Monday, September 6, 2010

Mobile Ring Tones Break the Peace at Mecca's Grand Mosque

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Arab News

MAKKAH, Sept 2: As hundreds of thousands of pilgrims throng the Grand Mosque in pursuit of blessings in the last 10 days of Ramadan, the growing phenomenon of irritating mobile phones is disturbing the worshippers.

Ringtones from thousands of mobile phones have reached the level of spoiling the pious and spiritual air at the holy mosque. It has almost killed the tranquility of worshippers. Moreover, on a tour of any nook and corner of the holiest shrine in Islam, worshippers are also encountering the flashes of cameras, Al-Riyadh Arabic daily reported.

The moment when the obligatory prayers are over, a tsunami of ringtones from tens of thousands of mobile phones seem to befall on the ears of the faithful. Various musical ringtones compete with the chanting and supplication of the faithful. The most unfortunate aspect of this phenomenon is that a large number of Umrah pilgrims are using mobile phones while performing the lesser pilgrimage. It seems that some pilgrims cannot finish the ritual without making mobile phone calls. There are some others, who are not at all concerned about the extent of annoyance and inconvenience they are causing to other pilgrims.

An Al-Riyadh correspondent noticed that some pilgrims were engaged in mobile phone talks for long periods of time while circulating around the Kaaba as part of their Umrah ritual.

Others were seen sending text messages. Many pilgrims were also seen engaged in long conversations with their family members and friends while performing the ritual of Sa’ai between Safa and Marwa hills. A number of them were even talking about the progress of commercial projects being implemented back home.

Some worshippers were seen engaged in mobile calls while they were entering or going out of the holy mosque. This creates further disturbance to the faithful in addition to a heavy rush at the main gates and entrances of the Grand Mosque.

Many pilgrims have expressed their displeasure over the tendency of those in creating disturbance and nuisance by talking loudly while answering calls.

Some pilgrims and visitors to the holy mosque are engaged in illegal photography inside Mataf. They are eager to take the maximum number of souvenir photographs of their presence in front of the Holy Kaaba. A few of them were also found recording videos.

A 60-year-old pilgrim was found taking snaps of various shots. Some pilgrims were found taking photographs on the third and upper floors of the Grand Mosque, where they can do photos and record videos easily as there is no rush and the number of security officials is also limited there.

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