Apps make it easier for Muslims pray and read the Quran
BY CHASE COOK World Staff Writer
Saturday, August 18, 2012
8/18/12 at 5:22 AM
Need the direction to Mecca or need a prayer time reminder? There's an app for that.
As a Muslim, Union Public Schools teacher Kamlah Milad's is strongly encouraged to read the entire Quran during the holy month of Ramadan, which ends Saturday evening.
Normally this means Milad must carry a book with her if she wishes to read the Quran during waiting times or other downtimes, but the rise of mobile applications has made this idea archaic.
"It makes it easier for me to read the Quran because of the ease of reading on an electronic device," Milad said. "There is something easy about carrying all your books around on your Kindle or iPad."
Milad uses an app that allows her to not only read the Quran in English, but in Arabic as well. She said she will complete her cover-to-cover reading of the Quran, a feat that was aided by her iPhone and its app collection.
"It's just as important to me when reading it from my iPhone than reading it from the book," Milad said. "The words, the message - that's what's most important."
Islam requires the discipline of remembering specific prayer times and praying toward a specific location, and mobile apps have found ways to make practicing the religion a little more convenient.
Numerous Islam-specific apps use GPS to locate Mecca, the city that Muslims face when praying. Free and paid Quran readers offer a multitude of features and language translations. Event-specific apps, such as ones focused on Ramadan, help Muslims manage special prayer and fasting times.
Islam-specific apps are available to Apple and Android users.
Zunaira Cheema, St. Francis Hospital social worker, uses an app on her Android phone that tells her prayer times, has supplication sayings, operates as a Quran reader and also offers special sayings called "Hadiths."
Cheema said she has found the apps helpful.
"Everyone is always on the go," she said. "It's a good way for young people to keep up with the things they need to do."
Not everyone uses these apps - some still prefer traditional books - but there still is a benefit when things come along and makes something easier to use, Milad said.
"It's a very positive thing for the spread of knowledge, religious or otherwise," Milad said. "It's ease of access."
Free Islam-specific apps
For Apple devices
Quran Explorer: Comes with complete Quran Arabic text with side-by-side English translation. Allows bookmarks, and features scalable font sizes and audio recitations.
Islamic Compass Free: Tells users when and in what direction to pray. Calculates prayer time and direction based on the location of the user.
Fajr Alarm: Wakes up Muslims for the "Fajr," or morning prayer. Acts like an alarm clock that monitors the Fajr prayer time based on the user's location. App offers both English and Arabic.
For Android devices
Quran Android: Allows users to read the Quran in multiple languages and also supports bookmarks, search tools, audio and other features. Requires file downloads to support its features.
iQuran: Allows the Quran to be read in Arabic alongside its translation. Includes verse-by-verse audio and search tools.
Islamic Prayer Times: Lists prayer times, has alarm tools for prayer reminders and comes equipped with a compass pointing in the direction of Mecca.
Original Print Headline: Apps make it easier for Muslims to pray, read Quran
Chase Cook 918-581-8386
Kamlah Milad displays an iPhone app Thursday that helped her read the entire Quran during Ramadan. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World