A while back I came across an interesting comment, that most apps that we install on our smart phones or tablets don’t actually get used after a few initial uses. I found it interesting because it is very true in my case. Other than the mail, calendar, browser and the message apps, there are only a few apps that I find myself using on regular basis. One such app is Bayan Quran.
I find Bayan Quran as one of the best Mushaf and the Qur’an app out there. In addition to being the best in features it is also free and is available for both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.
While it is meant for any Muslim who can read Qur’an, I find it especially useful for those who are learning the Arabic language and are trying to understand Qur’an, themselves. More on it later.
The Mushaf is based on the standard 604 page Mushaf al-Madinah. Not only that it has a beautiful script, every page ends on an ayah, which makes memorization easier. Since you can find Mushaf al-Madinal in the book shelf of almost every masjid, as well as home, there is no transition needed to go from the hard copy to the mobile app.
When you open it, the default view is exactly like that of the standard Mushaf al-Madinah, with just the Arabic text. You can flip through the pages just like a regular book. However it is a lot more than just the Mushaf; it is a very sophisticated Qur’an app. For example, it has standard features like translations in other languages, including English as well as the recitation by most famous reciters of our time. But that’s not all, you can also explore each word of the Qur’an simply by clicking and holding it for a second. This allows you to see the meaning, the root, the morphology and the grammatical analysis of that word in that ayah, plus more.
There was another feature, which allowed you to play back each syllable, word, two words and the verse multiple times. For anyone trying to learn the recitation, this can be very useful as you’re listening to the some of the best reciters and breaking down every sound. However, I noticed that the latest upgrade has taken the feature away.
My only other wish is that they add some additional translations, e.g. Saheeh International or the one done by Abdel Haleem. Both are contemporary translations and are easy to understand. They do have some translations that you can purchase, but those are not the famous ones.
This is how I use the app. I open the app with just the standard Arabic text with no translation. Then as I read through an ayah and try to understand the meaning of each word, without looking at any translation. Not having any translation on the screen prevents one from being lazy and just looking at it; instead it encourages one to figure out the meaning by themselves. If I don’t understand the meaning of a word (which unfortunately is quite frequent), I press that word to review the meaning of that word. Then I try to understand the meaning of the whole sentence. Most of the time, I can understand the meaning but if I still don’t understand, then I open the translation to get help. Even if I understood, opening the translation view is still helpful to ensure that my understanding was correct. I close the translation view after every ayah before moving to the next ayah. This is a slow process but it forces me to try to understand the original Arabic text. Next day I try to review the ayaat I did the previous day before proceeding forward. Once I finish a Surah, I review it quickly to do one more revision.
All in all, this has helped me a lot in improving my understanding and I find myself paying much better attention when the imam recites a passage from the part I’ve already reviewed.
Hope you enjoy the app.