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Ramadan apps add tech edge to holy month - Day 4

Ramadan apps add tech edge to holy month - Day 4

There are dozens of Ramadan-specific apps and websites available to help people observe the month properly.



By Bernd Debusmann Jr. (senior Reporter)

Published: Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:34 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:19 PM

Among the many things that come to mind during Ramadan in 2015 is how religion has combined with technology to bring the holy month — which has been celebrated since the dawn of Islam — into the lives of people in the 21st century.

Last night, for example, a friend of mine showed me how he was carrying out his religious duties with the help of a Ramadan app. Aside from alerting him to exact prayer timings and the time to end the fast, the helpful app included audio recitations of the Holy Quran, phonetics and translations, as well as an animated compass giving the precise direction towards the holy city of Makkah. 

Looking further into it back in my apartment, I noticed that there are dozens of Ramadan-specific apps and websites available to help people observe the month properly.

Interestingly, being health-conscious, he was also using a calorie-counter to try temper the excessive overeating I’ve mentioned previously. “I don’t want to have gained 10 kilos by the end of this,” he explained.

I’m not sure how prevalent such apps are globally, as I’d never seen them in the five other Muslim countries I’ve travelled through. I think that such apps are very representative of the UAE, where a very old culture based on traditions and Islam comes together with the tech-crazy and youthful atmosphere of Dubai.

While 20 years ago, for example, one might have expected to see people reading from a tiny pocket Quran, now one can do the same thing with an iPhone. Amazing.

On another note, yesterday was my first day spending time in the office during Ramadan.

To be honest, I was kind of dreading it, thinking that it would be very difficult for me as a non-Muslim to sit at my desk without food or water until the end of the day.

But, in a scene I imagine is being replicated at offices throughout the UAE, the office very kindly made allowances for non-believers.

It is allowing us to eat and drink water behind closed doors.

They even provided a small Iftar meal at the end of the day, which by then I sorely needed.

bernd@khaleejtimes.com 


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