Ramadan is an opportunity for me to reacquaint myself with the Qur’an. This is really an admission of failure on my part, as I really should be familiar with the Qur’an year-round rather than need Ramadan to renew my commitment to it.
Each year, I try to read as much of the Qur’an as I can, in the original Arabic – though I am not fluent in Arabic, like most muslims I am able to read the language aloud. Reading the Qur’an in Arabic is an act of piety, since in its original form these are literally the words of Allah, unfiltered and non-polluted by human agency. However, while translations are fundamentally flawed, there still is some value to reading a translation, in that the Qur’an is filled with wisdom that is universal and accessible even at a superficial level. As long as you keep the limitations of translations in mind, then reading an english translation in a spirit of inquiry can itself be a rewarding experience.
To that end, there’s a new initiative underway this year by several muslim bloggers to “tweet the Qur’an” – to read one full juz of the Qur’an each night and then post to Twitter those verses which were particularly inspiring. Here are the details:
- Anyone is welcome. You do not have to be Muslim.
- The point is to provide greater access to the Qur’an, so please tweet in English, regardless of the language you read in. Multiple language tweets are welcome.
- You should tweet verses that appeal to you each night, not the entire juz’. Some of you may wish to do the whole juz’, but the idea is that we find comfort in the word of God, and we approach it and understand differently every time we come to it. Each night, there are certain verses that will have more power/resonance. Simply tweet those.
- Include chapter and verse numbers using “Arabic” numerals, eg. 1:1, 33:72, etc
- Some verses may be too long for 140 characters. Split the tweet. Summarize. As you will, but make sure you make it clear what you are doing, and include the verse number.
- You should feel free to offer commentary on why you chose that verse. If you know some tafsir, please include as well, if relevant.
- Tags: include #Quran for sure. If possible, use #Ramadan as well.
you do not need to commit to reading/Tweeting every night. However, when you do Tweet, please make sure you are on the same juz as everyone else.
Kudos to Hussein at Islamicate for conceiving this idea. I think it’s going to be fun and I will try to participate, and I encourage others, muslim and non-muslim alike, to join us.
Related: For much more detail on reading the Qur’an, either as an act of piety or an act of inquiry, see my discussion of the Qur’an and translations last year.