Photo from Marhom Ibrahim/BIO
COTABATO CITY—The much-anticipated Grand Finals of the month-long Qur’an Reading and Memorization competition were held on Sunday, April 16, at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in the Bangsamoro Government Center, drawing thousands of attendees from this city and nearby areas.
As the competition concluded, the Bangsamoro community celebrated the participants’ achievements in the event, which showcased their hard work and dedication to the study of the Qur’an.
This annual program, “Ramadhan and Qur’an in the Bangsamoro 2023,” was sponsored by the Office of the Chief Minister, and the Office of the Senior Minister, and was spearheaded by the Office of the Wali with the participation of various organizations.
The competition’s theme, “Ramadhan Brings People Together Towards Love, Peace, and Unity,” aimed to encourage the value of reading and understanding the Qur’an to promote peace and unity in the region.
Multiple winners were announced in both the Mujjawadah Category, which involved reading the Qur’an, and the Tahfeez Category, which focused on memorizing the Qur’an, during the Grand Final Competition.
Abdulmunaim Mohammad from the BARMM Special Geographic Area (SGA) emerged as the champion in the Mujjawadah Category, receiving a cash gift of Php25,000.00 from the Office of the Wali and Php5,000.00 from Cotabato City Vice-Mayor Johary “Butch” Abo.
Mohamidin Abidin, Norhadi Ishaq, and Norhan Guimalodin were declared the first, second, and third runners-up, respectively. They each received cash gifts from the Office of the Wali, a cash certificate from MAFAR Minister Yacob, a gift certificate from Norodin Salam & Family, and a box of gifts from BARMM.
The winner of the Tahfeez Category was Usama Abdulla from Ma’had Usman in Maguindanao Del Sur, who was awarded a cash prize of Php25,000.00 from the Office of the Wali and Php5,000.00 from Cotabato City Vice-Mayor Abo.
The First Runner-up was Abdulrahim Pendatun from Ma’had Adaon, who received Php20,000.00 from the Office of the Wali. The Second Runner-up was Jani Kamid from Ma’had Wihda, who received Php15,000.00 from the Office of the Wali. The Third Runner-up was Abdulbasit Abdullah from Markaz Guinakit, who received Php12,000.00 from the Office of the Wali.
All the winners also received a cash certificate from MAFAR Minister Yacob, a gift certificate from Salam & Family, a box of gifts from BARMM, and an additional cash gift of Php2,500.00 each from Abdulrahman Hardware in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao Del Sur.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim congratulated the convenor, participants, and those who supported the program for the successful conduct of the competition and emphasized that the aim of this program is to gain the pleasure of Allah SWT, since reading the Qur’an in the month of Ramadhan is encouraged to do by every Muslim Ummah.
“Our intention here to compete in reading the Qur’an is to encourage and to promote the value of reading the Qur’an, learning to read it, and knowing its meaning so that we can practice it in our daily lives,” Ebrahim said.
“We are hopeful that this religious undertaking we had will receive great rewards from Allah SWT since our main purpose is to promote and make our religion strong in the region,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) Mohammad Yacob emphasized the need to sustain the current authority that provides enlightenment in the Bangsamoro during this entire month of Ramadhan.
“We have been struggling for the past years to have programs like this but we have experienced many challenges and let us learn from those previously experienced we had,” Yacob said.
“However, due to our struggle to have proper authority in place, we have reached this kind of free religious programming in our area. With my earnest desire, I am hoping that this program will still be sustained in the future, In Shaa Allah,” Yacob added.
Abdulwahab Mohammad Pak, Member of the Parliament (MP) and head of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Committee on Traditional Madaris Education, highlighted the importance of patience during the month of Ramadhan.
“Patience is the teaching of this Holy Month while reading the Qur’an is necessary,” said MP Pak, urging families to encourage their children to study the Qur’an and hadith.
He emphasized that this serves as the foundation of their religious obligations and the capital towards the right direction in their struggle.
Also present at the event was Tahir Nalg, the Ministry of Basic Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) Director-General for Madaris Education, who stated that the finalization of the program demonstrated that the Qur’an was read for almost the entire month of Ramadhan.
“This program showed that our leaders are doing their best to deal with the general welfare of the Bangsamoro, not their own vested interest,” Nalg added.
Meanwhile, MP Romeo Sema expressed his observation that religious affairs and programs in the region have been improving every year.
“Our programs are quite improving every year while our fear or Taqwa to our Lord also increases in this Holy Month of Ramadhan,” he said, adding that this month also develops the sense of self-discipline and unity as one Bangsamoro. (Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO)