The 20-year-old full Quran memoriser far excelled other contestants with his tuneful voice and perfect recitation, and was awarded Dh5,000. "I feel honoured that I managed to come first in this side contest, and hope to do the same with main competition."
Adding, Siddiqui said he wants to honour and please his parents with this reward. "They spared no effort to give me all support, and always encouraged me to complete this sacred mission."
Memorising the holy Quran has not only sharpened my mind, and made me academically excellent, it has further made me quiet and good mannered, he said, KTimes reported. "People are showing me more love and respect, and ask me to lead them in prayer."
If there is a will, there is a way, he underlined. "One may think that memorising the Quran is difficult, but the moment you sincerely start, Almighty Allah will give you all help."
Advising, he said that regular recitation and listening to the holy Quran are inevitable to keep it fresh in mind, it will be easily forgotten. "We should also adopt and implement these verses and turn them into a reality, and read them in prayer."
Siddiqui wished to complete his university studies, and teach the holy Quran to others as advised by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). "Memorising the Quran and observing its tolerant teachings is the only path to salvation and happiness in life and the Hereafter."
According to informed sources, the brilliant participant, who made no mistakes during initial and final examinations, is expected to secure an advanced rank among the top ten to be announced on Thursday, June 15.
Ahmed Al Zahid, head of the media unit, said the top ten will be honoured during the concluding ceremony to be held at the Cultural and Scientific Association, Al Mamzar area at 10pm.
"The competition for the top three contestants with most beautiful voices was so tough, but the American participant managed to come first pushing the Algerian and Moroccan competitors to the second and third positions in turn."
The other seven contestants, including the representatives of Bangladeshi, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Denmark, Turkey, Chad and Indonesia, have also enthralled the audience.
As is the case every year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is expected or one of his sons, directors general, senior officials, and dignitaries are expected to attend the concluding ceremony.
While lucrative prizes await the top winners of the competition, Dh250,000 will be presented to the first position, followed by Dh200,000 and Dh150,000 for the second the third ranks in turn, Prof Alolama elaborated.
"The fourth winner will go home with Dh65,000 while the fifth will get Dh60,000, but Dh55,000 will be given to the sixth, Dh50,000 for the seventh, Dh45,000 for the eighth, Dh40,000 for the ninth, and Dh35,000 for the tenth."
As for the winners with 80 per cent score and above, they will win Dh30,000 each, while those with 70 per cent to 79 per cent, they will each receive Dh25,000, Prof Alolama explained. "All the participants with 69 per cent or less score will be gifted Dh20,000."
Official figures show that 90 out of 103 initial participants have sat the final tests of the global competition. Thirteen of these could not clear the qualifying tests and were disqualified.