Malaysian boy wonder takes honours in Dubai Holy Quran Awards.
More than 80 contestants from as many countries participated in the contest to find out who is the best in reciting the Holy Quran - a regular feature during Ramadan for the past 12 years.
And while Zahid won the recitation category this year, others were not too far behind.
Khalid Ali, 14, put his home country Switzerland on the DIHQA map for the first time. Each day he revises 100 pages of the holy book to stay sharp. Four years ago he committed all of its 77,250 words to memory.
Ali is a hafiz (guardian). When used in respect to the Quran, it means someone who preserves it from change. A hafiz is expected to carry on reciting the scripture if he or she is given any of the 6,236 verses at random.
Even younger than him is Abdullah Jallow, 12. The Gambian preteen decided at the age of seven to dedicate his whole life to the Quran after he heard a saying of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH): eIuThe best of you are those who learn and teach the Quran.eIN
Jallow takes time out by playing football. He said he was hoping to win, though some participants were older and more experienced.
And 17-year-old Osama Jian apparently fitted that profile. The Taiwanese national speaks fluent Arabic and is studying Islamic law in Saudi Arabia. JianeIUs brother and sister are also a hafiz.
Eighteen-year-old Mohammad Razek wants to help people understand Islam so that they appreciate its good qualities and become Muslim. eIuYou should know the Quran well if you want to do that,eIN said Razek.
The Sri Lankan student who is a hafiz, likes science and maths.
The results of the recitation competition were declared at the close of the DIHQA on September 20. The presentations were judged by six scholars from different countries.
The closing ceremony was held at the Cultural and Scientific Association in DubaieIUs Al Mamzar area.
The first prize in the recitation category was Dh250,000.
Lectures by famous Muslim personalities are part of DIHQA, a project of the Dubai government. Its Islamic Personality of the Year award is valued at Dh1 million, and this year the award went to the King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran in Saudi Arabia.
The complex has already published over 200 million copies of the scripture.
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