is a beautiful charm.
Muhammed Siddiq Al-Minshawi
Another Egyptian on the list, Minshawi’s style is quite similar to Abdul Basit’s. He can be long-winded at times but has a creative style that allows him to be both relatable and enjoyable.
Many of the self-recital disks used to teach kids around the world have Minshawi’s voice. One of the old, storied reciters, Minshawi’s passing a long time ago has not diminished his effect on the world of Quranic recitals. May Allah grant him jannah.
Mahmoud Khalil Al-Husary
The Egyptians have had a steady stream of scholars for a long time now. Known mostly as Husary, this Egyptian reciter has the same deliberate recitation as Abdul Basit and Minshawi.
He is slow, eloquent, and very purposeful in the manner he says the words. Just like his compatriots, he recites with Tarteel, which is a normal recitation that allows each word to be mentioned the way it is meant to be.
This is slightly opposed to the more elaborate, sweet style that elongates letters to have a charming effect that is popular among reciters like Matroud and Sudais.
For every letter of the Quran you recite, you are guaranteed ten units of blessings, the Prophet has told us. It is no wonder the Quran is arguably the most oft-recited scripture of all time.
Even when not reciting, listening to the verses, which are actually Allah’s words, and not the Prophet’s, brings with it blessings and a promise of success.
As for me, my voice is like tetanus spreading through beautiful skin. Which were your favourite Quranic reciter when you were growing up?
The story has been published originally on Zongo Republic.