With the holy month already underway, here are our favourite apps to help you make the most out of Ramadan.
Ramadan offers an excellent opportunity for people to connect with their spiritual side. Whilst tech is often seen as a blocker to spirituality, there are some great apps, websites and tips that can help you use your devices for good.
Here are our favourite apps to help you maximise the benefits in the holy month.
If you search the App Store for “Qur’an”, you’ll find hundreds of apps offering great Qur’an reading and listening experiences. After trying many apps in the list, here are our favourites.
1 – Quran Pro
Quran Pro features a modern design that makes the app a pleasure to use. It’s also the most powerful Qur’an app offering many ways to experience the Holy Book.
The reader is customisable, with options to include translations and transliterations directly below the verse. This is particularly useful for non-Arab readers as it can help them better read and understand the Qur’an. You can also add tafsir (exegesis), which can benefit every reader by offering a deeper understanding of what’s being read.
The listening experience in Quran Pro is like no other, thanks to a feature dubbed “Audio Sync”. Audio Sync automatically scrolls the verses with the audio so that you can hear and read a verse in sync without needing to scroll every few seconds manually.
The app also includes the option to customise the font, read directly from a Mus’haf, including Mus’haf Qatar. The only drawback with Quran Pro is that Tajweed is only available when reading the scanned Qur’an copies, which doesn’t optimise well when reading from a smartphone.
Quran Pro is available for free on all Apple and Android devices, including phones, laptops, TVs and smartwatches. A pro subscription will remove ads and unlock extra features such as Audio Sync. The subscription costs 100 QAR / year or 280 QAR for lifetime access. This is relatively expensive compared to other Quran apps, though its features make it worth its price.
2 – Daily Quran
Daily Quran is great if you’re starting a habit of reading the Qur’an more frequently. The app lets you set the number of pages you’d like to read each day and then reminds you to check in with timely notifications. Once you’ve read your required pages, it’ll add to a streak that you can grow by being consistent with your reading.
The app also includes an option to listen to the page you’re reading so that you can practice your recitation whilst completing your daily pages. Whist the app’s versatility doesn’t match others in this list, it does a great job at helping you build a streak of daily Quran reading.
Daily Quran is a free app available only on iPhone and iPad devices.
3 – Quran.com
Quran.com’s website arguably offers the best Qur’an reading and listening experiences compared to any app. So if reading the Quran on a laptop is your thing, then be sure to check it out. It includes many options for reciters, tafsir, translations and transliterations. Readers can enable Tajweed to see text highlighted appropriately.
The website has many other neat features that add to a great experience overall. For example, hovering over a word shows its translation and tapping it will recite that word individually. The website can be customised to improve readability and tailor to the reader’s needs.
Whilst keeping track of prayers all year is common, it’s even more prevalent during Ramadan. Muslims that are looking to stay on top of their prayers and count down every last second till Maghrib will find many options on the App Store. Again, we’ve looked through and tried many of them to recommend our favourite ones.
After last year’s controversy involving the sale of private location data by Muslim Pro, it’s important to note that all the apps in this article adhere to strict privacy practices. So there’s no risk of personal data leaving your phone for monetary purposes.
4 – QatarPrayer
If you’re a Muslim living in Qatar, this app is a no-brainer. QatarPrayer offers the most accurate prayer times in Qatar. The app’s data is extremely precise, perfectly matching Athan times at mosques in the country.
QatarPrayer also has useful widgets to keep track of prayer times directly from the lock screen without launching the app.
The service includes many ways to get notified of prayer times, including free apps on iPhone and Apple Watch, as well as social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. You can even get browser notifications directly from the website.
5 – Pray Watch
Those looking for more versatility will appreciate PrayWatch’s design and unique features. The app has everything you’d expect from a prayer tracking app, including widgets, a Qibla compass and a monthly calendar.
Where Pray Watch excels is in its notification capabilities. For example, you can get notified 20 minutes before the following prayer as a reminder in case you haven’t prayed yet, or as a notice to prepare for the upcoming prayer. Prayer notifications can also be snoozed, so if you cannot pray when notified, you can get a second reminder half an hour later.
The app was recently updated to include Qatar’s prayer calculation method, so the prayer times are accurate, though you may find it off by a minute now and then.
Pray Watch is available for free on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
6 – Pillars
Pillars is perhaps the best-designed prayer times app ever made. The app features sleek animations and a modern design, making it fun to use.
Pillars also builds on top of the typical prayer times features by including an option to track which prayers you’ve completed. This is particularly useful for people looking to cultivate the habit of prayers during Ramadan.
The app also includes the Qatar calculation method, so you can feel confident in its accuracy, though you may find it a minute off track too.
Pillars is available for free on iOS and Android.
Ramadan is a great time to donate money to charity. Whilst there are donation centres in most malls, donating from your smartphone may be more convenient.
7 – Qatar Charity
Qatar Charity makes it easy to donate to critical causes worldwide. The service is trusted with its impact observed in countries that benefit most from its support.
The app also has features tailored to the Qatari market, such as paying with your phone’s credit balance instead of using an online debit or credit card. You can visit the Qatar Charity website or download the app on iOS or Android.
8 – ShareTheMeal
With over 144 million meals shared, ShareTheMeal offers an intuitive interface to make it easy to donate directly from your smartphone. The organisation, founded under the United Nations Food Programme, aims to end global hunger.
You can pay for a single donation or a subscription that will automatically donate your money to the organisation. The app was on Apple’s list of best apps in 2020. You can download it to start donating today on iOS or Android.
People tend to become significantly less active in Ramadan due to fasting. Thankfully, there are ways to remain active without physically exhausting yourself. We tried some of the best fitness apps on the App Store to help you find easy ways to stay active during this holy month.
9 – Headspace
Headspace has a “Move” section dedicated to ensuring you stay active. It includes yoga, mindful cardio, quick workouts and more. The daily timeline includes suggested meditations which often include activities to keep active.
Activities in Headspace are less intense than your typical workout, so you may find it strikes a good balance when fasting. The exercises are also meditation-focussed which may help you further appreciate the spiritual benefits of fasting.
10 – Apple Health / Google Fit
One of the best ways to stay active is to ensure you get a walk in every day. It may be too hot to walk outside during the day whilst fasting, so you may prefer to go for walks later in the evening when the temperature cools down. Alternatively, you can walk inside your house every hour or so to ensure you stay moving.
Your phone and smartwatch already have pedometer apps built-in, so we recommend you take advantage of them to track your steps and ensure you continue moving throughout Ramadan.
Bonus: Turn on Hijri calendar
Here’s a bonus one for you: iPhone and Android have built-in capabilities to show the Hijri calendar.
On iOS, that will show the Hijri date alongside the usual one on the lock screen and in the calendar app. To enable it, head to the settings app, then navigate to Calendar > Alternative Calendars and select Islamic. Unfortunately, you may find the date is off by one, and there’s no way to change it.
On Android, this functionality is only present within Google Calendar. To enable it, open the settings within the Google Calendar app, then navigate to General > Alternate Calendars and select Hijri.
These are our top 10 apps and tips to make the most out of Ramadan using your phone. Whilst these can help you enhance your Ramadan experience, remember to be mindful of your screen time during the blessed month, and try to spend time connecting with family and friends in person.