Sultan presents prizes to Qari, Qariah champions
Rokiah Mahmud

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night consented to present prizes to the winners of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults for 1433H/2012M at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

Accompanying His Majesty were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah and other members of the royal family.

His Majesty and the royal entourage were greeted on arrival by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman, who was also the chairman of the executive committee of the competition.

The ceremony commenced with a mass recitation of surah al-Fatihah led by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

According to the Minister of Religious Affairs, the format for this year's competition was different compared to previous years, whereby the competition was held for three nights in a row instead of two. The changes were made in view of the growing number of people signing up for the religious competition, he said, adding that the ten finalists - five Qari (male Quran readers) and five Qariah (female Quran readers) - had been competing for the last two nights.

"Alhamdulillah with the leadership and vision of His Majesty, (this religious competition) has shown progress in both the development and enhancement of al-Quran literacy in Brunei Darussalam," said the minister.

After His Majesty delivered a titah, the names of the winners were announced by Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Zaimi bin Haji Talip.

Ak Muhammad Adibul Amin bin Pengiran Haji Marjuki emerged as the Qari champion, while Dayang Nurfaezah binti Haji Emran was named the Qariah champion. The champions each received a cash prize of $7,000 and a trophy.

The runners-up under the Qari category were Awang Haji Muhammad Fahmie bin Haji Metussin (first runner-up) and Awang Haji Ismail bin Haji Sulaiman (second runner-up). Meanwhile, in the Qariah category, the runners-up were Dayang Hajah Maidah binti Haji Abdul Rahman (first runner-up) and Dayang Hajah Siti Noor Dzuhairah binti Haji Awang Damit (second runner-up).

Besides trophies, a cash prize of $5,000 was presented to the first runners-up, while the second runners-up received $3,000.

Consolation prizes of $1,000, meanwhile, went to Awang Haji Mahrof bin Haji Chuchu, Awang Mohd Halbi bin Haji Ibrahim, Dayang Hajah Nurul Akmalina binti Haji Yahya and Dayang Hajah Amal Nazirah binti Haji Asmat.

Certificates of participation and prizes were also presented to all the finalists of the competition, which carried the theme, "Al-Quran Panduan Kesempurnaan Insan" ("Al-Quran as a guide to human holistic perfection).

At last night's event, both the Qari and Qariah champions presented their respective recitations of the Quran. There was also a recitation of the Quran by Encik Amirahman Abas from Malaysia, the champion of the 53rd International Quran Reading Competition in Malaysia. - Borneo Bulletin (4 May 2012)