Listening to a reciter (Qāri') for your Hifz (Qur'ān memorisation) cannot be underestimated. But who is the best reciter to aid your memorisation? Who is the recommended reciter to listen to? Who is best quran reciter for memorization?
Choose A Qāri' To Listen To Using Key Principles
I have previously touched upon some principles as follows:
Choose a recitation that is with excellent standards of tajwīd, clarity, and speed you can keep up with. The likes of Khalīl al-Husarī, Muhammad Siddiq al-Minshāwī, 'Abd al-Bāsit 'Abdus-Samad, Dr Ayman Suwayd, Dr Sāmir an-Nass, al-Ma'sarawī, and the likes are ideal.
You may also do experimentation by switching to see what reciter benefits you the most. A sister that used to listen to al-Husarī struggled. When she switched to al-Minshāwī, she was a lot better. Also, there are many sisters that are recording these days, sisters do check them out!How to Memorise by Listening to the Qur’ān
Standards of Tajweed
Tajweed is important as a key principle when selecting someone to listen especially for those who are still on the path of learning tajweed. Anyone you listen to, should be solid in Tajweed. You want to be able to recite correctly as best as you can.
The Clarity of Recitation
The recitation should be very clear and precise. You need to be able to hear every letter, vowel, and identify every rule easily. This in return goes hand in hand with the next principle.
A Speed You Can Keep Up With
The speed should be one that you can listen to comfortably and be able to hear everything properly. Not only that but a speed that you can keep up with yourself. Many of us recite slowly and some of us are faster.
A Voice And Melody You Can Match
Another element of listening is that when you listen, naturally you will start to sway towards imitation. You pick up the style and melody. Melody is important. You have to be able to recite with some melody. If you have a deep voice, try to listen to those who have a deep voice. If you have voice that is mid-ranged, try to hear those that are mid-ranged. If you have a high-pitched voice, try to listen to someone that you can easily imitate. Certain voices are limited by what they can do and others can exceed in what they can do. You have to gain self-awareness.
Research has shown that the characteristics of a voice can impact memory and recall. Factors like tone, pitch, emotion, and even the familiarity of a voice can influence how well things are remembered. Here's a brief overview:
- Pitch and Tone: A moderate pitch and tone are generally more memorable than very high or very low pitches. Monotonous voices tend to be less engaging and harder to remember (hence why best only for Tajweed).
- Emotionally Expressive Voices: Voices that express emotion tend to be more memorable. This is because emotional content can create a stronger and more lasting impression. This is why people love recitations that are more spiritual and make them feel better. A study found that emotional content in a voice can enhance memory. Specifically, emotional tones like fear or pleasant surprise can improve word repetition and recall accuracy, particularly in younger adults. However, sad or neutral tones may lead to poorer recall performance. This suggests that emotionally expressive voices can leave a stronger impression and thus be more memorable.
- Familiar Voices: Familiar voices, such as those of family members or celebrities, can be more easily remembered. This is likely due to the existing neural connections associated with these familiar voices. This is why we tend to favour famous reciters - they are familiar.
- Clear and Articulate Speech: Clear and articulate speech is typically easier to understand and remember. Mumbling or slurred speech can hinder memory retention. This is why the more clear and precise a recitation, the better.
- Gender of the Voice: Some studies suggest that there might be a preference or better recall with certain gendered voices, but this can vary based on the context and the individual listener.
It's important to note that the effectiveness of these voice characteristics can vary greatly from person to person. Personal preferences, cultural background, and individual differences in hearing and cognitive processing play a significant role in how one responds to different voices. Additionally, the context in which the audio is presented (such as in a learning environment versus a casual conversation) can also affect memory retention.
This principle (voice and medody) is where problems can come about. For example:
- You listen and you imitate to the extent that in reality you're only memorising the audio that you're listening to. As you're memorising the melody, the sounds, and the words to a level where you can only mimic that. You won't be able to recite in another way, including your own melody/style. This happened to me and I speak about this in my book.
- You can adopt any mistakes, bad habits, or lack of precision that the reciter you're listening to may have. We're all human beings. We can make mistakes and slips of the tongue. We might like to listen to a recitation but may not realise that the reciter has made some mistakes. For instance, so many modern-day reciters recite the letter TĀ' (تاء / ت) with high levels of hams, making it extremely light when it should have a level of balance. Or some well-known reciters will make a qalqalah (a bounce) on the letter DAAD (ض).
You remove these problems by having a solid grounding in Tajweed, a teacher, listening to a variety of reciters from time to time, and attempting to recite your memorisation in different ways. As long as you have these in place, you should be fine. Initially, we will all imitate and over time, as you develop, you can begin to find your own path.
Reciters For Tajweed And Reciters For Hifz
In reality, there are two sets of questions here:
- who is the best for Tajweed
- who is the best for memorisation
Tajweed has a particular set of needs and memorisation has its own. Tajweed would be about learning how to make the pronunciation precise and the memorisation would be to help you memorise better. They can overlap as well. You could listen to the same person for both for instance.
Who is the best reciter for learning Tajweed?
All of the reciters I will mention are names that you would typically associate with recommendations that any learned Muqri' would make.
Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil Al-Husary (Playlists)
Also known as Al-Husary, was an Egyptian Qāriʾ widely acclaimed for his accurate recitation of the Qur'ān. A true legend for whom words cannot suffice.
Shaykh Dr Samir al-Nass (Playlists)
A current-day scholar from Syria who is highly recommended for this purpose. He has ijāzah in the ten styles of recitation of the narration of Shatibiyyah and Durra from Sheikh Muhammad Sukr. He has ijazah in the ten styles of recitation of the narration of Tayyibah from Sheikh Ahmad Mustafa, who is a student of Sheikh Abd al-Aziz al-Zayyat of Egypt.
Shaykh Dr Ayman Suwayd (Playlist)
Dr. Shaykh Ayman ibn Rushdi Swayd is a Syrian scholar who specialises in Qur'anic sciences, specifically Tajwid and Qiraat. He is one of the most famous specialists of our time.
Other recommendations often include:
Shaykh Muhammad Siddiq al-Minshāwī
A legendary Egyptian reciter known for his beautiful spiritual recitations.
Shaykh 'Abd al-Basit 'Abd al-Samad
Known as the voice of Makkah, another legendary Egyptian reciter known for his unique beautifully uplifting recitations.
By the way, avoid using YouTube to listen on a loop unless you're using ad-free, alternative apps that allow you to multi-task or close the screen. You can get distracted otherwise.
Who is the best reciter for memorisation (Hifz)?
When it comes to listening for your memorisation, the key things are (1) speed, (2) melody, and (3) voice. Some of us are wired in a way that listening helps us and it is these things that are at the core of it. The choice here is yours.
The reciters that the Hifz community say they listen to
I asked the Instagram community who they listen to and these 38 reciters were mentioned:
- Mishary Rashid al-Afasy
- Khalil al-Husary
- Abdullah Basfar
- Ali al-Hudhaify
- Muhammad Taariq
- Abdullah al-Juhany
- Khaleed al-Jaleel
- Abd ar-Rahman al-Sudais
- Haitham al-Dakhin
- Yasser Dossary
- Salim Bahanan
- Abdurrahman Masood
- Islam Sobhi
- Ayman Suwayd
- Bandar Baleela
- Asma Huda
- Maher al-Mu'aiqali
- Ra'd al-Kurdi
- 'Abd al-Basit 'Abd al-Samad
- Muhammad al-Luhaidan
- Miftaah Insititute Ajzā'
- Saud al-Shuraim
- Muhammad Ayyub
- Abdullah Matrood
- Abu Bakr al-Shatri
- Ibrahim al-Akhdar
- 'Abd al-Wali al-Arkani
- Yahya 'Ishan
- Moutaseem al-Hamedi
- Idrees Abkar
- Khalifa al-Tunaiji
- Moaz el Sayed
- Omar Hisham al Arabi
- 'Abdul Rashid Ali Sufi
- Abdullah Altun
Choose who you will but stick to the fundamentals.
May Allāh grant blessing!4 - Like and share!