SHAFAQNA- Apps for reading the Quran are gaining popularity across the Islamic world and beyond.
The apps allow users to read the 114 Surahs (chapters) of the Holy Book of Islam on their smartphones and tablet computers.
Some even have functions that notify users of prayer times by sounding an alarm and show the direction of Makkah.
Muslim Pro is one of the best-known Quran reading apps. It was developed by Singapore-based Bitsmedia and is believed to be used by more than 10 million of the world’s estimated 1.6 billion Muslims. The app allows users to download the Quran for free. It also precisely shows prayer times and the direction of Makkah.
Magdy Abdulrahman, a 53-year-old shopkeeper in the Egyptian capital Cairo, reads the Quran on his smartphone. He began using the app two years ago after seeing it used by a relative.
He says that the app is very convenient because he can read the Quran whenever he is not busy and enlarge the screen for his poor eyesight. He also says he is grateful to the people who developed the app.
Mohammad Rayan also uses a Quran-reading app. The 31-year-old Cairo newsagent has been using it since 2010.
Such apps are also spreading in languages other than Arabic. Those that provide translations into multiple languages, including English, French and Turkish are gaining popularity.
It has also been suggested that such apps are helping to spread Islamic teachings, as they are often downloaded by non-Muslims who are interested in learning more about the Quran.