Sheikh Abdus Samad Basit – Complete Quran
Sheikh Abdus Samad Basit – Complete Quran
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Sheikh Qari Abdul Basit ‘And us-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. He is the only Qari to have won three world Qirat competitions in the early 1970s. He 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.
Abdul Basit was born in a village called Armant in southern Egypt. His father was a Kurd from Central Kurdistan.
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).
Since his tender childhood, his heart got attached to Quran. He walked kilometres to get to a neighbouring village where he could listen to the recitations of sheikh Muhammad a Rif’ât and Sheikh Ash-sha’ Shâi. Being inspired, tThe young And Al-Bâsit confessed to his father his willingness of devoting himself to learning Qur’an. The father felt his son’s motivation and encouraged him by taking him to Tantâ, the lighthouse of delta Nile. Which is well known for its recitors.
Sheikh Muhammad Salim, a qari had left the north of Egypt and stayed in a village of closer to Sheikh Basit’s village. Sheikh Basit memorized the Quran before the age of 10 under sheikh Muhammad Salim. Then, he continued to learn from his sheikh the 7 qirat styles (al- qirâ’ât as-sab’a). Sheikh Muhammad Salim seen the brilliance of his student took him to all Qur’anic ceremonies for reciting. He used to encourage him to recite in public inspite of his being only 14. This practice in public made Sheikh Al-Basit perfect his talent.
Sheikh Al Basit’s fame began increasing. During Ramadhan, huge crowds use to gather to listen to him.
Higher-Egypt had already a significant weight concerning Qur’anic recitors. The likes of Siddiq Al –Minshâwi, who was the father of the great recitors sheikh Muhmûd Siddiq Al Minshawi and his devout elder brother, Sheikh Muhammad siddiq Al-Minshawi, Sheikh Ar. Radi, sheikh Wadi Al Quîsi and other recitors deeply influenced sheikh Al Basit. He was also influenced by great recitors of northern Egypt province such as Sheikh Muhammad Rif’at and Sheikh Mustapha Ismail.
In 1950; numerous recitors of Higher-Egypt went to Cairo. He was 23 at that time and accompanied them. It was the day of fame for the young recitor. Being disturbed by his young age and over whelmed by the presence of the greatest recitors of the country, sheikh Ali Subay, the Imam of the masjid at that time, knew the young Sheikh and insisted in introducing him to the public. He started his recitation with the 56th verse of Surah 33; Al Ahzâb: “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.”
The listeners were overtaken by the young sheikh’s recital. The fame did not come late. One year later, Sheikh Basit sat for a very selective test which was broadcasted on the Radio of Quran in Cairo. The jury was evaluating Sheikh Ad-Dabaâ; the president of the Egyptian recitors league, Sheikh Muhammad Shaltût, future recitor of Al-Azhar, and the great recitor Sheikh Mahmûd Ali Al Bannâ. He passed the test on the Radio of Cairo and as a result, his voice was broadcasted every week on Saturday evenings.
In 1952, he became the official recitor of the Imam Ash-Shafî Mosque. Then, he took after Sheikh Mahmûd Ali Al Bannâ in 1985 to be an official recitor in the Imam Al- Husayn Mosque.
Sheikh Basit travelled extensively outside Egypt; in 1961, he recited at the Badshahi Masjid, in Lahore, Pakistan. In 1987, whilst on a visit to America, Sheikh Basit related a story from one trip he made to the Soviet Union, with then Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Sheikh Basit was asked to recite for some leaders of the Soviet party . He chose to recite Sura At-Ha, which is an important sura in Islamic history; it was the chapter of the Qur’an which had caused `Umar ibn al-Khattāb to become a Muslim upon listening to it. ‘And the Sheikh recounts that four to five of his listeners from the Communist Party were in tears, although they didn’t understand what was being read, but were compelled to cry because of his recitation. Sheikh Abdul Basit cites the event as a miracle he had experienced during one of his travels, reminiscent of other accounts in Islamic history of Makkan converts from recitation.
Sheikh Basit went on travelling reciting the Glorious Qur’an and was welcomed by crowds and princes who were honoured by his presence until his last days. By the end of the year 1988, Sheikh Basit passed away. Heis survived by his three sons (from eldest to the youngest): Yasir, Hisham, and Tariq. Following his father’s footsteps, Yasir has also become a “Qari”. Even to this day, Sheikh Abdus Samad Basit’s recitations inspire qaris and lay people throughout the world.