App to offer translation of Friday sermon in English, Urdu

Worshipers attend the Friday prayer at Ali Bin Ghanim Bin Hamoodah Masjid at Madina Zayed near Electra street, Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi: People attending the weekly Friday sermon in UAE mosques, which is delivered in Arabic, will be able to listen to and read the sermons in English and Urdu through the mobile app of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE).

The authority made the announcement on Tuesday, saying more languages will be added in the future.

Most residents in the UAE are non-Arabic speakers, while sermons in almost all mosques in the country are held in Arabic. There are only handful of mosques that hold the sermon in English or Urdu.

Etisalat and du are offering free data packages for the Friday sermon translation service via the ‘AWQAF’ mobile app during Friday prayers.

The initiative is a result of a collaboration among the Department of Community Development, the Statistics Centre — Abu Dhabi, etisalat and du.

As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the Abu Dhabi Media, etisalat and du have together played a role in the success of the initiative, the authority said.

Dr Mohammad Matar Al Kaabi, chairman of GAIAE, said the authority’s Department of Friday Sermon, in cooperation with Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai and Sharjah Islamic Affairs, prepares and reviews the content of the sermons to ensure the sermons are moderate and positive.

According to a survey carried out for the initiative, 55 per cent of respondents preferred Urdu translation of the Friday sermon. Additionally, 92 per cent of the respondents were smartphone users.

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