In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Mobiles and other modern means are merely devices that can be used in good or evil purposes.
2- The duty of each Muslim is to make the best use of such means making sure that he uses them only in lawful purposes.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
These devices are best considered as storage devices; they are comparable to bookshelves. On a bookshelf, you may place different types of books on your shelves; some with drawings, pictures, cartoons, etc., or others with not any of them.
Of course, as a Muslim, you would not keep books with nude photos or lewd or vulgar contents that are considered as sinful.
Just as you are allowed to keep your Mushaf (hard copy of the Quran) on your bookshelf with other books mentioned above, you may have the Quran stored on such devices.
You may open the Mushaf and close it whenever you feel like doing it with reverence that is due for the Quran.
Responding to your question, Sheikh Kifah Mustapha, the Imam and Director of The Prayer Center of Orland Park and representative for Dar El Fatwa of Lebanon in the US, states:
Such gadgets act as tools to whatever a person wants to use them for. Like a car, a person can take his mother to the hospital or he can deliver drugs to people to be intoxicated. Matters are seen by the use of the person owning such gadgets.
When Allah Almighty created us, He made us with ability of good and evil; “… and by the soul and Him who fashioned it and informed it with consciousness of its wickedness and its righteousness.” (Ash-Shams 91:7-8)
So with that in mind, any matter can carry good or evil and just make sure you try to get rid or avoid evil and keep and hold on to good even it was on your cell phone or tablet.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.