From the news desk

SA’s best young huffath head to Quran finals

South Africa’s young and brightest Quran reciters will converge on the Nizamye Masjid in Midrand on Saturday 24 February for the annual National Quran Memorization Competition. The event is hosted by the South African National Quran Council (SANQC) and will be broadcast live on VOC after Maghrib. This year is the 12th year of the competition. National coordinator Qari Basheer Patel said the competition has grown in leaps and bounds.

“In the first competition, we had 20 contestants and this year we had 700 at a regional level. A few years back we had only males, but alhamdullilah now we have female reciters as well.”

The finals will see 18 contestants going head to head from each province, six in each category. These are the male finalists:

Category A (Full Quran)
Abdirahman Hassan (Gauteng)
Omar Syed (Gauteng)
Saifullah Kathrada (KwaZulu Natal)
Abdulmalik Abdulrahman (Eastern Cape)
Amir Brinkhuis (Western Cape)

Category B (15 Juz)
Zakariyya Ellemdin (Gauteng)
Abdullah Idrisa Faziri (KwaZulu Natal)
Abdullahi Abdirizaaq Aadan (Eastern Cape)
Naeem Abdol (Western Cape)
Ighsaan Basardien (Western Cape)
Muhammad Uwais Vawda (Mpumalanga)
Usama Mohammed (North West)

Category C (5 Ajzaa)
Saalihudun Abdi Elmi (Gauteng)
Usamah Mehtar (KwaZulu Natal)
Ameen Cusubi (Eastern Cape)
Achmad Davids (Western Cape)
Mohammed Jameel Molvi (Mpumalanga)
Safwaan Nagdee (Limpopo)
Shoaib Addow (North West)
Muhammed Raaziq Barday (Northern Cape)

On Saturday morning, the female competition will be held at the Palm Continental Hotel in Johannesburg, kicking off at 9am. The female finalists are:

Category A (Full Quran)
Maryam Varachia (Gauteng)
Khadija Varachia (Gauteng)
Aabieda Saban (Western Cape)
Fatima Parker (Western Cape)

Category B (15 Juz)
Aarifah Moolla (Gauteng)
Nima Hassan (Gauteng)
Aaminah Hendricks (Western Cape)
Khadija Addow (North West)
Hawa Mohamed (North West)

Category C (5 Ajzaa)
Ayesha Siddiquah Patel (Gauteng)
Ayesha Ismail (Gauteng)
Naseeha Omar (KwaZulu Natal)
Gumayrah Hendricks (Western Cape)
Zahraa Abrahams (Western Cape)
Mirriam Hassan (North West)
Fardowsa Taahir (North West)
Yusra Uleeh (North West)

The huffath will recite under the watchful eye of a panel of four adjudicators and another panellist asking questions. The contestants are adjudicated on three levels:
– Hifz, which constitutes 50 % of the score
– Tajweed, which constitutes 30%
– Consistency, which is 20%

The marks are taken from the judges to the independent auditors who will verify the data to ensure no cheating has taken place. By formulating a standardized adjudicating criterion with no scope for discrepancy, the committee said it hope to establish a standard criterion of adjudication across the globe.

The SANQC is spearheaded by teachers of the sciences of Quranic recitation who have dedicated their lives to the preservation and promotion of Quranic recitation. Sheikh Ihsaan Hendricks has been instrumental in the formation of the SANQC’s general policies. Qari Basheer Patel, Qari Ayoob Essack, Sheikh Abdullah Awaldien and Qari Rasheed Ahmed Dabhelia have dedicated much time and effort to the formulation and development of the SANQC’s Rules & Regulations.

The SANQC’s objectives:
-To promote the memorization of the Nobel Quran.
-To create love and respect for the Noble Quran and its people.
-To promote the correct recitation of the Noble Quran and its various dialects.

Patel said he was encouraged by the growing passion for Quran by young people, which he believes has been stimulated by the competition.

“The quality of Quran recitation in South Africa is of a high standard outside of the Arab world. In South Africa, our reciters stand with international qaris, sometimes even better.”

The finals will broadcast live on ITV and can be streamed on

1 comment

  1. About the adjudication of participants; what do you mean by “consistency”? And how does it differ from “Hifz”?

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