Author’s Blurb: I’m aware that it’s believed whatever good deeds you do (even if it’s something for yourself, like practicing your Quran recital, for example) have their afterlife rewards increased tremendously when done during Ramadhan. This makes Ramadhan one of the best times to sharpen your skills and learn new ones, which can be then used to teach others.
Whether you’ve been a practicing Muslim for long or are completely new to the faith, there are times when we’ve all needed some guidance on practices and more. This is where apps and platforms come in handy, as they’re usually accessible and affordable.
With that in mind, here are 9 online platforms that are free to use (though some do require in-app purchases to unlock more features) to help you increase your knowledge and practices during the month of Ramadhan.
1. Kevin Zahri’s Ramadhan Fitness Guide
For some, the mandatory fasting period is also an opportunity to whip themselves into shape with a suitable fitness regime.
You’d find regular workout routines probably tough to keep up, as you’ll be unable to quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger after a particularly intense workout.
Kevin Zahri, also known as Cikgu Fitness Malaysia, is an award-winning US certified personal trainer as well as a nutritionist with over 15 years of experience.
Besides founding Malaysia’s largest weight loss programme called ‘Jom Kurus’, he has an array of e-books too.
Particularly relevant right now is his free Ramadhan series of e-books, through which you can access information such as what exercises to do and when to do them during Ramadhan, for example.
2. Panduan Solat Sunat Tarawih
During the holy month of Ramadhan, an additional nightly prayer called Tarawih (or Terawih) is carried out by Muslims.
It’s usually done in mosques, but now with the MCO in place, many are doing it alone or with family in their own homes.
Panduan Solat Sunat Tarawih is a guiding app that aims to help familiarise all Muslims with Tarawih, starting with what the prayer comprises of.
Through PDFs that are easy to load and read, the app brings you through Tarawih, variations of the prayer, all the way up to what to do on Lailatul Qadr, the twenty-seventh night of Ramadhan, and it even reminds you of the general rules of fasting during Ramadhan.
It’s free and available only on Google Play.
3. Pusat Pungutan Zakat-MAIWP (PPZ-MAIWP)
The third pillar of Islam, zakat refers to a certain proportion of mandatory wealth donation to the needy that can come in various forms, be it money, gold, rice, and more. It’s usually settled during Ramadhan, before the start of Eid prayers.
PPZ-MAIWP acts as a portal where you can get various information on how to carry out zakat, from calculating how much you have to pay according to what zakat you want to give, where you can pay, and to check your previous zakat statements.
Aside from listing the physical counters where you can make payment, you can opt to pay through having it taken from your salary, their FPX gateway, Islamic credit cards, or via online banking.
Fairiz, its founder, told Vulcan Post the app is meant for those who are too embarrassed to have face-to-face sessions, have no time for long learning sessions, or are unable to afford it, among other reasons.
He wanted to solve all that with Recite. Take a 5-minute audio recording of yourself reciting and submit it, and within an average of 3 hours, you’ll get constructive feedback from a pool of qualified reviewers to help you improve your pronunciation and intonation.
Only the first 5 minutes of recording is free, so you’ll have to buy additional time in-app: RM1.99 (3 minutes), RM5.99 (15 minutes) and RM20.99 (60 minutes).
5. Semak Hadis
Hadith (also written as Hadis) refer to the teachings and words of Prophet Muhammad, and are often referred to as a source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to that of the Quran.
Unfortunately, there exist fabricated Hadith in the world, and this is something that many Muslims are wary of.
Semak Hadis aims to do away with all that wariness and concern by fact-checking Hadith, letting you know which ones are fabricated while also providing a comprehensive list of real ones.
Rather than fall victim to or spread false knowledge this Ramadhan, this app that’s free on Google Play will help set the record straight.
6. Smart Hadith
Smart Hadith is another app that aims to direct you to the correct Hadith, and it’s developed by both Suruhanjaya Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) and Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM).
This could be reassuring to some due to the fact that the app’s information comes from authoritative figures. It also shows you popular hadiths and presents keywords for you to pick as a starting point (rather than having to come up with a Hadith subject to learn if you’re new to it).
The app is available for free on both Google Play and Apple App Store. Personally, I would say I prefer Semak Hadis over this, as I like knowing which ones are actually false alongside which ones are true.
7. Smart Quran
Another app that’s developed in partnership with MCMC and JAKIM, this time with Ministry of Home Affairs Malaysia MOHA) too, Smart Quran has been approved by the Al-Quran Printing Control and Licensing Board, MOHA.
It is free for all to use on Google Play and Apple App Store, and comes with both Malay and English translations of verses. It also offers audio from several reciters, which can be downloaded page by page.
Having gone through the app myself, I would say that it is easy to use (and it comes in Dark Mode!) and will be useful for those who want to not only learn the verses and their meanings, but also introductions to each of the Surah (chapters).
8. Tilawah Malaysia
While personalised feedback like what Recite offers can be beneficial, some people would still prefer learning along to set audio recordings and making notes in-app. If so, Tilawah Malaysia is for you.
To make learning easier, the tajweed (pronunciations) are colour coded, and the audio recordings can be played back according to a whole sentence, or just a single word.
The app will also automatically register where you left off so you’ll be able to open the app back up to your last session easily.
9. Waktu Solat Malaysia
Some of us are lucky enough to live near a mosque so we can hear the adhan (call to prayer), but for those of us who don’t, Waktu Solat Malaysia can help you out.
Developed by Media Prima Digital, this app allows you to enable notifications for prayer times so you’ll be alerted accordingly, which is helpful if you’re not always on your phone due to work or other personal responsibilities.
However, don’t let the app’s name fool you. It offers so much more than just prayer times; it has Ramadhan recipes, activities, prayer steps, recitals, and more.
Bottom Line: The best thing about the education apps mentioned is the fact that you can use them at your own time so you can learn at a pace that fits you. You personalise your own experience, and that’s what’s most helpful to me.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.