by Shaikh Muntahaa Kenny
The annual International Quraan Recital Awards (IQRA) successfully took place from 22- 25 September 2016 at the Giedmatul Islamia (Taronga Road) Masjid, in Rondebosch East, Cape Town.
Organised by the South African Quraan Union, Rondebosch East Islamic Trust (incorporating the Giedmatul Islamia Masjid), Awqaf SA, and Madrasah Tarteelul Quraan (Pietermaritzburg), the event is an attempt to honour the efforts of teachers and students involved with propagating the Quraan and its principles in South Africa. The occasion is also used as a platform to train upcoming local reciters for international competitions and to maintain high standards of recitation.
Preceded by various preliminary programs throughout the country, the final event registered a number of 74 male and female participants during the four- day occasion.
Contestants in the male section were divided into four age categories whilst the female division comprised of an open-aged recitation challenge.
Mariam Gallie and Abdurraghiem Brown from Cape Town, Abdullah Faziri from Newcastle, Muhammad Al Nawawi from Malaysia, and Zaid Kara from Johannesburg, emerged as the winners of the female, under 15, under 18, under 23, and over 24 years categories respectively.
Rawbiah Isaacs (Cape Town), Muhammed Uzayr Eshak (Pietermaritzburg), Fareed Abrahams (Cape Town), Bilale Milase (Howick, KZN), and Abdullah Forbes (Cape Town) achieved the first runner up positions, followed by Ammaarah Boomgaard (Johannesburg), Gaazim Adams (Cape Town), Masood Patel (Durban), M. Zahwudeen Zardad (Johannesburg), and Tohier Kara (Johannesburg).
In the special feature, known as the Champ of Champs category’, winners from the previous competitions were engaged in an open- aged recital challenge. These contestants were required to recite from an unprepared, randomly selected, portion of the Quraan. 14 year old Muhammad Abdul Aziz from Pietermaritzburg, Qaeed Davids from Cape Town, and Abdurahman Basha from Newcastle were adjudicated as the best reciters in this category.
The recitals were judged in accordance with strict international standards by a panel of qualified and proficient Quraan recitation experts. Sheikh Faraj Ismail Sayed and Sheikh Sayed Saad Ibrahim from Egypt evaluated the section of Tajweed. Both scholars are graduates and teachers of the Al Azhar University of Egypt, while Sheikh Faraj is also an expert in the ten readings of the Quraan (‘Asharah Qiraaah).
Prominent reciters from Cape Town, Sheikh Abdul Azeez Brown and Sheikh Gaarieth Williams, were responsible for the section of beautiful presentation, while the world renowned Tanzanian national reciter, Sheikh Abdullah Dawood, adjudicated the section of voice.
Local media favourites, Ishah Abdullah and Luqmaan Shadrach from Cape Town, as well as Moulana Abdurahman Laily and Moulana Obeidullah Bhoja from Johannesburg, kept the audience enthralled throughout the presentations. The event theme being Surah Muminoon, the two Gauteng scholars very able and profound explanations of the Quraan chapter brought much meaning and interest to the verses that was recited by the contestants. Among the many ulama present, Sheikh Zakariyyah Saeed officially represented the renowned Al Azhar University and the scholars of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Founder member and head of the organising committee, Sheikh Muntahaa Kenny, considers the event successful in its aims by which it hopes to recognise local talent and develop it to international standard. This initiative, he says, was aided significantly through the introduction of regional rounds held in Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal over the last four years. He believes that the annual event is experiencing an increase of eagerness, quality in recitation and standards, as well as a continued high level of healthy competitiveness among the youth. In addition to this, there is also an increasing need and interest for further development of female Quraan reciters. A female component to the organisation is in the process of being established in Gauteng specifically for this purpose, he announced.
The IQRA 2016 was supported by the South African National Zakah Fund, Radio 786, Al Ansaar Foundation, Muslim Views, Channel Islam International, Sport Taxis, Cape Town Muslim Events, Park Avenue Stationers, Israa Travel and Tours, Channel 4 SA Production, Lodge 36 on Shaanti, MRM Sound hire, Bagazio, RP Printers, and Golden Feather Spur Vangate.
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 organising committee, under the leadership of Sheikh Muntahaa Kenny, invites other institutions to partner or support them in preparing for next years IQRA.
Further information regarding the event may be obtained from:
Sheikh Muntahaa Kenny
Cell: +2783 377 3216
Audios of the 2016 and 2015 category winners may be downloaded
Photo Highlights – click here