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His Majesty presents awards to Musabaqah winners

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Indonesian qariah Muzaynatul Millah Said claimed the first prize in the female category


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - A BRUNEIAN qariah (female Quran reader) claimed second place in the sixth Southeast Asian Youth Al-Quran Reading Competition yesterday, marking the end of the three-day contest at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam presented the trophy and $4000 to Dk Fauziah Nadhirah Pg Hj Jofri who garnered the second highest score of 89.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, her brother, Ak Adi Nazri claimed the third place in the male category, bringing home a trophy and $3,000 with a score of 88.1 per cent. Singaporean qari  Muhammad Zul Fadhli Abdul Razak emerged as the champion in the male category, receiving a trophy and $5,000 in prize money with the highest score of 90.6 per cent while the Indonesian qariah Muzaynatul Millah Said claimed the first prize in the female category.

The ceremony then proceeded with the winning qari and qariah giving a recital of verses from the Al-Quran.

His Majesty also presented $1,000 in prize money and souvenirs to all 17 competitors before taking the opportunity for a photo session with the participants.

Also attending the ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince ‘Abdul Malik and cabinet ministers.

In his welcoming speech, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah said that the regional competition was an effort to develop and uphold Islam among Southeast Asian Muslim youths.

“Reading Al-Quran could foster an interest among Muslim youths to learn in-depth of the contents relayed in the Quran and prepare them against the challenges of globalisation and info-telecommunication,” he said.

Dk Fauziah Nadhirah and Ak Adi Nazri expressed their gratitude and pride for being able to continue their mother’s legacy, the national qariah Hjh Aminah Hj Abd Manaf who was the champion of the International Al-Quran Reading Competition back in 2002.

Having started learning since the age of eight, the second eldest of nine siblings, Dk Fauziah Nadhirah, told The Brunei Times that aside from learning with her mother, participating in Al-Quran reading classes and schemes helped her to improve her reciting skills.

“In Brunei Darussalam, such classes, schemes and competitions relating to reading Al-Quran needs to be well organised so youths can be well-exposed to it,” she said.

Urging youths to join such courses, she also stressed that learning to read and understand Al-Quran is important and it serves as guidance to life where people can refer to it at anytime.

Her younger brother, Ak Adi Nazri, the third eldest of nine said that he also learnt a lot from their mother and Al-Quran reading scheme.

Started learning to read Al-Quran from the age of ten, he encouraged other youths to keep reading and learning the Quran and its content more in-depth.

Joining in the regional competition for the first time, Ak Adi Nazri looked forward to participate in more competitions next year.

Meanwhile, Sidiq Mulyana the Indonesian qari who claimed the second place with a score of 88.2 per cent in the male category told The Brunei Times that mental preparation is the most important before contesting their skills.

“It does not matter whether your voice is good (when you’re reciting the Quran)... if you are nervous, you would not be able to give it your best,” he said.

“For example, some of my friends are unable to sleep and eat thinking of their upcoming contest, but for me, what I do was torecite more selawat and zikir and sometimes I also listen to music to calm myself down,” he added.

“Reading Al- Quran is a necessity in life... we should always learn from it and read it as it invites blessings from Allah SWT.”

Organised by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports every two years, this year marks the first time for all ASEAN members to send their delegates to participate in the Southeast Asian Youth Al-Quran Reading Competition.

-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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