Clerics from a Muslim organization in the north Indian city of Kanpur issued a fatwa, or religious decree, Wednesday against using Quran verses as ringtones on their mobile phones.
A panel of clerics from Jamia Asharaf-ul-Madaris objected to the use of aayats, verses from the Quran, as ringtones, arguing that people answer calls midway, leaving the verse incomplete.
The panel also disapproved of people who put their phone on vibrate during prayer services and denounced the use of phones while in the bathroom.
"If the phone rings and an aayat can be heard in the toilet, it is a sin," Ghyasuddin, a senior cleric with the Islamic group, told the Press Association.
This is not the first time clerics have objected to the use of Quranic ringtones. In late 2007 the Islamic Jurisprudence Council, during a session in Saudi Arabia, banned the use of such ringtones because they said it impinges on the sacred character of the Holy Book.
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.
"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 Quran in phone sets with the intention of recitation and listening is a virtuous act, said the scholars attending the council meeting in Mekkah said in a statement.
During the six-day meeting, held under the chairmanship of Saudi Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al Asheikh, 70 Muslim dignitaries and scholars tackled a number of issues that have arisen as technology fuses with everyday religious life.
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