COLOMBO : The First Holy Qur’an Memorization Competition was organized in coordination between the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Buddhism, Religious and Cultural Affairs – Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs in the Republic of Sri Lanka, with the participation of contestants from various cities and provinces in the Republic of Sri Lanka. The final round of this competition was held at the Mövenpick Hotel in Colombo on Saturday, 15th July 2023.
The closing ceremony of this competition was held under the patronage of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Sri Lanka at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, on Monday, 17th July 2023, where His Excellency Mr. Khalid Hamoud Al-Kahtani, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka, delivered a speech in which he explained the efforts made by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in printing the holy Qur’an and honoring its teachers and memorizers (Huffaz) worldwide under the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. His Excellency expressed his gratitude and appreciation for all those who extended their support and cooperation in making this competition a success. He also referred to the condemnation statements issued by the Kingdom and some other countries, including the Republic of Sri Lanka, with regard to the incident of burning copies of the Holy Qur’an by some extremists. In the meantime, Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, the speaker of the Sri Lanka parliament stated in his address that holding competitions such as the holy Qur’an memorization competition is very important for Sri Lankan Muslims. The understanding of the teachings of the holy Qur’an will help implant virtuous morals and gentle manners in them. The speaker added that their religiosity will lead to a better social life in our multi-ethnic Sri Lanka. the Buddhist majority people of this country maintain friendly relations with Muslims from several centuries and coexist with them. Also, the speaker thanked His Excellency the Ambassador Khalid bin Hamoud Al-Kahtani and the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their support in the development of Sri Lanka, noting that organizing such events will help in strengthening the existing relations between the two countries. The representative of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, Mr. Badur Alanazi, expressed his thanks and gratefulness to His Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Khalid bin Hamoud Al-Kahtani, the staff members of both the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia and the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs in Sri Lanka for their blessed efforts in making this competition and its closing ceremony a success. Meanwhile, he praised the efforts made by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance represented by its Minister, His Excellency Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh, in accordance with the instructions of the wise leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is keen on what sustains the society and unity, contributes to enhance the security and prosperity of the society, rejects all extremism and estrangement, consolidates the principle of moderation, and spreads security and peace, pointing out that the support and sponsorship of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is in line with the Kingdom’s status as the country of the Qur’an, which reflects the keenness of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to strengthen and deepen the ties between the two friendly countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sri Lanka, in various ways, including supporting Quranic competitions that seek to spread the approach of moderation that the Kingdom adopts and calls for. Then the prizes were awarded to 24 winners in four divisions of this competition.