Pelephone has a Quran text service. Muslims in Palestine can get verses of the Koran on their mobile phones. I understand that the Salah prayer routine should be done five times a day - so this should be a big help.
The screen display looks like an actual Quran that users can scroll through
It's New, So it Must be an Attack on Islam?Happily, no Imam has issued a fatwa against Pelephone's Quran text service. Yet.
In fact, a researcher of Islam, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, thinks it's a good idea: " 'I'm not a subscriber yet, but I think it's a very practical idea. As a researcher, I can see myself going into the Koran via a 3G phone and urgently retrieving a specific verse. It's certainly something accessible and good. I also think that the Muslim community very much likes all the technological innovations on the market,' " he said in a Haaretz.com article.
It's early days, though. The service is a couple weeks old, so some Muslim leaders may not have heard of it yet. I can see a few objections right off the bat:
- Pelephone is owned by Bezeq
- That's the Israel Telecommunication Corporation Ltd.
- Providing a Quran text service??!!
- Pelephone has had a similar service for the Christian Bible for about six months
- Words of the Holy Quran getting mingled with un-Islamic text on the cell phone channels?!
- And/or -
How dare these Jews insult Islam by having this service for those Christians before us?
- This service could lead to great evil
- Like men and women praying in the same room
That's Ridiculous! Muslims Wouldn't Act That WayMany wouldn't: and don't. Quite a few Muslims, unhappily, aren't the best spokespersons for their beliefs. Or, rather, for what I sincerely hope the beliefs of Islam are.
Islam doesn't have a monopoly on crackpots, of course. On the other hand, the ruler of the House of Saud, in his self-proclaimed capacity as "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" is running a kingdom that doesn't quite seem to have made the transition into the thirteenth century. Examples:
- The head of Saudi Arabia's highest tribunal declared open season on network owners.
- A former Saudi diplomat to Washington, D.C identified Mickey Mouse is one of Satan's soldiers
- A highly-respected Saudi cleric said that women should only use one eye at a time when they're let outside
Granted, "death" wasn't in the sentence. But, when you put a 53-year-old man in a Saudi prison and lash him 1,500 times over a period of 15 years: death isn't too unlikely. It works out to about 70 lashes a week, by the way. Another doctor was sentenced, too. The charge seems to be malpractice. A Saudi princess demanded morphine. When she got her way, she 'then' became an addict. So the doctor must be flogged. Probably to death.
It's not just Saudi Arabia, of course: there's a fairly steady stream of things like the strange case of the teddy bear vs. Islam in Sudan. As I've said before, with friends like these, Islam doesn't need enemies.
No News Will be Good NewsIf this dial-a-Quran service doesn't get in the news again, that will be very good news. I sincerely hope that devout Muslims in that part of the world can accept an assist from Information Age technology. Even if it doesn't come from a pure Islamic source.
Finally, some good sense from " '"The integration of Muslim ideas that were born in the seventh century with 21st century gadgets is a welcome phenomenon. In my class, for example, there are Arab students who download ringtones from the Internet that are the Adhan, the chant the muezzin uses for reciting the call to prayer. When they forget to turn off their cellphones, I suddenly hear the muezzin in the middle of my class.' " (Haaretz.com (November 24, 2008))
In the news:
- "Israeli Company Provides Muslim Text on the Go"
FOXNews (December 1, 2008)
- "God speaking "
Haaretz.com (November 24, 2008)
- Pelephone Business Profile
(this page is mostly in English)