After months of preparation and practice, more than 60 Qurraa are set to compete for top honours at the International Qur’aan Recital Award (IQRA). The event is to kick off on Thursday, 22 September, at the Giedmatul Islam Masjid in Taronga Rd Rondebosch East, in Cape Town.
Founder member of IQRA and chairperson of the South African Qur’aan Union, Sheikh Muntahaa Kenny, says that while organising such an important event is a mammoth task, the organisers have already covered most aspects of its hosting and is working hard to ensure that everything falls in place.
“Most of our efforts entail the organising and hosting of guests and contestants from outside the mother city as well as local participants. This includes hospitality services such as, meals, and accommodation, as well as logistics that involve their participation in the event itself. The organisation strives to maintain an international standard not only by means of these services, but in the aspects regarding judging and evaluation as well,” he explained.
“Everything is on track, alhamdulillaah. We already had meetings with part of the judging panel, which includes the adjudicators from abroad. Our Egyptian and Tanzanian guests have arrived, whilst the remaining visitors are set to reach Cape Town soon.”
Participation in the event has grown over the last few years. Starting with 60 contestants from seven nationalities in its inaugural event four years ago, contestant count went up to 80 contenders, featuring eight nationalities. The organisers are hopeful of another turnout of around 80 contestants. The highlight of the IQRA is the prominent, Champs of champs category.
“Winners of the last three contests will get to challenge each other in an open aged category. What makes this different from the other categories in the competition as well as other competitions in the world, the contestants will be required to present a recital on the spot (without prior preparation),” explained Kenny.
It is important to note that the Qira’ah competition differs from a Hifz competition in that the former focuses on the artistic and beautiful recitation of the Holy Qur’aan whereas the latter focuses on testing the memorization of the contestant. Entrants for the Qira’ah competition may or may not be hafithul Qur’aan.
Prominent guests, including the world renowned Sheikh Abdullah Dawood, from Tanzania, will participate in Qur’aan recital programs prior to the main event. The first program took place t Masjidul Quds and Jaamia Uthmaania Masjid in Bonteheuwel and on Wednesday evening at Masjidul Kawthar in Kuilsriver. The program, which will commence after Eshaa salaah, will follow an educational format that will showcase and introduce the audience to the various forms of recitations of the Qur’aan.
In terms of the IQRA, the event will open on Thursday after Maghrib at the Giedmatul Islam Masjid.
• Thurs 22 September: Female competition and male under 15 years category
• Fri 23 September: Preliminaries for the male under 18 category.
• Sat 24 September: preliminaries for under 23s and over 24s (morning) and finals of the under 15 and under 18 categories after Maghrib.
• Sun 25 September: competition finals for under 23 and over 24 years, followed by “Champ of Champs”.
The event wraps up with the announcement of winners and awards ceremony. All programs will be video streamed live on www.livestream.com/channel4sa.
For any further information, visit: www.quranunion.co.za