In October, CEO, Hussein Shirwa spoke to Muslim Eye about Fajr Up, now he's announced this morning that the IOS version is now available for iPhone. Here's a re-run of our interview:
Tired with the sinking feeling of disappointment when opening his eyes to find that he had missed the early morning Fajr prayer, Hussein Shirwa got an idea!
While at university, he arranged with a group of friends to take turns to telephone each other to avoid missing what Hussain calls the ‘most exciting’ prayer of the day. Born in Somalia 31 years ago, Hussain’s attachment to prayers continued and blossomed when he reached the U.K. at the age of 11.
When pressed to explain why his prayers had become so important living in the UK, where religious values are replaced often by the desire to succeed in life at the cost of ‘spiritual’ fulfilment, Hussein told “Muslim Eye” that the attachment to his ‘5-times daily’ was his kind of ‘therapy’.
He identified the desire to pray as part of his ‘identity’. According to Hussein, ‘not praying’ would not only be letting himself down and failing in his duties but it brought a physical and mental reaction of disquiet and immense discomfort.
Years later after completing a Master’s degree in International Security and Global Governance at Birkbeck College (University of London), and becoming an Accounts manager at a Media company, Hussein began to think about how he could connect the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world by reviving old habits i.e. using a telephone call rather than an alarm clock to wake would-be Fajr prayers not just in the UK but all over the world. What’s more Hussein’s idea was born from the desire to transcend borders and nation states, he described the concept of connecting Muslims in this way as ‘mind-blowing!’
After getting over the initial shock that nobody had come up with the idea before, the move towards turning the concept into a reality took just one day as a friend arranged an initial e-meeting with an app developer. The speed of bringing the idea to fruition was tapered by niggling doubts that the idea might not succeed. Combining, GPS positioning, world timings and a voice application had not been often achieved. The developer disappeared and upon consulting with Muslims who welcomed the idea, he duly returned two days later giving the thumbs up to the project!
And so Fajr UP was born!
Hussein told “Muslim Eye” that the Fajr Up application was just one of a number of ‘bright’ ideas he had had over the years. He thought about real-estate, wholesale furniture but in the end, he was driven by the desire, and through his constant reliance on ‘therapy’ to overcome the various difficulties and obstacles that he faced. Fajr Up became the focus of a dream to unite fellow Muslims around the world!
At the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai last week, Hussein was there to showcase his new concept and was asked to become a guest writer for leading publications. It seems the whole world is waking up to his concept and the Fajr Up man now finds himself giving advice and helping others to develop and market applications.
In just five months of the launch of the app on Android, Fajr Up has received a phenomenal 12,000 downloads and is preparing for the big launch on Apple iPhone and iPad platforms in the New Year.
For more information about the application: