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Quran ring tone

I would like to know if the following fatwa is correct. It is regarding using Quranic verses for the ring tone of one’s mobile phone.

May the Almighty Allah reward you for your good work inshaa Allah

Jazaakamullah

“FATWA:

Saudi council of Muftis have given an unanimous fatwa that ring tones on QURAN AAYAT are haraam because the AAYAT are not complete when we pick the phone and meanings of AAYAT changes when they are not complete. QURAN is for Hidayat and not for ring tones. Please inform others.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

It is not permissible to use the verses of the Holy Quran for the ring tone of one’s mobile phone even if the meaning of the verses do not change. By using the verses of the Quran for mobile phone ring tone, one displays utmost disrespect to the Holy Quran. Not only that, by doing so one also becomes guilty of using the Glorious Quran for a worldly purpose i.e. to alert him that someone wants to talk to him. This is tantamount to lowering the exalted level of the Quran from being a source of guidance for mankind to the level of mundane, commonplace things such as that of ring tones.

The fuqaha have stated that it is not permissible to even say “Subhaanallah” and “Allaahumma salli ‘alaa Muhammad” etc. for worldly purposes. It is mentioned in Fataawa Qaadi Khan:

فتاوى قاضيخان: ج 3 ص 326 ط دار الكتب العلمية:
رجل جاء إلى تاجر ليشتري منه ثوبا ، فلما فتح المتاع قال: سبحان الله ، أو قال: اللهم صل على محمد ، إن أراد بذلك إعلام المشتري بجودة ثوبه ومتاعه كره

ه
“A man comes to a merchant to buy clothes from him. When he (the merchant) opens the goods he says ‘Subhaanallah’ or ‘Allaahumma salli ‘alaa Muhammad’. If he intends with it (i.e. his words) to inform the buyer of the excellence of his clothes or goods, then it is makrooh (tahreemi)”

From the above it becomes clear that to even say words such as ‘Subhanallah’ for one’s worldly purpose is not permissible. How, then, could it be permissible to use the Holy Quran – which Allah Ta’ala, out of His mercy, has revealed for the guidance of mankind – to alert one that someone wants to talk to him?

In Fataawa Bazzaaziya it is stated:

الفتاوى البزازية: ج 2 ص 473 ط دار الكتب العلمية:
إذا قدم واحد من العظماء إلى مجلس فسبح أو صلى عليه عليه الصلاة والسلام إعلاما بقدومه حتى ينفرج له الناس أو يقوموا له يأثم لأنه جعل اسم الله تعالى وصلاته على رسوله عليه السلام وسيلة على تعظيم الغير ، واستحلال هذا الصنع واعتقاده عبادة لا خفاء في أنه أمر هائل عظيم نعوذ بالله سبحانه من ذلك ، وقد ابتلينا به في ديارنا

“When someone of high rank comes to a gathering and someone says ‘Subhanallah’ or ‘Allaahumma salli ‘alaa Muhammad’ in order to alert others that he has come so that the people may make space for him or so that they may stand up for him, he will be sinful. This is because he has made the name of Allah and ‘Salaat alan nabi’ (darood) a means of honouring others (i.e. other than Allah). To consider such an act to be permissible and to think it to be worship is, undoubtedly, a dreadful and grave matter. We seek the protection of Allah, the Glorified, from it. And we have been afflicted with it in our land.”

The passage above makes it clear that it is forbidden to say “Subhanallah” etc. in order to alert others of the arrival of someone so that they may prepare themselves to receive him and to honour him. Similarly, it will not be permissible to use the verses of the Quran to alert one that someone is calling him. Doing so would be tantamount to making the verses of the Holy Quran a means of venerating and honouring other than Allah Ta’ala. This is because when the phone rings, the person — in anticipation of answering the phone — stops eating, turns off the radio, tells his family around him to be quiet, changes his tone to one of respect, etc. Therefore, what is mentioned in the passage above i.e. “This is because he has made the name of Allah and ‘Salaat alan nabi’ (darood) a means of honouring others (i.e. other than Allah).” applies even more so in this case. And to consider such an act to be an act of worship or a means of gaining rewards is indeed a grave and dangerous matter, as the passage above clearly states. May Allah Ta’ala protect us.

Another reason why it is not permissible to use the verses of the Quran for ring tone is because to do so would mean to make mockery of the Quran in cases where the phone rings while one is at a place where acts contrary to the Shariah take place. The fuqaha have explicitly mentioned that to recite the Quran in the market and in places where acts contrary to the Shariah take place is not permissible as it is making mockery of the Quran. Therefore, if one uses verses of the Quran for ring tone, he becomes the means of the Quran being recited in places of sins, immorality and even impurity (such as inside the toilet).

Also, the fuqaha state that it is not permissible to recite the Quran aloud at places where people are preoccupied. Hence, if one uses verses of the Quran for ring tone and his phone rings at a place where people are preoccupied, he will be sinful for being a direct means of this impermissible act.

الفتاوى الهندية: ج 5 ص 391 ط دار الكتب العلمية:
يكره أن يقرأ القرآن في الحمام ؛ لأنه موضع النجاسات ، ولا يقرأ في بيت الخلاء ، كذا في فتاوى قاضيخان … ( و بعد أسطر ) …لا يقرأ جهرا عند المشتغلين بالأعمال ومن حرمة القرآن أن لا يقرأ في الأسواق ، وفي موضع اللغو كذا في القنية  الفتاوى الهندية: ج 5 ص 391 ط دار الكتب العلمية

الفتاوى الهندية: ج 5 ص 389 ط دار الكتب العلمية:
الكلام منه ما يوجب أجرا كالتسبيح والتحميد وقراءة القرآن والأحاديث النبوية وعلم الفقه ، وقد يأثم به إذا فعله في مجلس الفسق وهو يعلمه لما فيه من الاستهزاء والمخالفة لموجبه

Note:

One should not get confused with the ruling that if a person hears a verse of sajda being recited on a CD player etc, it will not become obligatory on him to do sajda tilawa. This ruling should not make a person think that the Quran that is recited on the CD player, mobile phone, etc. is not in the hukm (ambit) of the Quran, and that the rulings that apply to the recitation of the Quran do not apply if it is recited on the CD player, mobile phone, etc.

The reason why it does not become compulsory to do sajda tilawa when a person hears a verse of sajda from a CD player etc. is because for sajda tilawa to become compulsory, the recitation must be done by a ‘mumayyiz’ i.e. a judicious person. Therefore, the fuqaaha have stated that if a person hears a non-judicious child reciting a verse of sajda, sajda tilawa will not become compulsory on him. Also, the fuqaha have mentioned that if one hears an echo of someone reciting a verse of sajda or he hears a bird reciting it, then in both cases sajda tilawa will not be compulsory since he did not hear a judicious person reciting the verse. From this the scholars have derived the ruling of listening to a verse of sajda from a tape player, a CD player etc: that it does not necessitate sajda tilaawa because tape players, CD players etc. are machines, not judicious, intelligent beings.

في مراقي الفلاح: وتجب بالسماع منهما ومن الجنب وبسماعها من كافر وصبي مميز ؛ وقال الطحطاوي رحمه الله: ( قوله : وصبي مميز ) في الفتح ذكر شيخ الإسلام أنها لا تجب بالسماع من مجنون أو نائم لأن السبب سماع تلاوة صحيحة وصحتها بالتمييز ولم يوجد اهـ قال : وهذا التعليل يفيد التفصيل في الصبي إن كان له تمييز وجب بالسماع منه وإلا فلا ، فليكن هو المعتبر اهـ ( حاشية الطحطاوي: ص 484 ط دار الكتب العلمية )
ه
However, that does not mean that the Quran that is recited on a CD player, a mobile phone etc. is not considered Quran. The fuqaha have stated that if a verse of sajda is recited in a language other than Arabic, it still makes sajda tilawa obligatory. The reason for this is that the translation of the Quran in a different language is considered Quran from one aspect i.e. it is considered Quran looking at its meaning; and it is not considered Quran looking at its words. Therefore, considering the meaning, sajda tilawa should become compulsory; and considering the words, it should not become compulsory. Therefore, as a way of precaution, the fuqaha have deemed sajda tilawa to be obligatory. Similary, the fuqaha state that just as it is not permissible to touch the Quran without wudu, it is also not permissible to touch the translation of the Quran without wudu.

في مراقي الفلاح: ( ويجب ) السجود ( على من تلا آية ) … ( ولو ) تلاها ( بالفارسية ) اتفاقا فهم أو لم يفهم لكونها قرآنا من وجه ؛ وقال الطحطاوي رحمه الله: ( قوله: ولو تلاها بالفارسية ) المراد بها غير العربية فتجب على السامع إذا أخبر بها ( قوله : فهم أو لم يفهم ) قال في الجوهرة : أما في حق السامع فإن كانت القراءة بالعربية وجب على السامع فهم أو لم يفهم إجماعا وإن كانت بالفارسية لزم السامع أيضا وإن لم يفهم عند الإمام وعندهما لا يلزم إلا إذا فهم وروي رجوعه إليهما وعليه الاعتماد اهـ ( قوله : لكونها قرآنا من وجه ) أي نظرا للمعنى دون وجه نظرا للنظم فباعتبار المعنى توجب السجدة وباعتبار النظم لا توجبها فتجب احتياطا أفاده السيد ( حاشية الطحطاوي: ص 480 ط دار الكتب العلمية )

كذا الوضوء فرض ( لمس القرآن ولو آية ) إلخ … ولو بالفارسية يحرم مسه اتفاقا على الصحيح ( مراقي الفلاح: ص 82 ط دار الكتب العلمية )

ولو كان القرآن مكتوبا بالفارسية يكره لهم مسه عند أبي حنيفة وكذا عندهما على الصحيح هكذا في الخلاصة ( الفتاوى الهندية: ج 1 ص 43 ط دار الكتب العلمية )
ه

From the above, one can understand that the rules that apply to the Quran also apply to the translation of the Quran, because the translation of the Quran is considered Quran looking at the meaning. In the case of the Quran that is recited by a CD player, tape player and mobile phone, not only is it Quran looking at the meaning; it is also Quran looking at the words. Therefore, one can not say that the rules that apply to the recitation of the Quran do not apply when it is recited on a CD player, tape player and mobile phone. Yes, sajda tilawa does not become compulsory if one hears a verse of sajda being recited on a CD player etc. but that is because the recitation is not done by a judicious person, and not because it is not recitation of the Quran at all.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Faizal Riza

This answer was collected from Fatwa.org.au, which is connected to Darul Ifta Australia, based in Melbourne, Australia.
It is operated by Mufti Faizal Riza, a student of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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