Saudi Arabian Mobile Phones

The Islamic Saudi Mobile Phone has a number of unusual, built-in features to serve the religious needs of its intended audience - faithful Muslims. It will provide Qibla direction as well as prayer times in over 5,000 cities worldwide, and should be available at the end of the month.

It joins a number of cell phone products that are already made for the Islamic community:

  • The Islamic Cell phone from Ikone Mobile Telecommunications in Dubai also provides direction to Mecca, an English translation of the Holy Quran and azan voice for prayer calls.
  • LG Electronics has the Compass Mobile Phone for Muslims which is programmed to indicate direction.
  • the digital muezzin service from Myadhan that provides a call to prayer five times per day using a text messaging service (also due to be launched this month).
  • MobIslam.com provides a mobile portal for the French-speaking Muslim community, with arabic logos, Islamic ringtones and SMS alerts for prayers with verses from the Koran.

(From Ikone Mobile Phone)

In his marvelous awardwinning book Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny created a world drawn from Hindu spirituality - a world in which reincarnation really worked. In the novel, he wrote about a pray-machine that could retrieve souls (the electrical brain image) from the electromagnetic field surrounding the planet:

The high-frequency prayers were directed upward through the atmosphere and out beyond it, passing into that golden cloud ... which is seen as a bronze rainbow at night and where the red sun becomes orange at midday.

Yama tended the pray-machine and the giant metal lotus he had set atop the monastery roof turned in its sockets. For six days he had offered many kilowatts of prayer, but the static kept him from being heard on high.

The novel contains other devices that are a fascinating confluence of religiosity and technology; it won a Hugo for best novel in 1967.

Thanks to Textually.org for great details on this story.

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