Saudi Arabians topped the prize list in the fourth Tehran Koran competition, a test of memorization and recitation of the holy book of Islam by competitors from 23 Muslim countries.
Newspapers said three Saudis won 23 “Spring of Freedom” gold coins, including the prestigious top prize of 14 coins for best memorization of the entire Koran, won by Yahya Ali Haffaf. The competition ended Saturday.
Iran came in second overall with 16 gold coins. The Ayatollah Abul-Ghasem Khazali, a member of Iran’s 12-man Council of Guardians, was second after Haffaf in the test on the entire Koran.
The testing is complicated, and competitors are required to recite or recognize specified verses at random from the Koran’s 114 chapters, the longest of which has 286 verses.