You may have heard of Saud Al-Shuraim from Saudi Arabia and his heart melting Qur’an recitation.
Well, locally his namesake happens to have taken the same path.
Meet Shuraim Issack Hassannur. At only 16, Shuraim has for the better part of this Ramadhan 1440 A.H. led Taraweeh prayer at Masjid Noor-River Bank, Tassia, Nairobi. It is also here that he attends madrassa classes.
Shuraim is also a pupil at Embakasi Garisson Secondary School and in Form one and has been juggling school books and memorising the holy Qur’an just in time for the prayer.
Muslim Times 3600 managed to track down Shuraim to establish the highs and lows that come with the responsibilities of being a young Qari (Qur’an reciter) during Ramadhan night prayers known as Taraweeh as well as Tahajjud.
According to Shuraim, his schedule in madrassa starts in the morning from 8 to 10a.m with Tahfid (Qur’an memorisation) lessons before later on embarking on Taalim.
However, this may change in view of the fact that he has to attend school.
Usually, Taraweeh (night prayers) start as soon as after Isha prayer concludes and may end at around 9:30 or 10p.m daily during Ramadhan depending on the Rakahs (prescribed movements and words followed by Muslims while offering prayers) to be performed.
Therefore in a preparation, Shuraim says that he goes through the verses and chapters to be read that night from the point he and the congregation terminated the previous night.
Among his favourite tactics Shuraim deploys is that of memorizing a verse for two minutes before having someone listen and offer possible corrections where he falters. “I recite several times from the start till where I have we shall conclude.”
Asked if he falters, Shuraim concurs that it is a normal occurrence during the marathon Taraweeh prayers.
“It is normal not to recall a verse or get mixed up somehow. However, I usually keep quite for a while giving my Ustadh, Siad Hassan, as well as the congregation a chance to chip in and correct me,” he says.
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Incidentally, this is the third time Shuraim is leading Muslim faithful at Masjid Noor-River Bank, Tassia in Taraweeh prayers.
For this achievement, Shuraim has been receiving congratulatory messages from faithful attending Taraweeh who say that ‘We have a new Sheikh now’.
Shuraim is shy to talk about how his family and friends look upon him for his feat, instead he credits it to Allah.
“During the first time, dad hugged me. He is proud of me. They (parents) are happy and grateful to Allah and tell me that I am trending on a ‘straight path’ and that jana (paradise) is for me. I am also grateful to them for taking me to madrassa. It’s all because of Allah!”
Friends in and out madrassa also view him as a role model.
According to Shuraim, he is not yet done and has set sight on making more effort come next Ramadhan. “I will work hard to perfect my skills and with the help of Allah and my Ustadh, I will make it.”
Besides his achievements in being a Qari, Shuraim says that this memorisation skill has also helped him perform better in school.
“When one memorises Allah’s book, He eases the burdens in your life. Thus, He has helped me get good grades in school.”
Shuraim’s self-esteem and confidence have been boosted owing to his recitation skills. “I can stand up to talk and express myself to many people.”
Every Saturday during Ramadhan when not busy memorising the holy Qur’an or studying for school work, Shuraim has been making visits to Muslim homes to those unable to come to the mosque for one reason or another reminding them of Allah’s word and giving out dates and water.
Incidentally, Shuraim says that he briefly stands in for his Ustadh at the madrassa.
“I have several times been asked to oversee and guide fellow madrassa students when the Ustadh is not in. I correct and guide them on how best they can recite or memorise the holy Qur’an and update Ustadh on progress when he comes back.”
According to Ustadh Siad Hassan his mentor and madrassa teacher, Shuraim’s future is bright if he continues with same momentum.
“It is true that juggling to memorise the holy Qur’an and school books has not been easy for him. Otherwise, he would have performed better. I have counselled and continue to encouraged him.”