For Muslim parents and educators, teaching their children to perform prayer (known as “salah” in Islam) is without a doubt, foremost in their minds. The app Salah For Kids http://www.salahforkids.com/ is created specifically for this purpose. Salah for Kids won the Annual P@SHA ICT Awards 2012. Jamilah Samian interviewed the creator of Salah For Kids, Mr M. Amyn Farooqui, who explains the idea behind this app below.
JS) Are you a parent yourself? If so, how many kids do you have? Their ages? Have you tried the app on them? Their reactions?
AF) Yes. I’m a father of two, Mahirah (girl), 8 and Mikaeyl (boy), 5. They are one of the reasons for me to develop Salah for Kids. They like the app very much and when I see them using the app I find ways to make it better. For example, the new version will have Auto-Play because I saw that Mahirah had to go from her pray mat to click the next button again and again. So came the Auto-Play. With this button ON, a child can keep the tablet away and still follow the app step-by-step. On the other hand, Mikaeyl prayed Magrib Salah which took him 15 mins to finish but he was patient enough. This is why another feature will be introduced in the new version where children can mute instructions.
JS) Who is / are the person/s behind this app?
AF) The app is an effort of a team of professional artists and developers.
JS) Why salah of all things? background history?
AF) This is one of the basic pillars of Islam which is taught and brought into children’s attention very early and I could not find anything this interesting which could hold a child’s attention. I was looking for apps that would teach Salah/Wudu to kids. It made me think for a year or so, and then I decided to do something about it myself.
JS) Limitations of the app?
AF) Honestly, the only limitation that I see is that it’s not in other languages. I would want to add up to a total of 10 languages but the budget doesn’t allow me to do that. This is a personal effort.
JS) Other similar apps done by your team? by others?
AF) I’m not aware of other similar apps. This is the only one from my team so far. But I have plans to do another app, InshaaAllah (God willing) for adults and children, and that will be also an Islamic app.
JS) How would this be better for Internet kids?
AF) It will not be really as Salah for Kids is on iOS and Android only, I think the world is turning to tablets and smart phones.
JS) Would this relieve parents from teaching their kids to take wudhu / perform salah themselves?
AF) It’s great if parents or teachers sit with children, then the kids can really take it forward.
JS) Any other comments?
AF) I would just want people to share and support the app as much as they can so people like myself get encouraged to develop more and more apps like this. People usually comment that this is not a free app and Salah apps should be free. But people must consider that there is a great effort put in to development of apps and that incur costs.
This app is ideal for kids ages 4 – 12 but I have received reviews from teenagers and adults, as well as new Muslims, that they are also benefiting from Salah for Kids.
To find out more about Salah For Kids, check out http://www.salahforkids.com/