Observing Ramadan goes high-tech with mobile apps
Muslims observing Ramadan now have an app for that.
Malek Ali of London, Ont., calls the app he designed "a self-accountability app" for the holy month.
- Apps help Muslims pass Ramadan
- Mobile apps help Muslims observe prayers
- Smartphone apps connect Hamilton Muslims with Islam
It's called the Ramadan Advent Calendar, which helps count down the days until Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.
The app gives users certain tasks for each day, prayers to say, daily advice, Qur'anic verses to memorize and short videos to watch.
"You have a preset number of goals for every day of the month throughout the month of Ramadan and it helps the individual develop spiritually," Ali said. "So they have a list of tasks that range from easy to moderate to somewhat difficult that they have to perform every day of the month."
Windsor's Remy Boulbol has downloaded the app, which she says is keeping her accountable.
"No one knows whether or not I'm fasting properly, except for God and the one that I'm doing it for. So you can be dishonest with yourself if you want," she said. "Without anyone else really in front of you to be accountable for, it's really just about you."
Ali says the app has been downloaded 1,200 times in the first five days of Ramadan.
Ali's isn't the first app designed to assist those observing Ramadan.
Other apps help identify which direction to pray - towards Mecca - or can even help find mosques around the world.
The apps aren't just for Ramadan. There are Islamic-themed programs that help users find the nearest Costco offering foods prepared according to Islamic dietary rules, learn the correct Arabic pronunciations in a daily prayer, or count how many pages of the Qur'an they've read that day.
There also are applications, or apps, for the holy books of several other religions, from the Catholic Holy Bible to the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu scripture.