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The Misuse Of Cellphones!

Question: If a person enters the Masjid and commences his Salâh without switching off his cellphone or putting it on “silent” and his cellphone happens to ring whilst he is engaged in Salâh, what should he do?

Answer: In the name of Allâh. It is necessary to develop the habit of either switching off one’s cellphone or placing the ringer on silent before commencing Salâh. However, by chance if one forgot to do the above and the cellphone started ringing, then by means of ‘Amalul Qalîl (subtle and slight movement), one should place one’s hands in the pocket and gently switch off the cell phone. One’s Salâh will thereby not be nullified. It is not necessary to terminate one’s Salâh in order to switch off the cellphone. If one did not switch off the cellphone and allowed it to continue ringing instead, one’s Salâh will be proper, but it will lead to great inconvenience to the others performing Salâh and the level of concentration and humility in one’s own Salâh will be greatly reduced.

‘Amalul Qalîl means all those subtle and minor actions done within Salâh that if an onlooker was to observe you, he would still get the impression that you are occupied in Salâh. Any such slight or unnoticeable action does not nullify the Salâh. However, if the onlooker gets the impression that you are not in Salâh whilst performing any action (for example, looking around), this will be termed as ‘Amalul Kathîr (Excessive Action), and it would nullify one’s Salâh.

Question: What is the position of the Sharî’ah on setting one’s ringtone to Qur’ânic verses, some dhikr or some Islamic nâts, instead of a conventional non-musical ringtone?

Answer: In the name of Allâh. The purpose of the ring-tone is to inform you that someone intends speaking to you. It is like a knock on the door. To set one’s ring-tone to verses of the Qur’ân or other Islâmic dhikrs or nâts for this purpose is not correct. In fact, one would be demeaning and making a mockery of the name of Allâh in this way. The jurists of Islam have prohibited using the name of Allâh for such trivial purposes. Thus, it will not be permissible to set ones ring tone to Qur’ânic verses, the adhân or any form of dhikr.

In addition, at times, one happens to be in the bathroom or in some other undesirable place or physical circumstance and the cellphone happens to ring with the name of Allâh. This is open disrespect to the name of Allâh. We should therefore abstain and rather set our ring-tones to non-musical plain alerts.

Question: Some people set the name of Allâh or His Messenger (Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam), or a picture of the Ka’bah or some other sacred places or words as their cellphone background or logo. They then place this in their trouser pockets i.e. below the waist, and frequent places like the bathroom in this condition. Is this correct?

Answer: In the name of Allâh. There is nothing wrong to keep the name of Allâh or His Messenger Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam on one’s cellphone screen, but it becomes a problem if it is exposed and one happens to go with it into a place like a bathroom. If one has these names on one’s screen, one should first switch off the cellphone and then go to the bathroom. Similarly, to place such a cellphone in a low pocket such as a trouser pocket or a back pocket, would be grossly disrespecting the holy name of Allâh and His Messenger Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam, and should be avoided.

Question: A person downloaded an audio or written file of some Sûrahs of the Qur’ân or words of the Ahâdîth of our noble master Muhammad Sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam on his cellphone. He then takes this cellphone to places such as bathrooms or dens of vice such as discos, theatres and cinemas. Is this allowed?

Answer: In the name of Allâh. There is no problem with downloading Sûrahs of the Qur’an or Du’âs from the hadith on one’s phone, but it would be extremely shameful and disrespectful to take such a cellphone in the bathroom or any other undesirable place whilst the text is on display. However, if the cellphone is switched off or if the recitations are turned off and the holy words do not appear on the screen, then there will be no problem to take such a cellphone in to a place such as a bathroom.

And Allâh Ta’âlâ Knows Best.