The takbir (call to prayer) is an important part of Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations for Muslims around the world.
Unfortunately, the hearing impaired can feel left out when participating in the prayers.
Inspired by these challenges, Maxis has created a mobile app in conjunction with Hari Raya this year, enabling the hearing impaired to experience the takbir through visuals and vibrations for the first time.
To create the app, Maxis worked with the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf (MFD) to better understand the challenges that the community experienced and consulted Islamic Affairs officer and Masjid Ara Damansara imam Ustaz Mohammad Khairul Mohd Lias.
Utilising pre-existing accessibility features already present on iPhone, such as the haptic engine, the result was the Deria Takbir app, which converts real-time sound waves into cymatic visual patterns and haptic feedback, allowing users to feel the takbir’s rhythm and melody.
“The takbir has always been an important part of prayer during Aidilfitri, but something I’ve found challenging to follow as someone who is deaf,” said MFD president Mohamad Sazali Shaari.
“The Deria Takbir app engages with our heightened sense of sight and touch through visuals and vibrations, allowing us to experience the takbir in a unique way.
“I believe it will make a difference in the lives of the deaf community in Malaysia,” he added.
Maxis brand and marketing head Tai Kam Leong said, “At Maxis, we strive to turn occasions into meaningful experiences by unlocking the possibilities of technology and making it more accessible for everyone.
“We found this campaign to be especially meaningful as there were many parties involved in creating this campaign. We are blessed to have undertaken this in conjunction with Hari Raya,” he added.
To mark the launch, Maxis also produced a short film entitled Deria Takbir Raya, which follows Faiz, a boy who is deaf in real life.
On Raya, his father hands him the iPhone with the Deria Takbir app and for the first time in his life, Faiz experiences the feeling of being present during the takbir.
To ensure authenticity, the short film was produced with input from the deaf community and features an actual family.
The Deria Takbir app is available on Apple’s App Store. To view the short film, visit bit.ly/2VO9oYB
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