Question: What is meant by reciting Qur’aan in a melodious voice?
Answer: Praise be to Allaah.
In the saheeh Sunnah it is encouraged to recite the Qur’aan in a melodious voice, i.e., making the voice beautiful when reciting it. It does not mean that one should recite it as if singing, rather what is meant is that one should make the voice beautiful when reciting. For example the saheeh hadeeth says: “Allaah never listens to anything as He listens to a Prophet with a beautiful voice reciting the Qur’aan out loud” and “He is not one of us who does not recite Qur’aan in a melodious voice when reciting it out loud.” What this means is making the voice beautiful, as stated above.
The meaning of the hadeeth quoted above refers to listening in a manner that is befitting to Allaah and it is not like the attributes of His creation, as is the case with all His other attributes. It may be said of His listening that it is like His other attributes, that it is in a manner that is befitting to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, and there is nothing like unto Him, may He be glorified and exalted. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer” [al-Shoora 42:11]. Reciting in a melodious tone means reciting out loud and making the voice beautiful and with proper focus, so that the heart is moved, because the aim is to stir the heart with this Qur’aan, so that people will fear Allaah and so that they will find peace and benefit from it. An example of this is the story of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him), when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by him as he was reciting Qur’aan, and he started listening to him and said: “You have been given a beautiful voice like the beautiful voices of the family of Dawood.” When Abu Moosa came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him about that and Abu Moosa said: If I had known, O Messenger of Allaah, that you were listening, I would have made it very beautiful indeed. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not denounce him for that, which indicates that making the voice beautiful and being careful in reciting is something that is required, so that both the reader and the listener will focus properly and will both benefit.
[Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) (11/348-350)]