Late on Thursday, Cape Town lost a remarkable visionary who mastered the art of Qur’an tilaawat, Qari Ighsaan Taliep. The Qari passed away after falling ill following a trip to Morocco. As a man who was known for his love of the Qur’an and who passed his talent to his many students, the Qari’s passing has certainly been met with great sadness. While the Qari hailed from a family filled with huffath, his unique style of reciting will forever be remembered as an incomparable art.
To gain insight into the Qari’s early years and his training as a qari, VOC spoke to the second cousin of the Qari, Shaykh Ismail Londt.
Londt explained that while no words can capture the man that Qari Taliep was, the qari and his family was renowned for the talents that they harnessed and were much respected for the role that they played within Cape Town.
As a family member who lived in close proximity to the Taliep family, Londt revealed that his own love for the Qur’an was cemented with his many visits to the Taliep household, where the Qur’an was constantly being heard.
“There father made the effort to fill the house with the sound of the Qur’an. Hats off to his parents that produced six sons and one daughter, who have all memorised the Quran and had the honour of being blessed with beautiful voices,” Londt stated.
Growing up in Landsdowne, Qari Taliep studied under the late Imam Achmad ‘Ponnie’ Moos in his early years. He later learnt under imam Salih Abadi and imam Abdurrahman Sadien, and recited alongside the imam’s on many occasions.
Taliep was subsequently accepted to study in Madina, where his brother Riedwaan Taliep was already studying.
Staying true the methods of the greatest qurra, Londt says that when Taliep recited the Holy Qur‘an, the Qari swept into ‘his zone’.
“Shaykh Ighsaan was never hesitant to recite Qur’an. It was his love and it was his art. Anyone who ever witness him recite would notice that he would completely cut off form everything around him and become engrossed in his recitation.”
As testament to his talent, during his time at the University of Madina, in Saudi Arabia, Taliep was chosen to lead the prayers in which the Qur’an is vocalised.
“For him to have been passed and accepted to this, he had to present himself to the grand shaykh of the time, shaykh Ibrahim al Akhbar, who was a senior in Qur’anic recital. Al-Akhbar was an authority not only at the university, but in Saudi Arabia,” Londt said.
He adds that Taliep accompanied the renowned Qari, Shaykh Abdurahmaan Sadien, on his recital tour to Germany and was very soon in his career regarded by many as one of the best reciters of the Cape.
“In the early 1980’s, Shaykh Ighsaan, his brothers, Shaykh Abdurahman Sadien, shaykh Abdul Rasheed Brown (al-Marhoom) and his brother Adiel, they recited publically and their group developed into what was known as the ‘Cape Qari’s’. They kept the Qur’an alive in the Cape.”
Londt further notes that he cemented his relationship with his cousin when the pair studied together in Egypt.
“Almost every day I was with him and later when I got married it was him, his wife and me and mine that supported each other. We were honoured to have shared one shaykh that we received certification from and we had the honour of reciting in taraweeh together,” Londt lamented.
Giving insight into the character of Taliep, Londt explains that while travelling reveals an individual’s true self, Taliep always remained a formidable individual.
He says that Taliep was not a fan of watching television or movies; he would instead read a newspaper and constantly busied himself with various tasks.
While the news of Qari Taliep’s passing was met with great sadness, Londt says that the manner in which the Qari led his life, as a servant of the Almighty who loved the Holy Qur’an, has granted his loved ones a level of ease.
“We pray Allah blesses his soul, we pray Allah places sabr in the heart of his family and students, and we pray that whatever he managed to convey to his students that they pass it on so that he benefits in his qabr and in the Akhira,” Londt continued.
The janaza will depart from Middle Road, Schaapkraal, at 3pm on Friday and janaza salah will be performed at the Habibia Masjid, proceeding to the Johnson Road Maqbara.