Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Jebril the reciter

Last night I prayed the Isha'a prayer behind Mohammed Jebril. He is my all-time favorite Quran reciter (I already said that before). A friend of mine was dragging me with him around the city, and we finally landed in the club for him to buy something. Upon the call for Isha'a prayer, I told him I'll go in and pray. I was pleasantly surprised to find Jebril leading the prayers.

Now all the issues that people may claim about him aside. I really don't care about all that (I've argued that before). All I care about is that he's a talented reciter with a superb voice, who can make you visualize the meaning of the verses, and feel the words with his tone of voice. The Quran has many beautiful aspects, the message and the meaning being the most important. But that's not all, the beautiful language, and the beautiful rhythm that it can be recited with is just awesome.

I love reading out loud, and I tend to do so when I read from the Quran (which was discouraged by al-Ghazali as mentioned here). My recitation is not perfect by any means, but I still enjoy my recitation of it.

Jebril's voice has a special place in my heart. The first time I went to a Taraweeh prayer was a long time ago in one of those laylatul kadr 'masses'. I was a kid then, and went to witness the awe that I heard his recitation creates!

The reasons for that first time might've been the wrong ones, but it picked up with me. I enjoyed it so much, I kept going every year. Only laylatul kadr (or the night of the 27th, since we're not sure when it is), then laylatul kadr and khatm alQuran, then the last 10 days, and now, almost every night of the month.

I think its actually preferrable to pray Taraweeh at your house, not in the mosque, but I just enjoy a good taraweeh prayer at the mosque behind a good imam, that I probably don't do it for the thawab, but mainly for my enjoyment.

I used to never be able to tear in a prayer. Your Amens following his supplications makes your heart feel inches away from God, yet it was hard for me to shed a tear. It felt bad actually, that one could be so hard and fearless! Most of my friends who would go with me were like that as well actually.

Its something with growing up and with age I suppose that makes you fear Allah more, and realize how vulnerable you are. Its something with age I suppose that makes you see your sins more clearly, and wonder if God the most Merciful would ever forgive you, and if you'll ever be able to reduce your sins. The older you get, the more time you've spent sinning, the less time you have to repent, the more tears you've accumulated to shed in your prayers.

At this time of my life, I don't need a sensational reciter to put me to tears. I'll prefer a less crowded mosque with a mediocre reciter over Jebril in an unpleasantly crowded street with people weeping and wailing that it hurts your ears.

After mending my reasons abit for going to Taraweeh, I'd still try to go pray them behind Jebril to get the benefit of both, the pleasure and the thawab. But I stopped going to his taraweeh prayers a while back after it turned into a mass idol worshipping party. Literally, surrounded by hunderds of thousands of people who seem to be partying. It takes Jebril half an hour to get from the mosques door to the imamah area because people want to touch him and take a peek at that 'saint'!

But I still love his recitation, and it was wonderful to pray behind him in a respectful setting like yesterday's.


egyptiansally said...

Mohamed Gibril ennunciates his words very clearly so that a non-native speaker/reader like myself can follow along easily. But I hear you on the idol status. He came to Florida a couple of years ago and people were in frenzy to pray with him.

I like a lesser known sheik much better though. Saad El Ghamedy's voice is absolutely mesmerizing.

Mohamed said...

Yes, elGhamdy is good, Hutheify and Mashary, and ofcourse AbdelBaset and many many more (most of them I don't know). But here's a pretty comprehensive list of different reciters with different readings.

Me, Myself and I said...

Mo..i loved the way you described ur feeling reading or hearing the Koran recital by Jebril (he is not my favourite though) ..never been able to articulate it that well...i actually used to feel strange that either praying or even raeding the koran i do not do it becoz it is required and or the thawab part of it but rather i love that the words hit a cord in me, the rythum and the meaining behind them (i catch the big meanings..have difficulty with many if not most of the words though) I particularly love the last part (called jozee Amma) i just meditate listening to it, and everytime i listen to it-i do every mrng actually on my ear phones it is just an overwhelmeing experience-Mashary is my guy. Unfortunatly i am not a gammaa praying person, I feel more comfortable and focused doing it alone-been criticized by some though but i really do not care...I prayed once in a mosque...v. bad choice , el hussein for el fajar once in ramadan, it was a very unspirtual rather offensive experience..

Orientalism said...

Mashary rashed is my favourite, Soorat Al-Rahman gets me closer to tears when I hear it recited by him. I have a 3 complete Husary,rashed and ghamdi Koran recitations on my ipod, that in addition to the Beastie boys, harper, dylan,cluade challe, tiesto,various cafe del mars and loads of other stuff.I find it very amusing to be able to switch from Husary to black sabbath in a second :)

Dalulla said...

Lucky you! Mohammed Gibreel is blessed with a great voice (masha'allah) I also like Mashary Rashed.. I pray some day we all end up memorizing and living accordingly to the teachings of the Holy Quraan. I also pray some day our mosques are packed with people, not only in Ramadan, but all through out the year..

A Mans said...

I totally agree with you, and could not have said it any better. Sheikh Gibreel is my all time favourite as well...I have been going around him for years....and like you said, I dont really give any attention to what is said sometimes about him, I only care about his talent masha2 Allah...Because to me, I adore the reciter....but Jebril the person, well he is like any other person who can do mistakes (like all of us).....

Yasmin said...

Nice blog btw.

I never pay much attention to the person behind the voice, Mr. Jebril has the most beuatiful Voice I have heard in years, if he was not a sheik, he could have been a great signer. therefore, I don't understand why the emphesis on his personality or what have you.

To me when I hear the Quran, no matter who is reciting, It brings tears to my eyes, and the Fear of Allah in my heart. Also I am feel very close to Allah like now other time.

Zakaria Abu Cumar said...

Asalamu Alaykum, brother & sisters (May allah bless you all with Jannah!)

The first time i heard Qari Sheik Muhammad Jebril i was overwhelmed. The fact that someone can deliver the quran the way he does. I also love his Dua's and his Atkar!

I don't really have a faviroute recitore because they are all blessed in different ways. But i really like Saad Ghamdi and Salah Bukhatir etc. Idon't really care who is reciting the Quran because is it's not about the voice of the qari to me. I'ts about the words of Allah SWT

I love the fact you all mashalah show interest in our deen. Make dua for and your brothers and siters Inshalah! Allhu Akabr

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