Best Ramadan iPhone App you already own

2 09 2010

There are several good free Qur’an apps available in the App Store – iQuran, alQuran, ezQuran, and Quran Explorer to name a few. I haven’t decided which one I like better so I use all of them as they each have their pros and cons. In addition, there is iPray to keep track of salah times which I use often. However, an “Islamic” app you probably never considered is one that should already be in your springboard – Voice Memos.

How can this help me?

We all know the importance of reciting the Qur’an properly – with tajweed. In salah, we all recite verses of the Quran but what many people do not realize is that it is an individual obligation upon every Muslim to recite without making “clear, obvious mistakes”. I would even go as far as saying that it is more important that praying Taraweeh based on the fact that the former is fard whereas the latter is sunnah.

Some examples of “clear” mistakes:

  • Changing a short vowel into another  – like a Dammah into Fathah (i.e. Alhamda-lilah instead of Alhamdu-lilah)
  • Changing a letter – like pronouncing the letter Qaaf as a Kaaf  (i.e. “Qalb” which means heart would become “kalb” which means dog). There are seven pairs like these in the Arabic language. Can you list them all? (Hint: In addition to the K sound there are A, D, H, S, T, and Z letters which have an Arabic-only counterpart)
  • Ignoring elongations (Madd). This is easy to do if you are reciting too quickly. (i.e. Dhaaaaaaleen at the end of Surah Fatiha)
  • Stopping or continuing at an incorrect place so that it affects the meaning. Like stopping at ‘Laa ilaaha’ (There is no God), without completing ‘illallaah’ (except Allah).

How unfortunate is the one who takes time to do ibadah but does not maximize reward due to making easily avoidable mistakes like these?

As we are now in the last 10 days of Ramadan, searching for the Night of Power in which the Qur’an was revealed, we are reciting more than anytime during the rest of the year. For many people this is also a good time to review the portions of the Qur’an that we have memorized. We may not even be aware of any mistakes we are making. Further, we should be trying to memorize additional verses. This is a critical time because mistakes made while memorizing often stay with you and become habit that is difficult to break. One of the best ways to avoid these mistakes and help you memorize quickly and efficiently is to record yourself.

One of the most useful apps on the iPhone, and perhaps one of the most underused, is Voice Memos. Although this app was designed as a way to record voice memos (as the name implies), it works equally well as a way to record your recitation. Once you have recorded a set of verses or a small surah from memory, you can play it back while looking a the Qur’an and verify that you haven’t made any clear mistakes or perhaps skipped a word or verse. I would also recommend listening to a qari online and comparing it. There are several sites for this purpose but some of my favorites are quran.com and tanzil.com. I have found that this is one of the best methods of improving your tajweed.

The Voice Memos native app is very basic and easy to use. The latest version allows you to share the files via MMS or email as well as the ability to trim the file. Unfortunately, naming the file is not as straightforward as it should be. Of course, there are other apps that provide similar functionality with more advanced features but it does the job and I haven’t found one yet that is free.

If you have found this useful please share it with others! The Prophet(S) said the best among you are those that learn the Qur’an and teach it.

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