Autistic Student Memorises Quran, Moving Beyond Jeers

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 (Bernama) -- The jeers of those around autistic Ahmad Zahirudin Zailani did not dampen his determination to memorise 30 chapters of the Quran over a period of two years and six months.

The 22-year-old 'Quranic Studies with Multimedia' student of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia said although some were envious of his skills, he was bent on completing his memorisation of the Quran.

“No one pushed me to memorise the Quran. After seeing my budding talent, my parents enrolled me into an academy, Darul al-Quran after completing my SPM to further my education.

“Of course, there were teases and insults but that was never a stumbling block to realising my dream,” Ahmad Zahirudin told reporters after he was presented with an award, ‘Icon of Autism’ during the Heart-to-Heart programme organised by Bank Rakyat here Monday.

He received the highest number of votes from the public between March 8 and 23, at the Bank Rakyat's website.

The award is among 12 categories competed through work produced, programmes and leading news reports on the autistic.

Ahmad Zahiruddin's mother, Hanes Mohd Nasir, 48, said her son who was the eldest of four was fond of reading and was taught from small, spiritual and academic knowledge.

"Ever since he memorised the Quran, my son showed a positive change, especially in controlling his emotions.

"My son has a sharp memory. When we played the Quran recitation in the car, he easily memorised it. I hope he always protects the sanctity of the Quran and practices it in his life,” she said.

Other award recipients in the programme were Mohd Syahmi Asyraff, 16, and Muhammad Farid Fakhruddin, 19, who each grabbed the Best Autism Individual Award for the Age 13-18 category and Age 18 and Above category.

Each winner took home a cash prize of RM1,000 and trophy.

Meanwhile, Bank Rakyat chairman Shukry Mohd Salleh said the event which was held for the first time was the highlight of the corporate social responsibility carried out since Oct 2016 to promote awareness towards autism.

The event also feted those among the autistic who proved they could succeed in life.