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Unplug: Focus on Your Islam

I recently upgraded my cell phone, which had a few crooked keys and a screen full of scratches.

I loved the simplicity of the phone since all I used it for was making calls or sending text messages.

To say I was late jumping on the “smart phone” bandwagon is an understatement. I honestly did not know what made one cell phone smarter than the next. However, I soon found out as I was gifted a smart phone recently.

All of those bells, whistles and “apps” had me hooked from the start. I soon linked all of my social networks to my smart phone and spent a great deal of my free time searching for new apps to try.

It wasn’t long before I realized how much time my smart phone consumed in a day. Isn’t technology supposed to save time and not waste it?

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Truth be told, I was the culprit behind it all. Every time my smart phone beeped, I was compelled to check it since I was either receiving a message or an update to a social network.

I soon realized that my days were becoming increasingly stressful as a result of the constant social media stream that was festering right under my nose.

And I knew that I wasn’t alone. Just walk around the mall or even look at the people in your community.

Most of us are plugged into the Internet around the clock and our smart phones keep us updated with the entire goings on of our various social media accounts.

For me personally, I feel that my smart phone made me anything but intelligent. And that’s why I unplugged myself from it. I even went as far as to cut down my time online to focus on things that are more important such as my family and my state of Islam.

Unplug Yourself

More now than ever in the history of mankind, our world has become like a small village. Our Digital Age makes it possible to get news and information in real time as it unfolds. God Almighty says in the Quran:

{O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.} ( Al-Hujurat 49: 13)

Having vast amounts of information at our fingertips is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it’s necessary to simply unplug. Turn off your smart phone, or other device, and log offline. The time that you would otherwise have spent connected to the Internet can be better utilized elsewhere.

Engage in Voluntary Deeds

As Muslims we are obliged to do certain acts of worship, such as pray the five daily obligatory prayers. There are also a host of deeds that are nawafil (voluntary) and left up to our discretion to fulfill. Some of these include performing extra prayers, giving in charity on a regular basis and helping the less fortunate. Performing good deeds is essential in Islam and carries with it a great reward.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“O Allah! I ask You to enable me to perform virtuous deeds and (for) the abandonment of sins.” (Al-Bukhari)

Imagine taking all the time you would normally spend being “plugged” into an electronic device and applying it to the performance of good deeds.

The number of good deeds that you could acquire in a month would be staggering to say the least. Instead of texting a friend that you hope he recovers soon from an illness, why not visit him instead and offer your support?

Instead of expressing your condolences on the death of a friend’s family member on Facebook, why not attend the funeral or visit the grieving family?

Once you’ve released yourself from the shackles of your smart phone, you’ll realize that every day is an opportunity to make dozens of good deeds for which the reward will be found in this life or the Hereafter.

Spending Time at the Mosque

The role of the mosque in a Muslim’s life simply cannot be ignored. There is a great reward for attaching oneself to the mosque that has been revealed in authentic hadiths. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but he says: ‘I fear Allah’, a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

During the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, the mosque was the heart and soul of the Muslim community. It was more than a place of worship. It was a safe haven for Muslims who were destitute, persecuted or simply needed to connect with their fellow brethren in faith.

Mosques today are still used for worship, however many have limited social outreach to the Islamic community.

The good news is that you can, In-Shaa Allah, spend time coordinating with the Imam of the mosque to implement new programs and services to reinvigorate the Islamic community.

Islamic learning programs, charity drives and the like are just a few of the ways you can encourage other Muslims to spend more time at the mosque and less time plugged into an electronic device.

The Great Unplug

Once you’ve unplugged yourself, encourage your family members to do the same. And remember it’s not necessary to abandon your smart phone or other device entirely as there is some benefit to be derived, such as apps that help you learn Arabic or downloadable Islamic e-books.

However the amount of time that you, as well as your family members, spend utilizing such devices should be limited so that it does not interfere with your Islam.

Time is very precious, so make the best use of it for your life and for the Hereafter.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive)

About Sumayyah Meehan
Sumayyah Meehan reverted to Islam over 23 years ago. She is a Waynesburg University graduate with a BA in Criminal Justice. Sumayyah is a journalist, marketer and freelance graphic designer. She is also a single-mother residing in North Carolina with her children.