Modern technology has transformed our lives. It has brought tremendous changes to culture, society and moral and social values. In this article I will try to express my views on how technology is affecting our lives and how religion can guide us in understanding technology.
Undoubtedly, the internet has created many new opportunities for people. Interacting with people over the internet has its own costs. It requires concentration and effort on the part of the individual.
Understanding how to work efficiently over the internet is something that takes time and effort. These days interaction over the internet or mobile takes a significant part of a person’s time and energy. Since the internet is not a natural medium of interaction between people, spending excessive time on the internet can lead to physical and social problems.
I think an unfortunate fact of today’s world is that the internet and mobile have diverted people away from natural physical interactions. The internet and mobile are not part of man’s natural environment. Today they may seem in-disposable, but a few decades from now they could be regarded as outdated. We should not let technology overwhelm us. Technology is at our disposal. It is upto us if we use or misuse it.
We may think that technology is breaking up our societies. However I disagree with this statement. It is the misuse of technology that has created this impression. The misuse of technology has created paranoia, social and health related problems. Understanding how we are shooting ourselves in the foot with technology requires peaceful reflection on our own existence and why the Almighty created us and sent us in this world. This is where religion can help us.
Technology has undoubtedly created social and health problems. The solution to this problem I believe is an understanding of religion. A person who understands and practices religion not only helps him self but also others.
Religion is present in some form or the other in every society. It may seem outdated and old fashioned but it is in fact the solution to the most modern and sophisticated problems affecting individuals and society.
The outcome of our actions reflects our belief system. We are judged by what we do as individuals and as a society. If we do good, we are appreciated for it. If we do bad we are condemned for it. Our success is measured by the good deeds that we do. No matter how much or how little science and technology we develop, whether we live in skyscrapers or in caves, we will be judged by our good deeds. Understanding this simple fact requires an effort in understanding and practicing religion.
Not all people are gifted with the same amount of intellect or abilities. We have very little control or knowledge of the world around us. We should consult with the Almighty who created everything that we see and that which we cannot see. The Almighty did not just create the world and let it run on its own. He is very much alive and present and is waiting for us to ask him for help.
Whatever peace is left in the world is because of the Almighty’s generosity and mercy. We should be grateful to the Almighty for all the blessings he gave us, is giving us and will give us as long as we live.
True religion I believe does not prohibit or condemn technology. Nor does it impose barriers on our lives. I believe religion is here to guide us and help us to overcome our problems. It is up to us to impose the correct barriers and restrictions on our lives in the way that benefits us.
Everything outside our bodies, including our clothes, is not a part of us. The world around us poses a challenge to our brains and bodies. Technology is just another challenge for us.
This does not mean we should blame science and technology for all the problems of the world. Many of today’s problems appear to be caused by misuse of science and technology. For example weapons of mass destruction are highly sophisticated products of science and technology.
The problem I believe is not science and technology itself but rather it is intention with which it is being used which is the problem. Why are we using our own brains and capabilities to destroy our own selves?. The answer to this problem I believe lies in reflecting upon the universe around us.
We should start with nature since it has been and will always be present, independently of our own existence. We should reflect upon how the wonderful ecosystem of nature works and how much dependent we are on it. In short we should seek guidance from books like the Holy Quran which help us to reflect upon the reality of our own existence and help us to achieve the peace that we so greatly need.
Islam I believe is the only true religion. It is the most complete and comprehensive religious guide. It is equally applicable to the most simple and the most sophisticated of societies. Islam has been provided to us by a most merciful being who knows all and sees all. It is the system we should accept and use for improving our lives and our societies.
How does Islam view science and technology?. Well in Islam science and technology are termed as Knowledge. Islam provides specific and clear guidelines on how to use this knowledge so we and our societies benefit from it.
The application of Islam is upto us and our societies. We are free to practice Islam as we wish. It does not matter where we live or what our languages are. The message of Islam is universal and applies to all irrespective of their language or race.
In order to understand Islam, we need to be sound in mind and body. There are five pillars of Islam. These are: Belief in one God, Establishment of Worship, Fasting, Charity and Pilgrimage. Understanding of Islam requires practice and patience. Once we start with basics of Islam, our understanding and faith will grow and we will notice a positive change in our selves and our lives.
In this article I have tried to discuss how Technology is affecting our lives and what role religion can play towards improving our understanding of technology and the world around us.