The following is a guest post by Bilal Memon, Founder of Quran Academy. Edited by Laila Alawa.
I was 10 years old when I started my journey to memorize the Muslim Holy Book, the Qur’an. I transitioned between 2 schools, Darul Huda in Piscataway, NJ and Darul Ehsan in Suffern, NY, where I finished my memorization. I am very thankful to both schools and especially my teacher, for helping me become a Hafidh. I couldn’t be more grateful for him in my life.
After attending the school, I quickly realized that not too many people memorize Qur’an. Not only was I a minority, I was endowed with a great deal of responsibility to lead the Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan. Initially, the revelation overwhelmed me. Indeed, the task scared me when I first led the prayer, but pushing through, I made it to the other side. Later on, in my reflections on the fear I had towards leading the prayer, I realized it was a fear of making mistakes, which would then cause me to appear as though I was lacking knowledge of the Quran. I progressed through the years, either leading the Taraweeh prayer or correcting the prayer leader on his mistakes. Soon enough, after reviewing the Qur’an for over a decade, and talking to hundreds of Qur’an memorizers, I realized that everybody faces the same issue of making mistakes when they revise the Qur’an, oftentimes repeating the same mistake time and again. A personal struggle, every Qur’an memorizer will testify that Qur’an memorization is not nearly as difficult as retaining what has been memorized. Without constant review of what has been memorized, it will all be forgotten.
One of the critical reasons why people constantly make mistakes is that they don’t have much actionable data on their mistakes. Currently, people track their mistakes in the Qur’an with a pencil and nobody has concrete proof on whether a mistake was a new one or a repeat one.
This is why Qur’an Academy was born. It’s a humble effort to provide smarter data to help folks become more effective with their memorization and revision of the holy book. In an era where “Big Data” is talked about so much, Qur’an Academy has decided to use data and data mining to revolutionize Qur’an memorization.
At Qur’an Academy, we adapt the presentation of learning materials based on any prospective memorizer/reviser’s individual learning needs and habits as indicated by their preferences: usage of a particular version of the Quran, their geo-location, their native tongue, and how they interact with our app. We collect the user’s data and use it to examine their behavioral and linguistic patterns and customize content and presentation to help that individual user memorize the Qur’an most efficiently and effectively.
The user simply kicks off the app by choosing the Qur’an they are most comfortable using for practice and memorization. We offer both Medina Mushaf and the Urdu Mushaf in 13, 15, and 16 line variations. So the user starts with several taps and we will guide them throughout the rest of their journey.
The founders wanted to make Quran Memorization not only accessible to everyone, but appealing to those who may have otherwise found it daunting. Because of Quran Academy, Quran memorization and revision is now mobile, personalized, and accessible to anyone. The app is designed to learn from the user’s interactions with in-app features to make personalized lessons, quizzes, and a host of other recommendations fitted perfectly to that user’s individual learning needs. Whether a user is actively trying to memorize the Quran on a deadline or is simply an enthusiast; whether their native tongue is Arabic, Urdu, English, or Farsi; whether they like to practice at dawn or dusk; and whether they are under ever-changing circumstances; Qur’an Academy delivers the kind of lesson you need when you need it; whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever language you speak.
We envision a world where our technology is at the forefront of helping every Muslim become a more effective Qur’an Memorizer & Reviser! Please help Qur’an Academy become a reality by supporting our crowd-funding campaign at http://www.igg.me/at/quranacademy.