Saturday, April 18, 2009

News of the Bizarre

What would Pakistani media be without its regular dose of surrealism? Here's an Associated Press of Pakistan report from The Daily Times. Since the report itself makes no comment about the content, I of course felt the need to supply mine...

Indian clerics issue fatwa on ringtones

ISLAMABAD (APP): Clerics from a madrassa in the Indian city of Kanpur on Friday issued a fatwa (edict), giving guidelines for the use of mobile phones by Muslims. [Do they really have nothing better to do?]

A panel of clerics from the seminary, Madrassa Jamia Ashraful Madaris, objected to the use of Quranic verses as ringtones. [Fair enough, I find them truly terrifying too since they tell me more about the person I am caliing or in close proximity to than I care to know]

They argued that the people who use the verses as ringtones and answer their cell phone midway through the verse commit a sin. [Yeah, man, just imagine picking up right after "There is no God..." and before "..but Allah." You'll be, like, damned straight to hell... where in all probability you'll be forced to listen to Zaid Hamid or Aamir Liaquat for eternity.]

According to the fatwa, taking a cell phone to the toilet as it rings is also a sin because Quranic verses cannot be heard in a toilet. [Okay, this confused me; what about hearing the azaan through that little ventilation window? Is that a sin too? Should toilets be hermetically sealed? And how does one do the wazu then?]

The clerics also condemned keeping cell phones on vibration mode while offering prayers. [I'm on board on this one, especially during rukoo and sajda]

I'm waiting with bated breath for the fatwa on annoying "missed calls" and those lengthy smses about religious holidays.

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