The most ancient traditions of Islam are going high-tech, with a slew of modern offerings for those observing the holy month of Ramzan, which begins this week. Cell phone applications such as “iPray” or “iQuran” offer a beeping reminder of requisite prayer times, while the “Find Mecca” and “mosque finder” programs help the Muslim traveler in an unfamiliar city find the nearest place to pray. “When I saw these applications for the first time, I thought: this is amazing,” said James Otun, who has several Islamic applications on his Apple iPhone and iPad. “Whoever came up with this idea: God bless him or her.”

The applications aren't just for Ramzan; there are Islamic-themed programs that help users find the nearest Costco offering foods prepared according to Islamic dietary rules, learn the correct Arabic pronunciations in a daily prayer, or count how many pages of the Quran they've read that day – all on a mobile phone. There also are applications, or apps, for the holy books of several other religions, from the Catholic Holy Bible to the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu scripture.

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