The view regarding women going to the masjid, masturaat jamaats, women driving, are CLEAR according to the Ulama-e-Haqq, that it is Haraam (not permissible). My query is: Does cellphones (smart phones) not fall in the same category as the above mentioned? I caught my niece who is only 10 years old, watching pornography on her mother’s cellphone in the sitting room of the house. Also easy access to internet facebook is achieved via allowance of these gadgets of moral destruction. When clearly this is a means to zina and fitnah, why haven’t the Ulama passed a fatwa that these phones are not permissible. In my estimate, it is far worse than television.
You are quite right that the cellphone is worse than television. We have always stated that facebook and similar other social media are haraam. It is not permissible to make use of these media.
However, whilst a blanket haraam fatwa is issued for television, this is not possible for cellphones. The difference is that the very existence of television is reliant on pictography of animate objects. Since this is haraam, there is no halaal option available for issuing a fatwa of permissibility for television.
On the other hand, a cellphone, like all other instruments and devices, is an item of use. It has considerable beneficial uses, and in fact has become an essential means of communication in our age.
Nevertheless, it is haraam to make cellphones available for children and for any person who misuses it. It is not permissible for parents to give their children cellphones. Madrasahs have banned cellphones for the students.
A cellphone is like a gun or a knife. If it is used for murder or haraam, it will be haraam for such a person. It is haraam for parents to have cellphones if they grant their children access. It is haraam for any adult as well, if he/she used it for haraam.
[Answered by Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]