Leila Tehranchian is the first female singer ever to have released a recording of the Rabbana prayer pronounced during the holy month of Ramadan.
Ms. Tehranchian’s version of the Rabbana prayer is, however, only available on the Internet. Neither Iranian state radio and TV (IRIB) nor the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has approved the release of Tehranchian’s recording of the song.
The Islamic Republic bans female solo artists from performing or recording their songs. Many women singers have instead released their works on social media in recent years.
Tehranchian thanked her followers on Twitter. “Our Lord! (they say), let not our hearts deviate now after thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from thine own presence; for thou art the grantor of bounties without measure”, she tweeted, quoting a passage from the Rabbana prayer.
Tehranchian is a graduate of Tehran University’s School of Design and Architecture. She has released many classic songs including Migorizam (I flee), Khandeye Marg (Death’s Smile) and Cheshme Narges (Narges’ Eye.)
She has also worked as a set and costume designer on a number of films including “Hashtpa” (Octopus), “Kheilee Door va Kheilee Nazdeek” (Very Far and Too Close.)
Rabbana focuses the mind and spirit of the faithful on prayer and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. The prayer comprises four Qoranic verses.
The song is traditionally performed in Segah (“three times”) which is one of the seven Dastgah (devices) in classical Iranian music.
Iranian classical singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian and a prominent Qoranic reciter Seyyed Javad Zabihi have produced what are arguably the most popular versions of the Rabbana prayer.
The authorities jailed the late Mr. Zabihi and destroyed many of his works after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He was dragged out of his house and brutally murdered.
The security forces have continuously harassed Mr. Shajarian since the controversial 2009 presidential elections, which triggered a wave of nationwide protests. The IRIB has since stopped broadcasting Shajarian’s rendition of the Rabbana prayer.