This is a Book full of Blessings that we have revealed unto you so people ponder upon its verses and men of intellect may reflect. (Qur’an 38:29)

Africa Federation Tabligh Board (AFTAB) organized the 14th Afed annual Quran Competition from the 19th to the 22nd of July 2018 in Nairobi graciously hosted by Shia Asna Asheri Jamaat (SAAJ).
 
The Qur’an Competitions being held annually to inspire and motivate students, children and individuals from our member Jamaats in Africa to connect and reflect with better understanding of the Holy Qur’an.

In an effort to improve and enhance capabilities and morale of participants, AFTAB continues to introduce new categories from time to time. This year in addition to the overall 3 categories namely: Open Qur’an Recitation, Qur’an Memorization (Hifdh) and sources of Ma’rifah of Allah (s.w.t), AFTAB introduce a 41+ years category in Open Qur’an recitation to involve the elders of the community from member Jamaats. In addition to that, memorization of the 29th Juz and a Quiz category was added for the benefit of those who wanted to focus more on understanding the translation/tafseer of the suwar.  All member Jamaats were invited to participate by selecting 2 males and 2 females in each category from their internal competition, to take part in the following age bands: 

  • 8 to 10 years
  • 10+ to 12 years
  • 12+ to 15 years
  • 15+ to 18 years
  • 18+ to 40 years and
  • 41+ years

The Ma’rifah competition was catered for the higher two age-bands only, namely:

  • 15+ to 18 years and 18+ years.

Statistics:
 
A total of 258 participants from 12 Jamaats took part. The table below gives a detailed breakdown of the participants.


Moreover, the distribution of male to female participation in this event was slightly skewed with more females attending in comparison to males ~14% more females (as seen in Figure 2 below).

In addition to that, Figure 3 provides participant characteristics in showing the numbers of participants in each category.

Figure 3: Break down of participants attending QC14 based on the categories

Opening Ceremony:
 
The Opening ceremony took place on Thursday, 19th July, 2018 at the Jaffery Islamic Centre - Nairobi Imambargha after recitation of Dua Kumayl. Following a warm welcome speech by the head of the Nairobi QC 14 Organizing Team Brother Maisam Somani, the AFTAB Chairman Seyed Hassan Naqvi gave a brief outline of QC14 and introduced the Judges.

Competition:
 
Friday, 20th July was a day of Hifdh competition for the Boys and Girls and simultaneously the ladies' Ma'arifah competition commenced. Saturday 21st July consisted of Open Qur’an recitation for Boys and Girls and simultaneously the Boys' Ma'arifah was taking place. Sunday 22nd July marked the end of the Ma'arifah competition for all the categories.

Below are some images taken during the QC14 capturing some interesting and sometimes tense moments with participants keenly and attentively listening to their colleagues.



The Closing Ceremony
The closing ceremony was held at the Imambargha on Sunday 22nd July, 2018, and was well attended by the community members, Madrasah teachers, students, participants and esteemed guests.


The Master of Ceremony Br. Sajjad Karamsi, on behalf of the QC14 Organizing Committee thanked all the participants and appreciated the presence of the President of the World Federation Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi, the Chairman of Africa Federation, Alhaj Shabir Najafi and his delegation consisting of Vice Chairman Alhaj Aunali Khalfan, Hon. Secretary Alhaj Hussein Karim, Hon. Asst.  Secretary, Alihassan Kassam, Vice Chairman of Mombasa Jamaat, Alhaj Mohamed Sajjad Rashid and AFED Housing Development Board Chairman, Alhaj Akil Hirji.
 
Also present at the Closing Ceremony were; Dr. Asgher Moledina past President of the World Federation, H.E. Alhaj Manzoor Kanani Honorary Consul of The Union of Comoros in Kenya, Alhaj Gulamali Virjee from Dubai, AFED Nominated Councillor from Arusha, Alhaj Rizwan Peera, Head of VLC of Mwanza, Alhaj Murtaza Alloo  and several other guests.
 
AFTAB Chairman, Seyed Hassan Naqvi in his address highlighted various initiatives put into this competition. He said the journey starts 6 months before this day and around 400 potential participants start studying recitation, Tajweed, Tafseer, and other requirements in their respective member Jamaat’s to merit selection in the competition. Madressahs, teachers, scholars and parents are all involved in one way or the other for a participant to reach to the peak of their abilities. 
 
He pointed out that the impact of these wonderful moments are greatly revered within the homes and the community, not only them, but each and every member of the organizing committee also becomes part of this journey and benefit immensely. He appreciated the pivotal role of all those involved and called upon their continued support and assured of AFTAB’s fullest commitment.
 
He recognized the remarkable leadership of the past Chairman of the Africa Federation Marhum Zulfiqar Khimji who had been instrumental in initiating this important event. He stated that the QC started with the humble participation of around 40 and has now grown to 260 participants and continues to grow. This initiative has indeed breathed new impetus into the culture of inculcating the importance of Quran in the community.

He concluded that the AFED QC has been an inspiration in starting the Lady Fizza Qur’an Competition organized by Birmingham Jamaat recently. He acknowledged the hard work of Sheikh Nuru Mohammed for bringing this event to fruition.
 
As an encouragement and support by AFTAB to the Lady Fizza QC, two winners of their Tafseer category were invited and fully sponsored to participate in the 14th QC in Nairobi. Birmingham Jamaat has also sponsored one of their winners to participate in the Open Quran recitation. All the three took part and appreciated their efforts.
 
AFTAB Chairman addressing to the World Federation President, Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi and the head of Islamic Education of the World Federation, Sheikh Murtadha Alidina said from these visible successes of the Qur’an Competition by AFTAB and Birmingham Jamaat, we can now start visioning of one day to witness such an event in all corners of the world in our community insha’allah.
 
He expressed appreciation to Nairobi Jamaat for successful hosting the competition, the QC14 Organizing team led by Alhaj Maisam Somani for the seamless organization including logistics, the AFTAB Qur’an Competition Organizing team led by Fatimbai Somji for her great efforts, the Participants, parents, teachers, scholars and all those who were involved in supporting them. He acknowledged the dedicated team of Judges whose presence brought honor and inspiration to the competition. He expressed his gratitude to the 80 plus volunteers who spent so much time and energy to deliver such a fascinating output.
 
Sheikh Murtaza Alidina began with verses of surah Rahman, pondering on the bounties of Allah (swt) of which the Qur’an is the foremost. He then congratulated the Head of AFTAB and the QC team for organizing the Qur’an competition event on a regular basis.

He was impressed by the participants who came from various backgrounds and different walks of life. He emphasized that the purpose of this event was to understand the Holy Qur’an better and to create a connection to Allah (swt).
 
Sheikh Alidina also encouraged the participants to take the questions positively for the benefit of learning, development of better and deeper understanding of the Holy Qur’an.
 
Sheikh Nuru Mohammed highlighted his message for the regional and international leadership of the community to explore more in the Holy Qur’an in broadening its fortes by making Qur’an our priority and strengthening local Jamaats and equipping their students in retaining the passion for the Holy Qur’an.
 
He requested the leaders of Africa Federation and the World Federation to keep supporting these initiatives.
 
Alhaj Anwarali Dharamsi in his speech thanked AFTAB Chairman, Syed Hassan Naqvi for the invitation to attend and witness the successful completion of this year’s Qur’an Competition. He thanked AFED Chairman for the honour to address the gathering at the QC14 Closing Ceremony in Imambargha. He underpinned Madrassah’s important role in building a solid foundation of Islamic values, spirituality & knowledge in our children and youths. 

Anwarali bhai explained that in order for Madrassah to keep up pace with the development and modern teaching methods etc., the WF in collaboration with AFED and other regional federations developed the MCE for training of teachers to deliver knowledge more efficiently which had started in 2010 and has since equipped teachers with teaching tools. The work has progressed immensely involving various madaris where several workshops, training and inspections have taken place, and continues.

He also briefed on internal and external Tabligh, research and publication sectors of the world federation. He was very pleased to witness how the Nairobi Jamaat Managing Committee have effectively managed the QC14 competition. He expressed delight to see an impressive turnout of participants and more pleased to see the parents/guardians and Madrassah teachers support for this event. He also congratulated Shabir bhai Najafi, and the office bearers of the Africa Federation for this unique event and reassured the WF continued support. Anwarali bhai congratulated each and every participant for their achievements.
 
Alhaj Shabir Najafi, Chairman of Africa Federation congratulated participants and commended the time and effort put in by Sheikh Alidina and Sheikh Nuru despite their other commitments. He also expressed his gratitude to the AFTAB Chairman, Syed Hassan Naqvi and his team in working with great passion especially for the Qur’an Competition. He also acknowledged and appreciated AFTAB for their commendable teamwork.

This followed by his appreciation to Sheikh Nuru Mohammed for bringing up some propositions for the leaders of the community to strengthen and implement the culture of the Holy Qur’an in our Jamaats. The Africa Federation Chairman also strongly emphasized on retaining our mother tongue in this era of diminishing culture. Lastly, he thanked the World Federation for their support to the Africa Federation in Islamic Education, Madressah and in several other areas.
 
The President of Nairobi Jamaat, Alhaj Zaheerabbas Khimji spoke in Gujarati and thanked AFTAB for giving Nairobi the opportunity to host the competition, he acknowledged the efforts of the Parents, Teachers and Mentors who believed in the children and worked tirelessly to motivate them to participate in the competition. Due to such competitions our children become better in practising and understanding the Holy Qur’an.

Zaheerabbas bhai underscored the important benefits of the competition in that participants make new acquaintances and build strong bonds of friendship with their fellow brothers and sisters. He continued by recognising the exemplary efforts put in by each and every participant and addressed them that they are all winners and the greatest reward is the trophy of Qur’an embedded in your souls.
 
He expressed gratitude towards the QC14 Organizing Team and congratulated Maysam bhai Somani, his Organising Committee, SAAJ Madressah and the Volunteers for their good efforts and hard work before and during the whole programme, he acknowledged and said their dedication and devotion can only be rewarded by Allah (swt), and wished them all good health, long life and inspiration to continue serving for the pleasure of Allah (swt).

The QC14 climax was on Sunday night at the Closing Ceremony with the announcements of the winners of the Competition who were applauded by the delighted audience and fellow participants from various Jamaats present during the presentation of trophies.




The Winners and Prizes 

Summary Achievement per Jamaat

Ma’rifah

Quiz

Quran Hifdh

Open Quran Recitation


Appreciation:
The Africa Federation and the Afed Tabligh Board (AFTAB) records its appreciation to the following for their support, dedication, contributions and services: 

  • SAAJ - Nairobi Jamaat for hosting the QC 14 Qur’an Competition.
  • The Organizing Team of Nairobi Jamaat for the efficient and seamless organization. 
  • The Qur’an Competition Organizing Committee headed by Sister Fatim M. Somji for her great efforts and dedication towards the Qur’an Competition program. 
  • Honourable Judges, namely, Sheikh Dr. Murtadha Alidina, Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, Sheikh Saleh Omar, Sheikh Issa Omari, Muallimah Jokha Said, Muallimah  Azza Ally Nassor and Muallimah Sakeena Habib for their commitment and time. 
  • The Participants, Parents, Patrons, Maalims and Madaris for encouraging and training the participants for valuable and efficient participation in the Competition. 
  • Office Bearers and Managing Committee of all Participating member Jamaats, 
  • All our donors, supporters and well-wishers. 
  • Africa Federation Office Bearers and the Secretariat staff in Dar es Salaam.

 
AFTAB looks forward for continuous support and contributions from the Community members to assist in maintaining the spirit of Qur’an alive amongst us all, and especially children.
 
 
AFTAB Secretariat (August 2018)

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