Five times a day, tens of millions of phones buzz with notifications from an app called Muslim Pro, reminding users it’s time to pray. While Muslims in Los Angeles woke Thursday to a dawn notification that read, “Fajr at 5:17 AM,” users in Sri Lanka were minutes away from getting a ping telling them it was time for Isha, or the night prayer.
The app’s Qibla compass quickly orients devices toward the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia — which Muslims face when praying. When prayers are done, the in-app Quran lets users pick up reading exactly where they left off. A counter tallies the days of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Listings guide users to halal food in their area.
These features make it easier to practice the many daily rituals prescribed in Islam, turning Muslim Pro into the most popular Muslim app in the world, according to the app’s maker, Singapore-based BitsMedia.
But revelations about the app’s data collection and sales practices have left some users wondering if the convenience is worth the risk.
⚡️ Muslims reel over a prayer app that sold user data: ‘A betrayal from within our own community’https://t.co/8vCe8xDPLO
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 24, 2020