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Quran Competition

Iranian man reading a Quran

Muslim children around the world are encouraged to memorize the Quran, the Muslim holy book. Many Muslims believe they will go to heaven when they die if they memorize the entire book. The Quran contains about 6,200 verses.

Quran reciting contests are held in many countries. In most years Muslims from more than 80 countries meet in the United Arab Emirates for a big competition. Onstage contestants are shown on large screens so the audience can see them better. Some spectators take cell phone videos of the reciters. (Last year, the contest was held virtually.) Top reciters are highlighted on YouTube.

Judges recite a verse from anywhere in the Quran. Contestants then recite the following verse and several after it from memory. Reciters are judged not only for how well they have memorized the verses, but if they recite it in the right tone of voice and with proper pronunciation. All the verses are recited in Arabic, even by contestants who come from countries where Arabic is not the main language.

The winner of the contest wins more than $60,000 in U.S. money.

In the following (fictional) skit, a Christian boy is challenged to learn more about his own faith and God’s Word after meeting some Muslim children.

Read a chart comparing the Quran and the Bible.

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United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates


Abu Dhabi

Slightly smaller than Maine.

Main Languages

At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 3:00 p.m. in United Arab Emirates.

An emirate is an Arab land ruled by an emir or sheik. In 1971, seven emirates joined together to form The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E). After oil was discovered in the U.A.E, the citizens had to learn to adapt their old ways to a land made rich by oil.


Mostly Muslim.

Most of the Christians in the U.A.E. are workers who come from other countries to earn money in the country. They are free to worship on land approved by the government.

However, no one may try to lead a Muslim to Christ or pass out Bibles and other Christian literature. Few believers have the opportunity to share their faith because they might be arrested. Internet sites that tell stories of Muslims who decided to follow Christ have been blocked.