Islam is an old religion that dates back to the 7th century. It has over a millennium of practices and traditions, many of which continue to be observed to this day. However, the lifestyle of a modern Muslim is vastly different from that of their precursors. Many are busy keeping up with the demands of school, work, and even home life. However, being busy is not an excuse for missing out on the different expressions of faith that Islam requires of its followers.
Instead, the modern Muslim can make use of new technologies to help them in the practice of Islam and grow their iman or personal faith. Nearly everyone now owns a smartphone or mobile device that provides customised functionality through the availability of different apps. Many of these apps are free to download and use, so it’s a good idea to get these essential tech tools on your phone and use them to help you with your daily practice.
Muslims are called to perform salat or daily prayers five times a day. If you are near a masjid, you might hear bells ringing to sound the call to prayer. However, not everyone will have a masjid or mosque in their community. These places of worship are unlikely to be located in commercial areas as well. The time for salat or prayer can also vary depending on the date and season so the easiest way to get reminders is with an app like Muslim Pro.
Apart from reminding you when to say your prayers, some apps may have a Qiblah direction finder to help you align your position towards Mecca. This is an especially useful function for when you are in a new location or in the midst of travelling.
In addition to saying your prayers, a devout Muslim also declares the glories of God by reciting three kinds of praises 33 times. Using a tasbeeh or misbaha prayer beads helps you keep track of your repetitions but in case you forgot them at home, you can use an app as your counter. Some apps may include audio recordings of the dhikr or utterances, which are useful for helping Muslims learn how to pronounce the phrases correctly in their original Arabic form.
Having the Holy Quran on your mobile device gives you ready access to the words of God no matter where you are. And for non-Arabic speakers, an app makes it easier to read and study the Quran. Apps often feature translations in different languages, while the Muslim Pro app gives the added option of displaying the Arabic script. Learning Arabic can help a Muslim deepen their faith as they are able to read the original text instead of relying on translations, so having these options side by side can help them learn the language better.
The Holy Quran is also best experienced when it is read aloud. If you are still learning how to read it, you can use an app that includes audio recitations. Some apps also feature recordings of the different prayers and duas. You can play the app as you pray, listening solemnly to the recitations and repeating after them. This will help you memorize the prayers and know how to say them properly.
Wherever you may go, it is good to know where the nearest masjid or mosque is. Apps that help you find a place of worship are useful for Muslims who are visitors and newcomers to the area. This is particularly important for Muslim men who have the duty to join the jumah or congregational Friday prayer at the masjid. Some apps may even include directions to musallahs or prayer rooms, so you can find a quiet place to perform your devotional prayers even when you are away from home.
Halal Food Guide
Dining out is one of the pleasures of life, and in the case of Muslims, it is important to find a place that is halal. Restaurants normally display this certification but it may not be common in some places. In cases like this, an app that has an updated directory of halal eateries in your area can come very handy. You may even use the app to discover new places to eat or find halal food deliveries.
During Ramadan, fasting is observed from sun up to sun down. Since the time can change on a daily basis, having an app that updates you about daily fasting schedules is very helpful. Fasting is a strict religious observance for these holy days, so having the app can also remind you to take the pre-dawn meals on time to ensure that you still get enough energy for the day.
Being a Muslim is more than just declaring your faith in God. It requires daily practice and careful observation. Fortunately, there are many technological tools that modern Muslims can use to help them live according to their faith as well as deepen their appreciation for it.