How can Technology help Muslims in Offering Prayers?
Submitted by Rafia Tahir
Salah is one of the five pillars of Islam. The five daily prayers are obligatory for every healthy Muslim who is of age. Allah (SWT) has commanded believers to pray Salah in the following words:
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [2:277]
The verse highlights the importance of prayer. Remembrance of Allah (SWT) is necessary to gain His pleasure. Prayer is so important that prayer appears 67 times in the Holy Quran.
Importance of Offering Prayer
Praying five times a day is important in Islam due to its many benefits. Here are the reasons why praying five times a day is important:
- Prayer is a way of remembering Allah (SWT). Regularly praying helps us gain the pleasure of Allah (SWT). Believers can connect with Allah (SWT) through prayer
- Obligatory prayers are the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW). The Holy Prophet (SAW) called the five daily prayers the coolness of his eyes.
- Believers who pray regularly will reap the reward in the afterlife.
- Praying five times a day gives protection against evil deeds. It is a shield against the whisperings of the devil.
- Prayer strengthens piety. It keeps the believer pure and places the fear of Allah (SWT) in the heart.
- The five daily prayers help us remain organized.
How Muslims Can Use Technology to Offer Prayers
Being regular in the five daily prayers is important. Sometimes, however, believers may find it difficult to offer prayers. This may be because they are unable to figure out the correct timings for each prayer. If they are traveling or away from their home, finding the Qibla direction can be hard.
Fortunately, technology can help with many issues of these issues. Here are ways in which specific tools can help to solve particular problems:
1. Mobile Applications to Find out Prayer Timings
Many Muslims report missing prayer because they failed to realize that prayer time had come and gone. Each prayer has a specified timeframe within which to offer that prayer.
Work and other distractions can prevent people from realizing that time for prayer has gone by. To solve this problem there are several mobile applications available. Many of these apps are free of charge and available for both iOS and Android devices.
Applications, such as Muslim Pro, are excellent since they use location services to provide accurate prayer alerts. No matter where you are if you have access to the internet, you will get prayer alerts in real-time.
Getting timely alerts allow Muslims to be punctual in prayer. The best thing is that many of these apps also provide many additional useful features. These include Islamic resources such as books of traditions and the Holy Quran.
2. Figuring out Qibla Direction
Mobile applications are also equipped with features to provide Qibla directions. While on the move or outside of the house it can be hard to be sure which way to face when praying. With built-in Qibla direction, Muslims can easily figure out which way to face while praying.
Some portable prayer rugs are also available that have a compass built-in. Even if there is no internet connection, believers can use the compass to find the right way to face. Qibla’s direction is important since facing the Kaaba while praying is obligatory.
3. E-prayer Rugs
Aside from mobile applications, there are smart prayer rugs as well. E-Prayer rugs connect to your phone via the supporting app. Not only do these provide users with prayer alerts, and Qibla directions, but also point out mistakes during praying.
Users get alerts if they make a mistake while offering the prayer. These are very practical for those Muslims who are still learning to offer prayer.
4. Devices to Assist with a Memory problem
Many people simply have medical reasons that prevent them from offering prayers. Memory problems are one such reason. Conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s affect a person’s short-term memory.
This means that a person may know how to offer prayer, but forget how much they have offered. Devices with sensors inside can keep track of the body’s movement and inform the user.
One such device is the Salatcard. The device has a sensor that tells the users how many Rakahs have they prayed. The device is portable and users can put it in their pocket while praying.
Many other technologies available enable the elderly to offer prayers. These include digital rugs that have built-in technology to help keep track of the number of rakahs. They have sensors and give voice commands to help the users to offer prayer.
5. Additional Technologies
Even technology not made specifically for Muslims can be helpful to offer prayers. Software applications, such as Google Maps can help users locate the nearest Mosque.
Muslims who are still learning how to offer prayer can watch videos on YouTube and other video-sharing websites. Even if they don’t have someone to guide them, digital learning can make things easy.
Social media applications enable users to connect and form a community. People can inquire about problems they face while offering prayer and getting solutions. Having a support group can help people to become regular in their prayers.
Conclusion – Islam in the Digital Age
Technology has its pros and cons. However, it is impossible to deny the usefulness of technology in today’s world.
Technology has influenced every aspect of life. It can help improve knowledge and understanding. It can provide the tools to practice Islam effectively. It is better to embrace this type of technology that allows believers to practice Islam.
Prayer at its core is about the remembrance of Allah (SWT). If we use technology to improve our connection with the Creator then this is a beautiful thing. There is nothing wrong with using mobile apps or smart devices to improve our understanding of religion.
More and more people are realizing that there are benefits to technology. Many Islamic scholars are encouraging the use of mobile applications and devices. This is especially true for Muslims living in countries that are not Muslim majority.