The Real & Genuine Breathless
While I was in school back in the late 90’s, a singer from the subcontinent was famously referred to as breathless for releasing a single which he apparently sang in one breath. Initially, all listeners were divided whether was it really a single breath (I was not among them), his expertise, or recording techniques.
Anyways, time has passed and I have replaced music with something better and of divine origin i.e. The Recitation of the Holy Quran to soothe my ears. I started off by listening to the famous Qurra’ (plural of Qari, the one who recites the Quran) like Shaikh Sudais & Shaikh Shuraim. I even came across a 24×7 Quran radio station which introduced me to some new and beautiful voices which further deepened my interest in Quranic recitations.
But one specific Qari has embedded this interest in me forever who is known to the world as Shaikh Abdul Basit Abdul Samad, May Allah have mercy on his soul. The amount of energy, efforts, expertise and diversity in his recitations is worth paying attention to, and the skills that he displays while reciting the Quran are literally mind boggling. In my opinion, he is ‘The Real & Genuine Breathless’. I keep rewinding his recitation videos to figure out where exactly he sniffed in a quick breath but I have never been able to figure it out. I even confirmed from an associate, who himself is an amateur reciter, that he actually recited long verses in a single breath. This long breath accommodated both the length of the verse along with the change in pitch and modulation of the voice.
It is indeed a blessing from Allah that the Holy Quran not only provides intellectual & divine nourishment, but also gives peace to the soul by its recitation. No wonder Allah mentions in the Quran:
Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.
(Al Quran. Surah Ar-Ra’d, Chapter 13, Verse 28)
Below are few short masterpieces from this legendary Qari which will put you in awe and help you to appreciate the art of recitation and its healthy impact on the human heart. It is indeed a food of the soul as prescribed by the Creator of the soul, and it naturally suits the soul better than the food suggested by men.
“…till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.”
(Al Quran, Surah Az-Zumar, Chapter 39, Verse 73)
“By the heaven, and At-Tariq (the night-comer, i.e. the bright star); And what will make you to know what At-Tariq (night-comer) is? (It is) the star of piercing brightness; There is no human being but has a protector over him (or her) (i.e. angels incharge of each human being guarding him, writing his good and bad deeds, etc.)”
(Al Quran, Surah At-Tariq, Chapter 86, Verse 1-4)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Guide us to the Straight Way The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.
(Al Quran, Surah Al-Fatiha, Chapter 1, Verse 1-7)
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.
The bedouins say, “We have believed.” Say, “You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.
(Al Quran, Surah Al-Hujurath, Chapter 49, Verse 13-15)
By Muhammad Iqbal