For many centuries, the holy scripture of the Muslims- Quran has passed the test of time as one of the undiluted, most read and memorized religious books in the world. Knowing how to read the Quran and learning to master it are two different aspects. Everyone can recite the Quran but not everyone can master the act of reciting it with perfection. An individual who has mastered this art and recites with perfection in a melodious voice is called a Qari or Qur’anic reciter.
Here’s a count down of the top 5 outstanding Quranic reciters of all time.
5-Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz as-Sudais also known as As-Sudais is a renowned Qari of Saudi Arabian origin, from a Sunni denomination and Salafi jurisprudence. As a boy, he memorized the Quran at the age of 12 winning him the title of Hafiz. Sudais is popular for his unique voice and excellent application of the rules of Tajweed (rules governing pronunciation during recitation) in recitation. These and more gained him the title of Imam of the grand mosque.
Aside being a Qari, has earned a PhD in Islamic sharia and also notable in giving sermon on societal issues; one of which was Islam’s opposition to “explosions and terrorism” as well as to encourage peaceful interfaith dialogue.
4–Saud ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Shuraim is a Saudi Arabian Qari of Hanbali denomination. He is like no other because he is a professor of sharia and Islamic studies with vast knowledge of fiqh, Aqeeda and Islamic poetry. He is known for his unique and melodious voice when he recites.
Sheikh Shuraim’s voice and academic achievements gave him an edge as he is one of the imams and khateeb (person who delivers the sermon) of the grand mosque in Mecca. In 2005, he was awarded Islamic personality of the year at the Dubai International Holy Quran Awards.
3— Qari Abdul-Basit Abdus-Samad is a veteran Qari of Egyptian origin renowned for his unique recitation and as such, many modern reciters adopt his style of recitation. Aside being raised in an environment which nourished this art, his family also played a very vital role as his granddad and dad where also highly respected reciters; Hence, his inspiration and passion for Qur’anic recitation. Muslims from many mosques and around the world today are captivated by his unique mastery of pitch tone and the rules of Tajweed.
Before his death, Sheihk Abdul Basit was the first president of the Reciters Union and one of the first reciters to make commercial recordings of his recitation. He also won three Qur’anic recitation competitions.
2—- Sheikh Mishary bin Rashid bin Gharib bin Muhammad Alafasy – From his beautiful voice and unique recitation of the Quran to his role in promoting Islamic principles and teachings, Mishary is no doubt one of the most respected and well known figures in the Muslim community. He is a Qari of Kuwait decent who memorized the Quran in just 2 years and specialized in the tenfold reading of the Quran.
Mishary’s recitation has inspired many reciters around the world. In addition to Qur’anic recitation, he also sings nasheeds (non-instrumental Islamic songs) and more.
He is currently the Imam of the grand mosque of Kuwait. In 2008, he was awarded the first creativity Oscar by the Arab creativity union and has always been the people’s choice for best Quranic reciter in the world.
1—Saad Al Ghamidi – From the grand mosque to the studio, Saad Al Ghamidi was born to use his soulful voice to win the ears of his listeners. Although he studied Islamic law, he is the only renowned sheikh who has decided to build a career in Qur’anic recitation and nasheed. He is a Qari, scholar and Imam of Saudi descend who memorized the entire Quran at the age of 22.
His Tajweed and soulful voice has made him people’s choice in several TV and Radio stations as well as the imam of the grand mosque.
When it comes to reciting the Quran, these unique Muslims have made their mark by combining passion, practice and perfection in recitation. They live their lives through jihad; striving to please Allah and inspiring others towards the path to righteousness. May Allah grant them Jannah and all those who read and listen to Quran.