Sondos Sidawi, a 21-year-old Jordanian woman, sees her win in an international Quran memorisation competition as a powerful message to those burning Islam’s holy book, Anadolu Agency reports.
“Even if they burn the Quran, it will remain in our hearts,” Sondos told Anadolu.
The young woman won the first prize in the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak International Holy Quran Competition, held in Dubai from 16 to 22 September, after competing against 60 contestants.
She hails from a family that is committed to the Quran, as she has five siblings, three of whom have fully memorised the holy book.
Sondos “began learning the Quran in one of the mosques in Ramtha city (in north-western Jordan) at the age of 11 and memorised 12 parts in less than a year. She later completed her memorisation with her aunt,” her uncle, Saeb Sidawi, told Anadolu.
It took the young woman 22 months to entirely memorise the holy book.
“She spent two hours a day to memorise the Quran. During holidays, she would start at dawn and continue until evening prayers,” Saeb said.
The Jordanian uncle attributed the family’s strong connection to the Holy Quran to their parents’ devotion to the holy book, which was passed on to them and to the third generation of the family, including Sondos.
In 2011, the family established a centre to teach people how to memorise Islam’s holy book.
Sondos is seen by her uncle as “intelligent and astute”.
“It was not the first time for her to participate in Quran competitions,” Youssef Sidawi said.
“She also took part in an international Quran competition in Khartoum, Sudan, and another in Iran, where she secured the third place,” he added.
Youssef sees the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak International Holy Quran Competition in Dubai as “one of the most challenging in the world.”
Sondos said she managed to run in the competition after taking part in several qualifying rounds held by the Ministry of Endowments in Jordan.
“I was officially nominated by the Ministry of Endowments to take part in the competition,” the young woman said.
Message to world
After vying against contestants from 60 countries, Sondos was eagerly waiting to hear the final results.
“Winning the first prize was the most important and happiest moment of my life,” Sondos joyfully said.
Right-wing extremists tore up and burnt copies of the Holy Quran outside Islamic diplomatic missions in Sweden and Denmark in recent weeks.
Such actions have triggered a storm of condemnations from governments and people in the Arab and Islamic worlds, with several countries summoning the envoys of Sweden and Denmark to prevent recurrence of such actions.
My message to the world, especially those who try to insult the Holy Quran here and there: If you burn the pages, you will never erase what’s in the hearts
“The Quran will always remain here,” she said, pointing to her heart.