I don’t exactly remember when I came across his video first on YouTube but when I happened to see it after a long while again this Thursday night, it shook me. Really, I cannot describe with adequate words how I felt listening to him, watching him. He must be hardly eight in the video, young Hassan bin Abdullah Al Awadh, but his voice moves the heart.
So there I was at 1 am listening to him over and over and over again. Then I downloaded the audio into my iPod and listened to him before bed, the next morning, during my evening walk, when I got angry over something, on my way to back from college… you get the picture. By now, I’m sure I’ve gone on enough of a ramble to really stretch your patience.
(Translation of the recited verses available here: http://www.ummah.net/what-is-islam/quran/noble/nobe036.htm)
Who’s young Hassan then? A young boy who’s recited the initial verses of Surah Ya Seen in a video on YouTube, son of an Imam of a masjid in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. When they first put his video on YouTube, I don’t think they had an idea how would much people would love it… that it would trigger off a sharing spree. People ask if he has a CD out. The more inquisitive minds want to know who he is. Where does he live? Who taught him?
The Quran is not an ordinary book, it is the Word of Allah(swt) and when recited, especially by a Qari with an exquisite voice, it is difficult to stay dry-eyed. The eyes automatically well up with tears, a fluttery sensation fills the heart and you know it is not something any man could put forward. If you can understand Arabic to any extent, it carries massive weight and immediately affects you, feeling as if there’s no-one else around… just you and your Lord. The words have direct impact, anger and sadness subsides, leaving an intense motivation to get up, make something of yourself and please Allah(swt) the way he wants you to!
Watching and listening to Hassan made me wonder about so many things. The powerful words of Surah Ya Seen were themselves enough to prompt self analysis. However, it also made me wonder about the reciter himself, whom Allah(swt) has blessed with such a beautiful voice. It is evident that he is in the constant company of the best reciters, who’ve taught him so well MashAllah. I also thought about the kind of environment he must have at home that he’s reciting with all the intricate rules of Tajweed at an age so tender. His mother, what an amazing woman she must be to have raised such a sweet child, MashAllah! What lessons did she teach him, setting the solid foundation for a soul that seeks to purify itself? Really, the beautiful tones in which this child recites indicates all these things about his life – his inner self literally shines through… that’s how it is with reciting the Quran with a sincere heart.
I also wondered about his future. I hope and pray he becomes a scholar of Islam through the magnificent talents that he has, that Allah(swt) has made known to us about him. We need these young children to grow up in Islam, nurtured by sincere and upright Muslim families, to become the leaders of tomorrow. Confident in their faith, trusting in Allah(swt), drawing closer to Him through His Words… that is the process of purification that produces strong believers.
Hassan has recited other portions of the Quran and a small handful of videos of him during a visit to Bosnia in 2007 show him to be about twelve or thirteen years old. His voice has matured slightly with age, lowering in pitch, but of course that does not reduce the beauty of the recitation in any way. In fact, it made me so happy to know he’s reciting and will possibly come forward as a well known Qari as he grows older InshAllah. Based on his videos, he seems like a modest young boy, nonetheless confident… a mark of a person well grounded in faith, may Allah add strength to it! Only those with strong faith can remain modest and shy while so much attention is turned towards him but the Shaitan is always at play and thus, I pray for Hassan sincerely.
I’ve learned so much from Hassan just listening to him recite those verses full of meaning. I’ve also learned about the importance of giving children the right upbringing and the massive benefits of doing that. Hassan proves you can become very knowledgeable in the Quran even at a young age. Very frankly, if I ever have a son, I’d be greatly blessed in so many ways if I could teach him, guide him, inspire him to be like the cute little boy who moved my heart with his sweet voice. Alhumdolillah, I have Hassan’s example right before me to inspire and motivate my own self for something so crucial and so rewarding.