Mohammad Murshid Naji

A Music Historian, Composer, and Singer.

Al-Murshidi was born on November 6, 1929, in Sheikh Othman, Aden Governorate.

He received his initial education and memorized the Noble Qur’an at an early age, then he joined a public school in Sheikh Othman, where he completed primary school with distinction. He moved to the missionary school in Crater, known as (Al-Badri School), then went to school again to learn the English Language.

His journey in singing started from home, where his father was talented in singing and practiced singing on a daily basis. After that he learned to play the lute and became famous in the artistic community, the poet Idris Hanbala offered him to join the Adeni Musical Symposium, a symposium which at that period gathered fans of the Adani song.

In the musical symposium, the poet Mohammad Saeed Jarara, who was impressed with Naji’s voice, presented him with the poem “Waqfah” in 1951. Naji then composed a tune for it, which was his first and most successful song. Radio Aden, which was founded in 1954, also contributed to his public representation, and by the mid-sixties, his popularity surpassed Yemen through his artistic participation in a number of Arab Gulf states.

Abu Bakr Salem on the stage of the National Theater in Aden in 1982

His artistic experience spanned nearly six decades, during which he contributed to the enrichment and development of the Yemeni song. He also participated in the revival and dissemination of the rich and varied Yemeni singing heritage at a local level and through the Arabian Peninsula. He was known for a special and distinguished performance in his songs and excelled in all the styles of the Yemeni song, including Hadrami and Lahj. Also, some critics consider him the biggest contributor to pushing the Sanani song out of its narrow range.

Muhammad Murshid Naji died on February 7, 2013, with heart disease. His body was buried in the Rahman Cemetery in Aden.

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