Egypt's supreme religious law authority has delivered a stinging slap to mobile users who were adapting verses from the Koran as ringtones, saying they were violating the sanctity of the word of God.
Mufti Ali Gomaa has put a stop to the practice, according to Reuters, on the basis that users could truncate the holy verses when they answer calls, thereby confusing the quotations and misdirecting themselves and other listeners.
"Putting the Holy Koran or the call to prayer as a mobile phone ringtone trivializes the sanctity of the verses, which are for prayer, invocation and recitation and not to be taken out of their legitimate use," the Mufti Gomaa told Egypt's state news agency.
While the faithful will no doubt appreciate the guidance, the Mufti's pronouncement will be a blow to ringtone providers who have been pushing Koran-based tones in the country.
However, they can console themselves that appropriate religious songs may still be used as ringtones.
We haven't been able to find any conclusive pronouncements by other authorities on the merits of religious ringtones, though the Vatican has warned that being always connected can leave little time for spiritual development.
However, Catholics in the US are able to get appropriate content from Catholic Mobile, which for just $4.99 a month will send subscribers 28 messages including scripture, prayers, saint of the day and the Daily Pope. ®