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Crosses on clothing & everyday objects

Published: 24/08/2011 07:21:00 PM GMT
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There is a small cross in the lower left-hand corner of my cell phone display screen. It is very small and is camouflaged by a small crescent that covers it. Are we allowed to carry such a cell phone in our pockets? Can we enter the mosque carrying it?

Answered by

Sheikh Sâmî al-Mâjid

It is well-known in Islamic Law that it is impermissible for a Muslim to wear a cross or wear clothing that is decorated by a cross. This is not a matter of doubt.

However, it is important for us to understand what the cross that we are prohibited from wearing actually is. Some people go overboard with this matter to the point of obsession and make life difficult for themselves and others. They see a cross in every intersecting pair of lines. When they see such a pattern, they insist on defacing it and prohibit the carrying or wearing of anything that contains it.

Allah has given us no sanction for such extremism. Islam does not impose such hardships on people. Intersecting lines come as a part of many decorative forms and they are also used in numerous ways as signs and symbols indicating various things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the cross.

If we were to go down that dubious path of finding crosses in everything, we would subject ourselves to immeasurable hardships. We would spend all of our waking hours defacing the imaginary crosses that we see in things instead of getting down to meaningful and productive work.

Consider the letter “t” and the addition sign “+”. In both cases, the shape of a cross is clearly discernable. However, we most certainly may use such symbols and write them down, since they are intended as letters and indicators. They are not intended, even in the remotest symbolic sense, to indicate anything of religious significance.

As for the symbol that the questioner is referring to – that he sees in the lower left-hand corner of his cell phone display screen – it is placed there to indicate the strength of the network signal. It does not even look very much like a cross. It is supposed to look like a communication tower, and actually it looks far more like a communication tower than it looks like a cross.

You should not let such things bother you. Focus on something productive and do not seek to place restrictions on yourself that do not exist.

Source: Islam Today

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