One of the beauties of blockchain and its by-products like NFTs is that they offer a certain level of permanence. When a transaction or piece of content is uploaded to a blockchain, it is safe to say that it is permanent and cannot be removed or changed, even by the original owner.
This is now being used for religious reasons as an organization called IslamiCity has uploaded the entirety of the Quran to a blockchain as an NFT. This, the organization says, is a way of making sure the text is forever preserved and accessible.
The Use of NFTs in Religion
This new project is called The Quran Verse project and comprises 6,236 NFTs in total. Each NFT represents a verse of the Quran and the NFTs also come with information about each verse, its meaning, and context.
Obviously, religious texts have been recorded for millennia. But the advent of NFTs offers a convenient and permanent way to make sure that these texts do not get lost to time.
“In every era, sacred texts have been passed down through the use of the most modern technologies of the time. In the mid-1400s, it was the Gutenberg Press. Then it was the internet. Today, it’s blockchain. The goal is still the same: preserve these sacred texts and make them widely available to the public,” said Mohammad Aleem, the Co-Founder and CEO of IslamiCity.
This is not the first time that a religious text is getting the NFT treatment as the first testament of the bible was also converted to NFT format last year. And clearly, there is a demand among worshipers for this sort of thing as 500 of the NFTs were sold before the project was formally launched, bringing in $45,000. All the funds will be used to create an Islamic autonomous metaverse called the Ummah Network.
But more than just preserving religious texts, the use of blockchain means that such texts cannot be altered by anyone. Given how important they are to those within the respective religions, the accuracy of religious texts cannot be overstated. And with blockchain being the tool of choice, no alterations can be made.
“The blockchain prevents such manipulation. Whereas we continue to pass on the Quran through oral traditions and the collective memory of the Muslim community, the blockchain serves as the collective ‘memory’ of the internet. Making use of this technology to faithfully preserve and present the Quran fulfills our collective responsibility to accurately convey this message to humanity,” Jihad Turk, founding President and Dean of Bayan Islamic Graduate School said.
Preserving Texts as NFTs
Often, so much of the industry’s focus is on the commercial aspects of NFTs and how much money comes into the sector. But this project highlights the cultural and religious role that they can play. By preserving religious texts, NFTs can find use well into the future for different faiths, ensuring that these texts and the NFTs they become can be referenced for years to come.