In this day and age people are hard-wired to search for information by typing keywords on a computer/phone rather than sifting for it in books in libraries. It is therefore important that one of the oldest and most read book Holy Quran is also digitally available. Many apps, software and website in this regard are already present, where scanned copies of the Quran can be read.
However to aid research on the Quran, it is important that the Quran is digitized in a manner where not only it’s content is readable but more importantly is searchable. A further step is to make the meaning of the Quran searchable by any topic of choice. To achieve this would require a herculean effort. The good news is that this is exactly what has been achieved by Zahid Hussain Chihpa, a software developer from Karachi.
Zahid’s unrelenting conviction and untiring effort took a period of over 7 years starting 2007. His first product came out in 2011, in the form of a downloadable computer software which for the first time made quran searchable by topic of choice. Although the information about this software was televised on a popular channel in Pakistan, but it did not get as much attention as it deserved and wasnt picked up by the masses. Zahid understood that in the age of personal smart phones, even PC’s are getting outdated and a phone app will increase his outreach and improve his products utility. Towards the end of 2015, he was able launch the cell phone app.
To this day, he is still expanding the features of his app, that already carries the Digitized searchable Quran. His app “Islam 360” is available for all phone platforms Android, i-Phone and Microsoft phone, free of cost.
Quran has lots of gems hidden inside. Every now and then one of these gems is unearthed in light of the knowledge mankind has acquired. An example of this is the meaning of the verse that become apparent after Hubble’s discovery that the universe is expanding:
“And the heaven, We built it with craftsmanship and We are still expanding” Quran chapter 51 verse 47
Muslims in recent times have been playing catchup when it comes to learning from the Quran and any new discovery (in science, social sciences) is used as a testament for the authenticity of the Holy Quran. This trend should be reversed and quranic verses should be used as an aid to ascertain the truth. This however is only doable if the quranic information is digitized and is available in a manner, where only through typing of subject and a click, all relevant verses on the topic are at the users disposal.
There have been previous efforts in form of books. One example of this was “The Al-Beyyinat” by Engr Khalid Mehmood (Al Rahim Publications). In this book all the Quranic verses were arranged by topic. The problem was that the topics were predetermined and were limited.
The remarkable feature of Zahid’s app “Islam 360” is that a user can find all relevant information in the Quran by keying in the the topic either in English, Urdu and Urdu in Roman Script.
Islam 360 also carries a huge body of hadith ( All of the Sihah-Sittah) that are again digitised.
Main features of the APP are as follows:
- Digitized and Searchable Quran (English, Urdu)
- Search available by word or root word
- Contextualized Search Available
- Recitation for all verses (12 Different recitations available)
- Eight different translations available including two commentaries ( Tafsir Ibn e Kasir, Tahfeem e din by Maulana Mawdudi)
- Digitized collection of Hadeeth
- Information on Rituals and Prayer
- Information on Supplications
- Facility to bookmark and share particular information on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp)
- Dictionary available for the meaning of root words
The information on this app has been approved by many scholars whose names are present in the certificate of authenticity that are included in the app.
Many more resources can be found on Zahid Hussain’s website: http://theislam360.com/
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