Nat'l Al-Quran reading champions awarded

His Majesty (L), presenting the first prize to Nurfaezah Haji Emran, champion in the Qariah category. Picture: BT/ Yusri Adanan

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night attended the "National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults 2012/1433H" at the International Convention Centre (ICC), along with other members of the Royal Family

Accompanying His Majesty was His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office.

Also present was His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah.

In his welcoming remarks, Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abd Rahman said the progress of Al-Quran reading in Brunei was due to the wise leadership of His Majesty.

"His Majesty desires his people to be knowledgeable duniawi (worldly) and ukhrawi (hereafter), Al-Quran literate and taking Al-Quran as guidance towards excellence and happiness, so that we will be spared from the azab (punishment) of Allah (SWT)," he added.

The escalating interest, the minister noted, is the result of the monarch's guidance and encouragement for his people to be more knowledgeable, well-read and well versed in Al-Quran.

The contestants were made up of the defending champions from the two categories and the finalists (five qari and five qariah) who scored the highest marks in the semi-finals held in March.

First place winners for qari and qariah received $7,000; second place $5,000; $3,000 for third place; while consolation winners received $1,500.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, first place winner for the male category Ak Muhammad Adibul Amin Pg Hj Marjuki, said that his passion for reading the Quran started when he was very young.

The 25-year-old said he will continue reading the Quran.

In the female category, first place winner Nur Faezah Hj Emran stated that the intensive course provided by the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) was a big help in preparing the participants.

"I have always recited the Quran since primary to secondary school and I'm still practising and reading the Quran," said the 29-year-old.

The other participants in the male category were, Hj Muhammad Fahmie Hj Metussin who won second place; Hj Ismail Hj Sulaiman in third; while Hj Mahrof Hj Chuchu, Mohammad Ali and Mohd Albi Hj Ibrahim received consolation prizes.

For the female category, Hjh Maidah Hj Abdul Rahman received second place; Hjh Siti Noor Dzuhairah Hj Damit won third place; while Hjh Noorlaila Hj Metussin, Hjh Nurul Akmalina Hj Yahya and Amal Nazirah Hj Asmat received consolation prizes.

The ceremony followed with the recital of selected verses from the Al-Quran by both the male and female first place winners, and a recital performed by Amirahman Abas, the qari champion of the 53rd International Tilawah Al-Quran in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A thanksgiving prayer by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz Juned marked the end of the event.

The Brunei Times

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