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‘Halal Guide’ App for Muslims in Russia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A vendor cleans Ramadan lanterns, or Fanoos Ramadan, which are displayed for sale at a shop a day ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Cairo July 9, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Moscow- Companies of digital industries, software and smart apps in Russia work on developing apps and programs that respond to the needs of Muslims in the country.

The “Halal Guide” service is an app for smartphones and a program that provides Russians with information and instructions to find the nearest mosque, Islamic bank, halal restaurant and Islamic literature bookshop. The app also enables users to reserve halal meals and to find job opportunities that correspond to the Islamic sharia.
Airat Kasimov, a Russian Muslim businessman, launched this app in 2011. Its debut was in the Russian market and then expanded to other countries like Thailand, London, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.

Since its launch, the number of users per day increased from 350 to 800. Kasimov says the app includes a service to order halal food, donate to mosques, or to accomplish other charity-like services. The project’s caretakers intend to use the revenues of “Halal Guide” as a major funding resource to develop the “Halal Bank”, which is another project planned by Kasimov.

“Mirage” is another program provided for Muslims in Russia by software companies. It aims at helping Muslims in preparing for pilgrimage, Umrah, and visits to the Holy Lands. While using this program, the user should wear virtual world glasses and live all the scene of those duties and visits. The program is the first-of-its-kind that provides an integral tour of pilgrimage and Umrah in order to help Muslims before they head to fulfill their duty.

Another app called “My Diaspora” is developed to help the Muslim man in finding his life partner. The application takes all the Islamic teachings into consideration. Arsen Kazibekov, the app’s founder, said it is dedicated for youths who belong to parental communities. He pointed out that the team assigned to develop this app had carried out studies that covered Russia, Europe, and the United States. Results showed that Muslim youths increasingly depend on digital technologies and apps, which compels the development of more apps that correspond to the Islamic sharia.