Indian Wins Dh250,000 Quran Prize
Ahmed Shaaban 11 September 2009, DUBAI — Ibrahim Hafez Syed Ahmed from India clinched the top place and the Dh250,000 prize money in the 13th Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA), pushing Sudan’s Ismail Hagai and Nigerian AbdulMalik AbuBakar Ibrahim to second and third spots. Hagai won Dh200,000 for his efforts in the memorised recitals and Ibrahim bagged Dh150,000. The closing ceremony took place at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. During the ceremony, Islamic Personality of the Year Dr Murad Wilfried Hofmann and the top 10 of the 77 contestants (selected from an original list 85) Quran Awards competition were honoured. Certificates and cash prizes were given away to the other participants as well. Contestants, who scored above 80 per cent, were rewarded with Dh30,000 each, while those with scores ranging from 70 to 80 per cent, received Dh25,000 each. Participants, who scored, less than 70 per cent got Dh20,000 each. Addressing the gathering, Ibrahim Bu Melha, chairman of the DIHQA Organising Committee, said, “DIHQA has promoted the memorising activities in and outside the country. It has created a shining image of the country and its blessed leaders.” Dr Hofmann said he had a precious opportunity in the last few years to give lectures in all Gulf countries. “In each case, I found that thanks to Islam the quality of life had not been submerged by the quantity of goods available in a globalising world,” Hoffman pointed out. “In this respect, desert life, still somehow available to you, is of utmost importance. The desert is bound to fascinate Muslims for its beauty based of simple, uncluttered forms, its silence, vastness, and austerity. He who seeks Allah, will find him in the desert. He who loves the desert, loves Allah.” Hofmann stated that in the West a ‘battle’ no longer rages between religions. “Rather the most significant ideological split separates those who believe in a transcendent reality from those who, as atheists, agnostics and materialists no longer do. In this confrontation Islam is on the forefront, almost alone now.” Head of the jury panel Dr Tariq Abdul Hakim Al Al Bayumi, Egypt, said the competition saw 85 contestants who were received this year. One participant returned while seven others have been disqualified during preliminary testing for poor performance.