Shaikh Muhammad Sulaiman Al mohisni.

Today the 23rd of Ramadan 1431 AH. I write this as I sit inside Masjidul Qatri, Azeeziyya, Makkah al Mukarrama.  I have more than two hours to stand for the Tahajjud prayer that’s prayed in congregation. The Front rows are already filled up with men from  all corners of the world, mostly Arabs. There is nothing particular about this Masjid that makes prayer different here. The Grand Masjid of Makkah is only 3 KM away from where I am now. The specialty is all about the Shaikh who leads prayer here.  He is Shaikh Muhammad bin Sulaiman Almohisni, a reciter whom much of Muslim world knows. As I roll back my memories back  to twenty three years, there is this Shaikh coming to my life as my most valued treasure. That was when my father first brought to our home an audio cassette to make easy our memorization of Glorious Quran. There from on, my heart embraced a voice that was never to replace with anyone else. There may be more of others who are melodious and better at breath and length, yet, my heart has favored this Shaikh above all. I believe, I would have surely lost something precious in life if this Imam was not to come in my way. Many things we miss in life, but realize about it’s value only when we attain it. Also we often underestimate the value of a blessing until we lose it. Every blessing might seem to external eyes as a co-incidence but in reality it was a Plan of Allah for He wished good for me in this life. So that I may enjoy listening to His words. So that the sweetness of Quran be tasted a little.

One may wonder why anyone should pray in a Masjid that’s close to Masjid alHaram, the grand mosque. Where in fact praying in Majidul  Haram is of greater reward and far better. I say what brought me here is my heart which loved a nectar that tasted sweeter and a journey in sought of someone whom my heart loves for this sake. Love comes from the core of the heart and it has got no valid explanation or explicit reasons.

Years and years have passed after I got the first audio recording of this Shaikh Muhammad AlMuhysini from my father. That was a cassette of Taraweeh prayer 1407 AH reciting chapters from Surah Al-hujrat to Al-tahreem. That made us memorize that parts easily, not only that, it made those chapters firm seated in the heart.

Today after many years I pray behind this Shaikh. What’s more enjoyable in life than standing in prayer while listening to a beautiful recitation. While the heart is filled with ecstasy and eyes overflow as tears. One of the signs of guidance is that your heart warms up or feels the effect of glorious Quran being recited. Every element has a substance to cleanse-up, for the heart it’s the Quran. When you are reciting or listening to Quran, your heart is receiving something that’s pure. Pure which hasn’t been touched or modified by any of creations. Everything in this world is contaminated. Glorious Quran is preserved as it was. Protected from all corners by Allah. “Falsehood cannot come at it from before it or behind it. (It is) a revelation from the Wise, the Owner of Praise” (Quran). The recitation of Shaikh Sulaiman Almohisni takes you to that corner of the heart where eyes are forced to flow as tears even if you don’t want to. Where ecstacy reaches it’s peaks. The place where you forget everything in this life and realizes deap within that there is higher meaning to this life. Realizes that someone other than you controls the heart and not you. That man is not just flush and life, but a creation that is blessed with faculties that makes him high above angels. When eternal life is visible within the souls and forgets the eartly life. So is the recitation of Mohammad AlMohisni. Powerful and deep penetrated in the heart. A bullet can kill a mighty elephant, but what has it to do when thrown with a powerful hand. Not even a small cat gets killed. It has to be triggered placing within the gun and shoot. Bullet has got it’s place, so are the verses of Glorious Quran. Someone whose heart has absorbed it, brings changes in others as well. When recited, bring changes in all those whom Allah has wished guidance through His words.

It was in the summer of year 1989 we had our stay in Makkah AlMukarrama. My father had gone through various attempts of getting an admission to a school, but time wasn’t ripe. We then gave the time it’s time and went for what we could read. Allah in His plans had planned me and my brother to memorize Glorious Quran and then later to continue our schools. It all took an effort of a year and a half, in the Halqas (circles) of Masjidul Haraam. Where thousands of students where taught between Asr and Isha prayers. Each fifty or so students would have a teacher and we had our teachers from Pakistan and other from Yemen. The Yemenite had no eyes, still he would recite without a single error any chapter of Glorious Quran. For us  those parts I could get the audio collection of Shaikh Sulaiman Al Muhaisini, things were easier than rest. To make clear, it took a year to finish the ten Juz (paras) while it took only six months to complete the rest of twenty. So that easy was it. Allah (swt) put in our hearts the love for his recitation. My father would bring only one at a time. So we listened to the one we have repeatedly and we would dream about getting the next one.  Sweeteness of a honey is tasted sweeter when taken in small quantity and we feel the joy of the taste. 

How does Shaikh Sulaiman Al Muhaisni differ from others. What’s so particular about this person that distinguishes from many other reciters. For this I have to give few insights. The Muslim world had witnessed the emergence of great Qaris (recitors) by the mid of last century. The world could know about each of them mainly because the audio recordings were becoming popular. So a heavenly voice of Shaikh Abdul Basit could be heard from far west to a village in the east. Unlike before, where the goodness of a man and his arts was limited to within the village or a valley. Gone are the days when voice of a good recitor could only be shared within the community he was living in. So it was the emergence of great Qaris, specially from Egypt. As the saying goes, Quran revealed in Makkah and is recited in Egypt and practiced India. Shaikh Abdul Basit, shaikh Munshawi, shaikh Tablawi May Allah have mercy on them all had their best time. Most of Qaris had their focus on balancing their breath and tuning to the best of the beauty of being recited. Abdul basit abdul samad  may Allah shower mercy upon topped amongst all in beauty of recitation, breath, sound Tajwee and so on.  Many hours of a day he would spend in struggling for the best. So when Jannah meaning paradise was recited, the main concern was over the weight and measurement of the letter noon to be perfected. Each verse repeated and recited in different tunes and in different versions or styles. Shaikh Sulaiman al Muhaisni differed in this. He was focusing on the real part of glorious Quran. The Jannah was focused to think about the meaning along with the rules of recitation. The verses of mercy and punishment made him cry easily. He not only cried and made others cry repeating the same verse. As if he was passing through the paradise and seeing the realities of hell in the verses followed. He was able to cry In a way that was so embracing the heart of listeners and hardly could anyone resist. He would repeat such verses more than once and their goes the whole Masjid bursting.  Irresistible, overwhelming. The power of Glorious Quran was little bit e in a experienced in a way. Some may think and say this is because one knows the meanings.  But that’s not exactly right. It’s true to an extend that knowing meanings is a part. The real reason behind crying when reciting Glorious Quran is the realization of the reality. A firm assurance of the heart about the words it’s going in. The heart reaches a state when it no more can consider words of Quran to be like any other words. It starts to feel the weight and most often would want to cry even if the eyes don’t will so. So this Shaikh as I believe is a Mujaddid (renower) in this subject of Islam. He was returning the Muslims to the Salaf Saliheen (the first pious generations of Islam). Here are few examples from their life and how did they recite Glorious Quran.

Ibn Mas`ood reported: “The Prophet said to me: “Recite the Quran to me”. I said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Shall I recite the Quran to you, when it has been revealed to you?” He replied: “I love to hear it recited by others”. So I recited to him a portion from Chapter An-Nisaa’. When I reached the verse (which means): “How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?” [Quran: 4:41]. He said: “Enough for now”. When I looked at him I saw his eyes were shedding tears”. [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim].

 “And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognise the truth: they pray: “Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses.” (Quran:5:83)

`Abdullaah Ibn Ash-Shikhkheer reported: “I came to the Messenger of Allaah when he was performing prayers. He was sobbing and his chest sounded like a boiling kettle”. [Abu Daawood & At-Tirmithi].

Once Abu Moosaa delivered the Friday Khutbah in the city of Basrah (of Iraq) and mentioned Hell and started crying so hard to the point that his tears wet the pulpit. This seen made people collectively cry very hard that day.

Naafi’ said: “Whenever Ibn ‘Umar would recite the saying of Allaah (which means): “Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allaah and what has come down of the truth?” [Quran: 57: 16] he would cry extremely hard and could not control himself

Masrooq said: “’Aa’ishah recited the saying of Allaah (which means): “So Allaah conferred favor upon us and protected us from the punishment of the Scorching Fire” [Quran: 52: 27] she cried and said: `O Allaah! Confer Your favor upon me and protect me from the punishment of the scorning Fire”

Shaikh Sulaiman al Muhyaini had already conquired the heart of many Muslims.  It was the year 1407ah correspondingly 1988 when his fame became to its peak. Those who loved his recitation also loved this shaikh for its sake. I already developed a likeness of him deep in my heart. I would often  enquire where this Shaikh prays for Taraweeh. Those days the information technology being scarce and limited to lip services, I could get very little hint about his whereabouts.

Years and years had passed then; I have so far preserved some of his audio cassettes long after for twenty or more years. Only I lost them when everything became  available in better form over the Internet. I must have gone through his one recitation perhaps thousands and thousands of time. That increased nothing but being thirstier for it. They were my comforters of my loneliness and cooled my heart whenever listened. As a result, the heart could favor as best none other than the very Shaikh. In my life’s ups and down they helped me. As our weakness often keep us back from what’s really important in life.

Numerous times I had dreamed about seeing this noble Shaikh in real life. I did have dream twice of him in later years. Once it was that I dreamed Muhisni leading Taraweeh in a nearby Jami masjid  in my locality. Astonishingly that year, the very masjid had a Haafiz recitting whole of Quran in Tarweeh and the recitation were good. On another occasion I saw him in dream, it was myself personally meeting him. In our discussion we talked over many issues. I told him how I am grateful to him for I could memorize Glorious Quran easily listening to his beautiful recitation. For the later dream to realize in life, it took couple of years. That was again few years later when I was returned back to Jeddah Saudi Arabia, home land of my childhood years. I once had the chance of spending the last ten days of Ramadan in Masjidul Haram, then one day while walking through the shops outskirts of Harem, I heard from an Audio shop the recitation of Shaikh Muhisni. I instantly asked the shop keeper, do you know where this Shaikh is. He replied, well.. Shaikh Muhisni leads Taraweeh in Masjid Qatari. I asked him where the Masjid is, he said it’s in Azeeziya. That was all needed for me. Even a semi hint to that, I could have figured out. I set out for Azeeziya where we had stayed about 20 years back for 2 years, so the place was familiar to me. I was finally to Masjid Qatari for Taraweeh. As the time for Isha prayer was called out, Shaikh Muhaisni came out from his room and stood for prayer. He started reciting Surah Maryam for Isha and continued through Taraweeh. I followed the next day also praying behind the Shaikh. This day after Taraweeh prayer, shaikh was delayed a moment to return to his room. So the people took the chance of shaking hands and giving hugs. I never saw such a crowd rushing for any Shaikh as this. I also shook the hands. That was one of happy moments of my life.

His biography……

Birth:

Shaikh Mohammed -may Allah protect him- was born in 1385 in Riyadh (Hllat Alqsman) Region

Memorizing Qur’an:

Sheikh completed memorizing Qur’an in 1397 AH

At the age of 12 years.

He was credited with memorizing it after Allah to his father, the situation has continued to urge him to it and then to his Shaikh (Habibullah Alamuddin) by the group in charge of teaching the Qur’an in Riyadh under the leadership of Shaikh Abdul Rahman Firyaan may Allah have mercy on him.

This was at Mohammed Jarbou mosque in Riyadh

Birth:

Shaikh Mohammed -may Allah protect him- was born in 1385 in Riyadh (Hllat Alqsman) Region

Memorizing Qur’an:

Sheikh completed memorizing Qur’an in 1397 AH

At the age of 12 years.

He was credited with memorizing it after Allah to his father, the situation has continued to urge him to it and then to his Shaikh (Habibullah Alamuddin) by the group in charge of teaching the Qur’an in Riyadh under the leadership of Shaikh Abdul Rahman Firyaan may Allah have mercy on him.

This was at Mohammed Jarbou mosque in Riyadh

(Masjid Al-Mutawa),where Shaikh’s father was making Athan, may Allah have mercy on him

Then thanks to teaching Qur’an school with Mohammed bin Sinan’s management.

Imamate:

• First Time to Shaikh as an Imam was at 28th night of the year 1399 AH, At the age of 14 years in Riyadh

And then at Abbas Mosque, the years 1400 AH and 1401 AH in Riyadh and then he moved to Braidah to seek knowledge and to help his father in the commerce in 1402

And then he was The imam of the people in Ramadan in Annaz Mosque in Buraidah (Industry Street) in 1402 AH

.

Then in Ramadan in 1403 he prayed in Ar-Rbesh Mosque (old airport) and then he has been appointed as an imam for Al-Muhanna (Al-Fakhria) mosque in 1404 AH until 1409 AH

Then he moved on after Ramadan 1409 AH to Aba Al-Khail Mosque in the park, until 1415, in that year he moved to Mecca and continued the Imamate in 1417 Al-Qatari mosque until this day..

• Rhetoric:

In 1409, he began Rhetoric, his first speech was (stations with the pilgrims) then it was about time and the latest was (the death of Prophet) in 1415

• Jobs of Shaikh:

Shaikh took teaching Quran and Tajweed in Al-Fakhria mosque and park mosque.

In 1408 AH, He taught the Quran and its Sciences in Buraidah prison.

In 1410 AH he has been officially appointed as leader of The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice Branch As-Safra in Buraidah.

• Scientific Life:

• Most Prominent Shuyookh:

1 Shaikh: Saleh Bin Ibrahim may Allah have mercy on him.

2 Shaikh: Ali Saqabi may Allah have mercy on him.

3 Shaikh: Abdullah Daweesh

4 Shaikh: Saleh As-Sketi

5 Shaikh: Mohammed Al-Fahad

6 Shaikh: Mohammed Al-Mansour

And others….

• Social life:

Shaikh got married in 1403

he started to practice the trade from an early age in many areas of trade, he started in Buraidah and continued with it until this day and it was the main source for Saikh’s life.

• Miscellaneous:

• Shaikh participated in the first contest in the presence of Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamid may Allah have mercy on him and he was 8 years old.

• Also participated in the first contest for memorizing the Quran and he won the second rank.

And Allah bless and guide to the correct way, your brothers in site team.

Shaikh Abdul Rahman Sudais.

The days in Jeddah are rolling one over the other. It is like a book with one page printed on multiple pages. The same chapter repeating every day. Days start with normal sunrise and ends with sunset. Nothing is special except one has the peaceful life and self freedom without disturbing others. But things differ sometimes when I visit to Makah which is just an hour drive from here. The Masjidul Haram and the Ka’ba which is a black cubical structure located at the center of the grand Mosque is the core of it. Each time one sees it, send chills to the heart and veins even if one has seen it thousands of time. Something that makes your heart feels by looking at which is never the very same that you see in a pictures or in TVs.

Yesterday I was sitting in the Mataf or the central open area of Masjidul Haram, there is nothing more beautiful than spending sometimes there and watching the circling of the Ka’ba going on peacefully all the time. Different nationals and different colors. All circle and chant and name their One Lord.

I just then thought about writing what I know about some of its amazing personalities who has been serving their for long time. One of this is the Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais is the great Imam of the great grand mosque in Makkah. Everyone loves his beautiful sweet voice. Muslims stand as one when he recites the Holy Quran and there is no second opinion about his voice.

The Sheikh was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Al-Sudais comes from the Anza clan. He had memorized the Quran by the age of 12.
Growing up in Riyadh, Al-Sudais studied at the Al Muthana Bin Harith Elementary School, and afterwards the Riyadh Scientific Institution from which he graduated in 1979 with a grade of excellent.
He obtained a degree in Sharia from Riyadh University in 1983, and became an IFK (Islamic Fundamental Knowledge) lecturer after the conclusion of his study. He obtained his Master’s in Islamic fundamentals from the Sharia College of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in 1987 and received his Ph.D. in Islamic Sharia from Umm al-Qura University in 1995 while working there as an assistant professor after serving at Riyadh University.

It was in the summer days of 1989 I first got to this special place. The climate of Makkah is very hot in summer. I remember the pains of broken lips and skins in the severe heat. Though it burns the skins but it chills the heart. That’s the specialty of Makkah. The rocky mountains increasing the heat during the day times.

My father used to take us each day for the dawn prayer to the grand mosque which was only 5 or ten minutes drive. We lived at a place called ‘Azeeziya’ which is 3KM from outskirts of ‘Haram’ where my father was also working as an Engineer in a construction company. The place was nearest to ‘Muna’ where the piligrims camp during the Hajj days. The Masjidul Haram is really empty in the off-seasons. But the circling of Ka’aba never stops. It stops for few minutes only for a deed that is more important than it. That is the obligatory prayers.

Days went on; one day we came to hear of a voice so much differant from others. It was the best of recitation that I ever heard. This day, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais was reciting Sura’Al-Rahman for the Dawn Prayer. In those days his voice was sweeter and clearer. Our whole family lovedthe voice very much but did not know the name of the Imam who recited it. We started calling this Sheikh as ‘Our Imam’ because he was really ours. I loved it that much. As one walks through the old buildings and pathways on the outskirts of Masjidul Haram, we here the audio of Al-Sudais reciting. One day my father bought for me a cassette. CD’s were at that time not in the market. Sony was just testing it in its labs. Now my Imate alone can save thousands of Audio cassette in a micro-chip. The world has progressed a lot. Of course Makkah also have anymore old buildings today. Makkah is so much developed like any other metro cities. One can hardly recognize the old places now.

Again days went on, my father joined me and my brother for learning the Holy Quran within the Masjidul Haram. It was always a beautiful scene in the evening. Thousands of Little kids learning and reciting Holy Quran under many teachers separated 25 to 30 students under one Ustaz. The students of were of mix culture and nations, Arabs, Turkeys, Egyptians, Afghans, Pakistanis and Africans so on. It is all mix of color and nations. The thing I want to tell is that we were all trying our best to imitate Abdul Rahman Sudais for our recitations. He was the best for many of us. But how can a parrot though it is beautiful sing like a nightingale. How can the best voice of Hazrath Dawood (David)(PBUH) when he recited Zabor (Psalms) the mountains and birds sang and praised Allah along with him be equal with someone’s voice. Abdul Rahman Sudais was special in his voice.

Again days passed on. Every day I see this Sheikh coming for Asar prayer from Azeeziya driving his car. He had an old Chevrolet at that time which he drives and parks outside of Al-Jiyad gate. As he was a lecturer at Ummul Qura university, he comes hurriedly speeding for the Asar prayer. So it happened that one day I really got him in front of me. ‘Come on man’ I got the very ‘Sheikh in my hands. He was getting out of the gate after prayer and I gave him my little hands for a shake. He took my hands and said ‘Masha-Allah, walad salam’ in Arabic, meaning ‘Masha’Allah a little boy giving salam to me. Then my brother and little sister took also the chance. His hand was really a spongy and very cool. I could have better kissed it.

Again after few years our family shifted from Holy Makkah to its nearest city Jeddah. There me and my brother used to attend after Magrib prayers to revise the memorized parts of Holy Quran to a Sheikh. That mosque was called Masjid Abu Hanifa. One day after Maghrib I saw Abdul Rahman Sudais going out of this mosque. In fact he was praying behing my Ustaz. When I told him, he said let’s wait for Isha prayer. If we are lucky we will have Sudais lead the Isha prayer. But he was never seen later.

Then years passed on, I spend much of my time for further studies in India and I am back here again. Whenever I spend time in the Haram, all memories of my childhood pass through me. Those springs of life which never can be attained back but can remember and will last in dreams. The days and years passed on, Abdul Rahman Sudais’s voice is same as it was. But I think he was little sweeter and clearer those days. Of course he is getting older as everyone is. He joint Masjidul Haram at the age of 22 and now he is almost 46 years old. His voice is same but his heart I understand has gone softer and softer. He hardly can withstand the power of the Holy Quran when he recites. Even if he doesn’t want to cry, he frequently bursts into tears. How can the words that speak high above the tongs of a mortal man and can split asunder a mountain not soften the hearts that reflect. Now Abdul Rahman Sudais recites and listeners cry from behind. I tell my eyes to stop crying still it keeps weeping and the heart to stop sobbing still it hurts from his voice. For his voice I know comes from beneath his heart and the words that come out from heart will enter the hearts. It is never the same that we listen from Audio cassettes once we hear the voice directly in a prayer.

The best moments Masjidul Haram is the day of ‘Khatm’ in Ramazan. The 29th day, when the last para of Holy Quran is recited and Imam supplicates a lot. Masjidul Haram on this day is more filled than ever. Million and Millions. I hardly got a seat before Magrib prayer in the Mataf’ the open area. I know if I only getup even for a moment left or right, my place will be gone. Normally one Imam recites half the Para and another Imam the rest. This year Abdul Rahman sudais did not come after the first part was over and many of us was just disappointed. But atlast the Sheikh did come for ‘witr’ Prayer to complete and make the completion ‘Dua’. He was particularly called for the completion and the long ‘Dua’.

In 2005 Al-Sudais was named by the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) Organizing Committee as its 9th annual “Islamic Personality Of the Year” in recognition for his devotion to the Quran and Islam. When accepting his award in Dubai, he said: “The message of Islam and Muslims is modesty, fairness, security, stability, sympathy, harmony and kindness.” That was his message to the Muslims and the world all times. May Allah protect the rightScholars of this Umma who has come to spread the peaceful message of Islam , – Amen.

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