SHAFAQNA- Yesterday, December 26, was the 38th anniversary of his demise.
He was born on June 17, 1905 in Mitghazal Village near the city of Tanta north of Cairo.
He started learning the Quran at an early age and recited the Quran and Adhan (call to prayers) at ceremonies and mosques since early childhood.
To enhance his Quran recitation skills, he studied Quran recitation styles and religious teachings in Ahmadi Institute for some time.
Two of his masters, Sheikh Muhammad Abu Hashish and Sheikh Dris Fakhir played a major role in helping him advance on the path of Quran recitation.
At 15, he became so famous that people would come from other villages and towns, even from Cairo, to listen to his recitations.
Sheikh Mustafa Ismail never forgot his first recitation in Cairo. “Sheikh Muhammad Salama, one of most distinguished Qaris in Egypt, and I had been invited to recite the Quran at a special event in Dawudiya District (of Cairo). This great Qari were in the habit of continuing his recitation for a long time so that no other Qari would have a chance to recite the Quran at any program. That night was no different. He started at 8 P.M. and continued until midnight. When he finished, everyone left the venue and I was left with empty seats. Nonetheless, I began reciting the Quran and when people who had left heard my voice they returned one after another. Soon the place was full of people who had returned to listen to my recitation.”
The first time Sheikh Mustafa Ismail’s recitation was broadcast on Egyptian radio was in 1943 when he was asked to recite verses from the Quran in place of Sheikh Abdul Fattah Shoaisha, who was ill on that day.
In the following years, he recited the Quran in front of dignitaries, kings, presidents and other senior officials.
He received Egypt’s highest medal of honor from then president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1955.
When he died in December 1978, hundreds of people, including senior officials from Egypt and other countries attended his funeral.
Among them were also 200 Qaris from different parts of Egypt.