Art of Quran Recitation/2

Sheikh Rafaat; A Genius in Meaning-Based Recitation of Quran

13:51 - September 06, 2022
News ID: 3480368
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Sheikh Muhammad Mahmood Rafaat was among the genius Quran qaris in Egypt. Although visually impaired, he offered a somehow different style of recitation compared to his fellow qaris by using his instinct and deep feelings.


Rafaat (1882-1950) was born in Cairo and lost his ability to see the world before turning 6 due to a disease. This disease was a turning point in his life. There are several blind individuals among the brilliant qaris of Egypt including Sheikh Muhammed Abdulaziz Hasan, Mohamed Omran, Mahmood Ramadan, and Muhammad Mahmood Rafaat. Technical points of recitation are the sole aspects when studying the works of these qaris; rather their recitations bear a special spiritual feeling and this is more prominent in the works of Rafaat.

Rafaat managed to commit the entire Quran to his memory in childhood upon the encouragement he received from his father. Sheikh Ali Mahmood (1878-1943) hear a recitation by Rafaat and was moved by it. He said then that a bright future was awaiting the child as he would become a major qari across the world, and his prediction came true.

Sheikh Rafaat’s professional life can be put into two periods; the first one relates to the years till he turned 32. During this period, no microphones were being used in Quranic sessions and qaris who had a stronger voice were the focus of attention. However, in the next period, which is after reaching the age of 32, microphones found their way into Quranic circles. This led to spotting special techniques and delicacies of Rafaat’s recitation and more people in Egypt and the world listened to his works.

Among the most important features of Rafaat’s recitation are the spiritual air of his works and his improvisations that can be rarely detected in other qaris. One can say that his recitations are meaning-based; it means that even those who do not know Arabic will be affected by the way Rafaat reads the verses emotionally.


This article was a summary of remarks made by Hamidreza Nasiri, an Iranian international qari, in an interview with IQNA.