While memorisers of the Holy Quran are keen to participate in international Quran competitions, it has been a dream come true and an honour for many to participate in the Dubai International Holy Quran Award.
Among them is 20-year-old Abderrahmane Toukane, originally from Morocco, who represents Italy in the 16th session of the Award. “It is really an honour for me to compete in such a major international award.”
Supported by one of his professors, Toukane applied for the award and got a reply only 20 days before the start of the contest. “To my surprise, I received an approval for participation and an air ticket,” he said. Giving details of his journey with the Quran, Toukane said he studies at the College of Islamic Studies in France where he started memorising the Quran at the age of 17 and completed in more than two years with the help and encouragement of his father.
“Though I did not start memorising the Quran at a young age at a mosque or at a special Quran study centre, I was able to learn it by heart when I joined my Islamic college in France,” he said. Toukane said he participated in several local contests in France and Croatia in which he either came first or second. “I do wish to be a professor in the science of Quran recitation though I am planning to complete my studies in literature,” he said.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Mohammad Javad from Iran started memorising the Quran at an early age of four and finished at eight. “I used to learn half a page by heart every day.” Javad did not memorise the Quran at a mosque, his father was a great help to him as he also taught him reading and writing at home. “My father is also teaching my younger brother, 10, and he has already competed four parts of the 30-part holy book,” he said.
Showing good performance in terms of memorisation and recitation, Javad came first in many local Quran contests, and participated in two international Quran awards in Egypt in 2009 and Kuwait in 2012.
“Memorising the Quran has sharpened my memory, enlightened my mind, and made me excel in my academic studies,” he added, noting that he got a bachelor degree in Quran from the Ministry of Education in Iran for fully memorising the holy book.