A Qari Who Gave Coherence to Egyptian Quran Recitation

14:31 - April 10, 2022
News ID: 3478432
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Sheikh Mustafa Ismail was one of the greatest qaris of Egypt who helped to enhance coherence in Quran recitation in his country.

Sheikh Mustafa Ismail


Egypt is a country in North Africa with a population of around 100 million.

Muslims account for around 90 percent of the country’s total population.

Quranic activities are very common in the Muslim-majority Arab country and many of the Muslim world’s top Qaris in the past and present have been Egyptian.

Indeed, over the past decades, Egyptian qaris have always played a major role in the art of Quran recitation in the world.

Thanks to their unique methods and beautiful voices, they have been imitated all over the world in recitation and Tarteel.

Egyptian qaris’ recitation is known for the precision in observing the rules of Lahn and Tajweed as well as beauty of the voice.


A Qari Who Gave Coherence to Egyptian Quran Recitation


Sheikh Mustafa Ismail, meanwhile, was the first qari who initiated a coordination between the recitation of the verses and their meanings.

Imitations from his style of recitation led to listeners’ better understanding the meanings of the verses.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei once praised Sheikh Mustafa Ismail for his style, saying that unlike some other qaris, his recitation is influential not only because it has beauty but also because it conveys the meaning.

Sheikh Muhammad Rafat and Sheikh Khalil al-Husari were Quran masters who identified Mustafa Ismail’s talents very early on and praised his recitation skills.

Mustafa Ismail was born on June 17, 1905 in Mitghazal Village near the city of Tanta north of Cairo.

He started learning the Quran at an early age and recited the Quran and Adhan (call to prayers) at ceremonies and mosques since early childhood.


A Qari Who Gave Coherence to Egyptian Quran Recitation


To enhance his Quran recitation skills, he studied Quran recitation styles and religious teachings in Ahmadi Institute for some time.

Two of his masters, Sheikh Muhammad Abu Hashish and Sheikh Dris Fakhir played a major role in helping him advance on the path of Quran recitation.

At 15, he became so famous that people would come from other villages and towns, even from Cairo, to listen to his recitations.

Sheikh Mustafa Ismail never forgot his first recitation in Cairo. "Sheikh Muhammad Salama, one of most distinguished Qaris in Egypt, and I had been invited to recite the Quran at a special event in Dawudiya District (of Cairo). This great Qari were in the habit of continuing his recitation for a long time so that no other Qari would have a chance to recite the Quran at any program. That night was no different. He started at 8 P.M. and continued until midnight. When he finished, everyone left the venue and I was left with empty seats. Nonetheless, I began reciting the Quran and when people who had left heard my voice they returned one after another. Soon the place was full of people who had returned to listen to my recitation.”

The first time Sheikh Mustafa Ismail’s recitation was broadcast on Egyptian radio was in 1943 when he was asked to recite verses from the Quran in place of Sheikh Abdul Fattah Shoaisha, who was ill on that day.

In the following years, he recited the Quran in front of dignitaries, kings, presidents and other senior officials.

He received Egypt’s highest medal of honor from then president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1955.

When he died in December 1978, hundreds of people, including senior officials from Egypt and other countries attended his funeral.