Shaikhul Qurra Mawlana Qari Muhammad Yusuf (Rah.)
In January ,1966 in West Pakistan,the worlds first organization (اتحاد القراء) of Quran Reciters , ‘ جمعية تلاوة القرأن الكريم الدولية (اقرأ)‘ / International Quran Recitation Association (IQRA)’ was established.Quran Reciters of 17 countries attended the conference and they were selected as life members of IQRA.
Qari Muhammad Yusuf was then selected as one of the Executive member of IQRA.
In 1991, Shaikhul Qurra Qari Muhammad Yusuf managed to reactivate reactivate the activities International Quran Recitation Association (IQRA) in Bangladesh as its President.
Born: 15th January, 1938, Chittagong,the then Indian Subcontinent (after Independence Bangladesh)
Early life & Education: Qari Muhammad Yusuf is one of the renowned Reciter of Quran in the Asian region. He was born in a village called Daulatpur of Patiya in Chittagong,the then Indian Subcontinent (after independence Bangladesh). At the age of 5 he started his early child Quranic education to Mawlana Khayer Ahmad. At 7,he started memorizing (Hifz) Quran at ‘Madrasah Islamia Ziri’ Chittagong, and after completion of Hifz he got admitted into the same institution for higher education in ‘Daora-e-hadis’.In 1957 he completed his education and went to West Pakistan for studying Qira’at.There he admitted into the finest ‘Qira’at institute’ called ‘Madrasah Darul-Quran’ at lazvella in Karachi, founded by Qari Zaher Qasemi.Qari Muhammad Yusuf studied Qira’at from Ustad Qari Ali Muhammad Sharfuddin of Yemen,Ustad Qari Habibullah Khan of Afghanistan (his written books of Qira’at are popular in the subcontinent),and Ustad Qari Muhammad Iliyas of Pakistan. Qari Muhammad Yusuf was strongly influenced and affected by the recitation of Sheikh Mustafa Ismaeel and Sheikh Abdul Basit Muhammad Abdus Samad. He studied Qira’at for 5 years and completed in 1962.
Qari Muhammad Yusuf was the first Bengali who achieved his ‘Ijaza’ on Qira’at of Imam Asem(RA)( قراءات امام عاصم) which comes successively from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ through his descendants.
Travels and achievements: In 1960 Qari Muhammad Yusuf joined Radio Pakistan (Karachi) being the first and only one Bengali Qari.
In 1962, he participated in ‘All Pakistan Qira’at Competition’ held at Arambag, Karachi in West Pakistan and won the 2nd prize with Silver Medal.
Sheikh Qari Ahmad Bin Yusuf Al-Azhari
Sheikh Qari Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa(Egypt)
International Secretary (2016- )
Qari Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa is the topmost Qari in the present world.He attended the 16th International Quran Recitation Conference Bangladesh in 2016 organized by International Quran Recitation Association(IQRA) and he was selected as the International Secretary of IQRA.
Born: 15th March 1945, Motobas city,in the province of Kafr-El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa completed his elementary and secondary education in the ‘Motobas’ schools, and he completed his high school education in ‘Rashid’ in “Al Beheira” Governorate. After that, he joined the faculty of medicine in the University of Alexandria, and he worked at the University hospital in Alexandria. Later on, he was appointed as the vice director at the University children’s hospital, and also a vice director at the therapeutic institution in the same city. Moreover, Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa has a master’s and doctorate degree in pediatrics.
Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa was able to completely memorize the holy Quran at only the age of eight years old, and he learned the art of “Tajweed” under the supervision of Sheikh Ahmad Al Shawa. He used to listen regularly to the best Quran Reciters via the radio, and he always tried to mimic and copy them, including:- Sheikh Muhammad Refaat,Sheikh Abdul Basit Muhammad Abdus samad, and Sheikh Abul Ai’nain Sha’esha , but he was strongly influenced and affected by Sheikh Mustafa Ismaeel who was his idol and whom he appreciated very much, he also imitated splendidly his Quran reading style to the extent of matching. Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa’s most memorable testimony about Sheikh Mustafa Ismaeel was: “After that my love and appreciation for him grew stronger, I’ve gotten to know him closely when I went to the faculty of medicine in Alexandria. I found out that he is the most complete Sheikh, because he had several ways of teaching and preaching.”
Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa once told noted by composer Ammar El-Shereii-
Sheikh Mustafa Ismaeel is not just one sheikh. He is several methods and sheikhs in one. You can find all musical forms in his recitation. Whenever I hear a sheikh say something, I remember that Sheikh [Ismail] had said it before. Reciters have failed to come up with anything new after him. He moves easily between Maqamat, and never went off tune. The listener’s ear never feels tired of him, because he always intrigues his listeners. He is creative in his Qafalat [endings]. I can often predict qafalat, but his are always unexpected.
Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa had the privilege to study the ‘Ten Readings/Qira’at Ashara” under the supervision of ‘Sheikh Mohammad Farid Al Nomani’ and his wife ‘Sheikha Umme Saad’, as he used to learn with them every day after “Fajr” prayer for two hours before heading to the University.
Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa became famous because of his special voice, and he was strongly approached by the associations and the mosques. He used to read the holy Quran in the “Youth Muslims” association, which was under the supervision of Dr. Ahmed Darwish, the health minister at the time.
The year of 1967 witnessed a marking event in Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa’s life. The President of Egypt Anwar Sadat listened to his Quran reading in an air force ceremony, just when Ahmed Neanaa finished his studies and joined the Egyptian Navy.
His “Tajweed” was very appreciated by the president Anwar Sadat, who listened to his readings two more times and showed his attachment to him by recruiting him in his special secretariat as a Personal Doctor. Anwar Sadat also ordered that Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa will read the Quran wherever he goes. As a result, he was named “The Presidency Quran Reader”, and he kept this name even during the reign of the former president “Hosni Mubarak”, as he used to read in his special celebrations.
Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Ahmed Neanaa was fortunate to read in front of the most famous and popular kings and presidents, as he traveled several countries around the world.