Moulana Abdullah Qureshi Al Azhari has, for over 50 years, cast a spell on Hyderabadis for his recitation of the Quran

If the magnificent Mecca Masjid leaves one ecstatic, the recital of the Quran here simply takes one's breath away. Those who flock to this historic mosque have primarily two things in mind – to see its regal structure and to listen to the recital of Moulana Abdullah Qureshi Al Azhari.

For more than half a century he has cast a mesmeric spell on Hyderabadis. Those who listen to his unique recital of Quran once remain his fans forever. No wonder many persons make it a point to offer the Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid regularly just to listen to his Qirat. During Ramzan too many prefer to offer the special ‘Taraweeh' prayers behind him wherein he recites three chapters of the Quran.

Impressing the Prince

At 77, Moulana Qureshi has not lost his zest for reciting the Quran. Even at this age he teaches the art of recital to scores of persons and works as the deputy vice chancellor of Jamia Nizamia.

An Arabic scholar, he picked up the unique way of reciting the Quran from Al Azhar University, Egypt, where he completed ‘Shahadatul Aliya' and ‘Shahdatut Taqassus'. After his return in 1973, Prince Mukkarram Jah Bahadur was so impressed by his Qirat that he set up an institute for teaching ‘tajweed' with Moulana Qureshi as its head.

On Tuesday, hundreds of persons flocked to Mecca Masjid where he was felicitated for completing 50 years of service to the Quran. Interestingly, Moulana Qureshi has been the Khateeb of Mecca Masjid for the last 25 years. His Friday sermons rendered in Arabic are known for their versatility and topicality.

A regular

Though he has difficulty walking, Moulana Qureshi leads the prayers with unfailing regularity. “As long as I have strength I will discharge my duties,” he says. His father, Mohd Abdul Raheem, was also an Imam at Mecca Masjid.

The aging scholar has no children of his own, but is always surrounded by a legion of students whom he considers his spiritual progeny.

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