with an Islamic perspective..
..just a few quick gestures and you have posted something that can reach the entire globe..something good and productive, for you and someone else’s benefit in this life and the hereafter and multiplying your rewards.
..something wrong, compromising yourself and countless others, and magnifying the sin.
How many of us in this day and age are really able to distinguish between using technology for good or bad , what is acceptable or unacceptable? What is futile and what is necessary ?
This is the what we can sometimes refer to as “everything in-between” or the uncertain bits , megabytes and gigabytes.
Coming from a background of growing up without technology and a solid foundation of a madressah education system has really helped put most of us in a position of understanding, understanding limits and where to draw the lines. We experienced a ratio of life without technology, and were able to determine clearly good from bad.
Alhamdulillah, and thanks to the previous generations for building these structures in society, and to the ulama for enabling and allowing us these opportunities to learn..
It was a time, when Google had zero relevance to life – finding the meaning of a word, an answer, researching a topic, all meant asking your Teacher, Parent, Moulana or Apa, someone qualified within their field of knowledge or opening an encyclopaedia or dictionary (the younger generation might need to google what these 2 are)
Reading and writing was mostly done on paper and not swipes over an optical screen.
The only screen we ever knew was the shaytaan box (aka TV)..
Coming from this unique position, holds some sort of responsibility..We found ourselves in a unique position to tell a difference, compared to a younger generation – who are born directly into the technology age.
Life back then was… uncomplicated and simple.
We were in no rush to post, like or follow at every given moment or event. Our first mobile phones Nokia 3310’s, Ericsson 768’s was only received after matric, a black and white screen or the rare blue lit screens. They were limited to calls, sms and just gprs data connections (good old days)
During the late 90’s – technology and its advent was quite manageable. Computers were assisting mankind to execute tasks on a daily basis.. man and machine were able to synch harmoniously, always in favour of mans benefit. Checks and limits were in place. The internet was a mere 56k/bit connection over copper cable, which was barely enough to even enable the download of a single picture comfortably.
With the new millennium (Y2K), a drastic change occurred, network bandwidths began to grow and grow and grow, and the advancement of internet technologies sparked a major shift. The ease of gaining access to the internet playing a major role. Mobile devices becoming order of the day..
From here on ..the battle between good vs. bad on the information and technology ground was recognised..and a shift towards machine dependance and dominance.
The internet is at the core of it all, a central platform leading down roads never been able to traverse before. A resource that would prove to be either resourceful or destructive. Just like a high speed vehicle travelling down a highway, increasing its speed increases risks and hazards. The next industrial revolution model is fully dependant on the internet model. Everything and everyone will be connected to the internet and become dependant to it. A scary scenario indeed.
For the generation that would witness this shift it brought great concerns. In specific for those working within the technology fraternity, it has and still brings greater worries…with every advance.
This, is the sense of responsibility to create an awareness of what is out there, and what our young innocent future will need to contend with.
Not to frighten the average parent reading this..but familiarise yourself with technologies like VR(Virtual Reality), AR(Augmented Reality), AI(Artificial Intelligence) and ML(Machine Learning). These are some of the new growing technologies in which our youth have started loosing the understanding of the fabrics of reality, and of which will continue to have direct impact on our youth. Get to know what these mind boggling technologies are capable of, how and when to allow or when to limit or refrain. Such technologies that give one a sense of being somewhere else, someone else. Listen to lectures on the topic on the Metaverse by Moulana Ridwaan Kajee for more insight.
Your family members most likely are active on at least one major social media platform Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp. Be well aware what these platforms are all about, their privacy policies, and the subtle dangers these platforms possess. The suggested topics, suggested friends or suggested searches, random friend requests and followers. The un-islamic live feeds that are mostly unavoidable. The huge psychological effects and the peer pressure that social media adds are all well known facts. Additionally, it’s essential to be mindful of the content we consume and share on social media, particularly if it goes against our values or beliefs.
Know when to draw the lines, some of these lines will be very fine lines.
Netflix, and its likes are the modern day shaytaan boxes. There is much good on YouTube, but once again whether it outweighs the bad is somewhat debatable, with unrelated and relentless ads, the vast list of recommended videos and the shorts reels that are mostly un-islamic and always accompanied with musical tunes.
Similar applies to a new kid on the block – TikTok, and as its name suggests, is hours of time ticking away mostly to no benefit. You might be watching some islamic video, only to realise the next video and the next which loads automatically is something more random and diverting one towards sin and more time wasting.
We find ourselves in the age of so-called “Influencers”. Influencing our youth into trends, fashion or habits that are perceived as “cool” or acceptable. Careers such as “YouTubers” and “Gamers” have even been born. With every new technology emerging, keep tabs on how involved your family members are with it. Many platforms are sugar wrapped, only to have elements of vice and kufr lurking in the hidden corners. These hidden corners appear in games, videos, websites and within circles of social platforms.
There seems no apparent slow down or halt on the growth of technology, as it serves to benefit mankind on many levels, and the very existence of technology is just but a creation of Almighty Allah through his will and power.
Each of us have greater responsibility of how we utilise technology within the limits of Islamic teachings..for us to be a technology Shepard over our families..
“With great technology, comes greater responsibility”
In conclusion, get connected to platforms or groups that are beneficial for your Imaan, platforms that our youth can engage for deeni or community benefit.. stay away from browsing around timelessly on the internet and social platforms, the barakah in your time will return and the possibility of falling into a sin will be avoided. You don’t need to have your phone in your hand and engage in it at every given moment, maintain a balanced and moderate approach. Use it don’t abuse it.
With just basic technology you will still survive, maybe even live a happier life for you or your family. Perhaps the abuse of technology is where all our problems actually start from.
Most importantly, be aware of what seems good, but is actually just a disguise for a bad, long-lasting negative impact.
May Allah guide and protect us all.. Aameen