by Amira Ahmed in Lifestyle on 13th December, 2022
It’s no secret that a lot of us spend a significant amount of time on our phones, myself included. After some reflection, I realised the time I spent mindlessly scrolling on social media could be better utilised. Therefore, I developed ways to make my time on my phone more productive and beneficial for my soul, particularly by downloading more Islamic apps to intentionally divert my attention to listening to the Qur’an, gaining more knowledge and remembering Allah (Exalted is He), when I found myself scrolling for far too long. These apps have hugely improved how I use my phone, and I now spend less time on social media and more time on cultivating a deeper connection with my deen and the Qur’an.
We have less than four months until Ramadan. While it is an exciting time for fasting, connecting with family during iftars and Taraweeh prayers, it should also be a time for deeper self-reflection and self-accountability. The best way to make the most of this blessed opportunity is by preparing for it in advance. It is well known that the companions of the Prophet ﷺ began preparing for Ramadan six months in advance. A starting point is to analyse how we currently spend our time, especially with regards to our screen time, and work towards improving it before the arrival of Ramadan, as new habits aren’t built in a day.
Here are six apps I have found beneficial in nurturing my connection with Allah.
1. Dhikr and Dua – Life with Allah
I discovered this app through a podcast around the beginning of Ramadan this year, and it transformed my relationship with dhikr. Soon enough, morning and evening adhkar became part of my daily routine, as well as the adhkar after each salah and before going to sleep.
How it works: The app has various categories of duas and words of remembrance, including duas from the Qur’an and Sunnah for daily actions, as well as for every emotion we experience. Each dua and dhikr is presented in Arabic, and accompanied by a transliteration to help perfect our pronunciation and a translation to aid our understanding of what we are reciting. Also, most dhikr and duas also include a section which highlights the virtue and rewards we earn for reading them, as well as hadith which outlines their origins.
Top feature: The hadith and virtue sections on each dua and dhikr help to understand the amazing value and rewards we can attain by reciting them.
2. Qariah – An app for women Qur’an reciters
This refreshing new app has a huge catalogue of female Qur’an reciters from all over the world. Whether you have a particular reciter or surah you would like to listen to, Qariah has it all. You can save your favourite reciters by tapping the heart by their name, and refer to the “favourites” page for easy access! The founder of this app, Ustadha Maryam Amir is featured on ‘The Digital Sisterhood’ podcast, where she shares her story and the inspiration behind this app.
Top feature: The “favourites” feature: just tap the heart on your favourite recitation clips or reciter profiles and have it ready to go on the “favourites” page when you next open the app!
If you’re on your Qur’an memorisation (hifdh) journey, then Tarteel is the app for you. As a hifdh student it may be challenging to practise your Qur’an before reciting it to a teacher, but with Tarteel’s AI technology you can practise your lesson and see your progress as you recite!
The premium version uses the mic feature to highlight your mistakes, however the free version simply follows along with your recitation which is great for revising an almost-ready portion.
Top feature: Hiding and revealing verses: this helps you photographically capture the placement of verses on the page and reveal the words as you recite.
This simple, ad free Qur’an app is perfect for on the go recitation. With a clear format and a variety of reciters and translation languages, iQur’an is your new go-to for learning and reciting the Qur’an with clear meanings accompanying every verse.
The app has an advanced search system where you can search for the verses you need by either typing a key phrase or the number or even the transliteration for those verses you hear in passing but can’t place. iQur’an iis the perfect companion to help you keep up with reciting and reflecting on the Qur’an for Ramadan.
Top feature: The advanced search feature, which helps you pinpoint any verse in the Qur’an and discover their meanings.
The first thing we will be asked about on the day of judgement is our prayer, so we must all ensure we work hard to stay consistent with it. The Pillars Prayer App helps you to be on time with your prayers via regular notifications at prayer times. It also includes a prayer tracker which you can tick off every time you finish a salah.
This salah app made by muslims for muslims has a comprehensive feature set, including the ability to pause the salah tracker when you’re on your period. The settings allow for an easy customisation to suit your asr time preference depending on the school of thought you follow. The Qibla finder also allows you to ensure you’re facing the Ka’bah particularly when you have to pray on the go, with no masjid in proximity.
Top feature: The daily salah prayer notifications are essential reminders to break us out of our busy routines and remind us to pray.
6. Al Qur’an
If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of the Qur’an, an alternative to iQur’an is the Al-Qur’an app which has a wider variety of translations in many languages and has two tafsir options: Ibn Kathir and Jalalayn. These comprehensive explanations of the verses of the Qur’an will surely boost your love for the Qur’an and give a glimpse of the infinite wisdom behind these revelations. Ramadan is also known as the Month of Qur’an, and what better way to prepare for it than to expand our knowledge of this miraculous revelation?
Top feature: The word for word translation is especially useful as it helps you follow along with the meanings as you’re reciting, and helps you familiarise yourself with the words that are oft-repeated through the Qur’an, as well as improving your overall understanding of the words of Allah.
I hope these apps are as useful and transformative for us all as they have been for many Muslims across the world. May Allah (Exalted is He)allow us to reach Ramadan and excel in our worship.
Amira Ahmed is an A-Level student with a passion for learning and education. She is an aspiring blogger and also loves reading all sorts of books from Fiction to political essay collections.