I'tikaf with the Smart Phone Advice from Shaykh Abdur Razzaq Al Badr

.The following is a summary translation
Shaykh Abdur Razzaq Al Badr: In the Masjids, do not use speech and do not do actions, except those statements and actions which the Masjid was built for. The Masjids were built for the prayer, recitation of the Quran, remembrance of Allah, to show gratitude to Allah, to praise Him, for knowledge, studying, and reflection. Not for speech concerning worldly matters and relaxing telling jokes and vain speech; or this immense calamity which has appeared during this time—the smart phone—that which contains the calamities of the world!
And you will find some of the people in the Masjid—and some of them are in I'tikaf—what kind of I'tikaf(1) is this? Some of them are in I'tikaf, but in reality they are making I'tikaf (withdraw and devoted) to their cell phones. They are not devoted to the worship of their Lord, and the remembrance of their Lord, rather they are only devoted to their cell phones.
Even the movement of the hand—and how many times have we mentioned this—the movement of the hand which happens after the prayer when the person makes Tasbeeh by saying Subhana Allah, Subhana Allah, Subhana Allah. This has changed, and instead of doing this, some of the people move their thumbs like this; up and down or down and up according to what they want to view on their smart phones. It is to the extent that some of them, immediately after they say the Salaam the second time to exit the prayer, they put their hand in their pocket and take out their devices. And this is proof that even during the obligatory prayer he was preoccupied with what is on his device. It is as though the prayer was holding him back. And once he finishes the prayer he immediately returns to his device so he
Shaykh Ahmad An Najmi—may Allah have mercy upon him—said the meaning of I'tikaf in the
language is:1

. To detain. As in the statement of the Exalted: “While the sacrificial animals were detained from reaching
their place of sacrifice.” Soorah Al-Fath 48:25
. To devote. As in the statement of the Exalted: They said, "We will never cease being devoted to the calf until Moses returns to us." Soorah Taha 20:91As for the meaning in the legislation: It is to remain in the Masjid with the intention of worshipping therein.(
باب الإعتكاف من تأسيس الأحكام )

can continue on with the amusement which he was preoccupied with. And some of them are in I'tikaf! What kind of I'tikaf is this?! What kind of I'tikaf is this while he is heedless, unmindful and neglectful?! This is a tremendous calamity.
For this reason, it is upon the person performing I'tikaf to not use his phone at all; unless he has a necessity to do so, or a beneficial reason which is important. As for using his phone in an aforementioned manner; in reality this diminishes his I'tikaf.
The Masjids must be protected from the likes of these distractions and amusements. And these phones, and what they contain to include picture taking, and other evil matters; by Allah they have brought harms to the people. By Allah they have brought misfortunes to the people, that which is extremely distressing.

-Someone mentioned something to me a while back. He said there were two people in the Masjid; one was walking behind the other. One of them sat down in the sitting of the Tashahud, meaning he went directly into this position. And he began to move his finger as his friend took his picture. Then he stood and they walked away. He sat down as though he was praying. And the people will see this picture later on and believe he was praying in the Prophet’s Masjid. But he did not pray. He did not pray to begin with. Rather he only sat so his picture could be taken. This is like what you see on Hajj. Someone will stand at the Jamarat for example, and ask his friend to take his picture, and then he will raise his hands. And after the picture is taken he will lower his hands. So it will be seen as though he was making Dua’a at the Jamrat or he was making Dua’a at the Kaba. But he was not making Dua’a to begin with, at all. Those two hands were not raised for the sake of Allah, nor were they raised to supplicate to Allah. Rather they were only raised to
show off. This is a tremendous calamity.
-Some of the people pass by a gathering of knowledge and they stop and take a picture of the Shaykh and they take a picture of themselves in the gathering of knowledge. What is the benefit of these pictures?! Your picture and the Shaykh’s picture also; what is the benefit?! You take a picture! All of this results in being deprived and loss.

-And from the harmful, unfortunate, matters is the music which is heard a lot in the Masjids. Who would have thought—twenty years ago—that there would be a day when music was heard in the Masjid, during the prayer times?! There is no Rukoo, or Sujood, or any position in the prayer except that music is heard. This is a great calamity.

-Thus it is essential for the person to know—once he enters the doors of the Masjid—the sanctity of the house of Allah, and the rights of the worshippers. And he must know the sanctity of the place he entered. Thus it is a must—when entering the Masjid—to put the phone on silent or to shut it off. And it is better to leave it outside of the Masjid. And to enter the Masjid to pray and remember Allah, not too busy yourself and the worshippers with these sounds and amusements.

-Some days ago the people were praying Tarawih, while some of the youth were playing games on their phones which distracted those around them trying to pray. Some of them said, they were harmed and were not able to pray. They had car racing games on their phones; inside the Masjid. And the people around them were upset. And some of the youth don’t listen. You say to them: ‘O my son, turn that off.’ They don’t listen. They are rebellious or they don’t have any respect (for elders).
All of this is from the calamities which we experience in the Masjids and from what the people have been tested within the Masjids, and from that which has disrupted the worship and harmed the people.

- In the Masjid it is not permissible to raise your voice over your brother's voice with the Quran, so you will not disrupt his recitation. So how about these calamities present now which have brought about great evil?
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbe
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