During my days when I used to drive to Maryland on Sunday evening to work at SparkPost and return to New York on Thursday after-work (due to Friday work-from-home policy), I faced one problem of discovering mosques around me to perform my prayers in congregation. It was more difficult for the fridays I stayed there. As friday is a work day, I can’t just go and wait long time for friday khutba (sermon) and prayers; I need to plan optimizely to go just in time of khutba and return immediately after prayer aiming to do everything from office-mosque-office in less than an hour.
But because I have no way to know exact timing, I often time went to early or too late. Also after work I would love to discover mosque and nearby halal foods places. Again it was tough to go to an area, check every website, many (if not most) also do not have one, find their website to get the
I talked to
Initially, I’ve tried to contact some of the existing services (
Initially, I targeted New York, collected “all” mosques from different sources. I’ve developed a platform where I can manage these lists, modify them (today this panel is known as API – but it has a UI for internal users too) that powers website, mobile apps). Eventually, I hired a couple of data miner/editors from Bangladesh. They’ve worked hard to curate the lists, collect as much as possible from every available source.
I’ve then paired with a few other local friends who showed interest to work in this project. Among them, Hasan (Shakil) and Rahat were most notable and they’re actively contributing till today, alhamdulillah. May Allah reward them.
To handle this problem, we’ve developed an algorithm to predict the
One important aspect of our algorithm is that while it’s not 100% correct, our goal is to ensure maximum chance of catching congregation. Hence, we took
As soon as computer algorithm started helping us, we immediately expanded our listing to
We’ve some more cool idea to improve the algorithm in the near future. However, we’re currently giving utmost priority to collecting a fixed schedule for all mosques. We’re working actively with mosque administration/imam to generate a yearly schedule and we’ve developed some tools to facilitate this. We’ve also added volunteering mechanisms so that anyone can contribute
Checkout www.prayersconnect.com. We still have a very long way to go. If you would like to contribute to this project, please contact us,