Ramadan, which begins with a sunup-to-sundown fast Monday, calls on the Muslim faithful to immerse themselves in scripture — ideally by reading the entire Quran.
In 2009, Hussein Rashid, a professor of Islamic Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, noticed rabbis using Twitter to highlight snippets of Torah text to celebrate Shavuot, when Jews say Moses received God’s word at Mount Sinai.
“I saw they were creating a virtual way to pray and study together, and I thought it would be fun to invite a few friends to tweet the Quran for Ramadan. By the next year we had hundreds posting at #Quran and it will be even bigger this year,” he says.
The Quran is the 22-year record of what Muslims believe is Allah’s revelations to the Prophet Mohammed. The goal of using Twitter is to engage Muslims and non-Muslims alike in exploring and discussing the text, Rashid says.
“What verses speak to you when you read the Quran this day? That’s what we’re looking for. The way we engage with scripture is always changing as our lives change. We can ask each other questions. We can explore parallels with other religions,” he adds.
As next month’s 10-year-anniversary of 9/11 nears, Wajahat Ali, a playwright and attorney based in San Francisco, expects many Muslims will share “our reflections and our resilient faith.”
Ali says, “I expect lot of people will tweet from Chapter 49:13: ‘Oh Ye who believe, we created you of different nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’ It’s very tweetable and it expresses a way of moving forward with different communities of faith. We share common values but retain our own unique values.” (More)