Pakistani wins international Quran recitation contest
After winning the competition, Kasi received it with ‘happy and defeated’ love and respect.
Islamabad: A Pakistani student won an admirable Quran competition after the best performance of participants from 25 countries. Hassan Ali Kasi, a student at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, recently won first place in the International Quran Recitation Competition (Siraj Al-Kabeer) in Afghanistan. Other finalists, the ones who made it to the final round, were from Iraq, Lebanon, Germany, Egypt, and Afghanistan.
Speaking to Gulf News, Hassan said he was “happy and overwhelmed” by the love and respect he received after winning the competition. Hassan’s devotion to the Qur’an and his heartfelt voice won him national and international acclaim. “I have traveled to Germany, Turkey, Iran, and Qatar to lead Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan and to represent Pakistan in various international Quran competitions and events,” he said. Interestingly, young reciters are fluent in four languages besides Urdu, including Arabic, Pashto, English, and German.
Family support and encouragement
Hassan was only eight years old when he began to gain widespread acclaim for his exceptional memorization and recitation of the Qur’an. Initially, “my father encouraged me to start reciting because he was a big fan of the famous Egyptian reciter Abdul Basit Abdul Samad.” The talented young reciter learned the rules of recitation of the Holy Qur’an (Tajweed) from his father Qari Syed Muhammad Basit and other recitation styles from his uncle Qari Muhammad Ibrahim Kasi. The latter is also a famous reciter of the Qur’an.
Hassan Ali Kasi, who is divine inspiration for many reciters of the Qur’an, says that the reader who impresses him is Sheikh Shahat Muhammad Anwar of Egypt. “I have heard thousands of his recitations. Their unique, beautiful, and calm voice is an inspiring as well as a great learning experience.
A moment of pride
After memorizing the Holy Qur’an by heart at an early age, Hassan graduated from college in his hometown of Quetta. He later moved to Islamabad to pursue higher studies at the International Islamic University (IIUI). Following his recent victory, the institute said in a statement that “IIII is proud of Hassan because he gained fame and honor at the university,” and Pakistan was proud. The Rector of the University, Dr. Masoom Yaseenzai, and the President, Dr. Hathul Hamood Al-Otbi, personally congratulated Hassan on this remarkable achievement.