Can a mosque be smart? Yes, now through the Quick Response (QR) code technology, people can get general information about a mosque — its history, capacity, nature, area, prayer timings, lectures or courses offered by the mosque, as well as information about Friday sermon — round the clock.
The first smart mosque in the country was launched on Sunday by the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities (DIACA) in Dubai on Sunday morning.
The Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum mosque in Jumeirah 3, is now equipped with the QR code technology for the first time in government buildings and is part of Phase-I of developing smart mosques that also includes nine other mosques which will follow suit later this year.
The move is in line with the Smart Government initiative announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2013.
Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, Director-General – DIACA, said the interactive services available are accessible through smart phones and tablets 24X7.
“We are using the QR code technology to identify all mosques of the emirate to help develop and add more value to them, and make the electronic services easier and more accessible.” For comments on the smart services available, the public may call (04-6087844), mentioning the name and mosque code which is 74, he noted.
Nassir Mubarak, head of IT section at DIACA, said the smart mosques project is a new channel that aims at better communication with the public.
The public may also send their suggestions, remarks, feedback, complaints, or reports on any dysfunction through the smart mosque initiative. “Electronic donation – under development, shall also be available, along with more services in the future.”
QR code is the trademark name for the two dimensional barcode system which was originally invented in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary, as a way to track vehicles assembled in a place, and to scan components at high speeds. QR codes have long since expanded their usefulness beyond the automotive industry. They’re used today in everything from inventory tracking, to shipping and logistics, to online ticketing.
“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; otherwise an app for QR code can be downloaded easily for concerned online stores.”