Filipino Qur’an Reader Champion in Qatar 2019 Reading Contest

(SDN) — A Filipino has emerged champion among 100 participants in the 3rd Qatar International Qur’an Reading competition staged on April 7 to 12 in Doha, Qatar.

In winning the overall championship, Ustadhz Mohammad Nadhir Asgar, Jr. defeated contestants who speak Arabic as their mother language.

It’s quite a feat for a Filipino Moro, a native of Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).


Marawi City native Ustadhz Mohammad Nadhir Asgar, Jr.,  Qatar champion.

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) headed by Secretary/CEO Saidamen B. Pangarungan supported the winner of the Islamic event.

Many Filipinos have been reaping honors in other countries in Qur’anic reading or recital competition over the years as they put the Philippines in the Islamic map.

Dr. Dimapuno A. Datu-Ramos, director of the Bureau of External Relations (NCMF-BER), said 2,700 expert readers auditioned for the competition, representing 50 countries.

Organizers of the event selected only 100 contestants, he added, obviously a tough competition.

Datu-Ramos identified the Filipino champion, who gave honors to the Philippines, as Qari (reader) Mohammad Nadhir Asgar, Jr.

The NCMF endorsed three Filipino participants to the event, such as  Alim Bukhary Yahya Camama, who placed 16th, and Khalid Mamadra at #25th out of 100 readers, he said.


Five winners in Qatar and a Qatari official.

While the Philippines won the crown, Algeria is at second place; Morocco, third place; Syria, fourth place; and Mauritania, fifth place.

Pangarungan welcomed the achievements of the participants from the Philippines.

“The glory and honor they have brought to the Philippines are highly laudable, and NCMF will always be prepared to support such endeavors of our brothers and sisters,” he assured.

Meanwhile, the male and female champions of the 2019 National Qur’an Reading Competition (NQRC) the NCMF conducted on March 11 this year will compete for honors and glory in the International Qur’an Reciters Assembly (IQRA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this week.

They are Ustadhz Numan M. Pimbayabaya of Campo Muslim, Kabuntalan, Maguindanao, BARMM, and Ustadhza Rahima P. Amerol of Marawi City.

The Filipino champions, who bested 17 others in their respective categories, are set to fly to Malaysia this week for IQRA.

NCMF head visits victims of two fire incidents


NCMF Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarunga and his wife Princess Dayamon Pacasum Pangarungan.

Meanwhile, Pangarungan visited victims of two fire incidents on April 14 in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, and in Baloi, Lanao del Norte. to find out how the NCMF can help.

Upon his arrival, he immediately instructed Bureau of Muslim Settlements (NCMF-BMS) Chief Nadjma Macaraya and Acting Chief of Cultural Affairs Faharuddin Gary Salacop to extend assistance to the affected families, said Datu-Ramos.

In Barangay Tampilong, Marawi City, the conflagration razed “18 houses” to the ground, “leaving families without food and shelter,” he added.


Properties razed to the ground.

In Baloi, the damage to property was estimated at Php30 million as the affected houses were still being determined. No one was heart in either fire incident.

Former assemblywoman Princess Dayamon Pacasum Pangarungan, the wife of the NCMF secretary, accompanied him in the inspection visit.

Secretary Pangarungan noted that the fire incidents happened less than a month before the advent of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan when Muslims across the world perform fasting.

Thus, he appealed “to all Muslims and their non-Muslim friends and relatives to find it in their hearts to assist the fire victims.”


Too young to understand, yet thrust in a dire situation even adults can do little.

Datu-Ramos said those who wish to donate clothing, halal food, and basic necessities, such as water and toiletries and other supplies may coordinate with NCMF in Lanao del Sur and Iligan City, or the NCMF Central Office in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, through NCMF-BMS Acting Director Yasmin Naga. (SDN)

All photographs courtesy of NCMF-BER Director Jun Alonto Datu-Ramos.



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