Islamic Heritage Foundation Completes Quranic Memorization Competition

Community News


The top three winners at the Islamic Heritage Foundation Qur'anic Memorization Competition are all graduates of the Dar-us-Salaam Hifz School. From right, Habeeb Marso, Muhammad Ishaq, and Hayat Marso. The first place prize of an Umrah trip went to Habeeb Marso. Photo by the author.

On Saturday, August 24th, beautiful recitations of Quran echoed through the air at the Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Students were displaying their expertise in the Islamic Heritage Foundation’s  (IHF) first annual Hafith contest.  For the past 19 years, IHF has held Quranic memorization competitions for young people ages 7 to 25 in half, one, two, and three juz categories. Hundreds of students have participated over the years.  This year, the board of IHF decided to up the stakes, by sponsoring a contest just for those who have memorized the entire Quran.

Information about the contest was sent out to masjids in Philadelphia and surrounding states, and the Washington and Montgomery County / Prince Georges County areas. The contest was held near Philadelphia as a part of Quran Family Fun Day, which included food, a moon bounce, Quranic jeopardy and scavenger hunt, and other family activities.

After lunch and Zhur prayer, contestants were called to the microphone one by one to complete 10 excerpts from the Quran as directed by judges Dr. Akhnuwkh Jones, Sheikh Mohamed Shehata, and Dr. Salman Yusuff.  The crowd waited anxiously for the decisions at the completion of the recitations. Dr. Jones congratulated all contestants for their exemplary work, and commented, “This was not an easy decision.  All of the participants did an excellent job, and the scores were very close.”

Everyone was excited for the winners as they were announced:

3rd place price, $700, to Hayat Marso, Al-Huda Hifz School, College Park, Maryland.

2nd  place, $1,000 to Muhammad Ishaq, Al-Huda Hifz School, College Park Maryland
1st place, trip to Umrah, awarded to Habeeb Marso, Al-Huda Hifz School,
College Park, Maryland.

IHF executive director Khalil Bin Brown remarked, “Allah ta’aala states in the Quran, surah Al Qamar, ayat 17, ‘And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember?’ I am very pleased with the accomplishments of the young reciters. May Allah reward them and their families, because these are the ones who have taken upon themselves to remember the Quran.

The next preliminaries for the half to three juz categories are expected to begin this fall, with several competitions expected before the final round in June. The next hafith contest will be held in summer of 2014. There are also plans to add a contest for females with female judges. Congratulations to all of the contestants, the winners, and to Al-Huda School for a great showing.  We all look forward to even more intense competition from young Quran scholars on the East Coast and beyond next year. Insha-Allah.

For more information about future contests, or if you would like to make a donation, please contact Dr. Akhnuwkh Jones, 215-920-0491, or Mail can be sent to Islamic Heritage Foundation.  P. O. Box 20984.  Philadelphia, PA  19141.