The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, February 6, 2023


Livin' on a prayer: Champion Pakistan Koran reader in full voice
In this picture taken on March 26, 2021, Hassan Ali Kasi, a qari or professional reciter of the Koran, practices yoga as part of his training regime in Islamabad. To master the art of Koran recitation, 21-year-old Kasi had to follow a strict regime of yoga, hours of rehearsing vocal scales -- and a total ban on biryani. Aamir QURESHI / AFP.

by Zain Zaman Janjua



ISLAMABAD (AFP).- To master the art of Koran recitation, 21-year-old Hassan Ali Kasi had to follow a strict regime of yoga, hours of rehearsing vocal scales -- and a total ban on biryani.

His dedication is paying off, and he was recently named champion of an international online qari competition hosted by Afghanistan, where he was up against men from 25 other countries.

Revered in Pakistan, qaris are professional reciters of the Koran, called upon to lead prayers at mosques and also to teach the Muslim holy book to students.

They are in particularly high demand during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting currently being observed around the world.

"It was a job of the prophets," Ali Kasi told AFP in the capital, Islamabad.

"One of the very first elements of preaching was recitation. It is as old as Islam."

Qaris require perfect Arabic pronunciation, a difficult feat in Pakistan where Urdu is the national language.

A finesse of rhythm and intonation produces the slow, melodic sound similar to the distinctive adhan, or call to prayer, delivered through loudspeakers from the top of mosques five times a day.

Recitations during competitions can last for 15 minutes, so Ali Kasi practises yoga to help with breath control, and vocal exercises to strengthen his voice.

"A qari should be able to recite for a minimum of 50 seconds without taking a breath," said Ali Kasi, an Islamic Studies student at a university in the capital.

"The throat is very sensitive, a qari should avoid cold water and fatty food as it produces too much mucus, which causes abrasion when you touch high notes," he cautioned.

He was tutored in the Koran by his father, and his recitation skills quickly earned him recognition at national level where he won numerous awards before making it onto the international stage.




'The voice is a gift from God'

Many qaris emerge after being taught at religious schools known as madrassas, where young boys are taught to memorise the Koran -- often with little understanding of the Arabic language and also at the expense of other subjects.

Education activists say the colossal effort that can often take years to master fails to prepare students for the workforce.

But for millions of boys in impoverished and deeply conservative Pakistan, it is the only schooling available, providing free shelter, clothes and food.

Very few madrassas are open to girls.

Boys who complete their studies can go on to become teachers or lead prayers at mosques around the world -- even if they earn little money from it.

"One has to be meticulously hardworking," said Abdul Qudus, from the Wafaq-ul-Madaris al-Arabia, the country's largest group of madrassas.

"The voice is a gift from God, but one has to polish it."

He said hundreds of prayer leaders in the Middle East are madrassa graduates, while others are now teaching the Koran online to Pakistanis living overseas in Europe or America.

Ali Kasi, who spends hours practising verses ahead of competitions, said quality teachers were the key to his winning voice.

"When you follow a good qari, you can spread your voice across the world," he said.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

April 18, 2021

Michelangelo's David gets a 3D-printed twin

The Espace Louis Vuitton Beijing opens an exhibition dedicated to works by Alberto Giacometti

Exhibition brings together a selection of rare artist publications by Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Hans Arp

Prince Philip's car becomes Sri Lankan royal artefact

ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus urges reforms to pay songwriters their due

Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, announces major New acquisition by Simone Leigh

The Amon Carter Museum opens the first comprehensive survey of contemporary photographer An-My Lê

Furniture capturing George Nakashima's appreciation of nature coming to Heritage Auctions

Exhibition features a dozen new paintings and a site-responsive wall drawing by Keltie Ferris

Alan Vega left a robust vault. The excavation begins with a new album.

A history book's worth of legendary American artists comes to Heritage Auctions May 7

Yi Gallery exhibits a collection of biomorphic site-specific installations and drawings by Leah Harper

Exhibition presents works that convey humanity's relationship with nature

'In the Heights' will premiere at the Tribeca Festival

Livin' on a prayer: Champion Pakistan Koran reader in full voice

Oscar-nominated songs to be performed from LA museum roof -- and Iceland

Joye Hummel, first woman to write Wonder Woman, dies at 97

Movies survived 2020. The Oscars diversified. There's more to do.

Taymour Grahne Projects opens a solo exhibition by LA-based artist Gabriella Sanchez

Hermès Birkins and Kellys among highlights bursting with spring color at Heritage Auctions

Blue-gray diamond ring could Ffetch $350K at Heritage Auctions

Kayne Griffin presents a project with New York-based artist Mika Tajima

Oscars producers lift the lid on nearly 'impossible' ceremony

Sterling Associates' April 21 auction features fine art & jewelry from New Jersey estates




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful