I remember very well my first journey to complete the pillars of Islam. Tons of materials from the Internet, not to mention books and lectures that spell out the do’s and don’ts, the Hajj pillars and tips when you are at Haramain. Not to mention, the physical preparation that requires walking and running sessions – you’ll be walking quite a lot – reminders collected from those who have made the trip.
Nowadays, it seems that preparation for the Hujjaj are a bit more systematic and quite a comfortable experience. Better physical infrastructure and facilities and not to mention the aides that are widely available and handy!
Enter Hajj apps on your smartphones
Imagine this: millions of Hujjajs from all corners of the globe congregating at the same time, same place. Rituals that one need to get used to complete the Hajj. Plus, the thoughts of getting lost from your group somewhere in Mina can make your trip quite colorful!
Now, all the above can be better managed. You can record your daily activities, photos with new friends you’ve met, checked what milestones have been completed and refer your smart Hajj app if you can’t make up what next. Best of all, you can also point the direction of your tent, out of the zillions tents in Mina!
HalaalQuest looks at two of the best Hajj Apps that are currently available for your smart devices. Have you used one yourself? Please share your experience below!
What is it: Hajj apps have developed quite well during the last few years. While it used to be a simple notes like app that spells out the rituals throughout the Hajj period, today, with the integration of the internal GPS chip and better camera, smarter Hajj apps allow users to interact with people and places apart from guiding them through the available information. It is more interactive and dynamic in nature. Who knows, in future, we’ll get a virtual Mutawif in every smart devices!
Static vs Interactive: As stated earlier, there are many Hajj apps that offer info, tips and much more. These apps are either as a “static” info like app or the ones that are much more interactive – that allows integration with other apps. If you have made the required preparation and need just some small reminders, the simple static like app will do. But, if you want something more that includes some instructional videos, you might want to opt for the ones that offer interactive features. Please take note that the interactive ones do require data plan (GPS usage, to download videos, connecting to other apps). Hence, make sure you get a data plan from the local provider or get your data roaming switched on.
Free vs Paid: Free apps are widely available and yes, they do pack with features. The paid ones, as expected, comes with a bit more extra.
- Hajj Salam is “the new kid on the block” when it comes to Hajj app. While it is considered as a “newbie”, the Free app packs enough “power” to those who needs more than just supporting Hajj material
- The app developed by Dubai based HajjNet FZE divides its functions into preparation, guidance and experience
- In the Preparation stage, the app offers great graphical items: things that are essential to be packed and ready for the trip. It’s like your list of things that need to go into your suitcase. You are also reminded the list of du’aas that you want to make throughout the journey, especially during Arafat moments
- The guidance part which is being presented as a daily agenda look, offers great reminders, tips and lessons. Audio and video features helps one to properly recite the Talbiyah or see how you put on your ihram the right way. There are also Tawaf and Saie counters, that helps you to record the number of times you have completed your tawaf and saei. A plus feature is the ability to tag your tent on the map provided by the app
- Presently, Hajj Salam is only available for iOS devices and can be downloaded from the App Store. Android and Arabic version will be made available soon. This is one of the best Hajj app that is currently available now
- Amir Hajj Guide was developed by a German Muslim – Habiburrahman Dastageeri with the support and guidance of well known Australia-based scholar Abu Muneer Ismail Davids, who himself has written numerous books on Hajj
- The app has a clean and simple look and feel. The main menu guides the user with main sections on Hajj overview, preparation, the Hajj rituals, post Hajj and visit to Madeenah
- While it is quite a simple app, the app integrates rich features such daily overview (with prayer timings and rituals on the specific days), graphical details, Q & As on problems encountered and even tests that can be useful in determining your understanding on the Hajj rituals
- Personally, this writer has used this app during my Hajj in 2011. It was helpful in guiding and reminding the writer in completing the Hajj rituals
- Amir Hajj Guide is available from Apple’s App Store at USD7.99. The app supports English, Arabic, German, Malay and Turkish
Haji Gajet for HalaalQuest