Cairo:Mohammed Abdel Wahhab el-Tantawi, a well-known Egyptian reciter of the Holy Quran, has died. He was believed to be more than 70.
Egyptian media said on Wednesday that Tantawi, known for his hearty and emotional recitations of the holy book, died earlier in the day after a long battle with heart disease.
Tantawi was also a hafiz, a term used to distinguish those who have memorized the Quran in full. He became a professional reciter in 1969, when he was admitted to Al Azhar University, Egypt’s top religious authority. His voice was on air in radio stations across Egypt’s Delta region in the 1980s.
The reciter was popular in many Muslim countries, as it normally goes for Egyptian masters of the art. Many in Iran viewed him as an icon and Tantawi used to relish the memories of his single trip to the country in 2009.
Iran’s Higher Council of Quran issued a statement and offered condolences on the death of “the distinguished reciter”.
The al-Masriyoun news website said Mohammed Mukhtar, Egypt’s Minister of Religious Endowments (Awqaf), will attend the burial ceremony of Tantawi, which is planned for Thursday in his birthplace, a village near the city of Mansoura, the capital of the northern province of Dakahlia.