“MOST OF THE MUNAAFIQEEN OF MY UMMAH ARE THE QURRAA’
(Rasulullah – Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
A Moulana, Muhammad Yasir of the U.K. commenting on the haraam shenanigans of the Egyptian qurra’ (qaaris), and the stupid antics of their supporters, writes:
Some brothers have become upset after my recent post regarding the craze of the Egyptian Qurrā. Alhamdulillah, I got many hate comments, though it doesn't really bother me. One person even concluded that I had written this post because I hadn't been 'invited' to these events.
First of all, there is no need for an invitation to an open programme. Secondly, I did get an actual invite to this programme, in order to deliver a speech, but I politely declined.
The fact of the matter is that only those people will be offended who are to receive a share in the cost of these programmes, as in the organisation, etc, or those people whose judgement is clouded due to extreme love for these stage performers.
I would also like to make it very clear that I, myself, in the past would willingly and happily attend these events. There are probably videos on YouTube where I can be seen sitting amongst these Egyptian Qurrā. However, I have now taken a step back from these events and, just to clarify, changing ones opinion is completely normal in this world. Not forgetting to mention that I studied in Madrassah because of my zeal and love for the Qira'āt of Qari Abdul Basit, and I have hundreds of his cassettes.
Anyway, I don't wish to drag this on. My main point is that we should contemplate on the concerns that have been raised. The following message, regarding the Egyptian Qurrā, has been written by a good friend of mine, Mufti Javed Iqbal. I have already previously posted this. Mufti SB is also in the process of writing a critical analysis on this subject, by quoting various authorities in the field of Qira'āt. Insha'Allah, this will soon be available to the general public. May Allah strengthen Mufti SB and accept his work. Amin. For now, everyone please contemplate on the following concerns raised:
"THE EGYPTIAN QURRA CRAZE: A FEW THOUGHTS
Over the past decade, a number of qurra have been frequenting the UK and attending qira'ah programmes all over the country, especially during the summer months. Admittedly, I was also guilty of going head over heels and trying to avidly attend every programme possible. I also had the opportunity to organise such a programme at my local masjid. As a result, I have been contacted many times by different hosts of the qurra to organise their programmes when they visit the UK.
However, I totally avoid such programmes now and have serious reservations regarding what I can only describe as a craze which has swept across the UK, taking in ulama and non-ulama alike.
I want to point out the discrepancies I have noticed on a number of fronts:
BREAKING THE RULES OF TAJWID FOR THE SAKE OF STYLE:
A great number of Egyptian qurra I have heard compromise the rules of tajweed in order to accommodate the tune or maqaamah they wish to fit the verse onto, by extending or decreasing the length of the letter etc.
This blatant disregard of tajweed brings to mind the hadith of Bayhaqi wherein the Prophet (sallallahua alayhi wasallam) said, "Recite the Qur'an with the modulation and tone of the Arabs, but refrain from the modulation of those who recite love poetry and the modulation of the people of the two books. Some people will come after me who will recite the Qur'an in a singing and wailing manner, but it will not go beyond their throats, and their hearts and the hearts of those who are charmed by their performance will be caught by temptations." Shaykh Mahmood Khalil al-Husari (rahimahullah) writes in his Ahkam Qira'at 'l-Qur'an al-Kareem (pg 30): "For this reason, reciting with these [musical] tones is disliked and forbidden in the Shari'ah." In some cases, the Qur'anic words are almost indiscernible because the qari has solely focused on maintaining the maqamah/tone until he does waqf. It is obvious how this disregard for the rules of Tajweed is totally unacceptable.
OBSESSION WITH BREATHPOWER OF THE QARI:
Most listeners are only concerned with how long a qari can read for without breaking his breath and how many verses he can read together. This is considered the make-or-break factor for a qari, regardless of whether the Qur'an is being recited correctly or not. You will see the crowd overcome with excitement when the qari recites the beginning verses of Surah Al-Haaqqah in one breath, whereas these verses should cause the heart to tremble with fear.
Some may say that it is not the fault of the layman if he does not understand the meaning of the verses, but my point is that is it not the duty of the ulama to notice these things and educate the awaam? (Please refer to Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani Sahib's Fatawa Uthmani Vol 1 pg 220 for a related istiftaa).
£500 - £1000 per qira'ah programme. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon. What makes the situation worse is the ridiculous arguments I have heard to justify such charges. An aalim who was hosting an Egyptian qari in his masjid was asking for £500 "Qur'an ki nisbat se" because somebody may be encouraged by the qari's beautiful recitation to make his own child a haafiz or aalim. Another aalim I know fairly well contacted one of the famous qurra in Egypt, inviting him to the UK for a week. The qari demaded £10000 (or something similar) for one week! I can continue relating my own distasteful experiences and observations in this regard, but I'm sure my point is quite clear. Is this not a misappropriate usage of money? If it is reward one is after, one can earn that by listening to anyone who recites the Qur'an correctly. And if it's pure enjoyment one seeks, just type in the names of this qurra in youtube and enjoy, or download their recitations from a whole array of Islamic websites! Why spend £500?
If it is the love of the Qur'an and a desire to see people reciting it properly which motivates ulama and masjids to hold these programmes, my humble suggestion is that £1000 be allocated to an expert qari to teach tajweed, even once a week over the course of a year. That is the same amount of money being used objectively within the framework of Shariah and this will help laymen actually correct their recitation of the Qur'an.
What impression are we giving when we allow a clean shaven qari to sit on the mimbar and recite Qur'an? Does it not undermine the importance of upholding this great sunna of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), which all four schools of thought declare obligatory? Unfortunately, I have witnessed ulama eating from the left-overs of a certain qari at a dawat, saying, "Chalaw Shaikh ka tabarruk khaa lainh". This is not about holding anyone in contempt, but at the same time, it is incorrect to revere a person who shaves his face and charges money for reciting the Qur'an as if he is one of the elder ulama.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) foretold a time when the qurra would increase and the fuqaha would decrease.
LACK OF DECORUM:
Naa're takbeers, people waving their arms frantically and jumping up after the qari's read a staggering number of verses in one breath, screaming subhanallah and masha-Allah, shouting out in the midst of a verse when the qari puts a new and exciting twist in his voice: Is this not against the adab of the Qur'an? Allah Ta'ala has commanded silence whilst the Qur'an is being recited, to attract the mercy of Allah.
Mufti Ashiq Ilahi Bulandshehri (rahimahullah) adds to Mufti Taqi Sahib's fatwa referred to above: "Making the Qur'an a means of entertaining one's ears is an act of disrespect."
These are a few random points. There are more points which can be added, and these points can also be elaborated upon.
Serious thought needs to be given to the above and many other points. We are required by Shariah to view things objectively and not blindly adopt any new craze which sweeps the country.
May Allah Ta'ala grant us all true understanding of the Qur'an, make it a proof for us on the Day of Judgment and not a proof against us. Aameen.
Before anyone says, "brother, this is to promote the Quran and save people from music", please save this rhetoric for later as it has nothing to do with the promotion of good. Rather, it is just a craze and a promotion of some celebrities who don't even know much about Qira'āt.
These modern "Qurrā" are, firstly, very ill equipped with the science of Qira'āt-I've spoken to several who have come to the UK. That's why you will see they make several major mistakes in their recitations, and what is worse that the listeners chant SUBHANALLAH! Now, I don't know what they are saying Subhanallah to over and over again-the major mistakes or the verse pertaining to Jahannam? Many of them haven't even studied the basic books of Tajweed and Qira'āt.
I have been contemplating on this issue for some time as I, myself, was really into this. Actually, I studied because of my zeal for Qira'āt. However, after contemplating and witnessing the reality of these Qurrā, one will have the conviction that this is nothing but a Fitnā. I mean, so many of them that come here don't even read their Salah. They will be "chilling" in their 5* hotels and at the time of performance they will wear their special gear for Qira'āt and start performing. Apart from the fact that many of these "Qurrā" are Fussaq, the ones that are promoting them by calling them every year, are they also not responsible for promoting such Fussaq Qurrā?
A friend told me that if we continue promoting these types of Qurrā in the UK, after a few years our Imāms in the masjid will become like this, and it will become difficult to get a truly practising Imām. This totally makes sense.
The reality is that they don't read the Quran correctly, and it's merely tunes that pleases the desires. If you listen carefully, they will continuously make major mistakes and cover them up with a certain tune and by *playing* with the mic, bearing in mind that reading the Qur'an incorrectly is not permissible, neither is listening to such recitation permissible.
The Hadīth of the Prophet ﷺ comes to mind where He [ﷺ] said:
"Recite the Qur'ān with the modulation and tones of the Arabs, but refrain from the modulation of those who recite love poetry and [the modulation] of the people of the two books [the Christians and Jews]. Some people will come after me who will recite the Qur'ān in a *singing* and *wailing* manner, but it will not go beyond their throats, and their hearts and the hearts of those who are charmed by their performance will be caught by temptations" [Bayhaqī, Shu'ab al-Imān].
Mulla Alī Qarī al-Hanafī has said, under the above Hadīth, that the words "but refrain from the modulation of those who recite love poetry" is referring to Ashāb al-Fisq, i.e. those who openly sin. The phrase "it will not go beyond their throats" means that their recitation will be rejected by Allah and it will not enter their own hearts, ultimately preventing them from attaining true guidance [See Mirqāt al-Mafātīh, 5:86, DKI print].
Besides the fact that they will break Tajweed rules just to fit in a certain tune, they will also make big business. Just a few days ago, I heard [from the host of the Qarī] that the Qari who was in London was charging £1700 per gathering!! Plus, he only reads for 30-35 min in each gathering. Also, all the number of gatherings, etc, are arranged from before.
Let's put the issue of taking money for Qur'ān to a side for now, and let's not debate whether it's permissible or not, the fact that he's taking £1700 per gatherings is absolutely ridiculous. If this amount becomes a general criteria for hearing the Quran [even though they read wrong], in a few years time it will be difficult to listen to live recitation. Plus, all the other damage caused by promoting such Fussāq Qurrā.
One Qari came to Bradford and he was requested to read in a private gathering consisting of a few people. After his recitation, he immediately demanded money. The host began to sweat as he wasn't expecting to give money.
I believe that the people of UK who are calling these stage actors over are spoiling the habits of these people, and they should invest this money locally, in our children's futures and mosques, so they can recite the Qur'ān properly. Then we can listen to our own people who *are* talented and will be more righteous, Insha'Allah.
Oh Allah, enable us to see the Haq as Haq and guide us in following it, and show us Batil as Batil and enable us to refrain from it.
Allah knows best."
(End of letter)
It is haraam to listen to the recital of these fussaaq qaaris who trade the Qur’aan Majeed for a miserable price. They are munaafiqeen for whom a special Pit in Jahannam has been prepared. About these munaafiq qaaris, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Seek refuge from Jubbul Huzun. The Sahaabah asked: ‘What is Jubbul Huzan (The Pit of Grief)?’ Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “It is a Valley in Jahannam. Daily Jahannam seeks refuge from it four hundred times.’ The Sahaabah asked: ‘Who will enter it? Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “It has been prepared for the qaaris who display their deeds. Verily, the most hated qaaris by Allah are those who visit the umara (the rulers and the wealthy)”
This is an adequate commentary of these munaafiq qaaris and their jaahil supporters. The Qur’aan is being manipulated and vilified for the sake of haraam money.
8 Ramadhaan 1437 (14 June 2016)
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