picture: Mustafa Ismail recites among people!

I adore Mustafa Ismail!

I remember when I got his tapes for the first time, they were so beautiful and nice. Every day I would listen to one of his tapes which I really liked and never get tired. I found no voices as stunning as his voice. At the very first time I didn’t know his name, later I figured out that he was Mustafa Ismail(1), Akbar-ol-Qurra, the greatest Quran reciter in Egypt.

But why I choose Mustafa Ismail among all reciters? There was a quote: He recites Quran like it is being delivered from the heaven. How can someone recite Quran and stir up listener’s emotions as if it’s receiving from heaven?  Which voice has been so ear-catching that keeps its general and specific audience after four decades when its owner died, although Mustafa Ismail got less attention in comparison with the others?

The first point that may seem unimportant is communication with audience. Art is communication: communication between the artist the audience. In this way both got grown up and also the art work is shaped and become valuable. In this point Mustafa Ismail is a real deal. He was connected to the people more than any musician. Almost all his performances are given directly in front of the people. As he recites, when people like a part from his performance, they cheer and may ask him to repeat the part at the moment and he does. An audience sometimes puts the hands under the chin, got tired and moody and sometimes cheers with excitement. An artist takes this behavior into account as a benchmark to find out if his art works are beautiful or not? And this is the communication which helps the artist to grow and improve. It helps reciters to create a piece of art which shows the meaning and concept of verses and also stirs up audiences’ emotion and make them thirsty to think out about verses. Therefore, the creation of the art work includes two parts: one is predetermined and other is dynamic and related to the audiences.

Mustafa Ismail experiences a kind of artistic involvement with musical techniques in his work. He had a great and magical voice that made every audience eager in the beginning of his professional life. At the middle age, an accident happened and his voice got damaged. He turned this thread to an opportunity and created masterpieces. He performed all the melodies greatly.

But the most important factor is artistic tone, it means reciter must be able to induce an emotion to audiences. It’s expected that a reciter sings perfectly. But Mustafa Ismail is more than a simple reciter. He recites the surah Al-Haqqa as if Judgment Day is coming up. He recites verses about Paradise as if we’re surrounded by the Paradise. He recites verses about Hell and makes audiences frightened from its fire. He reads verses about power of the god strongly and powerfully and at the moment of solicitation he becomes humble and modest. And his audience adores his tone and technique more than his voice. Here we can understand Mustafa Ismail’s art that how he can create his special theme, so far as not damages other recite rules and also make audiences enthusiastic to think about the verses and give their hands, bring them up and make them rich and glad.

Masterpieces (no priority):

Key words: the Holy Quran ,art, music, technique, form, content, audience, art work

(1): Mostafa Ismail is an Egyptian reciter and along with AbdulBasit and Al-Minshawi, he is one the three great reciter.