Shaikh Abdurrazzaq al-Badr hafidhuhallah said:

“Actions or statements should not be done in the masaajid except for that which the masjid was built for. The masaajid were built for prayer, Quran, for the remembrance of Allah, gratitude, praising Allah, knowledge, studying, and obtaining understanding. As for speech about the worldly life, relaxation through jokes and amusement, or with the great calamity which has emerged in this time: smart phone devices; [then], in them are the calamities of the world. You find some people in the masaajid [using cellphones], and some are in ‘Itikaaf. Which type of ‘Itikaaf is this? Some are in ‘Itikaaf, but in reality they are in a state of ‘Itikaaf on their cellphone. He is not in ‘Itikaaf for his Lord and for the remembrance of his Lord. He is only in ‘Itikaaf on his cellphone.

Even the movements of the hand, and I am reminded of this how many times, the movements of the hand after the prayer for Tasbeeh: Subhnallah, Subhanallah, Subhanallah, in this form has changed for some people to movements of the thumb. Movements of the thumb in this manner, either down to up or up to down in accordance to the program [app] which he wants to view on his smart phone, which is with him. Even some of them, as soon as they make the second tasleem, put their hand in their pocket and pull out their device. This indicates that even in his obligatory prayer, he is preoccupied with what is on his device as if his prayer obstructed him and he completes it in order to return to his device so as to continue with the amusement which he was preoccupied with.

Some [use their cellphones while they] are in ‘Itikaaf. Which type of ‘Itikaaf is this in which he is playing, amusing himself, and is heedless? This is a great calamity. So it is necessary for the one in ‘Itikaaf not to use his cellphone at all, except if he has necessities and important benefits [to take care of]. As for in this manner, then this is something that greatly disrupts the ‘Itikaaf. It is necessary to protect the masaajid from the likes of this amusement. And what is on these cellphones from pictures and the likes, is from what produces, by Allah, calamities upon the people. Affairs that are very agonizing. One of the people narrated to me a long time ago that two people were in the masjid, each walking next to the other. One of them directly sat down in position of sitting for Tashahudd [in prayer] and began moving his finger while his companion took a picture of him! Then they stood up and walked away. A picture that he is sitting as if he is praying. The people after will see [from the picture] that he was praying in the masjid and he did not pray. He did not pray at all. He just sat in order to take the picture!

You see similarly in Hajj. Someone stops at the Jamaraat and requests his friend to take a picture of him. Then he raises his hands [as in supplication] and after the picture he lowers his hands. So that it is seen [in the picture] that he supplicated next to the Jamaraat or the Ka’bah, but he did not supplicate at all! These hands were not raised for Allah nor raised to supplicate to Allah! They were only raised to show off. This is a great calamity. Some of them pass by the circle of Knowledge and sit to take a picture of the teacher or himself in the circle. What benefit is this picture for you? There is no [benefit] in this picture of you or the picture of the Shaikh. Which benefit is in this picture? All of this is from deprivation and wastage. People have now become those who walk into the masaajid due to these devices which have produced calamities upon the people and a great evil.

From the painful, saddening, and unfortunate affairs is the music which has increased and is heard in the masaajid. Who would believe twenty years ago that music would be heard in the masaajid today? At the time for prayer, not a ruku’ or sujud or any position from the positions of the prayer passes except you hear music. A great calamity. Therefore, it is necessary upon a person as soon as he enters the door of the masjid to know the sanctity of the house of Allah, the rights of the congregants, and know the sanctity of the place which he entered. So when he enters the door of the masjid, it is necessary that he turn his cellphone to silent or turn it off altogether. If he leaves it outside the masjid [i.e. somewhere else], then that is more deserving. So he enters the masjid to pray, to remember Allah, and not preoccupy himself and the congregants with these sounds and distractions.

A few days ago, the people were praying Taraweeh, some of the youth were playing with a game on the cellphone. They preoccupied those who were around them in the prayer. Some of the people told me, we said: give us [the devices since] we cannot pray. Some of the youth have racing games on the cellphones, which they play in the masjid. They distract and harm those around them. Some of the young ones do not listen. You say to him: “O my son turn it off”. He will not listen. They have something of stubbornness and lack of respect, for example towards me. All of these are calamities which have entered upon us in the masaajid and which the people are afflicted with. It disrupts the worship and affects the people. It is not allowed in the masjid to raise your voice over the voice of your brother when reciting the Quran in order to not mix up his recitation [See: Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 1332] . So how about these calamities nowadays which have been brought to the masaajid and have brought calamities and great evil?

We ask Allah to rectify us all”

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Translated by

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan