|At a time when communicative technology is progressing rapidly, it is heartening to see Muslims using this technology innovatively. One such example of this creative thinking is Metamobile (www.metamobile.co.uk), an innovative new website which offers the opportunity to download Islamic wallpapers, operator logos and mobile phone ring tones, as well as providing a daily prayer time service via text message. But as with all new things, the crux question is: 'Is it any good?
When first logging onto the website, one cannot help but be impressed. The wallpaper graphics are beautiful; including pictures of some of the most important mosques in the Muslim world and a wide choice of calligraphic Qur'anic Arabic. However, an unfortunate downside is that this service is at present only compatible with a limited range of mobile phones.
The site also offers monophonic and polyphonic ring tones of popular Nasheeds (Islamic Songs). Unfortunately, it is in this area that novelty seems to step in at the expense of Islam. The polyphonic ring tones, though accurately in tune, contain a variety of instruments rather that just drums or percussion. This is a shame, considering that many Muslims look unfavourably upon music and that many of the composers of these tracks consciously made an effort to avoid the use of wind and string instruments.
The most useful service provided by the website is undoubtedly the prayer time service. Wherever you are within Britain, whichever mobile you have, you can be alerted for the five daily prayer times, every day, via text message.
It could be argued that, aside of the prayer times service, Metamobile offers more of a novelty, rather than a practically useful service, yet, though there is undoubtedly value in the site, such as the ring tone service, the site also offers potentially useful services.
Islamic wallpapers and operator logos may also prove to be of considerable utility. For example, when looking at your phone to make a call, or to send a text, seeing a mosque, or Bismillah (In the Name of God) written on your phone may encourage one to remember God before making your call or, more possibly, such a prompt may help to remind one that it is time for one of the prescribed prayers.
Though www.metamobile.co.uk does need some improvements, such as altering its polyphonic ring tones and increasing its compatibility with other mobile models, it nevertheless remains a good representative of the enormous potential of mobile technology and how it can be of practical utility in our daily lives.