Crown Prince graces National Al-Quran Reading Competition
Aziz Idris

HIS Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office graced the opening night of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults 1435H/2014M at the International Convention Centre last night.

Accompanying HRH the Crown Prince was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik. Also present were Cabinet Ministers and other distinguished guests.

On hand to welcome HRH the Crown Prince was Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pg Haji Abdul Rahman, Minister of Religious Affairs, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults 1435H/2014M.

A mass recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awg Abdul Hamid bin Bakal was read before the ceremony commenced.

Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad, in his speech, said the competition started a few months ago at mosques and religious halls throughout the country to select potential Qaris and Qariahs to represent respective zones and districts. Only those with a score of 75 per cent and above qualified for the quarter-finals.

“The number of participants in the quarter-finals included 45 Qaris and 19 Qariahs and was held for four consecutive night starting February17 at Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Mosque in Kg Sungai Akar.

“Meanwhile, 50 participants comprising 33 Qaris and 17 Qariahs competed at the Islamic Dakwah Centre in the semi-finals held for two successive days on March 11 and 12,” the chairperson stated.

“The Ministry of Religious Affairs will provide an intensive course dubbed ‘Tarannum Al-Quran’ conducted by experts from Malaysia and Indonesia for the winners that will provide the best preparation for them when they represent Brunei at the international competition to be held in Kuala Lumpur,” the minister said.

This year, members of the executive committee has brought in a guest judge from Malaysia in order to reinforce judging duties and gain valuable experience.

Following a sabda by HRH the Crown Prince, the competition began with recitations by two participants, Awang Md Zul-Hafiz bin Awang Tengah and Dayangku Fauziah Nadhirah binti Pengiran Haji Jofri before a break. The competition continued with recitations by two more participants, Awang Mohammad bin Ali and Dayang Hajah Maidah binti Haji Abd Rahman.

During the break, the ceremony was enlivened by an Al-Quran memorising recitation by Md Hashim bin Haji Abdullah, Excellent Youth Awardee at the National Youth Day Celebration 2013, a teaching staff at Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.

The theme for this year’s competition is “Al-Quran Sumber Keselamatan Dunia Akhirat”.

The competition will continue again tonight (April 9) with eight more participants (four Qaris and four Qariahs) followed by the announcement of this year’s Qari and Qariah champions on Thursday, April 10. - Borneo Bulletin (9 April 2014)