HOW I MEMORIZED THE QUR'AN â€“ BOY, 9
Can we meet you?
My name is Abdullahi Muhammad Salih. I am nine-years-old. I will be 10 on December 27, 2010. I was born and raised in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. I am the fourth child in a family of five. I attended Ta'a Sisul Qur'anic School Jos and I am currently a student at Gwani Idris School in Maiduguri, Borno State.
You just emerged winner in the Under- 10 World Qur'anic recitation in Saudi Arabia. How do you feel?
First of all, I would like to thank Allah for giving me this opportunity. I feel very happy at the moment emerging winner in the under-10 category for those who memorized the whole Qur'an. I feel very excited.
Being your first international outing, how did you feel when you saw that many of the contestants in your category came from Arab countries?
(smiles) I felt somehow; I was a bit jittery, but Allah helped me to overcome.
Were you expecting this victory?
Well, I wouldn't really say I was expecting it, because I went there with an open mind. But, I also went there with the hope that Allah will give me victory.
What do you think gave you the edge over the rest of the contestants?
Everything is from Allah; it is Allah who gave me the victory, but I must tell you that they are proficient too.
How did you feel when you were told that you were to represent Nigeria after winning the primaries in Kaduna last April which paved the way for this victory?
I knew it was going to be a big challenge, since I was to represent the whole country, but I thank Allah I did not let my country down.
At what age did you memorize the whole Qur'an?
I memorized the whole Qur'an when I was seven years old.
Would you say that people's attitude towards you has changed since you came back from the competition?
Yes. The way people treat me now is different. I have noticed some signs of admiration on their faces.
What do you do during your leisure time?
Just like the way it is in every school, we play games during our free periods.
What would you like to be when you grow up, especially now that you have a life scholarship award?
I want to continue in this line; learning more about the Qur'an so that I will teach others just the way I was taught.
What is going to be your next step now?
Well, I am going to put more efforts into my studies. That is the most important thing for me now.
What would be your message to people out there, especially young people like you?
I want to urge people, especially the youths, to utilize their time judiciously in order to ensure that they achieve something in life, especially education, because when time passes, it won't come back again. And I also want to use this opportunity to extend my profound gratitude to my parents, my teachers and more importantly, Majlisu Ahlil Qur'an, Jos, for sponsoring me in my educational endeavour.