A group of young girls and boys smiled from ear to ear on Thursday 12 September when they were awarded certificates upon completing a year-long programme in which they were taught the foundation of the Quran. The ceremony took place at Shukrul Mubeen Madrasah in Lansdowne. The children, aged between six and nine, attended the programme after school. They went to the madrasah where they were taught how to recite out of the Quran. While they are now able to decipher Arabic letters and read verses from the Quran, the ultimate intention is for them to become completely fluent. As part of the programme, they were also taught how to behave morally according to the Quran. They were encouraged to implement this in their lives. Imam Gasan Moos said he was very proud of the youngsters for reaching this milestone. “We need to motivate our young children to learn the Quran. It must be done from a very young age,” Moos said.He added he was even more proud of the ones who can’t yet read English. “They were able to read a foreign language – Arabic – and they did that effortlessly.” Taha Khatieb (7) is one of the proud graduates. The Grade 1 York Road Primary School learner said he enjoyed attending classes at the madrasah. He said he is proud of himself for completing the programme. His favourite chapter in the Quran is the one that speaks about the moon and the stars.