Al-Hilbawi’s Unforgettable Voice in Recitation, Ibtihal

TEHRAN (IQNA) – Muhammad Abdul Hadi Muhammad al-Hilbawi was born on February 9, 1946, in the Bab al-Sharia district of Cairo.


He started memorizing the Holy Quran as a child and was able to memorize the Holy Quran completely under the tutorship of his grandfather Muhammad al-Hilbawi.

He imitated the recitation of the Quran by Sheikh Mohammad Rafat and Ali Mahmoud, and in Ibtihal, he was imitating Zakaria Ahmad and Taha Al-Fashni until he acquired an independent audio style. And by traveling to different countries of the world, he offered his experiences to those who are interested.

After years of effort and practice in reciting the Holy Quran and ritual melodies, Master Hilbawi won awards from Al-Azhar University in Egypt.

He also learned Arabic music well from the top masters in this field. He benefited from the presence of reciters of the Golden Age of Egypt in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and in 1929 he obtained a license to perform Ibtihal and recitation on the Egyptian Quran Radio. This veteran Egyptian master traveled to Iran twice in 2003 and 2009 at the invitation of the Supreme Quranic Council to teach specialized techniques of recitation, Ibtihal and Tawashih. He also traveled to Iran once in 1991 to recite the Quran with a group of Egyptian reciters.

In 1991 he also participated in the panel of arbiters of the fourth international Quran competition for Muslim students in Tabriz.

He recited Ibtihal in the middle of the recitations of the reciters who participated in this edition of competitions in Tabriz.

Master Hilbawi's Ibtihal on the second day of the International Quran Competition thrilled the Muslim students in the competition hall. He performed his Ibtihal in praise of God and then the praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in Arabic and fascinated most of those present in the hall with his pleasant song.

On the sidelines of these competitions, he had an exclusive interview with IQNA and said: The Holy Quran competitions, first of all, connect people with the Quran and remind them of revelatory teachings. In these competitions, Quranic activists gather together and start a spiritual competition centered on the Quran.

Master Sheikh Muhammad Abdul Hadi Muhammad Al-Hilbawi, who has been suffering from diabetes for a long time, finally passed away on the evening of June 15, 2013, at the age of 67.