Dhule (Maharashtra): The nine-year-old Indian Muslim teenaged boy, who won the third place at International Qur'an competition held in Jeddah in the month of Ramadan, is the first Indian to do so.
"Students from our and other Indian institutions have been regularly participating in the Jeddah Quran contests. But, this is the first time an Indian is among the top three prize winners", Huzaifa Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi of Jamia Isha'aTul Uloom, Akkalkuwa said in a statement.
Hafis Mohammad Omar, the 9-year-old boy from Ratlam city, in the northwestern part of the Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh state of central India, is a student of Jamia Isha'aTul Uloom, Akkalkuwa.
Huzaifa said Hafiz Omar was handpicked by Dr Abdullah ibn Ali Basfar - famous reciter and imam from the Saudi Arabia who rose to prominence in Jeddah as an Imam and a reciter during the Ramadan Qur'an Recitation nights, who was the Chief Guest at the All India Quran contest held at Jamia Akkalkuwa in the month of March this year.
Later on Omar got special training from Sheikh Khalid of Saudi Arabia before participating in the Jeddah Quran contest.
Securing the third place among 50 contestants (with less than 10-years of age) from 33 countries, young Omar was awarded a shield, 20,000 riyals, Umrah and an appreciation letter as prize on achieving the rare feat.
The rare achievement followed Omar’s efforts to learn the Qur'an by heart at the age of seven after 18 months of working on it.