Get your next cell phone with a built-in qibla compass. They’re now available in the US.
Jeremy Wagstaff. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Jul 29, 2004. pg. B.4
Searching for an edge, LGE thought of building features into a cellphone to help Muslims fulfill their daily prayer obligations. The most obvious way: determining the direction of Islam’s holiest shrine, the Ka’aba, located in Mecca’s great mosque, which Muslims face to pray. So LGE’s G5300 cellphone, marketed last September in the Middle East, features a dangling compass that enables the user, after setting to north and inputting some local information, to pinpoint the right direction to the Saudi Arabian city.
To make sure it doesn’t err, PenMan has sought seals of approval from the highest authorities of Islamic teaching, including the Al- Azhar Al-Sharif Islamic Research Academy in Cairo, Egypt. The academy’s letter certifying PenMan’s digital Quran product range as “essentially proper, acceptable and free from errors” is available to customers on request.
Ilkone has gone a step further. After securing approval from Al- Azhar, it has dispatched representatives to ensure that its cellphone meets the approval of Asian Islamic authorities. In Brunei, clergy members are conducting random checks on the text of the Quran contained in ilkone’s cellphone, says Andrew Pang, marketing director of ilkone’s Singapore unit, ilkone Asia Pte. Ltd. Malaysian authorities, meanwhile, have asked for a printout of the Quran used in the phone. “If something is wrong with the product, we have to recall it and destroy it,” says Mr. Pang. “So we’re very careful.”