▪︎Host, Lagos shines, carts six out of 60 prizes
After several weeks of tough intellectual contest at the recently concluded 34th National Qur’an Competition in Lagos, Mallam Umar Kabir, the male representative of Kaduna State and Hajiya Diya’atu AbdulKadir Sani, the female representative of Kano State have been declared overall winners by the League of Judges.
They both smiled home with a brand new Nissan Almera car each, cash and other mouth-watering prizes.
In a keenly contested competition, Umar led with a sterling 96.80 points in the male category, leaving his closest co-contestant from Niger State, Abbas Muhammad Hussaini at 94.50 points as the first runner-up.
The second runner-up was the contestant from Zamfara State, Umar Shehu Ladan who garnered a total point of 94.20.
The host state, Lagos didn’t make the first 22 positions in the first category, which focused on the memorisation of 60 Hibz (one fourth) of the Glorious Qur’an and Tafsir (exegesis).
Hajiah Diya’atu topped the female category with a total score of 96.60 and was closely followed by Zainab Yazid Muhammad from Katsina State with the total point of 94.20. Saratu Abubakar Muhammad Maru from Zamfara State came third with the total point of 94.00.
Muslim News findings revealed that Lagos which hosted no fewer than 600 participants from the 36 States of the Federation didn’t make the first sixteen positions in the female category.
The state however managed to cart away six out of 60 prizes in 12 different categories.
The formal opening and closing ceremonies of the Qur’an Competition, otherwise known as “Lagos for Qur’an 2020” were held at the Sports Centre, University of Lagos, Akoka and Main Bowl of the Tasleem Balogun Stadium, Surulere respectively between December 27, 2019 and January 4, 2020.
Speaking with Muslim News, Mallam Goni Abdullahi Abba, one of the judges from Kaduna State, explained the different stages in the competition and how the representative from Kaduna State made it, defeating other contestants in the competition.
According to him, ‘Basically, what we assessed in the competition were the eloquence of the contestants in terms of recitation; the beauty of their intonation; their mastery and application of the rules of Tajweed (the science of Quranic recitation); more importantly, their level of memorization and their understanding of the meaning of the Kalimaat (wordings) of the Quran.”
Watch the announcement of winners: [embedyt] https://youtu.be/iKAlmu5Udzc [/embedyt]
“There are 6 categories in the competition. The first category is on two hizbs of the Quran. The second category is on the intonation (Tangeem). The third category is on twenty hizbs of the Qur’an. The fourth category is on forty hizbs of the Qur’an. The fifth caregory is on sixty hizbs. The sixth category is on Tafsirul Kalimaat (the meaning of Qur’anic wordings).
“Those are the six categories in the competition for both male and female sections. For a contestant to scale through, he has to be well grounded in the knowledge of Tajweed, his tonation must be good and he has to understand the meaning of the Kalimaat (wordings) in the Quran,” he said.
Mallam Abdullahi noted that the victory of the contestant from Kaduna state is the outcome of his resilience and enduring commitment to the Qur’an, adding that he has always been a serial participant in the Qur’an competition but coasted home to victory this time around.
“The winner, Umar Kabir has been trying and doing it for long. But Allah made it possible for him this year. He has been participating in all the editions for the last four years. In fact, he came second at a time. But this time around, he did his best. The margin with which he defeated his closest co-contestant is wide.
“He perfected the memorization of the Qur’an to the extent that he didn’t forget rulings in the course of the competition. Also, he has a grounded knowledge of the Kalimaat (wordings) of the Qur’an. All the Kalimaat thrown to him were well answered. Surprisingly, the last question on Kalimaat which was very critical was also well answered by him. I think that’s what gave him an edge above others,” he said.
Mallam Abdullahi further expressed his happiness with the successful outing of the winner from Kaduna State, saying that excitement was boldly written on his face and could be noticed by all at the venue. He however gave thanks to Allah for the success recorded by Mallam Umar in the Qur’an Competition.
Meanwhile, past champion and Kano State Musabaqah judge, Dr Ibrahim Siraj (PhD) described the overall winner of the female category, Hajiya Diya’atu as a flawless reciter with a very good and retentive memory, who also answered all the questions thrown at her on Tafsirul Qur’an perfectly.
Speaking with Muslim News, Dr Siraj said, “Diya’atu has also made several attempts in the past where she ran out of luck. Fortune however smiled at her this time around, making her the first female champion from Kano State, a rare feat.
“Unlike many past Champions who participated and won in the lower categories before becoming overall winners, the new champion was able to make it in her first appearance at the National Musabaqah,” he added.
Advising the winners, other participants and fellow Muslims, the Kano and Kaduna judges said Islam is a religion that values knowledge, adding that Muslims must put total interest in the memorization and knowledge of the Quran. They expressed delight at the participation and performance of a 6-year old – Abdullahi in the competition, saying it was a challenge for everyone.
“I urge all those who attended the competition, the participants and all Muslims to continue to study very hard so as to know more about Islam as our religion. We have to devote enough time to our religious affairs more than we give to material and worldly things,” Dr Siraj.
On his part, Mal. Abdullah advised participants who did not make it this year to go back home and read tirelessly, adding that, “In National competitions, you meet different champions and geniuses from different regions. You will find out that you are just a local champion. So, I advise you to read more if you want to come out successful in subsequent times.
“The winners should also not relent in their efforts. They should continue reading and practising. The young boy of just 6 years old who participated in the competition is a challenge to every Muslim. He participated in forty hizbs. People were doubting if he would perform well, but he did well when we threw questions to him. It is important that we all get acquainted with the Qur’an especially the application of Tajweed rules. We have a long way to go!,” he said.
With this victory, both winners are expected to represent Nigeria in any of the international male and female competitions coming up later this year in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.