A Voice of an Angel | Documentary on Sheikh Qari Abdelbaset in South Africa 1966

Sheikh Abdul Basit ‘Abd us-Samad (1920-1988) (عبد الباسط عبد الصمد), was a renowned Egyptian Qari. He is the only Qari to have won three world Qirat competitions in the early 1970’s.The quadrumvirate of El Minshawy, Abdul Basit, Mustafa Ismail, and Al-Hussary are generally considered the most important and famous Qurra’ of modern times to have had an outsized impact on the Islamic world.

He gained the reputation of being called the Golden Throat and the Voice of Heaven due to his melodious style, remarkable breath control, and unique emotional and engaging tone. 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. As such, many modern reciters try to imitate his style. At 10, Abdul Basit finished learning the entire Quran by heart in his village. He started reciting the Quran in mosques and religious centers and soon became very popular..He also learned 7 styles of Quran recitation by the age of 12 and the 10 styles by 14.

In 1951, at the age of 19, he went to the capital Cairo for the first time and recited verses from the Quran at Magham Zeynab. Famous Quranic figures and reciters like Abdul Fattah Sha’shaie, Mustafa Esmaeel, Abdul-Azim Zaher, and Abolainain Shoaisha were present at the event. His performance was so outstanding that the crowd requested him to recite for longer than his allotted 10 minutes by his audience, and he 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. In the same year, he started reciting the Quran in Egypt’s national radio.

‘Abdus-Samad was one of the first huffaz to make commercial recordings of his recitations, and the first president of the Reciters’ Union in Egypt. Abdul Basit travelled to many countries around the world for reciting the Quran. Once in Jakarta, Indonesia, over 250,000 people gathered in a mosque and streets around it to listen to his recitation.

In 1952 he made the Hajj pilgrimage and recited the Quran in the Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid-un-Nabi in Medina. Listening to his inspiring recitations of the Quran, many non-Muslims have embraced Islam, including 6 in Los Angeles and 164 in Uganda.

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