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05-27-2012, 06:34 AM
Mobile Ringtones, Camera Flashes Disturb Grand Mosque Tranquility

Hundreds of thousands of Umrah pilgrims perform the tawaf (circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba) at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Tuesday. Millions of Muslim faithful from within the Kingdom and abroad visit the Grand Mosque in the last 10 days of Ramadan to perform Umrah and offer special prayers. The Saudi government has made special arrangements to welcome large crowds of worshippers. (AN photo by Thamer Al-Faraj)

MAKKAH: As hundreds of thousands of pilgrims throng the Grand Mosque in pursuit of blessings in the last 10 days of Ramadan, the growing phenomenon of irritating mobile phones is disturbing the worshippers.

Ringtones from thousands of mobile phones have reached the level of spoiling the pious and spiritual air at the holy mosque. It has almost killed the tranquility of worshippers. Moreover, on a tour of any nook and corner of the holiest shrine in Islam, worshippers are also encountering the flashes of cameras, Al-Riyadh Arabic daily reported.

The moment when the obligatory prayers are over, a tsunami of ringtones from tens of thousands of mobile phones seem to befall on the ears of the faithful. Various musical ringtones compete with the chanting and supplication of the faithful. The most unfortunate aspect of this phenomenon is that a large number of Umrah pilgrims are using mobile phones while performing the lesser pilgrimage. It seems that some pilgrims cannot finish the ritual without making mobile phone calls. There are some others, who are not at all concerned about the extent of annoyance and inconvenience they are causing to other pilgrims.

An Al-Riyadh correspondent noticed that some pilgrims were engaged in mobile phone talks for long periods of time while circulating around the Kaaba as part of their Umrah ritual.

Others were seen sending text messages. Many pilgrims were also seen engaged in long conversations with their family members and friends while performing the ritual of Sa’ai between Safa and Marwa hills. A number of them were even talking about the progress of commercial projects being implemented back home.

Some worshippers were seen engaged in mobile calls while they were entering or going out of the holy mosque. This creates further disturbance to the faithful in addition to a heavy rush at the main gates and entrances of the Grand Mosque.

Many pilgrims have expressed their displeasure over the tendency of those in creating disturbance and nuisance by talking loudly while answering calls.

Some pilgrims and visitors to the holy mosque are engaged in illegal photography inside Mataf. They are eager to take the maximum number of souvenir photographs of their presence in front of the Holy Kaaba. A few of them were also found recording videos.

A 60-year-old pilgrim was found taking snaps of various shots. Some pilgrims were found taking photographs on the third and upper floors of the Grand Mosque, where they can do photos and record videos easily as there is no rush and the number of security officials is also limited there.


Please do NOT use musical ringtones on your mobiles. Music is Haraam and it disturbs everyone that hears the music. Please remember to change it to a non-musical ringtone and switch the phone off or keep it on silent alert whilst in the Masaajid (and ask other to do the same).


MAKKAH: It is the bounden duty of a Muslim to respect the marks of Islam and behave without violating the solemn atmosphere of the holy places. Some people, unfortunately forget that they are in the most holy place on earth, especially when they circumambulate around the Kaaba, talking on their mobile phones, discussing mundane matters or joking and laughing at the top of their voice while most others are engrossed in prayers is pure violation of the sanctity of the holy place.

Ahmad Alya, a pilgrim, told Arab News that the workers in the Grand Mosque should make it a point to stop anyone who commits deeds that violate the sanctity and tranquility of the holy precinct. “One day I saw a man, while performing tawaf (circumambulation), talking on his mobile phone in a high voice and laughing. Such deeds should not be tolerated,” he said.

Bara Salah, another pilgrim said, “The authorities should take steps to stop anyone speaking loudly and other actions that violate the sanctity of the Grand Mosque. I heard the man close to me discussing real estate prices on a cell phone. I told him to stop it and focus on the rites so that he did not disturb other pilgrims. His response was a blank look at me as he continued to talk on the phone.”

Salah, however, was more outraged by the fact that another man was talking on his cell phone while standing under the shadow of the Kaaba. There he was more concerned in conveying the message to the other party on the phone that he was presently in Makkah and he would meet him personally when he returns from Makkah to Jeddah. This imparting of the message was more important to him then praying and completing his tawaf to seek forgiveness. As if the use and abuse of cell phones in the holy precincts are not enough there are people more intent in recording their tawaf rather than completing the spiritual journey. There are people going round the Kaaba with another person recording it on a video camera, and then there are instances of two men meeting at any point of circumambulation and opening up a conversation until the end of their tawaf.

Makkah chief of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, said while one has to be respectful and not raising one’s voice is a necessary part of the manners.

“A Muslim should be busy with his rituals and worships and keep away from any act that disrupts or diverts his attention,” he said, adding, “A man in his prayer should not look at his mobile to see who is calling him or his watch or do anything that diverts his attention from the act of worship. The same is the case with tawaf and saay (walking between Safa and Marwah). Uttering the name of God and supplications are the only permitted things while doing them. Talking with friends or family will only violate the veneration of the places of worship.”


Choosing the correct ring tones for our hand held devices & mobiles is extremely important. It speaks volumes about who we are & what we stand for. A simple ring tone that alerts us of a call or sms & will never embarrass us no matter where we may be, is the most dignified. Funky tones & unacceptable lyrics or alert methods should not be selected. Always remember to turn off the volume or lower it when in an important place where silence is required such as places of worship. It can also be very irritating to others when we allow the ring to continue without answering the device for no apparent reason. "Mobile manners" is a very important subject that many take for granted. This is just the tip of the iceberg.


JEDDAH, 27 March 2006 — As Dhuhr prayer commences, the imam calls the devoted to stand in line and fill any gaps between them. The mosque is a near-perfect atmosphere for peaceful, quiet self-reflection and piety. Suddenly the ambience of the holy place is shattered by the hip-hop beats of Los Angeles rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg. The worshippers turn their head to look at the offender. Tsk-tsk. Once again somebody didn’t turn off his cell phone!

“There is no hope for them,” says Khaled Muhammad, imam of a mosque in Jeddah’s Al-Rawdah neighborhood. “I warn them time and time again against bringing mobile phones inside mosques. If these people were meeting with their company boss they would turn off their phones. Why is it when they’re meeting with God they don’t extend the same courtesy?”

Khaled Muhammad told Arab News that he has given up on trying to curb the sounds of pop music that pop up during prayer, choosing simply to ignore the annoyance and hope that fights don’t break out.

This mini-drama plays out day in and day out in mosques across the Kingdom, and imams like Khaled Muhammad find themselves in a constant fight against disrespectful mobile owners. And this fight is sometimes taken over by other Muslims inside the mosque, which can occasionally lead to fisticuffs.

Syed Abdul Razzaq, an Egyptian who attends the mosque in Al-Rawdah where Khaled Muhammad leads prayers, said that he has witnessed many confrontations inside the mosque, verbal and otherwise.

“One time, about a minute into Asr prayer, one of the phones started ringing with some loud music. The man did nothing. The music continued to break the silence inside the mosque over and over again for about three minutes, all the way through the prayer. Afterward, people were just glaring at the rude man. He didn’t seem to care. His phone rang again and, this time, he answered it.”

Then, according to Abdul Razzaq, some old-timers took it upon themselves to teach the man a lesson in manners.

“Some elderly men didn’t like his behavior and began shouting at the man. The imam at the time was trying to calm the hostile situation, but he couldn’t do anything about it at that point. Four people ganged up on the guy and began beating him right there inside the mosque. They took his mobile phone and threw it against the floor, shattering it.”

Complaints from imams are increasing. They say despite warnings and posted signs at mosque entrances people are simply not respecting the sanctity of the mosque. The problem has even led to lengthy Friday sermons during which the faithful are told to switch off their phones.

Arguments and confrontations like the one described by Abdul Razzaq seem to be commonplace. More respectful worshippers get offended at the smaller group of careless individuals, thus creating a division inside the mosque that can lead to cursing and arguments.

Abu Ahmad, from Jeddah, said that his mosque’s directors considered installing a wireless device that impedes mobile signals, but they ruled it out after learning that these same devices can interfere with pacemakers in people with heart ailments.

“I hate mobile phones because of what I see every single day in the mosque,” said Ahmad.

“I’ve seen the mobile ringtones confuse worshippers and even the imam himself. There’s no point in leaving mobile phones on while praying because you’re not going to answer it.”

Some mosques, such as the one in Madinah visited recently by Arab News, are taking a more deliberate approach by using doormen to search people as they enter. Some attendees complain that this method makes the mosque feel like a wedding hall, where doormen are often used to make sure nobody enters with camera phones.

Hashim Al-Emam, who attends the Madinah mosque, approved of this method. “I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “If verbal warnings and signs are not clear enough for these people then a major step should be taken to end it with force.”

One incident relayed to Arab News by a worshipper in Madinah that took place in a mosque in Riyadh helps to illustrate the ubiquitous nature of this problem. One of the old men in the mosque volunteered to give a lecture on the importance of turning off mobile phones in mosques. While giving the lecture, his mobile started playing this all-too-familiar tune. Embarrassed, the old man said this illustrated another point: That often a ringing mobile phone inside a mosque is a matter of forgetfulness rather than overt disrespect.


MINA, 12 January 2006 — A pilgrim acted out the anger that many people have over the disrespectful use of overly loud and offensive mobile-phone ring tones, reported the Okaz daily. While many might simply stew quietly over the rudeness of a gadget freak and his obnoxious club music announcing a constant barrage of incoming calls, one Haj pilgrim took another to task for interrupting the spiritual experience. The owner of the mobile refused to change the tone or to reduce the volume. Security men had to intervene before the two men began brawling over the noisy gadget.


MAKKAH, 9 November 2007 — The Islamic Jurisprudence Council banned the use of the verses of the Holy Qur’an as ringtones for mobile phones because it impinges on the sacred character of the Muslim Holy Book, the Saudi Press Agency reported yesterday.

“It is demeaning and degrading to the verses of the Holy Book to stop abruptly at the middle of a recitation or neglecting the recitation, as happens when they are used as ringtones in mobile phones. On the other hand, recording the verses from the Holy Qur’an in phone sets with the intention of recitation and listening is a virtuous act,” the scholars attending the council said in a statement.


Courtesy: Arab News
Courtesy: Inter-Islam


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~ Sabr ~
05-27-2012, 07:49 AM
There is nothing wrong with taking pictures.

05-27-2012, 10:25 AM
format_quote Originally Posted by Haafizah
There is nothing wrong with taking pictures.
Have You Ever Been..... If So You May Have Noticed Couples Take Photos Whilst A Non-Mahram Takes The Photo? You Do Understand That Is Incorrect.
Secondly Why Lose The Sancity Of The Grand Mosque / Masjids And Treat It Like A Holiday Resort?

~ Sabr ~
05-27-2012, 10:32 AM
There is nothing wrong with people taking pictures of the kabah and that they have been there and taken pictures. People need to stop never extreme in religion. And YES, I've been there 3 times alhamdulillah, and I Bennett found anything to be offensive to Islam.

People need to STOP taking Islam to be extreme, otherwise they will affect many new muslims faiths, and drive them away from Islam. PLEASE.

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05-27-2012, 10:35 AM
When You Watch This: http://www.youtube.com/user/MakkahLive/featured?v=cMgnsrJXTOc

hen The Cameras Are Showing The Full Mataaf, All You Will See Is People Taking Pictures By Seeing The Dozen Of Flashes ! It Distracts The Attention Of People Who Are Going To Masjid Haram For Worship. Secondly We Go There For Worship Not To Take Pictures. We Would Be Wasting Valuable Time On Taking Pictures And If You Were Desperate In Getting Pictures Please Visit Google.co.uk And Search In The Search Box For The Image.

~ Sabr ~
05-27-2012, 01:05 PM
You can take pictures without a flash. Please, stop it. Stop making lives hards for Muslims! If they want to take pictures, let them take pictures.

Some people go there after so long, some poor people, saving up for all their lives and if they want to take 1 picture, you and I shuld not be the one to stop them.

I am not willing to discuss this further.

05-27-2012, 01:40 PM
i took a video recorder when i was there for hajj, it is sometimes nice to look back,
i can also show my kids it and that has also inspired many others in my family to want to go there.
i think it's reasonable to ask them not to flash their cameras, but taking pictures of a memorable moment which you can cherish for the rest of ur life, God knows but it does seem ott to try and forbid that.

with the ringtones, yes, it is irritating
i almost flew at a guy in regents park mosque once who let his "hello moto" ringtone carry on for ages,
couldn't even concentrate on the prayer.
i asked him why he didn't stop it and he says something along the lines of, it's not allowed as it ruins the prayer, lol he ruined about 300 people's prayer instead of just his own.

05-27-2012, 02:51 PM

This is a very difficult matter to control, and to achieve a balance in, especially in the haramain. Mobile phones are now necessities in the modern world which many people carry on them all the time. Yet people are humans, and mobiles inadvertently get left on at salaat times etc. This problem obviously did not exist before, and if it is a musical ringtone coming on during the salaat, this is very wrong, and even a non-musical one is still disturbing.

Masjid al Nabawi, two years ago at least, had a policy of searching bags and taking those phones that had cameras, into safe storage during your stay in the mosque, and would give you a ticket, and you'd collect it on your way out of the mosque. I'm not sure if they did the same for phones without cameras, but I think not. Masjid al Nabawi also has neon displays outside, in multiple languages, asking people to switch their mobile phones off before entering the mosque. Below is a not very good picture of the Urdu one by night:

It says Masjid Nabwi mein daakhil hone se pehle apne mobile phone band kar dein.

Masjid al Haraam lets all phones in. I guess there's a limit as to how much they can control, with so many people. But yes, as the article say, people do tawaaf, being on their phones the whole time, it just being a walking exercise. However, normally people on phones don't shout, and there is a bigger issue than that. That of large groups under one leader, where the leader reads du'as loudly, and everyone chants, very loudly, at the tops of their voices, in unison, after him. Resulting in those quietly doing zhikr, making du3a, reciting qur'an not even being able to think straight, or getting their words mixed up, for the whole duration of the tawaaf, which is not only disturbing, but upsetting. I am not sure how they can tackle that one.

Masjid al Haraam used to have a big sign in the outside courtyard of the mosque, saying that photography wasn't allowed, and people didn't even photograph from the outside, let alone the inside. I guess it seems to make it like a tourist destination with holiday snaps, when these two places have historically been different from any other place in the world, where everybody concentrates on one thing only, worship, and the sanctity of the places. Also, as they are haramain, sanctuaries, everybody should feel perfectly safe inside. But if a woman is walking past some people taking pictures, then you don't know if you've come into their picture or not, and that 100% safety element doesn't quite feel 100%. Or you might walk through the mosque, and not even know that somebody was taking pictures and that you've come in them.

May Allah make it easy for those managing the haramain to do the right thing, and may He give us all the privilege of going there, and our worship being accepted, without disturbing others, or infringing on their privacy, ameen.

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