Apps and the Modern Muslim

So far I am enjoying Ramadan. Moving more slowly, not rushing anything, paying attention. Its nice.

To help pass the time during the day I have been reading a lot, including online news and information on Ramadan and Islam. And one of the articles I came across was a piece questioning how Islamic apps and other technology are impacting the community. The author wondered if Islam was becoming too commercialized – and was all of this putting Islam and special times such as Ramadan in danger of becoming exploited like Christmas.

Currently I don’t live in the most Muslim friendly environment and the Islamic community where I live is primarily German speaking. I know my German should be better than it is. I can speak restaurant-,shopping-, take out-, and taxi-German – but I cannot hold a conversation.

The point of all this is that I have had to find other means to learn about Islam, learn my prayers and begin learning Arabic.

And I have to say for me, the abundance of information available via apps and online has been a life saver. Alhamdulilah! Apps on Islamic topics are fantastic, and they are typically free or at a very low cost. (Though I realize this still assumes you can afford a smart phone and computer. I am blessed.)

What I have learned on apps:

  • Prayer times that can be adjusted depending on where you are – great for those who travel
  • Direction of the Quibla from a compass in the app
  • The prayers themselves of course. I found I needed a few apps to complement each other along with YouTube videos so that I could learn the pronunciation and proper movements.
  • Qur’an apps where I can listen to its recitation while seeing the words in Arabic, the transliteration and the English translation
  • The Arabic alphabet: essential for those beginning from scratch. I unknowingly started with a few apps to learn to read the Qur’an that assume you know the Arabic alphabet already.

As for the internet:

  • As mentioned above, sometimes you have to see how prayer is done and YouTube is fantastic for this
  • Free web sites with the full Qur’an and many Hadeeth
  • Muslim clothes shops – of course!
  • to find loads of books on Islam
  • And – of course – Facebook, Word Press and other social sites to connect with the Ummah around the world

I also would hate to see Islam and Ramadan become too commercial but I am very grateful for the modern technology that has facilitated my learning. (Though I try to always double check information with a trusted friend — just to be sure.)

I realize apps and the internet are not essential and people learned what they needed since the birth of the religion without technology. But I, for one, find it a blessing.

What do you think? And if you have a favorite app or web site, please share!

2 responses

  1. Wow!!!
    The activities that you are already involved in, inspite of your limitations is “WOW” Mashallah.
    You are putting us so-called ‘Muslims by birth’ to shame 🙂

    Indeed technology has become an excellent tool as is the internet and Blogs/FB/Twitter to gain knowledge. I do not use apps for this month – one reason being that I not travelling which means I have access to books, community and ofcourse the Internet.

    I see where you are coming from in your concern about Ramadhan becoming too commercialized and fear of it tipping over like Christmas (God Forbid).
    Personally, I do not believe it will get tipped over (Inshallah) because its roots in its core concepts and purpose as clearly stated in the Holy Quran and hadith are firmly grounded and practiced worldwide as it should be.
    Unlike Christmas – which per se has nothing really to do with the birth of Jesus Christ – I do not want to discuss that here at least.

    May Allah (swt) continue to shower His Mercy on us to be able to make the most of these opportunities to get closer to Him.

    Was salaam alaykum


  2. “SalahforFalah” is probably one of most reliable Qibla direction app I have used so far. I definitely recommend that especially if one travels and is on and about most of the time.

    Also another great app for those who seek the guidance of pious predecessors of the past is called “TorchBearers”. It has quotes from many famous Companions of the Prophet (saw) and Tabi’ien (Companions of the Companions of the Prophet (saw)) and Salaf-As-Saliheen ( companious of the companions of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh))

    Another good one is “My Daily Duas” its a app for daily reading of supplications for the morning and evening. What makes it even better that with each dua there is a specfic hadith that goes along so one knows the virtue while also giving the arabic in legible writing and even if one doesn’t know arabic it gives the transliteration. I have to say this particular app has benefited me the most spiritually.

    I wanted to comment on one thing in regards to the vast knowledge on the internet about Islam. Mash’Allah being someone who has learned a bit from these sources I have to say one should be careful as to what they read. Many times us, laymen, don’t have deep knowledge on the sciences so when someone brings the hadith and Quran we have no reason to doubt their words for they quote the most authenticated of Words the Quran and the Hadith. And I wish not to scare you or anyone but just be careful thats all. Good to hear that your verifying your information with a trusted friend and if they don’t know then with someone more knowledgeable that you trust.

    Hope you benefit from the above mentioned apps as I have,

    Have a blessed Ramadan in Dubai. Ameen


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