Cell Phones and Cameras in Masajid

By M. Z. Chida
Posted: 2 Jamad-u-Thani 1423, 11 August 2002

It is very distressing that some people who come to Haram ash-Sharif for Umrah and Hajj and also go to Masjid-e-Nabavi keep their cell phones on and whose ringing followed by the telephone conversation disturbs other worshipers. It is equally painful to see people using cell phones while doing Tawaf or Saii.

One comes to place of worship - that too to the holiest of places in Islam- to forget the world and escape materialism. One should concentrate on piety and spiritualism. Where is the question of using cell phones disturbing others and also negating the purpose of visit to these holy places? How can people be so thoughtless and vain?

In India where I live, mosques have a notice asking cell phones to be switched off and also sometimes the Imam reminds the congregation to switch off their cell phones. If in spite of it someone in the congregation has forgotten to switch off the cell phone and it starts ringing he is embarrassed to death.

Also it is observed that some people use flash cameras in these holy places to take pictures of their near and dear ones praying, doing Tawaf or Sai'. Where is the need for this? Are they going to take this photo record tucked in their coffin (shroud) when they are buried? They should be ashamed of doing of such shameful things.

My humble suggestion is, the Saudi authorities must issue strict instructions that no cell phones or cameras must be brought into these holy places and if any body breaks the rule, their cell phones and cameras should be confiscated. By doing this they will ensure that the sacredness and sanctity of these holy places is preserved and respected. It will also help people who have come from thousands of miles to pray in peace and with concentration.