How to turn your social media use into acts of worship during Ramadan
Ramadan, the ninth and the Holy month is for Muslims all over the world to adhere to the rules that guide fasting from sunrise till sunset.
For many Muslims, Ramadan is a time to feel closer to God, pray, spend time with loved ones, support charities and remember those less fortunate while they’re fasting.
Also, for many of us, our phones and our social media lives have taken over us in a way that could affect our spiritual life during this Holy month. To many of us, it’s no longer the call to prayer that wakes us up but the beeps of our phones.
We spend hours scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and aimlessly watching video after video.
While some people aim for complete detachment from social media during this Holy month, others think of ways to control the use as an acts of worship.
If you are looking to do the latter, here are a few suggested ways to utilize social media as an acts of worship.
- Seek knowledge and capitalize on using beneficial apps:
Sacred knowledge used to be very hard to acquire; people used to travel and exert time and money to seek knowledge, but now there is a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. Now that we are in the month when all our acts are rewarded by Almighty Allah and as we all know, there are unlimited resources to help us learn more and seek closeness of Allah. So, capitalize on this luxury. Instead of aimlessly scrolling through your phone, allow your phone to connect you more with Allah and less with dunya.
There are numerous apps you can download to gain more knowledge. I shall give examples of many of these apps in my next article.
- Go through your social media followers and sieve negative influencers:
It is very important to monitor the type of posts that are flooding your newsfeed. The things we watch, read, and listen to impact us greatly. Take a moment to scroll through the list of people you are following, and ask yourself what kind of public figures are they? What is their message? What kind of pages am I following? What kind of pages do I find myself constantly going back to? Will Allah be pleased with me for supporting their message? Will I be affected negatively by this content?
Be firm and strong enough to unfollow/unfriend figures or pages that you feel are toxic to your heart. This is a form of cleansing. Remember, following someone can easily lead to praise, which can lead us to believe the person we admire is infallible. We must be careful not to overpraise someone more than we praise and worship Allah.
Try to follow people of sound knowledge and respected Islamic scholars on social media. The pages dedicated solely to amplifying knowledge are many. Also, share what you learn as a sadaqah.
- Block many notifications and stop responding to everything on your page :
When we allow ourselves to receive notifications at all times and make ourselves available to respond to everything we receive on the spot, this can drastically damage the quality of our attention, our presence with people in real life and our ibadah (worship).
Even when our phones are not physically in our hands, our hearts are distracted by them. During salaah (prayer), while we are reciting the holy Qu’ran, or during any other form of ibadah, we should be completely mindful of the majesty of Almighty Allah. All other matters should be placed behind you. However, with the notification sounds, the mind wanders, and we begin to speculate about the contents of the notification.
So before salaah (prayer), disable the notifications for all of your apps and put your phone on do not disturb. Not knowing who is texting you for 15 minutes won’t damage you, but these minutes could be utilized in pursuing the hereafter and eternal goodness, and showing Allah that He is more important than anything else in our lives.
- Be in total control of your time:
Sometimes, we get so consumed in pursuing the temporary life that we forsake the eternal next life. Muslims should strike balance between their religion obligations this life. This simply means while we struggle to survive in this life, we should always let the thought of hereafter be paramount in all our actions. The inevitable time and date of our death are not within our knowledge so we must tirelessly prepare for it and not allow our time to be wasted obliviously.
- Be a key to goodness not a key to evil:
Use your account to encourage others to do good, inspire people to believe and a means to guide others. Do not use your account to spread disobedience, filth and corruption. It is saddening to see how many young Muslim men and women are misguiding so many others.
- You cannot be anonymous from Allah:
One of the traps of social media is that it allows any person to become whoever he or she wants. A person can assume the identity of another or remain anonymous, posting according to one’s desires but without facing any repercussions.
But remember your Lord is the one from whom even your inner thoughts are not concealed, there will be no anonymity on the Day of Reckoning. So anything which you would not post using your real identity, do not post it anonymously.
- Be sure any Islamic post you make is correct and authentic:
Being careless in investigating the authenticity of a Hadeeth or the validity of an Islamic ruling is not only dangerous for one’s own self, but it can also misguide many others. Look to what trusted scholars have said regarding the Hadeeth or the ruling you are about the broadcast.
- Leave behind a legacy of goodness:
You may die within an instance, and suddenly you have left behind several social accounts to your name. Your posts, tweets and photos will remain long after you have died. You can either leave behind sound knowledge and goodness, or you leave behind immorality, indecency and disobedience. Either way it will be the legacy which defines you, and you will continue being rewarded or punished on the basis of what you left behind.
- Islam is a religion of priorities:
Do not lose focus of your priorities in the real world while you concentrate on the virtual world.
Your social accounts should not delay your Salaah, neither should they distract you from your family. The successful person is the one who remains balanced and fulfils all his responsibilities and prioritises.
We should not shy away from using social media and technology to further Islam. Where there is falsehood, it must be countered with the truth; we should not leave any domain devoid of the Da’wah, but at the same time we should not let this distract us from other responsibilities.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]” [Quran: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
Let us all be mindful of our social media life during this Holy month of Ramadan. Let us regain and be control of social media to gain barakah, instead of allowing it to take away our good deeds from us.
May Almighty Allah accepts all our acts of Ibada and grant us all our heart desires during this Holy Month. Amin!
- Rauf Owoyomi