But was there a qari whose recitations Abdul Basit liked?
An old footage has recently been shared in social media in which the Egyptian qari is asked this question.
In an interview with a Saudi Arabian TV channel, he was asked about the qaris he liked the most.
“They are all my brothers,” he replied.
At the insistence of the TV presenter, Abdul Basit said, “I like the recitations of Master Mohamed Rif’at very much and listen to them on the radio. Also (I like the recitations of) Master Abdul Fatah Sha’shaei. I am also friends with masters Mustafa Ismail and Mahmoud Ali al-Bina. All of them are sources of blessings.”
The presenter then asks with which one of them Abdul Basit has been associated most closely and he replies: Master Mustafa Ismail.
Abdul Basit Abdul Samad was born in 1927 in the village of Al-Maza’iza, south of Egypt. His grandfather was a pious man, a Quran expert and a memorizer of the Quran.
At 10, Abdul Basit finished learning the entire Quran by heart in his village. He also learned 7 styles of Quran recitation by the age of 12 and the 10 styles by 14.
He started reciting the Quran in mosques and religious centers and soon became very popular.
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.
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 are said to have embraced Islam, including 6 in Los Angeles and 164 in Uganda.
Master Abdul Basit Abdul Samad died of diabetes and liver disease in November 1988. Thousands of his fans attended his funeral. The funeral was also attended by ambassadors of Islamic countries in Cairo.