Making umrah easier for Muslim pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, a Saudi university has developed a new mobile app that keeps track of rounds during the tawaf or circumambulation of the Ka`aba.
“The tawaf application helps you track the number of completed rounds and informs you when your tawaf is complete,” according to information provided on the app store by the developers, Arab News reported on Thursday, July 2.
"The application uses a mix of sensors in your smartphone such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and motion sensors to determine your location within the Haram."
Though a free Wi-Fi network in available in the courtyards of the Grand Mosque, the Bluetooth was suggested to preserve battery life.
According to Bandar Al-Khazeem, director of the information technology center of the Grand Mosque, the app was developed by the technical innovation center at Umm Al-Qura University.
Offered for free on Google Play Store, the app can be downloaded and connected to the mosque’s system.
It issues an alert when the pilgrim completes the seventh and last round.
Tawaf is one of the Islamic rituals of pilgrimage.
During the Hajj and Umrah, Muslims are to circumambulate the Ka’aba seven times, in an anti-clockwise direction.
The circling is believed to demonstrate the unity of the believers in the worship of the One God, as they move in harmony together around their central shrine, while supplicating to God "Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik".
According to Islamic tradition the Tawaf of the Ka’aba is a depiction of the Tawaf that runs above the Jannat al Firdaws in the seventh heaven where the Arsh (Allah's throne) is situated.