The recitation of the Qur’an has captivated people through its words and recitation from all walks of life for centuries. There is entire science devoted to understanding the different musical tunes used to recite the Qur’an. This is not to be confused with the science of tajweed or qiraa’at.
Different melodies of reciting the Qur’an can help the listener better understand and appreciate the meaning of the Qur’an. Imam Al-Ghazali , an 11th century scholar highlighted and encouraged tarteel – the beautification of the recitation and stated that it is the gate for the heart to understand the beauty of the meanings.
The science of Maqammat is also based upon the hadith the Prophet said, “Beautify the Qur’an with your voices”. He is not from us who does not recite the Qur’an with taghanni or melody.
Vocal Maqamaat derives its form from music but it is not classified as music as there is no use of instruments. A student of maqamat will learn to produce beautiful sounds without discord, so that they are pleasing to the ear, and can evoke certain moods and emotions that aid in delivering the message of the Qur’an directly to the hearts of both the reciter and the listener. There is a deeper connection here. In maqamat the mood, emotion and subject matter of the verse being recited is brought out beautifully by the appropriate selection of the relevant melody or maqaam to suit the verse. There maybe verses of rahmah or mercy which are recited to reflect grandeur and majesty, verses describing Jannah are recited to reflect peace, serenity or joy whereas verses of the fire, hell and punishment are recited in a maqaam to express fear, sadness and foreboding. This expression is a real art, which helps a reciter to further connect emotionally with not just the words of the Qur’an but the meaning of the Qur’an.
There are 8 universally recognised maqaams. A student of maqamaat will learn and understand with the corresponding emotions that the maqaam is used to represent. A trained Qari will know how to switch between these maqamaats whereas an untrained reciter will most likely recite in a maqaam without realising it. The experience of reciting and listening to a recitation in maqaamaat is an uplifting experience as a beautiful voice brings out the meaning of the verses and the corresponding emotions can often reduce a listener to tears. It is therefore no surprise that some of the best and most popular reciters in the world are also experts in maqaamaat. Shaykh Mishary Rashid, the legends Abdul Basit, the late sheikh Mustafa Ismaeel are just a few prominent world-renowned examples.
The Academy offers voice training for those who wish to recite the Qur’an in the most beautiful and eloquent manner. Our teachers can train students in the art of maqamaat, which is a series of defined melodies, globally recognised, that the Qur’an may be recited in.