With over 1.8 billion Muslims around the world observing Ramadan in 2020, COVID-19 means this years experience will be like no other.
As observers stay at home during their fasting periods, the use of mobile phones for browsing, watching videos and catching up with loved ones becomes the ritual during this time.
Data usage in the Middle East is expected to soar during Ramadan as the evening commutes and traditions are replaced by online sermons, video calls and virtual gatherings.
We've put together a list of the ways you can use technology during Ramadan, despite the unavoidable impact COVID-19 will have on celebrations this year.
Stay connected during Ramadan with the latest mobile offers
Last year it was estimated that Facebook and YouTube users in the Middle East spent almost 58 million more hours on their apps compared to any other month of the year.
To accommodate the extra use, mobile networks in the region are offering some great promotions on bundles, with daily, weekly and monthly validity options available.
Up to 400% Bonus value and data throughout Ramadan. Minimum top-up of PKR 200
120% Bonus on all recharge sent. Bonus can be used for OnNet calls, SMS and data. Offer ends 08/05/2020.
1GB data bonus on all top-ups of 200 PKR or more.
10000 UZS for 14 days. Including 750 min, 50 SMS and 250 MB of data.
Video call means Iftar time can still be family time
As the sun sets each day, Fasts are broken with a meal known as ‘Iftar’. This meal is often celebrated with extended family and friends and given the time between meals, for many it’s the highlight of the day.
Easy access to mobile data means video calls allow families to keep the tradition of sharing a meal with your loved ones going.
Tools such as Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts are all free to use and ensure the human connection during Ramadan is kept alive.
Tune-in to online sermons in a time of separation
Last year it was estimated people spent 27% more time watching religious content during Ramadan than any other month in the year.
Given the restrictions in place, this number is expected to increase in 2020. The ability to stream sermons online for many is main factor in why they can still observe Ramadan this year.
Omar Suleiman has amassed a Facebook audience of more than 1.4 million followers and provides daily talks and tips during Ramadan to help those fasting.
Dubai’s Islamic Affairs department is hosting remote lectures on it’s YouTube channel throughout Ramadan. The lectures are hosted by accredited lectures to help different groups of people with guidance and information on how to observe the holiday.
Muslim.sg is an online platform aimed to empower Muslim millennial, through live prayer and Talk shows uploaded on YouTube.
Mobile apps ensure your prayers can be planned
With over 70 million downloads, Muslim Pro allows you track your progress during the month of Ramadan. This all-in-one app provides you with your local fasting times during Ramadan, the full Quran, a complete Hijri calendar and a range of other great features.
A nifty tool from Google that locates the direction of the Qibla from your browser.
An initiative driven by the World Food Program (WFP), ShareTheMeal allows users to donate directly to WFP operations to fight global hunger. The Holy Month of Ramadan is a time of giving, with apps such as ShareTheMeal seeing large spikes in downloads and donations during this period.
Ramadan in 2020 will be unlike any other as Muslims around the world adapt to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Despite the difficulties imposed by the virus, easy access to technology allows those observing Ramadan to continue to communicate online with family and friends.
The Ding platform allows you to send mobile recharge to your own phone or someone else's from the comfort of your home. Never has it been more important to stay connected with your loved ones during Ramadan.