SAFAR - RABI-UL-AWWAL
Volume 17-04 No : 208
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There are many things Muslims need to be aware of before they start spending time on the Internet!
By Md Ziyaullah Khan
The Internet has be come a large part of life for many of the Muslims in our time. There are without a doubt many beautiful aspects of the Internet, and a huge opportunity exists for much good to come out of our time there. One can spend time learning about the Correct Islamic Beliefs, or one may choose to learn the correct way of praying, or one may research and learn a part of the Quran, all in the span of a few moments. One may make new friends who will help him or her strive in the way of Allah, or one may choose to post in message boards learning from others or teaching them. But with all the good and beautiful things out there, we have to be serious and realise that the evil on the Internet is even more than this, and the Shaitaan, may he be cursed by Allah is lurking around everywhere looking for us, waiting for us to slip to take us further away from Allah.
After seeing how many Muslims, including myself use the Internet, a list of observations could be noted down, we as Muslims should be aware before we start spending our time on the Internet. Before we begin, let me remind all of us including me of one of the beautiful Hadith of Allah's Prophet (Pbuh).
"Amr ibn Maimoon Awdi (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised one person,
'Appreciate five things before five (things):
a) Your youth before old age;
b) Your good health before your sickness;
c) Your wealth before your poverty;
d) Your free time before your involvement; and
e) Your life before your death."
Let us try to analyse the activities of ours on Internet
The average Muslim receives anywhere from 10-30 e-mails a day, some of us even more. Many of these e-mails, though they are from friends, and fellow Muslims, contain only that which will use up your time. Whether it is spent in reading, or replying or sharing it with others, many of us even me sometime find that we spend an hour or more engrossed in this activity alone! I swear by Allah, the Most High, that if we spent just half of that time reading the Quran, or pleasing those whom we have Islamic Obligations to (Parents, Spouses, Children, etc.) we would see a increase in our Blessings, and would see happiness in our lives that the Internet could never give us.
Another popular way for Muslims to interact with each other is Message Board. Upon closer examination however, you will notice many of the postings are useless, even incorrect, filled with teachings that are contrary to the Pure Islam. The reason being everyone wants to say something, but not everyone is qualified to talk on that which they talk about. That's why half knowledge is danger stuff. The other side Negative Aspect is that some people enjoy message Boards so much that the time they spend on it, exceeds, the time they spend on other Islamically sound extra- curricular activities, or even obligations we have as Muslims! It has become common for a Muslim to spend time he or she should be spending taking care of his work, or spending at the masjid, glued to his computer screen. So don't be surprised when you find a Muslim woman to ignore her obligations at home to instead post away on a Message Board. It is not something strange that a man will come home and find his wife glued to the computer screen, reading a post on a Message Board. The house however, is still dirty and the food remains uncooked.
Online Chatting, or Instant Messaging has become just another way for most of us to engage into idle time. You will find that some of the Muslims spend hours a day chatting on the Internet. Though it is useful for making friends and sharing information with each other, a lot of it is useless speech, which contains no benefit. Not only that a lot of it falls into that which is haram. People (including me) who claim that they often, log in messengers for Dawah need to introspect, whether, are their efforts really doing something in this regard or its just another reason to get engaged on chats. Chats do often leads to delay in prayer. The small good in this activity makes one feel as if they are doing something beneficial, but in reality it is far away from being that which brings us closer to Allah.
Too Much Knowledge
Another terrible aspect of the Internet is that Information could be gained faster and possibly we can learn too much, too quickly. If it were gained through patience, with effort, and struggle, then it would be called knowledge. The Companions of the Prophet used to learn slowly and with utmost struggle hence they gained which they practiced which we can name wisdom. Now, with the Internet we are able to read thousands of words a day, but our actions do not increase any. The next day we are still on the computer reading more, yet acting less. Hence let me remind the words of Hz Ali RA, " one lives his or her second day as of the previous is in loss" , so in nut shell we need to grow every day and that's how a Momin is all about.
Undoubtedly this is one of the most Disastrous Sins in Islam, it leads to the corruption of not only the one doing it, but society in general. Most of the activities listed above, either directly or indirectly are one of the ways many of us fall into free mixing.
The Prophet (Pbuh) forbade a man and woman to be alone (who is not a mahram), stating, that the Shaitaan is the third! But now it is common for the Muslim man and woman to spend many hours engrossed in conversation with each other, except that they think it is ok, since it is over the Internet. You find the Muslim man and Women chatting and joking amongst each other in a room filled with others. Except again, they think its ok, since they are on the Internet. You find the Muslim man knows personal details about the Muslim woman and the Muslim woman knows personal details about the Muslim man. The Prophet(Pbuh) said that All Religions have a Distinguishing Quality and that Modesty is this Quality in Islam! The Amount of free mixing is sickening; you find that the men have thousands of other women to compare their wife too, and that the women have thousands of men to compare their husbands too. When a man upsets his wife, she imagines, so and so would not treat me like this, and she begins to have hatred in her heart for the one Allah blessed her with. Or the man when he is upset with his wife sees the pleasing ways of other women and is quick to point that out to his wife. What is wrong with us? Should we even know the behavior and personality of people other then our spouses? Should we be comparing them? Is this the marriage that is blessed or the Marriage that is on the brink of destruction.
The families are becoming corrupted. We have already heard stories of people leaving their spouses for people they found on the Internet, if the Muslims who are married are falling into these trials, we can only imagine what it is like for the young people in this Ummah who are not married. It is common these days that Muslims have girl friends, and boy friends. If you ask them where they met each other, we are not surprised that they say they met on the Internet. What can begin, as an innocent conversation without evil intentions can quickly become that which is detested by Allah.
How are we to fix this Problem?
Firstly, the obligation lies upon the Rulers of the Muslims and those who are in authority to educate the people and let them know of the dangers of the Internet, possibly even limiting their access. Then the obligation falls on the men to educate their family, possibly even restricting access. Or allowing to do so in a guardian or parents presence. Then the Obligation falls on the mothers of our children to stop them and prevent them from using the Internet in a way that brings them closer to the Shaitaan, instead of Allah. Educating the children and teenagers to use the internet for a good and noble cause.
Curtailing our huge hours on Internet, while accessing, being more focused on the work rather than sitting idle on internet, I remember someone saying that Idleness is Not having work to do, but rather it's a huge number of opportunities to do Anything. Preferring our real life rather opting for virtual one. What we could get on Internet could also be gained by reading the Qur'an, in our old format which say has gone all obsolete, going to the Masjid, and spending time studying Islam, spending time with the scholars, striving in the way of Allah , islamic services and many other things. It is sad to see that some of us feel compelled to use this service knowing that at some time most of us will fall into the harmful aspects. In this way we can learn to use the resources rather abusing them.
One of the dangerous sickness one can find is to an easy access to porn materials. Though accessing such stuff have been banned by the concerned ministry but still private users and extra privacy in cyber café can often kindle the hidden temptations which can lead our children astray. I am surprised and equally taken aback by noticing young children of hardly in their teens accessing such stuff. It is hard, especially when you are a teenager and bombarded with images of sexuality: that hot-looking scantily clad guy or gal in the magazine, grinning at you and luring you; or the persistent emphasis on sex in the movies (even Toy Story!); or the pervasive links to pornography and ad banners that pop up while you may simply be checking your e-mail or researching something for school. Allah should help and guide us.
The writer can be reached at email@example.com
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