Listening to his full recitation of the Holy Qur’an will leave you spell-bound.
Despite his health problems which left him living with only one lung, Nader Mahmoud Kouja, 21, is currently representing Lebanon in the ongoing 23rd edition of the Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award (Dihqa) which takes place now between Ramadan 2-14, Khaleej Times reported.
“I know it’s a big challenge to finish this sacred mission with not just one lung but also respiratory issues, but to have the honor of memorizing the words of Almighty Allah is one of a kind,” said Kouja, who proved that if you remain undaunted by life’s adversaries, nothing can stop you from beating the odds.
Though it’s Kouja’s first international Qur’an competition, his performance and beautiful recitation mesmerized the jury and audience at the Dubai Chamber.
“I have participated in three local Qur’an competitions and got good positions in all of them,” he informed.
The Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award has become a great platform for full Qur’an memorizers from around the globe.
“It’s a privilege and a dream to compete in such a prestigious contest, and meet such a huge number of full Qur’an memorizers – 90 in all this year,” the Lebanese competitor expressed.
‘Nader’ lives up to his name which means ‘rare’ or ‘one of a kind’ in Arabic. The Muslim Lebanese young man is bestowed with exceptional talent and is humility personified.
“By memorizing the Holy Qur’an, one feels safer, more relaxed, and inspired. Your spirit, heart, and mind become more divine and closer to the great Creator. It makes one happy and satisfied in both life and beyond. The Qur’an has significantly sharpened my memory, boosted my academic performance, and won me people’s respect,” he assures.
Start of Journey
Kouja stared learning the holy book at the age of 14 at a mosque where small classes were held on a daily basis.
He finished memorizing it three years later when he was 17, despite his continuous illness. Now, he knows the Qur’an completely by heart and recites it with amazing perfection despite what he suffers.
“My Qur’an teachers were of great help. My parents were also a big support for me in this mission. They’ve always encouraged me to pursue my passion which makes them happy as well,” he thankfully admitted.
The youthful guy leads worshippers in prayers back home in Lebanon. Moreover, he studied Shari’ah in his hometown Tripoli. He wishes to continue his graduation in the same subject and “to be a competent scholar in the future”.
“I do believe in and adopt what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘The best of you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it to others’,” the devoted Muslim recalled.
Hifz is memorization of the Qur’an. Muslims believe that whoever memorizes Qur’an and acts upon it, Allah will reward him and honor him greatly for that, so that he’ll rise in status in Paradise to a level commensurate with what he memorized of the Book of Allah.
Abdullah ibn Amr narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The Hafiz-e-Quran (a person who has memorized Qur’an) will be said on the day of Judgment: Recite and rise in status, recite as you used to recite in the world, for your status will be at the last verse that you recite.”
Having memorized the Qur’an, the hafiz or hafiza must then ensure they don’t forget it. To ensure perfect recall of all the learned verses requires constant practice. The memorization of the Qur’an was important to Muslims in the past and is also in the present. Yearly, thousands of students master the Qur’an and complete the book with interpretation and also memorization.