No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

NCMF holds Qur'an reading competition in Metro Manila

The 21st edition of the Qur’an reading competition in Metro Manila. (Photo by Jumalynne Doctolero/PIA-NCR)

Did you know that there is a reading competition of the sacred scripture of Islam–the Qur’an? 

Qur'an reading competitions, also known as Qira'at competitions, hold a profound significance within the Muslim world, and the Philippines is no exception. 

These events transcend mere recitation, becoming a celebration of faith, the beauty of the Qur'an, and the rich tradition of Islamic scholarship practiced by Filipino Muslims.

The competition is an annual event organized by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). These competitions are often organized to encourage and recognize individuals who excel in their ability to accurately recite and understand the holy book of Islam. 

The NCMF - National Capital Region (NCMF-NCR) held its 21st Regional Qur’an Competition on Wednesday, February 28, with the theme, “Highlighting Qur’anic Wisdom for Addressing Contemporary challenges as a path to inner peace.”

NCMF NCR Regional Director Dimapuno A. Datu-Ramos, Jr., Presidential Adviser on Muslim Affairs Almarin Centi Tillah, Light & Joy Group Hon. Norodin B. Lomondot, NCR Ulama & Imams Federation (UIF) President Uztadz Shahani  D. Mustapha, and Philippine Information Agency NCR Regional Head Emver P. Cortez graced the event at the QCX Museum mini-theater, Quezon City. 

In the 2020 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) census, Islam is the second dominant religion in the country with 6.4 percent of the population or 6,981,710 Filipinos are Muslims.

The Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, is believed to be the direct word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Its recitation is considered a sacred act, and competitions serve to highlight both the technical precision and artistic eloquence of those who have dedicated themselves to its study and memorization. Participants are judged on various criteria, including their mastery of Tajweed – the rules and principles of proper pronunciation – as well as their vocal control, melody, and the emotional impact of their delivery.

For Muslim Filipinos, Qur'an reading competitions embody a deep reverence for their religious text. They are an opportunity to showcase the devotion and skill of those who have committed significant time to memorizing and understanding the Qur'an.  

These competitions inspire a sense of community, bringing Muslims together to listen to their fellow believers engage with the holy text in a profound and meaningful way.  

The sound of Qur'anic recitation fills the air, creating an atmosphere of shared spirituality and collective respect for the sacred.

The champions for each 11 regions compete at the National Qur’an Reading Competition. The grand winners, one female and one male, will then represent the country at the International Qur’an Recital Competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Beyond the immediate aspects of the competition, these events often have broader social and cultural impacts. Winners of Qur'an reading competitions gain recognition and prestige within Muslim communities, becoming esteemed individuals admired for their religious knowledge and skill. Such competitions can encourage greater engagement with the Qur'an within the society, particularly among younger generations, as they see the passion and reverence exhibited by participants.

(PIA-NCR File Photo)

The Qur’an

The Holy Qur’an is a divine book of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation from God (Allah) to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) over a period of approximately 23 years.

It is written in Arabic, divided into 114 chapters called Surahs, which are further divided into verses known as Ayahs. 

It holds an immense importance in Islam as it is believed to contain Allah’s message to all people, a source of guidance and wisdom.

Muslims believe reciting and understanding the Qur’an will give them a higher stature in paradise. 

Importance of Qur’an reading

Presidential Adviser Tillah regarded the competition as the most important event in the Islamic calendar. 

“This is the most important activity in the Islamic calendar, because it is when the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to establish Islam as a religion,” he said.

Qur’an reading is an art form wherein portions of the Qur’an are read aloud with considerable style and accuracy in Arabic language. 

Apart from being a form of art, there is science in the Qur’an reading.  Readers strive to pronounce the Qur’an as accurately as possible, in conformity with its criterias such as: 

  • Tajwid is the art of correctly pronouncing the Quranic verses in a precise and melodious recitation.
  • Hafiz is the memorization of the entire Qur’an or specific portions of it.
  • Naggem (intonation)
  • Tartil/Fasaha (diction/fluency)
  • Shawt (voice)

Qur’an reading competitions serve as a platform to promote a deep understanding of the holy scripture, conserve culture, and foster a sense of community and spiritual growth. Additionally, reading contests held in the Philippines underscore the thriving presence of Islam within the nation. These competitions serve as a platform to highlight the unique aspects of Filipino Islamic practice, incorporating local  traditions and influences. They can foster connections with larger Muslim networks around the world, establishing a sense of belonging to a global Islamic community.

NCMF NCR Regional Director Datu-Ramos Jr. recognized the participants who joined the competition.

We have with us dedicated men and women who have utilized their talents for the sake of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. Ang ating mga kalahok ay naglaan ng hindi mabilang na mga oras upang maperpekto ang kanilang pagbigkas  na nagpapakita ng kanilang debosyon at paggalang sa banal na Qur’an. You have our deepest respect,” he said.

For his part, PIA-NCR Regional Head Cortez shared his message of support to the endeavor. 

“I commend the NCMF-NCR for their tireless efforts in organizing this esteemed competition , providing a platform for the community to celebrate the beauty of Qur’anic recitation and fostering a deeper understanding of Islamic principles and values," he said. 

For the Philippine Information Agency’s part, under the guidance of the Presidential Communications Office, we are committed to promote and provide publicity to these kinds of initiatives in promoting the diverse and unique culture of the Filipino people through our online and offline platforms," he added. 

In essence, Qur'an reading competitions in the Philippines are a testament to the enduring power of  the Qur'an and its ability to inspire devotion. They symbolize the deep connection that Filipino Muslims have with their faith, showcasing the beauty of Islamic tradition and its significance within the cultural landscape of the Philippines. These events not only celebrate the talent of individual reciters but also strengthen the bonds of community and cultivate a shared spiritual experience. (JVD/PIA-NCR)

About the Author

Jumalynne Doctolero

Information Officer


Feedback / Comment

Get in touch