By Al Qalam Reporter
Hafidh Qaari Saifullah Kathrada (20) of Durban impressed judges at Kuwait’s international Quran competition last week when he scored a phenomenal 91.6% after competing against 130 contestants’ from 79 countries around the world.
Although he didn’t make the top positions, his recitation was nonetheless commended.
Saifullah Kathrada is the son of Hafidh Imraan Kathrada, and grandson of well-known community personality, ‘Pete’ Kathrada of the manufacturing firm, Katsox.
He is currently pursuing his matric, having taken two years off from schooling, in order to study the Holy Quran full-time.
His cash prize in the Quran competition – held from April 11-18 in Kuwait City – was 1000$ together with a gift box, including a gold medal, a certificate and a frame depicting his achievements alongside the South African flag.
He was a contestant in the Full Qur’aan Memorization category. The award was divided into four branches: memorizing the entire Quran with Tajweed, memorizing Quran with the ten readings, recitation, and finally the award of the best technical project serving of the Holy Quran.
Hifidh Imraan Kathrada told Al Qalam that he was extremely grateful to the Almighty that his son had excelled, given the hard work he had put into preparing for “The Kuwait International Award for Memorizing the Quran”.
For Qaari Saifullah – apart from his exemplary achievements – another highlight was when he and other contestant’s were congratulated by the Imam of the Haram, Sheikh Abdullah Al Juhni, who addressed the contestants and provided guidance for the future.
There was a fantastic camaraderie that blossomed among the brothers in the 10 days or so that they were together, taking home beautiful memories that they will cherish long into the future.
Qaari Saifullah completed memorization of the Qur’aan under his father, who when away on business trips, sent him to Qaari Haneef Taylor in Parlock for revision of chapters memorized.
Said Hafidh Imraan Kathrada: “Every time he memorized a chapter, Hafidth Ismail Fakrudeen acted as an external examiner for the chapter memorized and only when approved by him, proceeded to memorize the next chapter. In this fashion the entire Quraan, with the grace of Allah, was memorized. He then proceeded to Madrassah Da’watul Haq for three months of ‘muraaja’a (dhor). Thereafter, he received Ijaaza and qualified as a Qaari of Hafs under Sheikh Muhammed Ahmed Khalaf of Egypt.”
Meanwhile, the management Orient Islamic School in Durban, where Hafez Saifullah is completing his matric year, was elated at his achievements.
Shaahid Dawood, an Orient spokesperson said Hafez Saifullah has “brought honour to his school as well as to the South African Muslim community through his brilliant Quranic recitation at the International Quran memorization competition in Kuwait. Saifullah achieved an amazing 91,6% in his respective category. Competing against some of the best reciters from throughout the world, he was successfully placed in the A+ category.”
“May he continue to bless us with his beautiful recitation”, he said.
The annual event was opened by Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
The award aims to strengthen the role of Kuwait leadership in the field of Quran and to “promote the role of institutions and organizations of the Holy Quran. It also aims at spreading the competitive spirit among local and international participants.”
For Hafidh Qaari Saifullah, his trip to Kuwait was an experience he will never forget.
Apart from the seriousness of the event, the contestants were feted in a 5 star hotel with three meals a day comprising an unlimited variety of delectable cuisine, fully sponsored by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs under the patronage of the Ameer of Kuwait.
They were also taken on excursions to interesting sights in Kuwait City.