Faith in technology

Mobile applications spanning diverse religions make it easy for devotees to keep track of scriptures,festive dates and more.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: September 29, 2013 4:27 am

When 45-year old Jyoti Ramnani was introduced to the Android world,her life became easy. One of the first apps she downloaded on her phone was a Hindu calender,which offers information about tithi,paksha and various festivals. “There are two categories in the app — the day section that which gives information of tithi,paksha and festivals of the day,and the event section that gives a list of upcoming events so that one can prepare for them,” says Ramnani,a housewife. The calender is available in a range of languages including Marathi,Gujarati,Hindi and Bengali. It also indicates the days that are meant for fasting — such as Sankashtha Chaturthi and Ekadashi.

While Android users who follow Hinduism can download a range of apps including bhajan ringtones,Hanuman Chalisa and Ganpati aarti,those who follow Islam also have a range of apps to choose from. Nawed Khan,an IT professional who has just settled in the city from a smaller town in Maharashtra,has downloaded an application which provides a list of restaurants in the city that serve halal food,and also lists mosques in his area or any other location selected by him. “The trial version can be downloaded for free,but the premium version needs to be purchased. I am currently using the trial version,and it seems to provide me with enough information. I am very choosy about eating out and always inquire at the reception whether they serve halal meat. Now,I just search for halal restaurants on my phone,” says Khan.

Other Islamic applications include accurate prayer (namaz) time calculators based on the user’s location,Azaan audio notifications and a Qibla compass to show the user in which direction he must face to offer his prayers and perform namaz.

Recently,on the occasion of Sadhu Vaswani’s birthday celebration,Dada JP Vaswani,along with actor Aamir Khan and HH Dalai Lama,launched the Android application for the Sadhu Vaswani Mission. This application provides information regarding the events organised at the mission,daily inspirational thoughts by Dada Vaswani,with feeds from social media,and a gallery of inspiring photographs. The application can be used to identify Sadhu Vaswani centres across the world. “The Moment of Calm is an interesting feature in the app. It provides an interactive way to forgive others and get over the hurts one may may feel in daily interactions with people. It is a global forgiveness campaign started by our ,ission,” says Naresh Singhania,spokesperson of the mission.

For those following the Christian faith,a number of applications offer information on daily prayers,sing-along hymns and daily Bible reads. An interesting application downloaded by Susan Wyer features teachings from the Bible and sermons from Christian radio stations from across the world. “The application brings me amazing gospel music,spoken word and amazing talk shows. It does not replace the need to go to church,but every time I feel low,I use this app. I seek happiness in the scriptures and songs of praise and boost myself up again,” says the 33-year-old.

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