Two Filipinos join world Qur’an reading contest

Two Filipino Muslims will take part in an international reading competition of the Islamic sacred book which will held this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

An information sent by the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, an agency under the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism here in the Philippines, said that Saudi M. Gandisa, 23 of Datu Piang, Maguindanao and Rahima M. Panondiongan, 29 of Marawi City will join at least 70 more participants across the world in the competition.

Malaysia has been hosting reading competitions of the Islamic book since 1961 “to instill and foster love for the Al Qur’an among the Muslims and live with the good message inscribed by the religious book.”

Qur’an is being read verbatim by Muslims. Since it is written in Arabic, reading it requires expertise in speaking the Semitic language of the Arabs. But Filipinos are known to have aced over the years, including Prof. Hassan Sarip who won in the 1979 international contest in Tripoli, Libya.

Other Filipinos who became well-known globally include Ustadza Bantayao Parahiman who won the top title in the female category of the 2002 World Qur’an reading contest in Malaysia.

Gandisa and Panondiongan topped the recent National Qur’an Reading Competition in the Philippines, gaining support from various government leaders and members of the Muslim diplomatic community.

“We are praying that our performance in the prestigious International Qur’an Reciters’ Assembly in Kulala Lumpur, Malaysia this July will surpass what we achieved last year so we could bring more honors to our country” National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Dianalan-Lucman said.

Organizing and hosting of Qur’an reading competitions from provincial, regional, up to national levels is an institutional function of the NCMF, particularly its Bureau on Muslim Cultural Affairs (BMCA) currently headed by Director Laman M. Piang.

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