Category : Recitation
By Sohaib Saeed
The Qur’an has many names, as mentioned throughout its chapters and verses. Two are considered the most important. It is described as the Kitāb meaning “book”, and as the Qur’ān meaning “recital”.
The fact that these are the two names for the divine revelation received by Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be God’s last messenger, indicates that it has two forms: as a written scripture and as a recited text.
The fact that we know it first and foremost as the Qur’an is a clue to the recited aspect being its most essential reality.
According to American ethnomusicologist Dr Kristina Nelson:
“For the Muslim faithful, the familiar sound of Qur’anic recitation is the predominant and most immediate means of contact with the Word of God. Heard day and night, on the street, in taxis, in shops, in mosques, and in homes, the sound of recitation is far more than the pervasive background music of daily life in the Arab world. It is the core of religious devotion, the sanctioning spirit of much cultural and social life, and a valued art form in its own right.” (Kristina Nelson)
In this article, we shall explain the role of recitation in experiencing the Qur’an, and discuss the principles that underlie the beauty of recitation.