Sri Lankan teenager Riski Mohamed Riskhan won the first prize at
the 34th King Abdul Aziz International Competition for
Memorization of the Holy Qur’an, which concluded at the Haram
Mosque in Makkah last week.
There were 25 winners in the competition. Riskhan, the first prize
winner, represented Madrasathul Ilm from the Colombo Grand Mosque.
The winner of the first prize received a cash award of SR 100,000
while the next four winners bagged cash prizes of SR 90,000
(second), SR 80,000 (third), SR 70,000 (fourth) and SR 60,000
Salman bin Muhammad Al-Amri, public relations director of the
contest, said in a statement that out of 161 contestants from 53
countries, 87 competitors were sent by their respective
governments, while 66 represented Islamic organizations in Muslim
and non-Muslim countries.
“The contest aimed at highlighting
the Kingdom’s interest in the memorization and recitation of the
Holy Qur’an. The Kingdom wants to promote learning of the Holy
Qur’an among the Muslim youth,” he said.
The contest had 10 judges, four of
whom were from the Kingdom. The other six came from Egypt, Jordan,
Mauritania, Malaysia, Pakistan and Nigeria.
The Kingdom spends annually more
than SR 100 million for the contest without seeking any material
motive, the director said.
Competitions were held in the
categories of memorization of full text with correct intonation,
commentary and meaning of words, and memorization of 20 continuous
juz (parts) with intoned recitation..
“The Sri Lankan boy Riski Mohamed
Riskhan has created history by winning an international Qur’an
recitation contest in the Kingdom,” Consul General in Jeddah
Adambawa Uthumalebbe said Friday.
“This is the first time a Sri Lankan
has won this international annual competition, beating
participants from 53 countries,” said Sri Lankan Senior Minister
Abdul Hameed Mohammed Fowzie, who is currently in Makkah.
On arrival in Colombo, Mohamed
Riskhan received a hero’s welcome on Wednesday for his
He was received at the Bandaranaike
International Airport by M.K.D.S. Gunawardena, the deputy minister
of Buddha sasana and religious affairs, and Mervyn Silva, minister
of public relations and public affairs.
The annual event, which promotes the
memorization and recitation of the Holy Qur’an, was conducted by
the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance in
It was held under the auspices of
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and was attended
by participants from 53 countries throughout the world.