By: Brother Wajihuddin
The growth of technology is one of the most debatable topics. Some scholars refer to it as a disaster while others refer to it as a blessing. No doubt that we live in the age of technology where it has become an important tool for Dawah, but it can sometimes become an issue if not managed effectively.
In the world today, people cannot live without technology such as televisions, mobile phones, computers and others. These have slowly taken an essential part in people’s day-to-day lives and a life without them would be unimaginable for some of us.
The presence of the so-called ‘second generation of the Internet’, has enabled the emergence of social media for interactive and real-time communication among societies. Muslim societies have yet to get benefits from the online social media technology. Many Muslim scholars and speakers have already adopted the social media to deliver Dawah activities effectively which has allowed them to reach within a short period of time, ends of the world just by sitting at the comfort of their homes.
Therefore, social media should be adopted by Muslims to improve the scalability of their dawah towards societies. Moreover, Dawah strategies and paradigms also need to be redesigned in response to new advances of technology.
At the same time, scholars teach us that whatever we are exposed to, affects the state of our hearts. What we see, what we hear, what conversations we engage in, what we let in – all of this influences our spirituality and ultimately, our relationship with Allah (SWT). In this new age of social media and technology, we are constantly taking in information and constantly exposing our hearts to outside influences.
At the same time, we see many adopting these platforms for the wrong reasons such as self-promotion and which further involves promoting their own agendas other than the cause of Islam. There are issues like interaction with the opposite genders unnecessarily in closed groups and also dramatic increase in celebrity admiration, which have become a fitnah along with the arrival of such social media platforms.
Along with everything comes its uses and abuses. Therefore, it is essential that one realizes the issues involved and the responsible behavior one should ensure before getting involved in the dawah work through these platforms.
Islam does not restrict us from using such platform on the conditions that the very limitations set by the Shar’iah are maintained and taken care of. One MUST remember the following hadith:
عن مُعاذِ بْنِ جبلٍ رضيَ اللَّه عنهما، عنْ رسولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ، قَالَ: اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْتَ وأَتْبِعِ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحسنةَ تَمْحُهَا، وخَالقِ النَّاسَ بخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ
On the authority of Muadh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.”
We are to remain upon the very moral fabrics its meant to be on, done and to ensure that nothing is to corrupt them. Social media can dilute the mind. Social media can drain our mental energy, and has a big influence in our destiny.
Before one intends to get involved with these platforms for Dawah purposes, one should ensure that their intentions are to better reach out the audience and not to promote oneself.
In a hadith we learn Rasul Allah ﷺ said,
عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لاِمْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى
On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab, who said : I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say : “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. ”
(Related by Bukhari and Muslim)
Though it is clear that the use of modern technology and social media platform have become necessary, it is also necessary for Dawah organizations to ensure that it is done productively as a means to promote the message of Islam and not to solely depend on them or its uses; when there is no doubt that the person to person interaction cannot be replaced and will always remain to be the most effective form to spread the message of Qur’an and Sunnah.