Sometime back, in one of the discussions, a non-Muslim friend of mine told that ‘Muslims want to do Jihad because in their religion, if they die in Jihad, they would get 72 virgins’. For a moment, I was taken back at his ignorance but then I realized, it’s not his fault. Unfortunately, Muslims across the world have failed to articulate the true message of Islam. This failure of Muslims in reaching out and articulating the true message has resulted in many misconceptions among non-Muslims. What my friend told was just one misconception popularized by main-stream media and hate mongers. There is not a single verse in Holy Quran that says, a person waging Jihad would get 72 virgins. For that matter, the word ‘Jihad’ itself is misunderstood by majority of Muslims and non-Muslims. Of course, I can go on and on about this issue, but what is needed is solution. One of the solutions is projecting the true information before non-Muslims. And to do so, we can take the help of Wikipedia.
There are 114 chapters in Holy Quran and understanding the chapters of Holy Quran without clear context of the verses is difficult. Of course, there are several books (Mariful Quran, etc) that provide the context of the verses, however, not many people would be interested in purchasing books. One easy option for all is ‘internet’. When someone searches the name of the chapter of Holy Quran, the top result is corresponding Wikipedia article. Out of 114 Wikipedia articles for 114 chapters, over 90 articles are classified as ‘stubs’ i.e. Wikipedia hasn’t received any literacy contribution about those articles. So basically, what this means is, when someone searches a name of the chapter of Holy Quran, except for the Arabic verses and their meaning in English, it is very difficult for them to get the context of the verses. This is where the problem arises. Without context, people end up misinterpreting the verses.
Following blog post gives details on the Wikipedia articles on chapters of Holy Quran that need immediate attention. http://mohdabubakr.blogspot.com/2010/11/chapters-of-holy-quran-in-wikipedia.html
In this regard, I humbly ask, those of you who are knowledgeable in Islamic Studies to take some time out, prepare content on each Chapter and contribute to Wikipedia. This will not only help Muslims and non-Muslims understand Holy Quran but also be rewarding experience for you. Please use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Lail template for writing content but this doesn’t mean better template cannot be created. Before you add the content, please make sure you get it reviewed by other knowledgeable folks, so that, there isn’t any unintentional error.
Please do forward this information to your local mosque and appeal for contribution.
Another important task is to review the content (related to Holy Quran Chapters) that is already available on Wikipedia. Since, Wikipedia can be easily edited, some unwanted content might also creep in. If we can find some Islamic organization that can volunteer for this activity and approach Wikipedia with content on all chapters and convince them make the chapters ‘non-editable’, it would be helpful.