January 28, 2009

Abd Al Basit Abd As Samad - Surah Dhuha

Sheikh Abdul Basit 'Abd us-Samad (1927-1988) (عبد الباسط عبد الصمد), was an Egyptian Qari. He was born in a village called Armant in the southern part of Egypt. He memorized the Qur'an before he was 10 years old and learned all the seven readings of Qur'an. He used to be invited in the local mosques during Ramadan nights when he was just 14 years old. He was influenced by the famous reciter Muhammad Refat and used to walk miles to listen to the his recitation on the radio. In 1950, he came to Cairo where his star shone with the recitation that made the other Muslims in the mosque amazed. He recited some of Suratul Ahzab (The Confederates) that reads Oh you believers, Allah and his Angels praise the Prophet. The audience was listening speechlessly as his legendary voice echoed throughout the mosque. Though he was supposed to recite for 10 minutes, he was requested to go on with his recitation for more than an hour and half. The audience was utterly thrilled by tone of this miraculous reciter. He was one of the first Haffiz to make commercial recordings of his recitations, and the first president of the Reciters' Union; as well, he was ranked as one of the top Huffaz in Egypt. He is considered by many the most influential reciter of the 20th century. Even more than 20 years after his death, he is still one of the most regarded reciters and many modern day reciters try to imitate him. He is the only Qari who has won three-time world Qirat competitions in the early 70's. Abdul Basit is also best known with his famous Sura Al-Fatiha recitation.

He traveled extensively outside Egypt; in 1961, he recited at the Badshahi Masjid, in Lahore, Pakistan.

Abdul Basit Abdul Samad is survived by his three sons (from eldest to the youngest): Yasir, Hisham, and Tariq. Yasir has also became a Qari following his father's footsteps.

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