His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam graced the 9th Southeast Asian Youth Al-Quran Reading Competition for 1441 Hijrah/2019 finals at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas last night.
The monarch was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.
They were received on arrival by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin and Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman in their capacity as the Co-Chairmen of the Executive Committee of the competition.
The event began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah led by the State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned and welcoming remarks from the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who highlighted that up until this year, 164 Qaris and Qariahs have participated in the competition since it began in 2000. This year saw 11 Qaris and 11 Qariahs participating from all ASEAN member countries, including Timor Leste.
The minister said the competition serves as a bridge of communication in strengthening the already existing ties within Southeast Asia and that the competition is a manifestation of the unity of regional nations as a united and supportive community in initiatives that have a significant impact. Its objective is not just to compete but also to be seen as an effective initiative to spread Islamic Tarbiyyah and uniting youth Ummah and Ukhuwah of Southeast Asia.
His Majesty then delivered a titah, followed by a video of Al-Quran recitation of Qari and Qariah on the first and second nights and the announcement of the results of the competition by Acting Director of the Islamic Da’wah Centre, Ministry of Religious Affairs Haji Abdul Rajid bin Haji Mohd Salleh in his capacity as the Chairman of Judges.
Kamaruddin G Zaidon from the Philippines and Dayangku Siti Ummi Syazana binti Pengiran Haji Marjuki from Brunei Darussalam emerged as the champion Qari and Qariah of the competition.
The Qari category saw Hadi bin Mohd Sharkawi from Malaysia in second place and Abdull Mu’in bin Haji Abdul Hamid from Brunei Darussalam in third place.
In the Qariah category, A’tiiqah binti Suhaimi from Singapore came in second place and Nurul Husna binti Sharif from Malaysia was in third place.
The event was further enlivened by Al-Quran recitation performances by champion Qari and Qariah.
His Majesty then presented the champions and the rest of the participants with their prizes and tokens of appreciation. The event concluded with a Doa Selamat read by the State Mufti. The competition is a project of His Majesty’s Government, which has been held every two years since 2000. Invitations are extended to Muslim youth between the ages of 18 to 30 from countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand, with Brunei Darussalam as the host.