Abu Talha of Tijara Pages looks at the ways we can convert our web surfing into a lucrative venture by looking at three websites that promote the reading, learning and memorisation of the Qur'an.
The month of Ramadhan is an amazing month, full of opportunity for the entrepreneurial believer. Think about it, you can quite literally earn thousands if not hundreds of thousands of hasanat. This is an opportunity for you to become a millionaire - in only one month! And who doesn't want to be a millionaire? So let's grab this opportunity with both hands and increase our worship and good deeds. Difficult you say? Perhaps not. What if you could surf the web, be engaged in worship and be earning hasanat all at the same time? Thought that might catch your attention!
There are many ways for tech Muslims to worship Allah (SWT) and generally engage in doing good on the web. Do a quick google search and you'll discover dozens of Muslim sites that host a huge array of Islamic material that can be read, listened to or even watched to learn more about this wonderful deen. And we all understand the importance of learning sacred knowledge.
Today the Muslim web boasts specialist audio and video sites that feature Islamic lectures by prominent scholars and speakers, social forums that promote and host lively debate on the issues of our day and blogging sites that publish high quality articles that hit-the-spot in a succinct way.
While all of these resources can indeed help you to pile up the hasanat, they pale in insignificance to the reward that can be earned just by reading the Qur'an. Consider that our beloved Prophet (S) has told us that there are ten rewards for reading every letter contained in the Qur'an. In the same hadith, he (S) goes on to say, "I am not saying that Alif, Laam, Meem is a letter, rather I am saying that Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter" (Tirmidhi). Subhan Allah, thirty hasanat for reciting just three letters! Imagine the reward earned for reading a page or ten pages or even a juz! And of course, reading the Qur'an during the month of Ramadan multiplies the reward even further.
With that in mind, let's look at three websites that promote Qur'anic reading and memorisation.
This is an excellent effort by the creators of the site at bringing the various musahif (plural of mus'haf) to the web. The site is basically a collection of printed Qur'ans that have been scanned, uploaded to the site and compiled into a Flash E-book format.
The e-book format is pleasantly surprising in its ease of use. I was so engrossed in the experience that I forgot for a while that I wasn't actually holding a mus'haf in my hand but was in fact reading from the screen of my laptop.
Here is a quick run-down of all the features on the site:
In sum, this is a very user-friendly and feature-rich site. Although they do have a tajweed version of the mus'haf available on the site, I think it is best used for practising the rules you would have already learnt with a conventional teacher.
- The background image can be changed from a selection of beautiful images themed around nature scenes, Islamic architecture and geometric designs.
- The page resolution can be selected to high, medium and low quality. Basically the higher the page quality selected the slower each page will load.
- You can scroll down to the juz (portion) and the surah (chapter) that you want to read.
- You can increase the window size which presents the screen in full-view without any toolbars or taskbar. Pressing the 'esc' key takes you back to normal view.
- You can add and remove bookmarks, albeit only to page number and not down to individual ayah (verse) or even surah. Having said that, QuranFlash.com remembers your bookmarks for the next time you visit the site which makes it a very useful feature indeed.
- You can select from a quite a range of different book types that display the Qur'an in a variety of writing styles.
- There is a 'page-turning' feature where when you hover your mouse over one of the page's corners the corner turns over, you then click your mouse and drag the page over. The page on-screen changes whilst making a 'paper-turning' kind of sound. It's a pretty neat feature and very life-like, a winner with the geeks I'm sure.
Another fantastic resource, this site is designed to make learning to read, recite and memorise the Qur'an easy. There is no software to download as it runs completely off the web which is great as it saves on all the hassle generally associated with software installation.
In its most basic form as a tool for reading the Qur'an, it does a satisfactory job, although admittedly not as nice an experience as that on QuranFlash.com. The Arabic script and the English translation are displayed side-by-side which makes it easy to refer to – a neat feature for non-Arab speakers. You can change the script between an Arab-based one to an IndoPak one. You can also change the translation and there is a list of the more well-known translators to choose from.
As a tool for learning how to recite Qur'an, you can use the reciter feature where clicking the play button begins a clear and audible recitation of the Qur'an. While the audio is in play, the ayah (verse) that is being recited is highlighted. This is an extremely helpful feature that assists in learning the correct pronunciations. Incidentally, if you have the translation switched on then this is also recited after each ayah along with the on-screen text highlighting. There is a list of reciters available to choose between depending on your preference for style of recitation.
The colour-coded tajweed display is useful for those who have a basic understanding and who want to practice the rules they have learnt, however, I don't think it is suitable for those who have no knowledge of tajweed.
QuranExplorer.com also has features that assist with memorisation of the Qur'an. In the options you can set it to repeat each ayah a number of times. This helps with memorising using repetition which is an age old technique that has been replicated and brought to the web.
QuranExplorer.com is a must-have in your bookmarks as it is a very well thought out and executed piece of software, and best of all its free!
Although not the most attractive of sites, this is an amazing resource. Much in the same way as QuranExplorer.com, the Tajweed is colour-coded. Where it differs from QuranExplorer.com is that you can click on an individual word in the ayah and an audio recording of someone reciting that particular word will play. This is a brilliant feature as it means you can actually use this tool to learn how to read the Qur'an without the input of a teacher. This is extremely useful for people who do not have access to the masjid or to Qur'an classes.
If that isn't enough for you, Transliteration.org goes a step further and displays an English transliteration of the Arabic text on display. And you can still listen to an audio recording of each individual word by clicking on it in exactly the same way that you can with the Arabic text. This is a useful feature for someone who is new to the Arabic script as it enables them to still learn to read the Qur'an on their own.
Transliteration.org also features a long list of translations into a range of languages and also a variety of authors.
Although not as attractive and feature-rich as the other two sites, Transliteration.org definitely holds its own in the unique approach it has adopted to helping people learn how to read the Qur'an. A truly awesome site, definitely one for the bookmarks!
So what are you waiting for? Get online, put the effort in and earn some hasanat. Make your million in a month!
This article was first published in SISTERS, the magazine for fabulous Muslim women. Visit the SISTERS website at www.sisters-magazine.com to read more articles - and download a complimentary issue!