Quran recitation. It's moving and can reduce us to tears whether we understand the Arabic language or not. For as long as I can remember, like many Muslim households, we've always had Quran recitation playing throughout the day. Not only was it a way to connect with the Quran when we weren't reading or reciting it ourselves, but it was also a comfort to have Allah's words in our ears during even the most mundane tasks. It created a safe atmosphere and made us feel like even in the pockets of silence, we were somehow inviting barakah into every room of our home.
Growing up hearing the melodious and unique voices of so many different Qaris inspires many of us to want to emulate their ways of reciting the Quran. After all, who wouldn't want to recreate that level of beauty themselves? Recently, we had an interesting question on the re:Verses podcast where a caller asked how to make their recitation more like the Qaris they admired who were seasoned pros when it came to giving voice to the verses of the Quran. Sheikh Musa took us on a whirlwind journey detailing how important it is to embrace the uniqueness of your own voice when memorizing and perfecting your recitation of the Quran.
Honestly, it was a surprise for more reasons than one and I'm sure I speak for many of our listeners who were caught off guard by this because it's easy to fall into a habit of wanting your voice to sound like the ones of those who recite with such conviction and flair. What we didn't realize - and what Sheikh Musa put the most emphasis on - is that our voices, much like everything else we have, are gifts from Allah and He has given each of us uniqueness that sets us apart from everyone else. That beautiful recitation from your favourite Qari? That's their gift and it's time you embraced yours.
Here's our 5-step plan for learning to love your voice when reciting the Quran!
- Understand the Significance
In Quranic recitation, every syllable, and every note carries weight. The Quran says:
وَرَتِّلِ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ تَرْتِيلًا
"—and recite the Quran ˹properly˺ in a measured way." (Surah Muzzammil, 73:4).
This verse highlights the importance of a thoughtful and rhythmic approach to recitation. It's not just about reading; it's about feeling each word. When you know that you can bring something different to this, it creates a new feeling of attachment as well as accountability to the journey. Know why your recitation is important to you and treat it with care!
2. Find Your Voice
Each person's voice is unique, like a fingerprint. In the context of Quranic recitation, this uniqueness is something to be celebrated. You don't need to mimic famous reciters; instead, focus on understanding the nuances of Tajweed (the art of Quranic recitation) and apply them in a way that suits your vocal tone and style that your teacher agrees with.
3. Overcome the Fear of Judgment
It's common to feel apprehensive about how others perceive your recitation. Remember, the Quran also says:
وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ فَٱسْتَمِعُوا۟ لَهُۥ وَأَنصِتُوا۟ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
"When the Quran is recited, listen to it attentively and be silent, so you may be shown mercy." (Surah A'raf, 7:204).
This verse encourages listeners to respect and pay attention to any recitation, reminding us that the act of reciting is in itself praiseworthy.
4. Treasure your Personal Connection
When you recite the Quran with your voice, you forge a personal connection with the words. It becomes more than a recitation; it's a conversation between you and the Divine. This connection is deeply personal and can't be replicated by anyone else's voice.
5. Practice Patience and Persistence
Improving your recitation is a journey. The Quran teaches patience and perseverance, qualities that are vital as you work on your recitation skills. Surah Al-Muddaththir (74:7) advises:
"And be patient for the sake of your Lord."
Remember, it's a process of continuous learning and growth.
Embracing the power of your voice in Quranic recitation is about finding the melody that resonates with your soul. It's a blend of personal expression, spiritual connection, and adherence to the traditional art of Tajweed. As you continue on this journey, remember that your voice adds a unique thread to the rich tapestry of Quranic recitation. Let it be heard, let it be cherished.
Check out the full episode of re:Verses here👇🏽