Rabiya Khan’s visual impairment could not come in the way of her vision.
The twenty something law student wanted to make it possible for all visually impaired people in India to be able to read the Quran, and she stands closer to her dream than ever before.
Khan has worked tirelessly for the last four years to compile 10 paragraphs of the Quran in Arabic Braille.
Braille is a writing system that uses raised dots on paper to assist the visually impaired to read.
Though it will take her a lot more time and funding to complete converting the entire Quran, the compilation she has created will be distributed at the RNT Auditorium in Indore on July 20.“So far, the Quran is available in Braille in only four countries. It is not possible for everyone to get a copy,” said Khan, who runs the Madrasa Noor Research Institute for the blind in Indore’s Chhaoni locality.
Khan was driven by the difficulties she faced while trying to study the Quran. “There was not a single copy of the Quran in Arabic Braille in the state. I found one in Mysore and another in Mount Abu. My family finally traced the whereabouts of the publishers in Karachi (Pakistan) and got it,” said Khan, who teaches the Quran to more than 70 visually-impaired youngsters.
And thereby hangs another tale. “Teaching underscored the need for having a copy of the Quran Sharif in Braille available in India. I mean, the students should have a copy at home or they’ll forget what they have learned,” Khan pointed out.
The task she decided to take up was by no means an easy one. “I first tried downloading the Quran from the internet and started converting it to Braille but all the formatting was lost,” she recalled.
Next, she tried to scan the holy book but that didn’t bear the desired results. “We then typed it in Braille and got it embossed. We have so far prepared 10 paragraphs bound in two volumes,” she said.
However, Khan said she could not say for sure when all chapters of the Quran will be available in Arabic Braille. “We will have to seek financial contributions since it is an expensive task. The cost may even go up to Rs 1 crore, if it is published on a large scale,” she said.