By M.B. Ahmed
Long time before we faced the pandemic COVID-19, another pandemic had already spread in the world. This earlier pandemic has now grossly taken the control of our lives and yet we seem to be least concerned. In fact, we have accepted this pandemic with an open heart and a smile on our face.
This pandemic is the ‘Screen-Addiction’!
What is Addiction?
Many of us think that the term ‘addiction’ refers to dependence on alcohol or substances such as marijuana, cocaine, nicotine, gutka (chewing tobacco) etc. If we do not have these addictions then we think we are living an addiction-free life.
We are mistaken.
We are forgetting there are some behavioural addictions too. These behavioural addictions are characterized by an inability to resist an urge or drive to partake in activities such as gambling, excessive and repeated food consumption, shopping etc.
However, the behavioural addiction that has taken the world by storm, of course, is the internet based Screen-Addiction or repeatedly watching the screen of the digital devices like desktop computers, laptop computers, mobile phones (especially the smartphones), etc.
The cycle of screen-addiction has really taken full control of us, making everyday life a constant struggle. We always seek out more and more opportunities to engage in the activity of viewing the screens of our digital devices. The desire to experience a ‘high’ from this behaviour becomes so strong that we continue to engage in the activity despite negative consequences.
For we Muslims the internet based screen, if misused or abused, can definitely become the commonest and the most widespread means of committing sins like watching pornographic stuff, making friends with members of the opposite sex, listening to music, watching Islamically undesirable pictures/videos, playing video games, wasting time on social media and getting involved in other futile activities.
However, if we are not involved in the above activities then we might think that our use of the screen is ‘addiction free’.
No, we are mistaken. Even if our constant use of the screen does not involve any of the above mentioned sinful activities we can definitely not consider ourselves free from screen-addiction.
By watching the screen most of time we are wasting a lot of Very Precious Commodity and extremely important Amanah that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has bestowed upon us.
This commodity is Time!
If we try to keep track of the time we spend each day glued to our screen we will be in for a shock.
We should not forget that every minute of our life is like an exceedingly valuable Gem and wasting that precious minute is like throwing away that gem!
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There are two blessings regarding which many people are in deception (they lose it): health and free time.”
Proper utilization of time leads to success in this temporary world and eternal bliss in the hereafter. Since time is limited in our life, we must utilize it in the best possible manner so that we can attain eternal success.
‘Vaccine’ to combat screen-addiction
There is no need for us, Muslims to join the Avaaz ‘Screen-Free Sunday’.
We have a very special ‘Vaccine’ to fight this addiction. This vaccine comprises some deeds that will inshaAllah bring an end to our pandemic of screen-addiction.
Some of these deeds are:
- Utilizing plenty of our free time in reciting the Qur’an, making Allah’s Zikr, sending Durood to His Beloved Nabi Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam and making Istighfar.
- Strictly limiting the time that we and our family spend in watching the screens of our digital devices.
- Spending a lot of our time with our family without connecting to the screen.
Here are a few Benefits of Unplugging from Technology
- We will get closer to our Rabb.
- Our relationship with our family members will improve.
- Our stress will be reduced.
- We will discover time.
- Our physical as well as mental health will improve.
Turning off screens and disconnecting from the online network helps us use technology in a way that prevents technology from using us. Remember, technology is a great servant, but a bad master!
May Allah guide us to use technology in the right manner and without abuse of time…Ameen.