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Apps for Muslims
June 30, 2014, 1:24 pm
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Many tools and applications are available today that are created specifically to help Muslims build good habits during Ramadan. The choice of app to use in your Ramadan strategy depends greatly on where you are and your preferred way of analysing your data. Additionally, your choice should take into consideration how you read data as this will all affect your willingness and motivation to use the application.  Here are the top choices.

Al-Muslim

Al-Muslim is a free iOS application, available in both English and Arabic that aims to help you keep track of your deeds and actions. Using terms such as “Today’s Intentions,” “Remembrance List” etc., it provides you with a checklist of various obligatory and recommended deeds you can perform throughout the day. Among other actions, you are given the choice to track your prayers, different deeds such as fasting, recitation of your prayers, and even a collection of devotional remembrances included in the app in Arabic with both their translations and transliterations!

Ramadan Tracker

This free application is the Ramadan-specific variant of iSawab, the generic tracking-app. For those who love the concept of accumulating points, Ramadan Tracker allows you to set designated points for actions and set a target of points to achieve per day.

Just like Al-Muslim, Ramadan Tracker comes with a ready-made checklist of habits to adopt. However, due to its specific nature, a lot more Ramadan-specific activities and deeds are included, like having suhoor (pre-dawn meal before commencement of fast) and paying zakat al-fitr.

 Once you are done keying in your data for several days, you can then view your progress, in terms of the number of points you accumulated compared with the number of points you targeted. A handy graph is also provided for those who prefer graphics as opposed to numbers.

Habit List

Unlike the previous two, Habit List does not come with a predetermined checklist, allowing you to add habits that you want to inculcate in your life. Adding a new habit is easy, and you can key in the habit you want to build, determine how many times you want to do the action in a week and set a reminder for the app to send you a notification if you have not completed the action after a certain amount of time.

The reminder notifications and badges too are an absolute plus for the times where you are so engrossed in work that you overlook the time for certain prayers. The Habit List interface also makes it extremely easy to track your habits at a glance. Also, the data collected by the app is shown to you in a very easy-to-read, visually appealing manner. If you want the information to be strictly for you alone, you can set a pass code.

Good Habits

Just like Habit List, Good Habits comes without any pre-determined checklist and you are given free reign as to what habits you would like to track or build. The app’s home screen will show you at a glance all the different habits you are tracking, the number of consecutive days you have been completing the habit (known as a “streak”) and the highest streak you have achieved.

Clicking on a specific habit will bring up your streak in a graphical format, much like Calendar view in the previous application. Days you dedicate as rest days will not disrupt a running streak and rightfully so! Also, time-sensitive notifications and badges to remind you when you overlook a habit. The downside is that there is no statistical output of data in graph form and no pre-determined checklist, which means you will have to do your own independent research and what habits to inculcate for Ramadan.

Lift

Lift is radically different from the other habit-tracking applications, because of its focus on community support. Due to its focus on building a community, Lift first requires you to create a free account. Upon signing up, you have the choice of personalising your profile page (works like Twitter or Instagram, but for habits), or tracking your first habit straight away.

Adding a new habit is a tad different in Lift because instead of pursuing the habit alone, you get to join communities of people who are trying to build the same habits.What is great about communities is that you get to exchange motivations and advice with those who are facing the same struggles as you are!

Once you have chosen the community you want to to join, you are then able to adjust settings for that habit like your weekly target and time-sensitive reminders. To tackle your habits with greater privacy, there is also a handy privacy setting that allows you track your goals privately or publicly with select groups as appropriate. Tracking your habits on Lift is a wonderful experience. You get to view your performance stats in both the frequency-format (per week, per month) and the “do not break the chain” calendar-format, with the added bonus of being able to include notes.

Another unique perk about Lift, is its offer of joining Coaching Plans (free). They are daily instructions to help you reach your goals. When you sign up for one, the plan will show up in your list along with an instruction for what to do that day.

The steps for a Coaching Plan are sequential, so each time you complete a step, it unlocks the instructions for the next step. The next step will then show up on your Lift list the day after they check-in for the completed step. And the best thing about Lift’s Coaching Plan is that anyone can create a plan and get others to join. For example, for the month of Ramadan, you and your friends can form a group to eat healthy meals when breaking your fast, or to synchronise some other form of good deeds together.

 

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