South African huffath continue to dominate the world stage and this time, a Mitchell’s Plain reciter has bagged third position at a prestigious international Quran gathering. Haafidh Muhammed Erefaan Samuels was announced as the third-place winner of the African Qur’an Recital Competition on Saturday 18 May in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He was also the winner in the senior category of the International Qur’an Recital Award (IQRA) that took place in Cape Town last year.
South Africa Quran Union (SAQU) chairperson Muntahaa Kenny, one of his previous teachers, said Samuels impressed judges with his presentation.
“Coaches from other countries contacted me after the event to praise him. Judges have likened his style to that of the prominent Egyptian reciter Shaykh Raghib Mustafa Ghalwash, which is difficult to imitate. This caught the attention of the judges and the crowd and they utterly enjoyed it,” he said.
The top positions in this year’s edition of the African Qur’an Recital competition went to Mohammad Haroon from Tanzania, followed by Mohammed Makame from Zanzibar.
The five-person judging panel included prominent international reciters such as Sheikh Usamah Al Hawari from Egypt, Sheikh Sharif Swaleh Al Ahdaly from Kenya, Sheikh Abdallah Daud from Tanzania, as well as Qur’an experts from Zanzibar and Somalia. Held annually at Masjid Idrissa in the Tanzanian capital, an excited audience packed the venue well before the start of the event.
The event, organised by the Khidmatul Qur’an Foundation, is the only of its kind in the East African region. Since the event became international three years ago, South African reciters featured prominently in its rankings. Sheikh Abdul Azeez Brown took second position in the inaugural event, whilst Ammaar Jabodien from Paarl was placed third last year.
Samuels was adjudicated as a top reciter in the age 24 plus category in Cape Town last year, and as a result, was selected to represent South Africa in Tanzania.
Most Quranic recital competitions in South Africa starts with a provincial round and then progresses to a national and international level. Cape Town produces many top-notch huffath and there is a special effort being made by haafith teachers to encourage and train young reciters of the Quran to represent the country on a global stage.
“The efforts and the achievement of Muhmmad Erefaan and others makes us realise the potential of our youth. We are giving them an international stage to present the Quran and our country in the best way. So we are very proud of him and other reciters who have achieved high positions at these international events, Alhamdullilah.”
Chairperson of the Khidmatul Qur’aan Foundation, Sheikh Ally Muhammad Saleh expressed his happiness with the outcome and standard of the event. During the closing address, the chief judge, Sheikh Usamah from Egypt, announced that the first-place winner of this year’s contest, Qari Mohamad Haron from Tanzania, is to participate at the International Qur’aan Recital Award (IQRA) slated to take place in Cape Town later this year. VOC