Indeed the outward appearance of a Muslim is very important. It is not sufficient for a person to be satisfied with the inner purity of his heart. We will be held accountable in the sight of Allah for our Zaahir (outward) and Baatin (inner).
Nevertheless, this shouldn’t discourage one from learning the fantastic art of Qiraa’ah from the best. If given the opportunity to learn from the Qurraa (masters of Qur’anic recitation) of Egypt then one must fully benefit from it. Not everybody is that fortunate. After all, these people have been selected by Allah to serve the Qur’an. They must have some status in the sight of Allah.
Shaikh Yusuf Binnori Rahmatullahi alaihi, the founder of the famous darul-uloom Binnori Town, in Karachi, Pakistan employed two Egyptian teachers to teach Arabic Grammar at the Madrasah. On one occasion, in their presence he made the following du’a: ‘Oh Allah! Please make our Baatin like the pure Baatin of these two Scholars, and make their Zaahir like our Zaahir, ie beards and Islamic clothing etc. After this, both of the teachers changed their external appearance and began following the Sunnah of the outwards, together with the inwards.
We shouldn’t make assumptions about these Qurraa, but rather, take benefit from their service to the Ummah. After all, it is only Allah who knows how pure the heart of any individual is.
Your final Query in regards to any institution in the UK who provide a good learning for Qiraa’ah. Darul-Uloom Dewsbury have a very good Qiraa’ah programme. Also, Qari Rafiq, of Gloucester UK, who is known to have studied in Egypt under prominent Qurraa may be available to teach.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Yaseen Shaikh