As I continue my research into global Islam, and the various manifestations of its transnational and local dimensions, I also get the chance to cover some of the phenomena I encounter as a freelance religion newswriter. Graciously, the Religion News Service accepted my story on the #QuranChallenge - an increasingly popular social media Quran recitation challenge being passed around YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
Below is an excerpt from the article, read the rest at ReligionNews.com
(RNS) Move over Ice Bucket Challenge. Muslims have a new take on the viral social media phenomenon: the Quran Challenge.
The new campaign seeks to raise awareness and funds for Muslim "da’wah" -- a call to propagate the faith -- by reciting verses from the Quran on various online platforms.
Issam Bayan, a 26-year-old student and professional Islamic singer, came up with the idea as a way to awaken Muslim piety, just as the Ice Bucket Challenge raised awareness and well over $30 million for ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
While the #QuranChallenge has no specific cause, Bayan, who lives in Germany, said he wanted to make it available to all Muslims regardless of their financial ability to make a contribution. In an email interview, he said the benefits for this challenge are the rewards that a Muslim receives for reciting the Quran.