His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office officiated the opening of the final rounds of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults for 1441 Hijrah/2020 at the International Convention Centre last night.
Also in attendance was His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik.
Upon arrival, Their Royal Highnesses were greeted by Minister of Religious Affairs and Chairman of the National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults for 1441 Hijrah/2020 Executive Committee Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman with the rest of the executive committee members.
A total of 12 Qaris and Qariahs finalists are competing in the three-day annual competition that concludes with the result announcement tomorrow evening.
The Minister of Religious Affairs in his opening remarks informed that 66 individuals competed in the district-level at mosques nationwide, and 42 made it to the semi-finals, plus 11 in-waiting participants including the Qari champion of the National Youth Al-Quran Reading Competition 2018.
“From 53 individuals who made it to the semi-finals, 12 of the best have been narrowed down to the finals,” he said, adding that all the participants are in the age range of 18-39 years.
The event last night saw performances by finalists Qaris Muhammad bin Ali and Md Zul-Hafiz bin Tengah and Qariahs Dayangku Amal Zahirah binti Pengiran Haji Jofri and Dr Hajah Siti Wardah binti Major (Rtd) Haji Abdul Rahman.
The event was further enlivened with an Al-Quran recitation by a guest Qari from Malaysia Ustaz Che Yahaya bin Daud, who was champion of the International Al-Quran Reading Competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1999.
A recitation of the Sayyidul Istighfar from 30 students of the Institut Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah concluded last night’s event.
The contest, which carries the theme Menjana Keberkatan Rezeki Dengan Al-Quran this year, will continue tonight with the recitation from the remaining four Qaris and four Qariahs, to determine the champion Qari and Qariah.
The three-day event also features an exhibition and sales of books from government agencies, Muallaf entrepreneurs and the private sector.