The mobile phone: a double-edged sword [Archives:2008/1211/Community]

November 27 2008

By: Nasser Abdullah Nasser Salah
The mobile or cell phone is a particularly light piece of equipment that came into existence for the service of the human being. Used as an immediate means of communication everywhere, it has become indispensable to man as it functions well both outdoors and indoors.

The mobile phone comes is all shapes and sizes. Its appearance and features are constantly changing and new models are forever appearing on the market, much to the delight of those obsessed with owning the latest brand. Whether worn on the hip in a small leather case, dangled round the neck in a pouch or simply carried around in a handbag, the mobile phone is invaluable in its services and has become a dependable friend for many around the world.

But the cell phone is a doubled-edged weapon, with advantages as well as disadvantages. It is important to put such equipment into action carefully, as making good use of the technology is a virtue, whereas doing otherwise -inconveniencing or troubling others- is a vice. When using a mobile phone, it is advisable to treat others with respect and address them as you would like them to address you.

The cell phone is no doubt a great technological advancement of inestimable value to the human being, but it has regrettably enabled some to bother others in a more intrusive manner than previously possible. Some nasty individuals randomly dial numbers to disturb people as home or at work. More awful, others bombard strangers with offensive pictures and rude messages. These actions are both immoral and impertinent.

Although mosques are supposed to be highly respected places for the worship of God, all too often one hears mobile ring tones shamelessly upsetting prayers and visiting worshippers. Last Ramadan, I was praying in Assaid old mosque when a cell phone rang behind me. Its owner anxiously checked his screen to see who the caller was. And it is not unusual to hear someone actually answer a call while sitting inside a mosque. It would, of course, be better if people switched off there mobiles when visiting a mosque in order to try as far as possible not to upset the prayers' atmosphere.

When reasonably used, we highly appreciate the value of the mobile phone. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in a Hadith that the Muslim is he who keeps his fellow Muslims safe from both his mouth and his hand.