CAIRO – United Arab Emirates has opened its first smart mosque in Dubai using the Quick response (QR) code technology which offers digital access to mosques.
"We are using the QR code technology to identify all mosques of the emirate to help develop and add more value to them," Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities (DIACA), was quoted by Khaleej Times on Tuesday, February 11.
“[We] make the electronic services easier and more accessible.”
Inaugurated last Sunday by Al Shaibani, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum mosque in Jumeirah 3 became the first Emirati mosque to use QR code technology.
The new smart mosque would allow worshippers to easily get general information about the mosque using their smart phones and tablets at any time.
The digital information of the mosque would include its history, capacity, nature, area, prayer timings, lectures or courses offered by the mosque, along with information about Friday sermon.
"The QR code technology allows mosque-goers to access a special webpage of the mosque by scanning its barcode with a smart phone or tablet which are automatically equipped with this technology," said Nassir Mubarak, head of IT section at DIACA.
"Otherwise an app for QR code can be downloaded easily for concerned online stores,” Mubarak added.
The launching of Al-Maktoum smart mosque is part of the first phase of Dubai’s smart mosques project which includes plans for nine more smart mosques with similar technologies.
The smart mosques project is sponsored by the Smart Government initiative which was announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Emirates’ vice president, last year.
The smart mosques project is expecting to develop better communication between mosques and Muslim worshippers, allowing them to share their comments, remarks, feedback, and complaints freely.
The new project would also allow worshippers to post their recommendations to enhance the initiative's performance.
“Electronic donation – under development, shall also be available, along with more services in the future,” Mubarak, the head of IT section at DIACA, said.
Last December, UAE’s Sharjah religious authorities announced their plans to offer Friday’s sermons in five languages, along with translating them into sign language.
The multilingual mosques would allow Deaf and non-Arabic speaking Muslims to better understand their faith.
Last month, Dubai has announced plans for the world’s first Qur’an park which will display 51 out of the 54 plants mentioned in Qur’an.
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