Category Archives: Recitation

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solomon-snapshot

Features of recitation in “Solomon and the Queen”

Category : Media , Recitation

By Sohaib Saeed

This post serves as an introduction to Solomon and the Queen for people who are less familiar with Qur’an recitation, or with the particular style which is exemplified by the reciter, Qari Hajjaj al-Hindawi.

The first thing to appreciate is that the Qur’an is a vocal and oral phenomenon, as much as – if not more than – it is written and read as a scripture. As I have explained elsewhere, Qur’an recitation can be seen both as a science and and art-form, in that it is governed by certain rules of pronunciation (known as tajweed), while the beauty of vocalisation is also encouraged and emphasised.

Listening to the Qur’an being recited by an expert is a highly spiritual experience, and may be deemed as an act of worship when done with that intention. The believer listens to receive guidance and to move his or her heart into greater submission to the Creator. Yet anyone may listen in on this divine discourse and appreciate the power of the Qur’an’s internal rhythms, as enhanced by the melodies of the reciter’s interpretation. The Egyptian tradition of performative recitation (mujawwad) is of particular note, and Qari Hindawi is a contemporary master of this tradition.

Now I shall mention some key features to bear in mind when watching Solomon and the Queen, and the recitation therein from Surat al-Naml (the Chapter of the Ants), verses 15-44.

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How the Qur’an Shapes the Brain

Category : Recitation

By Mohamed Ghilan

“If it weren’t for their political problems and constant fighting between each other, the Muslims would have been on the moon by the 1400s.”

Such was the statement made by a non-Muslim professor in a 400-level undergraduate class on the history of science. It seems that the rate of discovery and advancement in science achieved by the Muslims was quite impressive and has yet to be replicated. What was it that they were doing that allowed for their fast progress?

The teacher in me immediately thinks about their education system, and the neuroscientist in me wants to examine the factors involved in shaping the brains of such a civilization. Interestingly, many Muslim religious scholars will say something about how the Muslims were the leaders when the Qur’an was the centre of their education, and only when they abandoned the Qur’an that they lost their reign.  The amazing thing about this is that while Muslim religious scholars are typically talking about spiritual and moral realities, there is actually a material reality to what they’re saying, which takes place in the brain.

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Quranica on BBC Radio 4 (2006)

Category : Recitation , Video

From the archives:

In advance of a Quranica recitation and lecture tour featuring various reciters as well as Dr Kristina Nelson (author of The Art of Reciting the Qur’an), Sohaib Saeed appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme on 26th February 2006 to explain the phenomenon of Quranic recitation.

Listen here:

Also read: The Art of Qur’an Recitation


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Qari Bokhari, Surat al-Hashr (Edinburgh, 2005)

Category : Recitation , Video

From the first ever event organised by Quranica:



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Music and Spirituality: radio discussion

Category : Recitation

In February 2007, Quranica director Sohaib Saeed participated in a Beyond Belief discussion on BBC Radio 4 about music and its relation to spiritual experience, speaking as a promoter of the art of Qur’anic recitation.

Listen here: Beyond Belief > Music & Spiritual Experience

The other panellists were Rabbi Mark Solomon of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London, and Revd June Boyce-Tillman of the University of Winchester. It was presented by Ernie Rea.