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Muslims lack quiet and private spaces to perform their daily prayers (all 5 of them!). Our app, Musallah, solves that problem.
Muslims lack quiet and private spaces to perform their daily prayers (all 5 of them!). Our app, Musallah, solves that problem.
Muslims lack quiet and private spaces to perform their daily prayers (all 5 of them!). Our app, Musallah, solves that problem.
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266 backers pledged $14,861 to help bring this project to life.

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Musallah: An App Crowdsourcing Prayer Spaces for Muslims

$14,861

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UPDATE: NYC MUSALLAHS SUBWAY MAP!

Imagine if there was a musallah at every subway stop in New York City. That's our goal, in sha Allah, and here's what we've discovered so far. Huge shoutout to Aamir Khan for calling up so many of these places and checking to see if they had a musallah available. Please note: Restaurant musallahs are intended for customers, so remember that you're walking into a musallah, not a masjid, and that you should purchase something as a sign of your gratitude for them making your life just a little bit easier.

Here it is!

Hey there / salaam Kickstarter!

We're launching a new app that we're calling Musallah, which means "a space for prayer" in Arabic. And we need your help to do it!

What is Musallah?

Musallah makes it easier for practicing Muslims to complete their five obligatory daily prayers on time by matching them with suitable places nearby where they can do that. 

Some say we need to build more masjids. Some skip their prayers during the work day. Some pray wherever they can, but not everyone is comfortable with that.  It's a problem for millions of Muslims who live outside of the "Muslim world", where mosques are common and the prayer is not looked upon with confusion. 

Here are some pictures of the problem, and the solutions Muslims in the West have come up with:

Muslims in NYC turning a garage into a makeshift musallah. (Credit: Public Radio International)
Muslims in NYC turning a garage into a makeshift musallah. (Credit: Public Radio International)
Muslims praying in a parking lot. (Credit: Nicoló Degiorgis, Hidden Islam)
Muslims praying in a parking lot. (Credit: Nicoló Degiorgis, Hidden Islam)
A warehouse musallah. (Credit: Nicoló Degiorgis, Hidden Islam)
A warehouse musallah. (Credit: Nicoló Degiorgis, Hidden Islam)

Some links to show how much of a problem this is:

Enter Musallah. 

Musallah is a mobile app that lets users share quiet and calm places to pray with other Muslims in already existing infrastructure. It's different from existing "mosque finder" apps, because on top of showing you the closest mosques, it also shows you the closest restaurants with musallahs, or the closest friendly church that welcomes Muslims inside to complete their prayers, for example. Any space that people want to offer to other Muslims as a musallah can be listed on the app, and the possibilities are endless: existing masjids, interfaith partners, restaurants, hospitals, office buildings, hotels, museums, and more.

It's kind of like airbnb for Islamic prayer.

What we're asking for:

We want to launch both the iPhone and Android apps for free. Based off discussions with industry experts and developers, to launch successfully, design, development and marketing costs will total around $100k.

But if we can successfully get at least $14k this time around, the hope is that doing so would provide us with enough validation for the concept to get other donors and investors on board in the near future. 

Thank you for all your help and support, and be sure to spread the word about our campaign, and to join our mailing list! Also, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

The Team:

Rashid Dar (@rashiddar): I'm a grad student at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where I hope to graduate this coming May. At SIPA, I’ve focused on the nexus of religion, conflict, and mediation. I’ve also taken courses on entrepreneurship, and was a strategy intern last summer working for a social good mobile app being developed at Purpose. This past semester, Musallah "won" first place in a gamified startup course taught by renowned entrepreneur Martín Varsavsky, and it's there where I got more confidence that this idea could actually go somewhere. I’m active in American Muslim community events in NYC, and prior to coming to New York, I was at Darul Qasim, where I studied Islam from a traditional standpoint.

Nushmia Khan (@nushmia): I'm a video producer at the startup magazine Inc. in New York City. I’ve also worked at Columbia University, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and started, along with Rashid, Zujaja Creative, a creative label focusing on telling Muslim stories. Our first documentary is coming out within the next two months, inshAllah. I have years of experience in video, photography, web design, and graphic design. Working for a business magazine and having a very entrepreneurial father, I recently got the startup "itch" as well, and am working on Musallah's design and operational strategy.

Being a husband and wife team, we have different skillsets and backgrounds and balance each other out very well. We have a software architect working on designing our database, and have a working relationship with several friends and other professionals in the app design and development field. If you feel you can be an asset to our team in any way, feel free to shoot us an email at salaam@musallah.com.

Progress so far:

We are still early in the design and development process. We have a large database of names and address of 6000+ mosques, halal restaurants, hospital chapels, and more all over America, and are slowly placing them onto a super early prototype web app. We're focusing on NYC first.

Our rough development timeline:

March - May: Raise pre-seed round on Kickstarter, as well as from friends and family. Recruitment of NYC beta team, which will work with the web app. Sustainable musallah database architecture currently under construction. Beginning of native app development.

June: Beta native app prototype built and accepted by App Store, given to beta team. Kinks worked out. Our goal is to have the native beta in the hands of the beta team by the beginning of Ramadan (around mid-June).

Eid al-Fitr: Public launch of Musallah (around mid-July). Further city expansion plans to follow. 

Reward choices for donations of $100 or more!

If you happen to donate over $100, you'll notice that you can opt to receive some original photos taken by Nushmia - here are your choices:

Be sure to tell us which photo(s) you want when you donate!

Risks and challenges

There are bound to be several risks and challenges in a project like this. As we expand, for instance, we will need to likely hire employees to manage the outgrowth of a highly dynamic and ever expanding musallah database, ensuring that musallah information is as crisp and up-to-date as possible in terms of having great pictures, current address and hours of operation, etc. We'll also have to begin translating the app into other languages, such as Spanish, French, German, and Italian - due to legislation curbing the number of mosques in places like France and Italy, Muslims there have a greater need for this app than we do here in America.

Our other major challenge we anticipate will be convincing property owners / landlords to be okay with opening their spaces up to passerby Muslims. But we're hopeful that bigotry won't prevail here.

Furthermore, we hope to supply each musallah host with various supplies, such as window stickers indicating that there's a musallah inside, donation boxes to place in each musallah, prayer mats, and more.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    This isn’t your typical $1 reward. You’re going to get a free Musallah wallpaper, access to ongoing updates, we’ll throw in a set of printable duas (supplications) to add some more blessing to your day. That’s a lot of blessings and our eternal gratitude for a buck. Not bad!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    ETERNAL REWARD

    May God bless you, here's an eternal reward or 'sadaqa jariya' for making prayer easier for everyone! You can take comfort in the fact that your donation will have helped facilitate countless prayers. May you be rewarded for each one!

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    39 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    ETERNAL REWARD + WEBSITE MENTION

    May God bless you, here's an eternal (and hopefully larger) reward or 'sadaqa jariya' for making prayer easier for everyone! We'll also mention your name on our site as one of the early backers of this project.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BLESSINGS FOR YOUR EARS
    (plus everything above)

    We will send you high quality mp3 recordings of selected surahs of the Qur'an by a friend of ours, who has a wonderful, unique, and uplifting recitation. You'll have to hear it to understand :)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    MUSALLAH BETA PACKAGE
    (plus everything above)

    Get access to ​Musallah before the rest of the world. We’ll give you beta access to ​Musallah​ before it even launches on the App Store. Please see our road map in the description for when we hope to have the beta out.

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    40 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $57 or more About $57

    A COOL ARABIC DECAL STICKER
    (plus everything above)

    A Kufic arabic decal of the basmalah. Stick it on your laptop or notebook, walk around in style.

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    21 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY
    (plus everything above)

    We'll send you your choice of 1 of 4, signed, gigantic 30" x 30" photograph of a mosque by our co-founder/photographer Nushmia Khan. See the main info page for details on your choices for the picture!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    PICTURE PERFECT MEMORY
    (plus everything above)

    Get all four pictures from Nushmia's collection, 30"x30", all signed.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    GET A VIDEO
    (plus everything above)

    Enjoy our video? We'll create a 1 minute video for you for any purpose, and include an 8 hour shoot with 3 editing rounds to make it as perfect as possible! Filming done only in NYC, unless we can accommodate otherwise.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    BRING MUSALLAH TO YOUR CITY NEXT
    (plus everything above, except the video)

    This is above and beyond, and in order to reward you for your generous contribution, you, along with the other donors at this level, will get to choose the next cities we expand into, following New York City.

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Funding period

- (30 days)