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Technology – the good , the bad & everything in-between

with an Islamic perspective..

Click..Tap…Post

..just a few quick gestures and you have posted something that can reach an entire globe..

What you just shared and posted could be something good and productive, to someone else’s benefit in this life and the hereafter and multiplying your rewards.

or

What you shared and posted could have been something wrong, compromising yourself and others, and magnifying its 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 is what is necessary ?

This is the what we can refer to as “everything in-between” or the ugly part of technology – the uncertain bits (in computer term – those bytes or megabytes).

Coming from a background of growing up without technology and having 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 from 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 a meaning of a word, researching a topic or answer 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 responsibilities..We were in a unique position to tell the 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 phone was only received after matric, and that too a black and white or blue screen, that was sms and call enabled, with gprs data connections (the good old days)

During the late 90’s  – technology and its advent was still quite manageable and computers were assisting mankind to execute tasks on a daily basis.. the balance was perfect, man and machine were able to synch harmoniously, 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 the internet age sparked a major shift. Mobile devices became order of the day..

A turning point in our days ..as we look back now..

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 at the core point of all, a recourse than would prove to be either resourceful or destructive.

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) and AI(Artificial Intelligence). These are some of the new growing technologies in which our youth have started loosing their 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, and how and when not to allow or to limit. These such technologies give one a sense of being somewhere else, someone else. Listen to lectures on the topic of the Metaverse by Moulana Ridwaan Kajee for more insight.

Your family members most likely are already active on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, be well aware what these platforms are all about, its privacy policies and the other subtle dangers these platforms possess. The suggested topics, suggested friends or suggested searches, random friend requests and followers on Facebook/Instagram. The un-islamic live feeds on Instagram that are presented “in your face”.

Know when to draw the lines, some of these lines will be very fine lines. 

Netflix is the shaytaan box, just in 21st century form. There is much good on YouTube, but once again whether it outweighs the bad is somewhat debatable, its unrelated and relentless ads and other recommended videos and short reels that are often un-islamic and mostly contain music content.

Similar applies to a newer 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 away towards more sin and more time wasting. 

We find ourselves in the age of so-called “Influencers” with careers such as “YouTubers” and “Gamers” apparent. With every fresh technology emerging, check how involved your family members are with it. Many are sugar wrapped, with 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. 

But..

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.

Most importantly, be aware of the ugly side of technology, what seems good or ok, but is mixed with poison under layers of makeup.

May Allah guide and protect us all.. Aameen