Sobbing and weeping while reciting the Quran
It has become common, of late, for people to recite the Qur'ân in a style that comprises a lot of affected weeping. Their recitation loses its sweetness as a consequence. It is closer to wailing than to a recitation. What do Islamic teachings say about this approach to reciting the Qur'ân?
Sheikh `Abd al-Rahmân al-Barrâk
The recitation of the Qur'ân is one of the best means of seeking nearness to Allah. It is an act of worship and devotion, and there are certain manners and etiquettes associated with it.
One of these etiquettes is to recite the Qur'ân in a style known as tartîl - which is to recite in a slow and measured tone.
Allah says: "And recite the Qur'an in slow, measured rhythmic tones." [Sûrah al-Muzammil: 4]
This is to be done without exaggeration or pretentiousness. It is not part of the recitation style of tartîl to change the natural tone of one's voice and exaggerate one's pronunciation. The recitation should be easy and without affectation.
This is emphasized by that fact that we are supposed to reflect on the meaning of the Qur'ân when we recite it or listen to it. We are supposed to pay attention to what the Qur'ân is saying.
Another of these etiquettes is for the reciter to beautify his voice. This also does not require any exaggeration or artifice, but simply to recite in a melodious voice.
Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He in not one of us who does not read the Qur'ân in a melodious voice." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (7527) and Sahîh Muslim (792)]
Whoever concocts an approach to reciting the Qur'ân that takes it away from what is natural and balanced - like affecting a sobbing tone which makes the recitation resemble wailing - then this is undesirable. Anything that introduces exaggeration or affectation into one's reading of the Qur'ân should be avoided. The best approach is one of moderation.
And Allah knows best.