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)
Following the reflection obtained from the Ayah above, AFTAB has been holding the annual Qur’an Competitions for the past 13 years to inspire and motivate students, children and individuals from our member Jamaats to connect and develop their understanding of the Holy Qur’an.
This year the 13th AFED Qur’an Competition was successfully hosted by the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat Arusha from the 28th to the 30th of July 2017.
QC13 Competition and Participation
Every year, we enhance capabilities of the participants, new categories are added. This year there were 3 overall categories namely: Open Qur’an Recitation, Qur’an Memorization (Hifdh) and Sources of Ma’rifah of Allah (s.w.t). Constituent 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 and
- 18+ years
The Ma’rifah competition was catered for the higher 2 age-bands only, namely:
- 15+ to 18 years and 18+ years.
A total of 213 participants from 10 Jamaats took part, they are from:
Arusha – 33, Bukoba – 6, Dar es Salaam – 46, Kampala – 3, Moshi – 13,
Mwanza – 17, Mombasa – 31, Nairobi – 37, Tanga – 9, Zanzibar – 18.
Moreover, the distribution of male to female participation in this event was slightly skewed with more females attending in comparison to males ~6% more females (as seen in Figure 2 below).
In addition to that, Figure 3 shows participant characteristics in showing the numbers of participants in each category.
Figure 3: Break down of participants attending QC13 based on the categories
The Opening ceremony took place on Thursday, 27th July, 2017 at the KSIJ Arusha Imambargha at 8:30 pm. After a warm welcome speech by the QC 13 Organizing Team, the AFTAB Chairman gave a brief summary and introduced the Judges. The Participants and Patrons were also given the opportunity to ask questions/concerns which were answered by the Judges.
Friday, 28th July was a day of Hifdh competition for the Boys and Girls whilst simultaneously the ladies’ Ma’rifah competition commenced. Saturday 29th July consisted of Open Qur’an recitation for Boys and Girls and simultaneously the Boys’ Ma’rifah took place. Sunday 30th July marked the end of the Ma’rifah competition for all the categories.
As the Annual Qur’an competition attracts youth from different Jamaats, AFTAB took the opportunity to invite those aged 13 – 35 to engage in discussions on challenges faced by them and identify a way forward. This well-attended forum was facilitated by Seyed Hassan Naqvi, Chairman of AFTAB and attended by Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, Sheikh Murtadha Alidina, Sheikh Mulabba Saleh and members of AFTAB, AYN Boards and Arusha Youth body.
AFTAB is thankful to the Participants for coming forward and freely discussing their challenging issues. Their contributions and observations will play a pivotal part in drawing up the action plan for Family Affairs, which is one of the streams that the Board is addressing.
The closing ceremony was held at the Imambargha on Sunday 30th of July, 2017, and was well attended by our community members in Arusha and Moshi Jamaats, parents, Madressah teachers, students, participants and others.
The Master of Ceremony Br. Mohamedhussein Sheriff, on behalf of the QC13 Organizing Committee thanked all the participants and appreciated the presence of all the Board Members and Representatives of AFED. He reiterated that the ultimate aim is the learning derived participating in the competition.
The President of Arusha Jamaat Alhaj Shabbir Bhai Virjee 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.
He thanked the participants in acknowledging the efforts by their parents and teachers and partaking with zeal and enthusiasm. He expressed gratitude towards the QC13 Organizing Team in Arusha led by Sr Azra Sheriff and ardently supported by Sr. Fehmida Kermalli, Sr Izzat Virjee, Br. Hussein Sajan and Br. Mahmood Sheriff.
On behalf of the AFED Chairman Alhaj Shabir Najafi, the AFED Honorary Assistant Secretary Br. Alihassan Kassam, expressed deep appreciation to Arusha Jamaat for hosting the 13th Qur’an Competition. He thanked the QC13 Organizing Team led by Sr. Azra Sheriff for the sacrifices of their valuable time and tireless efforts in making the event successful. He also expressed AFED’s appreciation to the Chairman of AFTAB Seyed Hassan Naqvi, Fatim bai Somji and her team, the Judges, Volunteers, Madrassah Teachers, Maalims and the Participants for their efforts and valuable time they put in the planning and preparations for the Competition.
AFTAB Chairman, Seyed Hassan Naqvi in his address highlighted the pivotal role of Jamaats, Madaris and especially parents in the success of the competitions and called upon for their continued support and assured that the Board will ensure the spiritual development of our children and youth. He recorded appreciation to Arusha Jamaat, QC13 Organizing Team, the AFTAB Qur’an Competitions Organizing Committee, the Participants and the dedicated team of Judges whose presence brought honour and inspiration to the competition.
He made special note that the Ma’rifah competition experienced one of the most amazing participation this year and everyone, from the participants to Judges to the audience had a fascinating learning experience.
Sheikh Dr. Murtadha Alidina on behalf of the Ma’rifah Judges relayed the amazing experience they had where the participants came from various professional backgrounds and none left the room without having gained something. He emphasised that what is important is not the competition, rather it is the preparation put into learning, the reasons of participating in the Ma’rifah competition and the learning carried forward from this event.
Sheikh Nuru Mohammed commended the Board for organizing the Youth Forum, he said that Youth is the most sensitive transient period of one’s life that cannot be missed out upon by the Youth themselves and the leadership of Community. He talked on the need to have such session regularly as this helps to bridge the gap between old and new generations.
Sheikh Saleh Omar on behalf of the Judges commended the Community for its organizing this Competition annually, he said as Judges they have noted that the level of aptitude and understanding of the Holy Qur’an is increasing each year.
The Closing Ceremony concluded with the announcement of the Winners of the Competition who were cheered by the delighted audience present.
The Winners and Prizes
Summary Achievement per Jamaat
Open Quran Recitation
Recommendation received from Afed:
The Afed Secretariat has observed that in this important annual event of Qur’an Competition, only 10 Jamaats participated this year, the trend has been very identical in the previous years also, this has been brought to the attention of AFTAB to carry out a survey as to why other Jamaats do not participate, and how can AFTAB help and encourage the remaining Jamaats to partake in this important event. The Afed Chairman has strongly recommended that the participation in 2018 – QC14 should increase from 10 this year to 15 in 2018. AFTAB has been requested also to find out reason and take corrective measures.
The Africa Federation and the Afed Tabligh Board (AFTAB) records its appreciation to the following for their support, dedication, contributions and services:
- Arusha Jamaat for hosting the Competition.
- The Organizing Team of Arusha Jamaat for efficient and flawless organization.
- The Qur’an Competition Organizing Committee headed by Sr. Fatim Somji for organizing yet another successful Qur’an Competition.
- Honourable Judges, namely, Sheikh Dr. Murtadha Alidina, Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, Sheikh Saleh Omar, Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Abdallah and Sheikh Said for their commitment and time.
- The Participants, Parents, Patrons, Maalims and Madaris for encouraging and training the participants towards this success.
- Office Bearers and Managing Committee of all Participating Jamaats,
- Donors, supporters and well-wishers.
- Africa Federation Secretariat staff in Dar es Salaam.
AFTAB looks forward to the continuous support and contributions from the Community members to help keep the spirit of Qur’an alive in our midst.