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Three Ways to Calculate Prayer Time When Travelling

Unfamiliar with prayer times in a new surrounding? Here are three ways to work out prayer times, no matter where you are!

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Unfamiliar with prayer times in a new surrounding? Here are three ways to work out prayer times, no matter where you are!

I was with my friend having Iftar in Tokyo one Ramadan evening, and then came the time for Maghrib. We stood up, took some paper napkins from the table, and went out to the corridor to pray (using the paper napkins as a makeshift area for prostration). Another time came, and my friends and I were out shopping, and we immediately searched for a nearby clothing shop where we could use their changing rooms to pray. This was Maghrib as well, where the time was tight between Maghrib to Isha, so we had to make haste before we missed the prayer.

Those were the times of my early conversion years as a new Muslim! Travelling was an entirely new and different experience right after converting to Islam because there was a whole new set of things that I had to take note of and be careful about compared to the years when I was a non-Muslim. From finding halal food to making sure I had a clean space to pray my five daily prayers with ease, these were a few priorities that kept me on my toes during my travel- but most importantly, I was always finding myself having to be alert regarding the time to pray.

I found myself always mentally calculating always how many hours I had before the prayer window ended. This meant the remaining time for me to wrap up my current activity and find a spot or mosque to pray. However, there were times when I lost myself in the fun of the moment, and before I knew it, there were only 10 minutes before the next prayer, and I still hadn’t completed the previous prayer.

Before long, I learnt to utilize the tools around me to help me pray on time, such as prayer apps. Here are some of the features I look out for when choosing which prayer app to download.

An App that can Set up a Countdown for Each Prayer

This was so helpful in reminding me when prayer time is ending. I prefer the ones that allow me to customize the timing window, so it gives me ample time to prepare.

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Having Visual Indicators to Show the Remaining Time Left for Prayer

I’m a very visual person, so I love things that show information to me immediately and clearly, as and when I need it. Things like a watch face showing me the time of the next prayer or little bars that become smaller and smaller and finally turn red as the next prayer time arrives. These are some small but effective tools that I must say are rare but extremely useful for us travellers who always need to be alert about prayer time.

An App with a Widget on the Home Screen

You need this. Full stop. This gives you the prayer time on the spot; instead of having to swipe through the phone and wait for the app to open, or worse, wait for ads to pass, having a widget on the main home screen of your phone lessens the painful waiting process.

These days are not like the ones of the past. We have a truckload of apps, tools and smart devices to arm us with the ability to plan our prayer times well during travel. And TAKVA has developed the duo Qiblawatch with Masjidhub that helps us plan our time better and without the fear of missing our prayers.

Learn more QiblaWatch and Masjidhub here.

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