Launch of the first interactive electronic Koran in Muscat
The first interactive electronic Quran was recently presented in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. Called Muscat Electronic Mus’hef, this e-book presents unique features coupled with an unusual typography. A group of eminent scholars from Al-Azhar University, the famous Egyptian University, as well as European specialists, have indeed worked for three years to meet the needs of Muslims around the world so that they can use an error-free document.
Muscat Electronic Mushaf is a mixture of aesthetics and functionalities that, by exploiting the power of web standards, allows access to the rich typographic traditions of the Arabic script.
Using Unicode and Web technologies provides the user with functionality, allowing access to the rich typographic traditions of the Arabic script.
This is an initiative that will be very useful for Arabic language lovers, teachers, researchers and students, with the aim of preserving the Arabic language and opening a door for reflection on the Qur’an.
“The Omani project leaders have managed to reconcile two different aspects of world culture: the icon of Islamic civilization and advanced technology. Without compromising the text in any way, the Qur’an is now beautifully represented in digital form, using Unicode characters.”
Unicode aims to provide an open access to the world’s languages on computers that allow men to communicate around the world, whatever the language they speak, while preserving the ability to understand “With this technology, anyone can view and search for text anywhere in the world and without any particular device. Users no longer need to download or install new fonts to have text at hand. Text can be copied, searched for, and dynamically reformatted, enabling people to explore the variety and flexibility of Arab typography,” said Dr. Mark Davis, President and Co-Founder, Unicode.
“With this launch, the Omani Ministry has helped to promote the publication on the Internet of Arabic texts at a high level. Although it can appeal mainly to Muslims and academics, its interactivity invites the whole world to appreciate the beauty of the Arabic script.”
The unique interface enriches the digital world with an aspect of Islamic culture that has never been made as visible and accessible. It opens up new perspectives, not only for the Qur’an, but also for modern Arabic and potentially for other languages and scripts covered by Unicode, said the president and co-founder of Unicode.
The layout and graphic design of Mushaf Muscat is also a tribute to the Sultanate of Oman as a cultural reflection of Arab civilization. Generously supported by the Minister of Religious Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Abdullah as-Salmi, the electronic publication of the Qur’an indeed highlights the role of the Sultanate in the development of electronic Koranic production while reconciling traditional calligraphic of the Islamic civilization with the current technologies.