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Quran Conspicuous in Paris Subway
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Qur’an “Conspicuous” in Paris Subway

 

  By Hadi Yahmid, IOL Correspondent

PARIS, November 2 (IslamOnline.net) – Reading in public transportations is a French tradition. Carrying what could be termed “pocket book” is a usual sight in French buses, trains and underground. During Ramadan, the Noble Qur’an and other Islamic books are conspicuous in Paris underground.

It is clear French Muslims are making use of every second of Ramadan day and night to get closer to Allah, and obtain His rewards.

Taking a trip in several underground trains in Paris Sunday October 31, this IOL correspondent has noticed that reading religious books, particularly the Noble Qur’an makes a Ramadan phenomenon, contrary to other months of the year.

In an interview with IslamOnline.net, Amr, a French Muslim of Senegalese origin, said, “Reciting the holy Qur’an is the best way to pass time in the run up to Iftar.”

“I keep it with me wherever I go, even in the underground, as I try to read all of the holy Qur’an at least once during Ramadan.”

Amr says that reading the Noble Qur’an benefits him in the underground and helps him “lower the gaze”. That is not to stare at women around.

“The holy Qur’an helps me lower the gaze while being in the underground that comprises different types of people,” Amr said.

Amateur Scholars

Not only does Amr recite the Noble Qur’an but he also attempts to talk with other passengers, explaining to them the meanings of the various verses, if and when asked.

“I am often asked by the French people sitting beside me about the meanings and verses of the Qur’an. Then, I stop reading and answer their questions, as I think my reward will be great as an amateur preacher,” Amr added.

A funny situation also comes along with reciting the Qur’an, as Amr tells IOL how the same situation repeats itself almost daily on metro No. 9 that takes him home.

“I frequently forget the station where I should get off, being too occupied with reciting the holy Qur’an.

“I am supposed to get off at La Republic station, as I work as a cleaner in a shop but find myself one station or two away.”

French Muslims feel no embarrassment when using medium and large-sized Qur’an or religious books in the metro, despite the fuss about “conspicuous” religious symbols last year.

Reward Collection

On line two of Paris metro, Suhaila, 33, sat reading a book entitled “Don't be Sad” by Ae’d Al-Qurany, a Muslim thinker and writer.

“It is a good book that is compiled to include Prophetic sayings, Qur’an verses and stories that urge to adhere to hope,” Suhaila tells IOL.

“I am keen on taking this book with me to read it in the metro during the holy month of Ramadan,” she adds.

“I try to benefit from every moment of the holy month to gain more heavely rewards and get closer to Allah.”

Underground lines in Paris amount to 14, covering all Paris districts and neighborhoods, in addition to long lines that link Paris to its suburbs.

Since the beginning of Ramadan, mosques of Paris witness unprecedented numbers of worshippers during Tarawih prayers.

The number of mosques in France amounts to 1554, according to the latest statistics.

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