Saturday Apr, 20 2024 09:11:59 AM

Winner in international Qur’an tilt outstages BARMM officials

Mindanao Peace Process • 10:15 AM Sat Mar 30, 2024
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By: 
Nash B. Maulana
Al Hafidh Muzaher Shuaib Bito, third placer of the 27th Session of the Dubai International Holy Qur’an Contest, held on March 13 to 22.

CAMP DARAPANAN, Maguindanao Norte — A young Qur’an reciter outshone many of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) officials during the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on Maundy Wednesday here.

Deputy Speaker Lans Ali Jr. of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) said he grabbed the opportunity for a photo opportunity with Al Hafidh Muzaher Shuaib Bito, who returned home third place from the 27th Session of the Dubai International Holy Qur’an Contest, held in that country from March 13 to 22.

The 17-year old Bito who hails from Datu Abdullah Sangki, Maguindanao del Sur, bested more than 60 other participants among contestants from 70 different countries.

Back home from that triumph, Bito was introduced and requested to sit in-front of BTA Chairman and Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim—amid audience’s chants of Allahu Akbar! (God is Greatest).

It was an instant celebrity status for the Hafiz (reciter of the verses of the Qur’an), outshining many officials of the BTA present during the occasion of the 10th CAB Signing Anniversary here.

But strangely with all the praises for Bito for the honors, Moro officials and even bloggers and Moro netizens have not talked about the monetary prize he received in addition to his trophy—which is P 3 million in cash. But “it’s the honors over the money,” commented a Moro overseas Filipino worker who witnessed the Dubai contest.

Based on the video documentary of the occasion, the system was elaborate in the 27th Session of Dubai International Holy Qur’an Contest: the Arab judges would recite verse-to-verse, and the contestants were asked to fill-in the bridging narratives from memory. What edged out Bito from the first place was a mere vowel mispronunciation of a word in a verse.

“No one talked about the money (prize),” said one of Bito’s relatives, “apart from the fact that ending up third place in an international competition was an honor not only for himself but for the Bangsamoro people, and the country in general.”

“From the start, I have been a fan of Al Hafidh Muzaher S. Bito, especially when he won Third Place during the 27th Session of the Dubai International Holy Qur'an Contest held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,” confides Ali in an FB post.

Ali said since he only saw Bito’s feat for the country and the Bangsamoro on Facebook, it became a simple wish that he could get closer to Bito and have a photo opportunity with him. But the chance almost got dimmed by hundreds of people who also wanted to have a picture with him. "But with the grace of Allah, and the help of Mohammiden Utto Menang, I never thought that opportunity would come today." 

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