Professional class of reciters of the Qur'an. Muhammad's early disciples often memorized his divine revelations, and even after the Qur'an was assembled in written form, it was common for pious Muslims to memorize it in its entirety. Such reciters were often called on by scholars to elucidate points of pronunciation and meaning, and by the 9th century they formed an established class. Religious men employed in mosques still memorize the Qur'an to aid them in interpreting its revelations to the faithful. In some Arab countries the professional duties of reciting the Qur'an are usually reserved for blind men.
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