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National Qur’an Awards – a success

The National Qur’aan Awards (NQA), hosted by the South African Qur’aan Union successfully took place from 21- 23 September 2012 at the Maitland Masjid in Cape Town.

Special programs were held on the side lines of the event that featured expert Qur’aan reciters from South Africa, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the Comoros Islands at various mosques in Cape Town up until 26 September.

The NQA, comprising a Qur’aan recital contest as well as the servant of the Holy Qur’aan award, is held in honour of the efforts of teachers and students in propagating the Qur’aan and its principles in South Africa. This event is also used as a platform to train upcoming local reciters for international competitions.

Participants and Award Winners

The recital contest made allowance for a maximum of 20 participants for each of three age categories. A total of seventeen top performers qualified for the competition finals that took place on the day of the awards ceremony.

Ridwaan Bavadin from Mpumalanga, Yusuf Davids, and Abdul Azeez Brown from Cape Town emerged as the winners of the under 18, under 25, and senior categories of the Qur’aan recital section respectively.

Shukrie Frydie (CPT), Luqmaan Sheik (DBN) and Rafiq Salie (CPT) achieved the first runner up positions, followed by Qaeed Davids (CPT), Ridwaan Kaka (JNB) and Shamiel Jacobs (CPT).

The recital category was judged in accordance with strict international standards by a panel of qualified and proficient Qur’aan recitation experts. Qari Ismail Abdul Azeez from Pietermaritzburg and Qari Muhammad Binyameen from Pakistan evaluated the section of Tajweed. Both of them are trained as authorities in the field of Tajweed and the correct recitation of the Qur’aan. Qari Abdul Aziz is also the principal of Madrasah Tarteelul Qur’aan in Pietermaritzburg whereas Qari Binyameen is a leading reciter from his country.

Sheikh Abubakr Shamaas, a blind reciter from the Comoros Islands, was responsible for the section of voice, while the two- time world champion reciter and senior expert from Malaysia, Qari Abdurahim Bin Ahmad, judged the section of beautiful recitation.

Muntahaa Kenny, chairman of the South African Qur’aan Union, considers the event successful in its aims by which it hopes to recognise the talent in the community and develop it to international standard.
He said that the South African Qur’aan Union has embarked on the initiative of establishing a national competition as an important step to enhance and maintain the quality of Qur’aan recitation in South Africa.

The organisation intends to use the event as a catalyst to promote excellence in the other areas of Qur’anic knowledge.

He noted that whilst the Western Cape has always been known as the province that produces reciters with specialized recitation techniques, the results of the 2011 and 2012 competitions has shown a significant interest on the part of reciters from other parts of the country.  This resulted in high levels of competitiveness and more eagerness by young reciters to participate in other future Qur’anic activities.

A new feature with the NQA 2012 was that the Qur’aan contest was video streamed live throughout the world. It gathered more than 200 000 viewership minutes by the second day of the event. Viewers from South Africa had the strongest online presence, followed by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Abu Dhabi, and other countries. Parts of the event were also audio streamed and broadcasted live by Radio 786.

The NQA 2012 was officially supported by the Malaysian High Commission to South Africa, South African National Zakah Fund, Awqaf SA, Madrasah Tarteelul Qur’aan, Al Ansaar Foundation, Noble travel and tours, IC-S Web design and Graphic studio, Radio 786, People’s Post, Channel 4 SA Production, Cape Town Muslim Events, Lodge 36 on Shaanti, MRM Sound hire, and Salmaan BBM notices.

The organisation expressed their 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 South African Qur’aan Union invites other institutions to partner or support them in preparing for next year’s NQA.

The Servant of the Holy Qur’aan Award 2012 was awarded to Sheikh Abdurraghman Sadien, a prominent Qur’aan reciter from Cape Town.

The award, which is currently the only of its kind in the country, has been introduced by the South African Qur’aan Union in an attempt to recognize the efforts and achievements of local Qur’aan enthusiasts.

Sheikh Abdurraghman Sadien, who hails from Surrey Estate on the Cape Flats, has become a well-known figure in international Qur’aan circles. He is particularly very popular in Europe and is regarded as the most widely travelled South African Qur’aan reciter. It is said that he recited the Qur’aan more than 900 times in Turkey alone.

The ceremony was conducted by prominent community activist, Mr Tajudien Akleker, whilst the junior champ of the National Qur’aan Awards 2011, Ismail Davids, was tasked in handing over the award. Ismail Davids, aged 13, is also a student of Sheikh Abdurraghman Sadien.

Muntahaa Kenny, chairman of the South African Qur’aan Union explained that the organisation considered a number of aspects when deciding on the beneficiary of the award.
“The nominations we received were evaluated in terms of the contributions and achievements made by the person in more that one field relating to the Holy Qur’aan. The remarkable efforts and strife of Sheikh Abdurraghman allowed him to serve the Holy Qur’aan and the Muslim community as a Qur’aan reciter of repute, a local forerunner in the international arena, and a Qur’aan enthusiast of note. This, together with his personal zeal and passion for reciting the Qur’aan, makes his achievements conspicuous and exceptional as a true servant of the Holy Book”, he said.

The Servant of the Holy Qur’aan Award was launched in 2008 as a section of the National Qur’aan Awards.

Further information regarding the activities of the South African Qur’aan Union can be obtained from its website,, or Muntahaa Kenny may be contacted on the mobile number, +2783 377 3216 or email,