From the news desk

2 Cape Town huffath win in national Quran competition

The Mother City has again dominated the 12th annual South African Quran Memorisation Competition, with two winners of last night’s event from Cape Town. The event, MC’d by the revered Mufti Ismail Menk, was attended by some of South Africa’s top huffath, ulema, students and hundreds of aspiring youth. After a grueling final stage which kicked off at 9am until after Esha at the Nizamiye Masjid in Madrid on Saturday night, three winners emerged:

30 Juz – Ameer Brinkhuis from Cape Town
15 Juz – Ihsaan bassadien from Cape Town
5 Juz – Zafeer Patel from Lenasia, JHB

Ihsaan Bassadien, who is now 14 years old, was one of the previous winners in the 5 Juz catergory in South Africa, which he later won in the international competition in Saudi Arabia.

“Alhamdullilah, it was a beautiful night and year on year, we can chart the progress of the contestants. They keep getting better and better. The quality of readers is growing. No longer do we have to be intimidated by Arab reciters. We have bridged that up to a great extent,” said the South Africa National Quran Council (SANQC) coordinator Qari Basheer Patel, also one of the judges.

5 ajzaa winner Zafeer Patel from Gauteng

The other adjudicators this year were Qari Ayoob Essack, Sheikh Abdullah Awaldien and Qari Rasheed Ahmed Dabhelia, who have dedicated much time and effort to the formulation and development of the SANQC’s rules.

The adjudicators listen closely to each sstudent [Photo: Farhad Omar]
Each contestant excelled at three levels. Patel said barring the mistakes made, out of 50 points, most participants lost a half to one point in the hifth section.

“Hifz on its own is not enough and we need to marry it with proper tajweed. That counts for 30 percent of the mark. In previous competitions I used to judge, almost every contestant would come down in the tajweed section. But many of the contestants last night scored full marks for tajweed, including the three winners Alhamdullilah,” he explained.

In the overall presentation category, which is the extension to Tajweed, the judges assessed how accurately the contestants applied the rules.

“Out of 20 points, most contestants won one point for the most. This tells us that the standard of recitation is rising,” Patel added.

Mufti Ismail Menk addressing the audience [Photo: Farhad Omar]
For now, the judge’s tough decisions are now over yet, as they now need to select an overall winner to represent South Africa in the annual King Abdul Aziz International Quran Competition in Muharram this year. Only one contestant from the three winners will be chosen and Patel concedes they have a difficult task ahead. The winner will be announced before Ramadan.

Full Quran Category winner, Haafidh Amir Brinkhuis from Cape Town

Meanwhile, Ameen Brinkhuis, the winner of the Full Juz catergory, will not go home empty handed. The National Huffadh Association UK, which attended last night’s competition, has sponsored a prize of an umrah package for the full Quran winner. VOC

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