Malaysian teenager's Quran recitation wins hearts
By Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporter
Published: September 19, 2008, 23:43
Dubai: The young Malaysian participant who was eventually declared the winner of the recitation event at the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) event had the jam-packed audience in a thrall.
The contest began at midnight on Thursday after the conclusion of programmes associated with the event.
The prizes will be announced on Saturday at 9.30pm in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Cultural and Scientific Association.
There were seven participants in all who vied for the top three prizes. A Turkish contestant and a Kuwaiti participant were adjudged second and third respectively in the recitation event.
Thirteen-year-old Mohammad Bin Ahmad Zahid's performance moved some members of the audience to tears.
His recitation of verses from Surat Ar-Rahman (The Beneficent, The Mercy Giving) of the Quran during the stage of the competition when each participant was given seven minutes to showcase his talent went down especially well with those assembled.
The other contestants in the fray were from Yemen, Mauritania, Libya, and Somalia.
Speaking to Gulf News, other participants at the event recalled how they had pursued their Quran studies. Senoussi Daoud from Chad said he had memorised the Quran along with his three siblings in a Khalwa, a traditional mosque school in Africa.
The 20-year-old is a high school student at a public school that imparts the Saudi curriculum.
"Memorising the Quran is part of one's cultural upbringing in Chad. Most people in my hometown memorise the Quran," said Daoud.
He told Gulf News the Khalwa also served as key centres of education for those wanting to learn the Arabic language.
"Everyone in the Khalwa shares equally what is available. The values and the experiences of the Khalwa help to forge a solidarity among its members which lasts for a lifetime," said Senoussi.
Ahmedou Salem Taleb, a 21-year-old participant from Mauritania, said students used a lawlah, a small wooden tablet, to take notes while memorising the Quran back in his home country and generally across North Africa.
Students would then repeat what they memorised around 300 times-using the Misbah (counting beads), he said.
Alhamdulillah! May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala bless Mohammad bin Ahmad Zahid with the best of this life and in the hereafter.
This is the kind of achievements that Malaysia should be proud of instead of bragging about the longest this, highest that, biggest roti canai, etc.!!!
We have lots of bright sparks in this country. Unfortunately we are also saddled with the lousiest politicians both sides of the political theatre and from their actions, this country is now in danger of going to the dogs!
May Allah Azza Wa Jalla save us from these gone crazy fellows!