FOR one household a cannon blast signals the end of the daily fast
during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, just as it has done for many
years. For another the beep of an iPhone does the job, thanks to a
smartphone application called Ramadan Times. The app sets the fasting
times depending on the location of the device. People are surprised at
their smartphones’ capabilities, says Arif Hisam, head of PakData, the
Pakistani company that created the app.
Islamic hardliners may have issued a slew of fatwas against
digital technology, including chat programmes (they could lead to
flirting) and the use of Koranic verses as ring tones (disrespectful).
But Muslims have embraced the internet and smartphones just as the rest
of the world has—and, in some ways, even more.
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