Franklin–The revelation of Holy Qur`an began in Ramadan, and Ramadan is a time when Muslims focus on reciting Qur`an. So the Islamic Cultural Association (ICA) wisely chose Ramadan as the time to bring to culmination their Qur`an competition.
The ICA is a mosque or Islamic organization whose geographical focal point is the Huda School in Franklin, although in fact Huda and ICA are entirely distinct entities.
The ICA has conducted the competition for 10 years, but the competition has gradually taken on more importance. The event used to take place only during Ramadan, but this yearâ€™s competition began 3 months before Ramadan.
Next year ICA plans to conduct the competition over an even longer period of time.
The event has this year about 40 competitors, in seven different groups, one through seven. Groups one and two are open to all age groups–the amount of Qur`an over which the contestants are tested is much larger, for group one it is the first 15 ajzaa (thirtieths) of Qur`an, for group two it is ajzaa 16 – 25 (10 thirtieths).
Group three is for adults, and the subject area of testing is a single juz, juz 26 this year.
Group 7 is juz 30 and is limited to children 10 and under.
Group 6 is 11-13 (juz 29), Group 5 is 14-17 (juz 28), and Group 4 is ages 18-21 (juz 27).
The students have weighted grades, 60% memorization, 15% tashkeel, 15% tajweed, and 5% mukharij. 5% is for fluency. Mukharij is similar to pronunciation. Tashkeel has to do with variations in word choices by varying vowels. Tajweed is the beauty of the recitation.
Boys and girls entered into the competition, and the judgesâ€™ panel consisted of three women and three men.
Some of the contestants at the event had truly remarkable voices.
Prizes will be announced August 15th at the ICA â€˜Eid dinner, and significant prizes, which are as yet to be determined, will be awarded to the winners.
It is too late to sign up this year, but contact ICA if you are interested in competing next year.
Islamic Cultural Association (ICA), (248) 737-7001.