During the month of Ramadan, Muslims traditionally read the entire Quran. In August 2011, at the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, a well-known Quran reciter from Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Mohammad Alraee, led Ramadan worship every evening and completed the Quran recitation. Sheikh Alraee comes from a family of distinguished Quran reciters and teachers of Quran recitation and says he began memorizing the Quran at the age of four. Listen to the Quran being chanted and watch our interviews with Sheikh Alraee and with Muhammad Farooq, president of the mosque. Special thanks to Ismail Laher.
SHEIKH MOHAMMAD ALRAEE: When you are reciting the Quran you feel that you are talking to Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala [peace be upon Him], the creator, and you feel uplifted spiritually—not only the reciter, also the people who are listening as well. For each letter you get 10 blessings. When you listen to Quran, you are getting the same number of blessings as if you were reciter. It is God’s gift. I don’t believe that I could memorize this big book just on my own. It is from God.
DR. MUHAMMAD FAROOQ (President, Islamic Center Northern Virginia): When you have someone who is reciting in a sweet voice, then you are listening something which will impact your heart because, as we believe, words of Quran is from God. When he recites I feel like that I have sometimes goose bumps, sometimes I am overjoyed, sometimes I am literally crying, that it’s so powerful. We recite the Quran that we can understand what we are supposed to do, what God has given us the commands, what he’s saying to us and how we have to spend our life. If we understand Quran, then the chances are that we are going to do the exact same thing which God is asking us. We are being judged that what we have done. If there is something against God, he can forgive us if we asked for the forgiveness. In Islam we have the concept if you have done something wrong against any human being, you need to go back to that human being, you have to ask the forgiveness. A just society is the biggest blessing, and Quran is saying again and again in many ways that a just society is needed.
ALRAEE: Toward the end of Ramadan you feel sad that the blessing you were in you are going to be ending soon.
FAROOQ: This is such a blessing that we are able to finish. God has given us the chance to read the whole thing, and we try to remember the whole thing during the next coming year.