Abdul Basit 'Abd us-Samad
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Sheikh Abdul Basit 'Abd us-Samad (1927-1988) (عبد الباسط عبد الصمد), was a renowned Qari (reciter of the Holy Qur-an). He was of Kurdish descent but was born in Egypt. 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 1970's. 'Abd us-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
Abdul Basit was born in a village called Armant in the southern part of Egypt in 1927. He memorised the Qur'an before he was 10 years old and learned all of its seven readings. He was invited to recite during the Tarawih prayers at local mosques during Ramadan when he was just 14 years old. Abdul Basit was greatly influenced by the famous reciter Muhammad Rifat and used to walk miles to listen to his recitations on the radio.
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 tajwid (Qur'anic recitation).
'Abd us-Samad travelled extensively outside Egypt; in 1961, he recited at the Badshahi Masjid, in Lahore, Pakistan. In 1987, whilst on a visit to America, 'Abd us-Samad related a story from one trip he made to the Soviet Union, with then Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
'Abd us-Samad was asked to recite for some leaders of the Soviet party . He chose to recite Sura Ta-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. 'Abd us-Samad 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. Abdul Basit cites the event as a miracle he had experienced during one of his travels, reminiscent of other accounts in Islamic history of Meccan converts from recitation. 
'Abd us-Samad died in 1988, and 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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