Abdul Basit 'Abd us-Samad

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Abdul Basit
Born 1927
Hermonthis, Egypt
Died November 30, 1988 (aged 61-62)
Cairo, Egypt
Occupation Qari (Qur'an Reciter)
Known for Surat Al-Ahzab
Title Qari 'Abdul Basit
Religion Islam
Children Yasir, Hisham and Tariq

Qari ‘Abdul-Basit ‘Abdus-Samad (1927–1988) (عبد الباسط عبد الصمد), was a renowned Qari (reciter of the Qur'an). As such, many modern reciters try to imitate his style. Qari to have won three world Qira'at competitions in the early 1970s. ‘Abdus-Samad was one of the first huffaz to make commercial recordings of his recitations, and the first president of the newly formed Reciters' Union in Egypt. He is best known for his recitation of sura al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Qur'an, and a key sura in the five daily Islamic canonical prayers.

Early life[edit]

‘Abdul-Basit was born in a village near Armant city in southern Egypt. He was raised in an environment which nourished his motivating force and passion for reciting the Quran. His father Mohammed Abdus-Samad and grand father Abdus-Samad, were both recognized and respected for memorizing and reciting the Quran.

In 1950, he came to Cairo where Muslims in many mosques were captivated by his recitations. On one occasion, he was reciting verses from sura al-Ahzab (The Confederates) he was requested to recite for longer than his allotted 10 minutes by his audience, and continued to recite for over an hour and a half; his listeners were captured by his mastery of pitch, tone and the rules of tajweed (Qur'anic recitation).

Travels[edit]

‘Abdus-Samad travelled extensively outside Egypt; in 1961, he recited at the Badshahi Masjid, in Lahore, Pakistan as well as reciting in one of the biggest Tablighi Madrasa's in Bangladesh, the Hathazari Madrasa in Chittagong. He visited Indonesia (1964/1965 ), Jakarta, and recited the Qur'an at the biggest Mosque. The audience filled the entire room of the mosque, including the frontyard; about a 1/4 of a million people were hearing his recitation till dawn. Also in Pekalongan (city of Batik ), he recited at the Masjid Jame' (Masjid Kauman), His recitation captivated the whole audience. In 1987, whilst on a visit to America, ‘Abdus-Samad related a story from one trip he made to the Soviet Union, with then Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Naser.

‘Abdus-Samad was asked to recite for some leaders of the Soviet party. ‘Abdus-Samad recounts that four to five of his listeners from the Communist Party were in tears on hearing the recitation, although they didn't understand what was being recited, but they cried, apparently touched by the Qur'an.

Indira Gandhi, an Indian prime minister and political leader always felt touched by his recitation and would stop alongside to appreciate his recitation.

The circumstances of his death are very well unknown, however it has been suggested that he suffered from a fatal heart trauma after having been involved in a car accident while other accounts state he passed away either from diabetes or an acute hepatitis. There are as well rumors saying he died from straining a vein until it popped while reciting Surat Ya-Sin in few breaths. The exact date of his death has been confirmed to be on Wednesday, November 30, 1988, and he is survived by his three sons (from oldest to the youngest): Yasir, Hisham, and Tariq. Following his father's footsteps, Yasir has also become a Qari.

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