Ibrahim Shabandri, an 8-year-old from India, wins United Arab Emirates Preacher of the Nation Contest.
Our children are the future: that is a truth that is recognized around the world, and one event in the United Arab Emirates has sought to encourage those children for the future. A contest was held, for boys aged between six years old and eleven years old, to find who was the best at giving a sermon in Arabic, or reciting poetry in Arabic. The winner, Ibrahim Shabandri, is remarkable not only because he is only eight years old, but because Arabic is not his first language.
Ibrahim is from India, and speaks Nawayathi which is a dialect local to the Karnataka state in India, where he is originally from. However, his devotion to his Islamic faith has led him to go to the Ibn Khaldoun Private School in Sharjah, where he is learning the Arabic language and taking a class in the Quran. The sermon that Ibrahim gave was one that he had written himself, and was called “Sins of the Tongue.” He encouraged those that heard him to be careful what they said, as the tongue was the source of much sadness and enmity between people of the world.
The contest that Ibrahim has won was part of the Ramadan Forum which occurs each time the month comes around, and was held in the Dubai World Trade Centre. Mohammed Al Hashemi is the Head of the committee that organized the contest, and stated that: “The competition aims at attracting promising talents in the field of religious sermon and poetry recitation.” He also emphasized the other skills that the students would gain: “It also aims at strengthening the ability of students in the areas of public speaking, to boost their self-confidence and to help nurture their spirit of leadership.”
Ibrahim beat over seven hundred other competitors, and looks forward to continuing to memorize the Quran.