Organisers have praised the high standard of competition seen this past weekend at the 10th edition of the International Quran Recital Awards (IQRA) competition, with 72 male and female contestants from seven nationalities having battled it out for top honours. Hosted by the South African Qur’aan Union (SAQU) at the Jaame Ahmedi Masjid in Grassy Park, the event effectively brought out the best in what both local and international qurah had to offer.
Such was the quality of recitation over the four days of the competition that only two competitors failed to score above 90%, and none achieved lower than 85%. This was aided by the decision to hold regional rounds in Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal earlier this year in a bid to ensure the best quality of performance for the main event.
The six categories in which qurah were divided were the open-age female category, under 15 male, under 18, under 23 and the 24 and over categories. In addition, a new ‘champ of champs’ category was added to the card this year to recognise past IQRA winners.
The respective victors, runner-ups, and second runner-ups in each category are as follows:
Female section – Rawbiah Isaacs (winner); Moeshfiqah Isaacs (runner up), Jauhara Moruledi (2nd runner up)
Under 15 Males – Abduragmaan Lutta; Muhammed Tikly; Zafeer Patel
Under 18 Males – Abduragman Basha (Newcastle); Hishaam Albertyn; Fauzaan Salie
Under 23 Males – Ridhaa Abrahams; Wahab Combo (The Comoros); Zaid Kara
Male 24 & over – Igsaan Sedick; Muhammad Cajee; Tohier Kara
Champ of Champs -Ridwaan Bavadin; Muhammed Aziz; Yusuf Osman
SAQU chairman, Sheikh Muntahaa Kenny branded the event an enormous success in terms of achieving its aim of recognising and developing talent.
“This (event), together with continued international participation, will result in high levels of competitiveness and eagerness among young reciters for future competitions,” he said in a statement following the competition.
Another facet of the event was the awarding of the ‘Servant of the Holy Qur’aan’ award, which seeks to annually recognise the efforts of dedicated local qurah. This year around, the award was presented to Pietermaritzburg-based qari, Ismail Abdul Aziz.
“The remarkable efforts and strife of Qari Ismail Abdul Aziz allowed him to serve the Holy Qur’aan and the Muslim community as a reciter of repute, a teacher and guide with extraordinary passion, and a Qur’aan enthusiast of note. This, together with his personal zeal and passion for Qur’aan related activities, makes his achievements conspicuous and exceptional as a true servant of the Holy Book”, he explained.
In his statement, Kenny also recognised the efforts of event sponsors, including Awqaf SA, SANZAF and the Egyptian Embassy amongst others, as well as calling for further support in this regard.
“The organisation expresses its thanks and appreciation to all the role players that contributed to the success of the event while at the same time underlying the need for greater support for future projects of this nature,” the statement read.
Recordings of the competition are streamed at www.livestream.com/channel4sa.
For further information on the IQRA competition or SAQU, visit www.quranunion.co.za. Alternatively contact Sheikh Muntahaa Kenny via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)