Sawab: Innovation in the Collective Reading of the Quran
When Muslims complete the religious duty of fully reading their holy book the Quran, the act is known as the ‘Khatma’ (conclusion). For a devout Muslim, it is a moral reward for a good deed, known as ‘Sawab’ (pronounced Thawab in formal Arabic).
Muslims have the tradition of completing the readings in groups – this is often an activity that people indulge in during the fasting days of Ramadan. Traditionally, friends and family meet to read together, or more recently, chapters have been assigned through WhatsApp groups.
Today, innovation is mixing with religion, and readers do not have to wait for Ramadan next year to regroup. Sawab is an app that facilitates the worldwide reading of the Quran in an online group. It adds circles of 30 users each for the purpose of collectively and swiftly reading all the 30 chapters (Juz’) of the holy book. Once a user competes his or her chapter, they’d move to another one, until reaching the khatma.
Available for free on iOs and Android, Sawab provides a simple and user-friendly interface. The user is added to a circle of thirty other readers who are only identified by the flags that reflect their location – and that includes Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, United States, and the United Kingdom, among others.
Sawab has Arabic and English as default languages. Users can read their allocated part of the Quran text in Arabic, add a Latin character transliteration option, or listen to a streamed recording of their section.
Once the reading is completed, Sawab tests the memory of the individual selecting random verses and checking whether they were part of the wrapped chapter. The app then updates performance on the profile page: memory strength, reading speed, and weekly activity.
The app does not require many clicks, it is an easy experience with clear fonts, straightforward options, and does not require many clicks. The history page profile also tells you how many juz’s were read out of the 30 – in the current session, and how many are yet to be read – in addition to the number of khatmas completed.
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