The second edition of the Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema (FM6OA) international Qur’an recitation competitions kicked off on May 1, 2021, with 88 participants from each of the 34 African countries competing for Africa’s top crown.
The contestants are competing in the categories of memorization, recitation and psalmody (Tajweed) of the Holy Quran.
For four days, the contestants will be virtually facing a jury composed of a group of professors and specialists who are camped in Fez, Morocco, to choose Africa’s best Qur’an reciters.
“Through this competition, the Foundation seeks to link young people and African Muslim youth to the Holy Quran, and encourage them to preserve it, memorize it and recite it,” Dr. Ebraheem Ssali, the president of the Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema, Uganda chapter, told journalists in Kampala.
At this year’s edition, Uganda is represented by three contestants, two of whom we have profiled.
1. ABDUL-RAKIIBU WOJA
Born 21 years ago on October 10, 1999, to Abdul-Majid Ali Mila and Khadijah Namuwaya of Namulesa, Jinja – about 90kms east of Kampala, Abdul-Rakiibu Woja entered the competitions with a hope of getting a scholarship to further his studies.
“My dream is getting an opportunity for further studies. Yes, there can be prizes for good performance but my interest is in getting at least a degree in Islamic theological studies,” he said.
Between 2004 and 2011, Woja attended Namulesa Muslim Primary School in Jinja.
Two weeks after his Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in 2011, he was taken to Abdul Qadri Qur’an Memorisation Centre in Luweero about 71kms north of Kampala.
By February 18, 2014, Woja had memorised the entire Qur’an but stayed at the school for another two years under the watch of Sheikh Umar Bisaso.
In 2017, he enrolled at Dar-ul-Ulum Qur’an Memorisation Centre at Nakasozi – Buddo, near Kampala. Here, he undertook Islamic theological studies and remained under the care of Sheikh Yusuf Mubiru until February 2020 when he got a teaching job at Ashraf Islamic School, Jinja.
2. HABIIB SULAIMAN WAFULA
Habiib Sulaiman Wafula is one of the candidates that sat for this year’s Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE). He studied Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM) at Nibras Islamic Secondary School, Gayaza – Manyangwa, near Kampala.
The 23-year-old hopes to be among Africa’s top reciters because he had “flawless recitation without any reminders from the judges.”
He was born on December 5, 1997, to Sulaiman Madoi, a fisherman on Lake Albert that borders Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
His mother, Aminah Kabasomi, runs a restaurant in Kasese town, about 371kms west of Kampala.
“I started my education journey at North Road Primary School in 2004 until 2008 when I was transferred to Kasese Islamic Primary School from where I sat for my PLE in 2010,” Wafula said.
In 2011, Wafula enrolled at Ubayy bun K’ab Qur’an Memorisation Centre, Bwebajja near Entebbe. Under the tutorship of Sheikh Muhammed Bukenya, by 2017, he had memorised the Qur’an and graduated with a Thanawi (A-level) certificate in Islamic theology.
In 2018, he enrolled at Al-Bayan Qur’an Memorisation Centre in Iganga, about 119kms east of Kampala where he was awarded the Ijaaza certificate in Islamic theology.