The dates of Ramadan can differ among Islamic communities around the world, but in North America, many Muslims will mark the first day of Ramadan today. It's a holiday that has been observed around the world for thousands of years. This year, all of that history will meet modern technology, as Muslims utilize the multitude of software and iPhone apps that have sprung up to aid in Ramadan observations.
If you want to read a verse from Quran, there’s an app for that. If you want to be reminded of the five daily prayers, there’s an app for that. And if you need to know what direction to face when it’s time to pray, there’s an app for that, too. Here are seven of the top apps for celebrating and observing Ramadan:
1. iPray: Offers a beeping reminder of requisite prayer times throughout Ramadan. There's also iPray Lite, similar to iPray, this app includes a program that simulates the clicking sound of prayer beads or the turning wheel of a handheld metal counter Muslims use to keep count of prayer repetitions.
2. Find Mecca: Helps the Muslim traveler in an unfamiliar city find the Qibla, or direction to Mecca.
3: Quran Reader: Full text of the Quran, complete with searching capability, right on your phone.
4. Guidance: Get notifications of the five daily prayer times as well as the five masjids closest to your location.
5. Zabihah: Huge halal restaurant database gives reviews, prices, hours, and prayer accomodations for halal restaurants and markets around the world.
6. Ramadan Daily Duas: Recite duas specific to each day of Ramadan.
7. iCards: Mark the end of Ramadan by sending an Eid card or greeting to family and friends.
Some apps are free, while others charge a fee of anywhere from 99 cents to $3.99.