Around 60 Qurra (Quranic reciters) are expected to gather at the Bonteheuwel Masjid to showcase their Quranic recitation skills at the finals of the International Qur’an Recital Awards (IQRA).
The event was made possible through the partnering of local South African organizations, including; the South African Qur’an Union, Awqaf SA, the South African National Zakah Fund and Madrassah Tarteelul Qur’aan in partnership with the Bonteheuwel Muslim Society Trust.
Co-ordinator for the event, Shaykh Muntahaa Kenny, said the event had started out as a provincial Quran recital competition hosted in Cape Town in 2005 and has now become an international platform for reciters to assemble.
The competition is split into a number of categories for men and women of different age groups. Seven different nationalities are expected participate in the event, giving it the added international element.
Shaykh Kenny said regional competitions were held in the major provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and the top reciters were selected from these areas to represent their respective provinces in the finals of the competition.
The event is already in motion, with the preliminaries for the national female reciter category having been completed. The official competition will kick off at the Bonteheuwel Masjid on 19 October, after Asr.
“The aim of the event is to maintain and encourage a good standard of Quranic recitation in South Africa and to train and to up-skill our reciters to perform on international platforms,” shared Shaykh Kenny.
South African reciters that were selected to travel abroad for the competition have since attained top positions on international platforms.
“This is quite significant for a non-Muslim country to recite with participants from Arab countries and countries that are known to produce reciters of world-class quality, such as Egypt and Morocco.”
International reciter Qari Dr Anwar Bin Hasin is among the judging panelists. Dr Hasin lectures at the Islamic University of Malaysia and is also considered one of the top reciters in Malaysia.
Pakistani Qari Muhammad Binyameen will also be joining the panel, alongside several local judges.
Shaykh Kenny asserts that the competition will be judged according to international frameworks. Some of the deciding factors determining the best reciters include presentation, eloquence of recitation as well as application of Tajweed.
The event will take place from 19 to 27 October.
Western Cape preliminaries will take place on 20 October and the finals are expected to take place on the last two days.
Cape Town reciters will still be able to enter the competition by applying online at www.quranunion.co.za