It often happened that, while going along his way, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard a Companion recite the Qur’an in a sweet-sounding voice. He would stop and stand for a long time listening to the Qur’an being recited and would appreciate it later on. Sometimes, he would ask a Companion to recite the Qur’an to him.
It is stated in the books of traditions that once he asked ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas‘oud radhiAllahu ‘anhu to recite the Qur’an to him. The latter (much astonished at the request) said: “Messenger of Allah! How can I recite the Qur’an to you, while you are the person to whom it was revealed?” He, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, replied:
“I like to hear it being recited by others.”
Accordingly, ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas‘uod began to recite, and, as the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sat listening, his eyes welled up with tears which could be seen trickling down his cheeks.
On another occasion, he heard a Companion recite the Qur’an in a melodious voice which he praised in the words:
“You have been granted a share from the musical talent of the sons of Dawood (AS).”
It is also required for the proper recitation of the Qur’an that a person should read it in the best manner and in the most melodious voice possible. This is necessary because almost every human being is gifted with a love for music and has a natural fondness for sweet and melodious sounds.
Islam is a natural region; it does not curb any of our inherent tendencies but diverts them into healthy channels. As we have an instinctive love for the beauty of sight and the beauty of sound, we insist upon a fascinating printing of the Qur’an and its recitation in a soft melodious voice.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has urged us to:
“Adorn the Qur’an with your voices.” [Narrated by Abu Daud & Nasai]
Although a person should recite the Qur’an in the most melodious voice he can produce because otherwise the recitation will be far from satisfactory, yet to over-emphasize this aspect of recitation is not without danger.
When a melodious recitation is the outcome of mere show or affectation or when one takes to it as a profession, it becomes a serious perversion and a reprehensible practice. We should, therefore, carefully guard against this danger; still we may seek the satisfaction of our love for the beauty of sound in reciting the Qur’an or in hearing it being recited in a melodious voice.
Hence, everyone of us should read the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in as nice a manner and as sweet a voice as it may be possible for him to do.