Technology is a double edged sword: it can bring you closer to Allah or take you away from Allah, it can be used for haram or halal. Without running after the latest gadgets or wanting just because my neighbor has one, if we kept our needs in mind and use it as tools to help us practice our deen, then it is Allah’s (SWT) blessing otherwise a fitnah. I wanted to share my favorite apps and technologies and how they help me be a better Muslim, InshaAllah.
My Macbook Pro – This was an Eid gift from my husband last year, it was better gift than any piece of jewelry. After getting it I started blogging and have I have found a piece of me that was lost somewhere between the kids and the dishes. May Allah (SWT) grant him Jannah; it’s portability has freed me from sitting at the desktop and I can write anywhere. It syncs with my phone. My calender is right there so I am better organized, Alhamdulillah.
iTunes– Nasheeds , Quran, lectures. If my kids need to learn the month of Islam nasheed, I download it or when the latest Bayinnah podcast is ready , I can upload it on my iPhone, hook it up to my car stereo and have Sheikh Nouman on surround sound during our long drives in LA traffic.
iSubha – this app helps you keep count of your misbaha/tasbeeh. You can set the time and it keeps someone slightly ADD like me, on track. There is a selection of azkaar and you tap the screen to keep count. For example, if you know you have goal that you want to read at least 365 azkaar a day or as many as you can in an hour with this you can keep a visual count.
iQuran app- Quran and translation at your fingertips anywhere, whether you are in a waiting room at the doctor’s office or between meetings.
Asma-ul-Husna 1.0- learning the 100 names of Allah on the go- there are checkpoints so you can check yourself. My kids and I are competing who can learn all 100 first.
iPray-gives you salah timings on your phone (we are humans, we forget so if we have the technology to help us, why not use it). The adhaan reminds you to pray lest shaytan makes you forget.
Qiblah compass pro- my husband uses this all the time as he travels a lot for work.
Online school– this has opened a whole new world for me,. I was so scared when I made the decision to home school my eldest daughter. Their system is keeping me organized with her attendance & grades. Daily and weekly planning is done for me. It has simplified the process and the curriculum is state of the art. Without the hassle of ordering books, devising a curriculum, I can spend time actually teaching her. When I can not explain something to her I use Khan Academy– This brother attended college with my husband; his goal is to provide a world-class education to people anywhere in the world. He posts short, simple videos on mostly math and sciences explained on an electronic blackboard. A great tutoring or homeschooling tool for kids and adults. There are several online Islamic courses that you can take over the net along with fabulous websites like Halaltube- Lectures, duroos from scholars on my laptop, TV screen, need I say more.
Skype– I love Skype. My mother sits across the world on her dining table and I sit on mine. She has her morning chai in her hand and I have my cup of evening tea. It is the closest thing to being next to each other. I can be a better daughter inquiring about her health, it makes her happy to see my face. She shows me her new curtains and I show her the kid’s awards.
My niece and my daughter live many continents away. These best friends and milk-sisters have a book club on skype, they read the same book and then have discussions about them. The last one they read was Fudgemania. It keeps them close despite the distance.Using Skype, we broadcast my sister in law’s Nikaah to her grandma in Saudi and her aunt in Karachi simultaneously.
Our friends are moving and their kids are super excited about Face Time, Apple’s video conferencing tool on the new iTouch- so they can keep in touch with their friends where ever they move in the world. With distances and relative and friends all over the globe, technologies like these help keep the ties of the womb & kinship, as long as you keep the right niyyah and don’t let it overtake your life.