Quran memorization is a long-standing tradition to preserve the Quran in an unbroken chain since the Prophet’s time. Traditionally, memorization is taught within the walls of a madrasa – an education institute for Islamic instruction. This mode of study requires a large time commitment that many everyday Muslims struggle to dedicate to.
This has resulted in a widespread Muslim culture and perceived belief that Quran memorization is something that only children, full-time Islamic scholars, or retired people have the time to pursue.
Thankfully, technology promises to change this.
From Tradition to Technology
Technology’s promise of making information available at our fingertips, as and when we want it, has shifted how we learn. In the field of Islamic education, we have witnessed a wave of digital information and learning tools, from YouTube videos of renowned scholars to e-books, e-courses and a suite of Islamic and Quran apps.
One of the latest apps to join this wave of revolutionizing the Islamic education sphere is Quran Companion, a Quran memorization app designed to make memorizing the Quran fun, easy, social, accessible and convenient for the everyday, busy Muslim.
Quran Companion is the first smartphone app released by Quran Academy, a company founded in 2014 by Bilal Memon, a Quran Hafiz and entrepreneur.
Breaking the Myth of Time
As a Quran Hafiz living in the hustle and bustle in New York City, Bilal knows all too well how hectic schedules and modern lifestyles could impact one’s motivation to study, memorize, and revise the Quran.
Although Bilal had attended a madrasa as a child and memorized the Quran by the age of 11, he forgot his memorization while in college. At first, he fell back on the excuse of not having enough time to revise. After all, he was no longer in a dedicated learning environment of the madrasa of his childhood days. Then one day, burdened by the frustration of forgetting the Quran, Bilal decided to challenge himself to re-memorize it.
The personal challenge renewed his motivation and within six months, Bilal had succeeded in memorizing the Quran again. This made him realize that the underlying reason behind the common “time excuse” is actually motivation.
After speaking to many other Muslims who also expressed the same sentiments, Bilal decided to merge his passion for the Quran and technology and create a solution that makes it easy for even the busiest Muslim to stay motivated in memorizing the Quran.
Making Quran Memorization Easy, Fun & Social
Any person who has progressed through hundreds of levels of Candy Crush or has probably written an entire book’s worth of Facebook statuses and comments over the years knows that despite life’s busy schedule, there’s still plenty of free pockets of time to make progress in anything the mind is motivated to focus on.
Bilal wanted to make it fun and easy for Muslims to use these free pockets of time productively and beneficially towards a daily Quran memorization habit instead. For Bilal, the solution clearly lies in social-led gamification smartphone app technology.
After significant research on learning psychology and gamification, Bilal and his team at Quran Academy released Quran Companion, a Quran memorization app that supersedes previous Quran memorization apps by introducing revolutionary learning technologies and social-led gamification features.
More Than Just a Quran Audio Recitation App
Most current Quran memorization apps focus on repeating an audio recitation. While this is one of the most effective ways to memorize the Quran, it doesn’t address the motivation factor.
Quran Companion tackles motivation through unique features that truly make it like a Fitbit for Quran memorization. It is packed with progress analytics, challenges and social features to keep you motivated at every step towards your goal, and much more.
Let’s first take a look at its powerful analytics dashboard that shows your detailed progress at a glance. You’ll get to see the number of ayahs you’ve memorized in the last week, in the past month, or overall total, how long it took you to memorize a surah, the number of surahs memorized, and when you last reviewed a particular surah.
This feature is more powerful than it may seem because it leverages the psychology of progress to stay motivated. As Harvard Business Review puts it in their May 2011 issue, it’s the “power of small wins” that makes you feel great, and this leads to continued long-term performance.
Some other unique features that Quran Companion offers are guided lessons plans that give you daily assignments without you needing to think about how to organize your day-to-day memorization. It’s like having a teacher structure your lessons for you! Best of all, you can choose from beginner, intermediate to advanced mode to suit your time schedule and ability.
For those driven by goals, some features you’ll love are the personal challenges and the “swipe to reveal” game. Personal challenges lets you select a surah you’d like to memorize, or you can take one of the recommended challenges for you, with or without a guided lesson plan. The “swipe to reveal” game challenges your memory in a fun way. As you recite from memory, simply reveal the hidden ayah by sliding your finger across it to spot and correct mistakes along the way.
Finally, Quran Companion’s games and social features make it fun and addictive to memorize the Quran with friends.
Group challenges lets you choose up to 25 people to join your group, and race towards the same memorization goal just as the Prophet’s Companions would race to perform good deeds.
There’s also a Hasanah Calculator that displays the Hasanah points you’ve collected using a calculation based on a Sahih Hadith, where the Prophet SAW said whoever recites a letter from Allah SWT’s Book, receives the reward (Hasanah) of ten for each letter.
The Daily Hasanah Leaderboard then shows the top 100 users with the highest Hasanah points and gets reset daily, so you and your friends can be motivated to race to be on the board each day.
Uniting Muslims From Around the World through Good Deeds
In an era where many modern Muslims are caught in a secular world, it isn’t unusual for a Muslim to feel isolated in their spiritual goals. Quran Companion helps to break this barrier by connecting the Ummah through a common goal using social-led gamification and learning technology.
So let’s race towards Quran memorization with our friends and with the larger Muslim community. After all, we have been commanded to compete with each other in performing good deeds:
“Every one pursues his goal. Compete with each other in performing good deeds. Wherever you are, God will bring you all together. God has power over all things.”
~ Quran, Chapter 2 Verse 148
As promised, wherever you are, God will bring you all together when you pursue your goal in a race with each other for good deeds.
Through this, you will experience for yourself that one of the biggest motivational factors that keep you on track of spiritual goals like Quran memorization lies in the fact that spirituality is not, and never should be, a solo journey.
Quran Academy’s maiden app for smartphones, “Quran Companion”, has been released in May 2016 on Google Play Store for Android. “Quran Companion” for iPhone is anticipated for release on the Apple Store before Eid Al Fitr 2016, in June 2016.
Quran Academy also offers a free 7-day trial of Quran Companion along with a free ebook on how to memorize the Quran effectively as additional learning material support.
The original version of this article was first published on Creative Ummah.