We live in a digital world, and with that comes chargers with long cords strewn across our homes, in our cars, and even the workplace. We have phones plugged into one outlet, our computer in another, and whatever other device that may tickle our fancy is also, you guessed it, plugged in.
Goodness forbid our phone goes dead in the middle of a conversation and we cannot see that last text, or our computer dies right when we are about to submit something so important that we throw ourselves into a frenzy and scramble to plug into a power source.
All devices aside, how plugged in are you? Do you find yourself a slave to your devices, constantly checking the battery life, pampering them to ensure they remain in proper working order, relying on them to fulfill your needs of work and pleasure?
And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason? [Quran 6:32]
Are You Connected?
Now stop and ponder for a moment. Are you connected? I mean really plugged in to the ultimate power source— your Creator? How often is prayer delayed or missed because you are preoccupied by your devices?
Are we missing the immense blessings of the fajr prayer because of a late night chat session on social media? Or how about spending our last waking moments perusing the Kindle while the most important Book of our lives is left lonely on the shelf?
And if you ask them, they will surely say, “We were only conversing and playing.” Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?” [Quran 9:65]
We intentionally neglect our obligations to the One who provides in such abundance for us all by wasting our time and neglecting worship. Without Allah (swt) are we not dead? The best thing we can do in this life is worship Allah (swt) and give thanks to show we are truly grateful for His blessings. So why is it so hard to disconnect from our vices?
The definition of “vice” is immoral or wicked behavior. So either we are using our devices to do good or we are using them to do bad, plain and simple. Wasting time may not seem like a big deal, let alone a bad deed, when just an hour a day of being idle, lazy, or distracted is only one of twenty four. Prophet Muhammad (saw) felt much differently and was known to have said,
There are two blessings which many people lose: health and free time for doing good. [Bukhari]
Minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, and before we know it the amount of time wasted on meaningless, thoughtless, or haram activities has turned into a big heap of shameful nothingness. We don’t know how much precious time we have left, and since we cannot buy more or buy back what has been spent, we should try twice as hard to fill the time we have left with fruitful actions and meaningful effort.
3 Steps to Recharging Your Deen
You might think it is impossible to step away from your device for a minute, let alone a day. You are probably thinking about work or school and how you could never get everything done that is required of you without connecting every day, but simply observing how you use your time can help you be wise and increase your productivity and your deen. Here are three ways to help make it happen:
The very first and most important thing to do is to sincerely ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness for the time wasted, and for guidance to do better. Not only do we need to remember Allah (swt) at all times, but everything we do should be to earn His pleasure.
Who take their religion for an idle sport and a play and this life’s world deceives them; so today We forsake them, as they neglected the meeting of this day of theirs and as they denied Our communications. [Quran 7:51]
Offer salah on time and do so with patience, understanding, and sincere intentions. Read your Quran and actually listen to the message. We do not want to be of those who neglect Allah (swt) and in turn, be neglected on Yawm al-Qiyama, or the Day of Judgement.
Take a deep breath and realize you control your devices! This includes how the device is used and how much time you spend using it.
Take one day and use your devices as usual and keep a journal of how long you spent on the device and what activities you engaged in. Than evaluate the time you spent being idle; aimlessly browsing the internet, playing a game, participating in social media gossip. Now look at the good; learning, teaching, or working to earn a living.
Add up the hours of what you have been doing that is not beneficial and multiply by seven. Now look at the hours you spent doing good. Chances are, by eliminating the idle time you could effortlessly use the extra time to fulfill your worldly obligations so that you can give yourself a break from your devices for an entire day, or maybe more!
Now that you have more time, you can trade in that idle time for the chance to earn good deeds, in shaa allah. Think about your interests and talents and write them down. Next, figure out how others can benefit from your gifts and get to work.
Learning and teaching should be your first priority, since these are both obligations for us as believers. Start with learning your deen and learning your salah. Taking courses to learn Quranic Arabic will enhance your understanding and bring you closer to Allah (swt). If you are blessed with the knowledge, don’t hesitate to teach!
Write a blog, come up with a fun learning activity children, organize a group walk with friends and family to get some fresh air and exercise, or cook a nice meal to share with someone special. The point here is not the quantity of how much you do but rather filling quality time with purposeful, quality actions.
Time Well Spent
As long as we are using our devices to do good, in shaa allah our efforts will not be wasted. Just remember that many good deeds are beyond the scope of the screens we have become so accustomed to, so go out into the world and plug yourself in and recharge with the many blessings from Ar-Rizzaq, the Provider.
It is said the Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to supplicate, “O Allah! Make life a means for every dimension of goodness.”
Praying you will benefit.