Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
12 November 2021 / 7 Rabiulakhir 1443H
Ethical Use of Technology
My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,
Having taqwa is crucial as we journey through life, in the face of different challenges and responsibilities. As such, we must constantly strive to increase our taqwa by doing good deeds, and by avoiding what Allah has prohibited.
While this life is full of tests, it also offers us many opportunities to do good. In fact, everything that happens in our lives are both tests and opportunities. We get to decide the outcome and aftermath of all these tests and opportunities.
This includes the use of technological tools and advancements. The rapid development of technology should thus be accompanied with the growth of our morals and values.
Brothers and sisters,
Amongst Allah’s greatest gifts to humankind is our intellect, our ability to think and create. This is the reason Allah appointed us as His vicegerents on earth, to use our intellect in managing the environment created by Him. In fact, one of the principles and objectives of the Syariah is to preserve and protect the intellect that Allah has bestowed upon us.
However, the principle of preserving and protecting our intellect should be viewed holistically, together with other principles and objectives of the Syariah, in the preservation of our religion, our self-worth, as well as our property. Our ability to think and create should hence contribute towards protecting our faith, our dignity, and our wealth. Our intellect and ability to think has led to many important inventions that have enabled us to manage our lives and environment, and create solutions to everyday problems. This is evident in various important achievements in relation to science and technology. Indeed, many scientific and technological advancements have enabled us to find solutions for various challenges and problems.
Let us look at how information technology and digitisation have helped us to acquire important information and knowledge to improve ourselves in various circumstances. Indeed, such technology has brought about significant changes in the way we access information and share knowledge.
Some examples can be seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since the safety measures have been put in place. For safety reasons, even though the number of congregants allowed to be in the mosques is somewhat limited, technology has enabled even more of us to listen to the sermon today. This sermon is broadcasted live, not only within our country, but with the entire world, through various online and social media platforms. Additionally, other creative and impactful content can be shared with the rest of the world, through the use of such technology.
Today, we are able to see how various religious practices are being performed in real time, listen to the sermons, and watch prayers being performed in Masjidil Haram, in Mecca and Medina, while being in the comfort of our homes. Many more such conveniences and opportunities have emerged as a result of the various creative solutions and technological advancements that humans have developed. This is the result of making use of our intellect and ability to think, as well as the creativity that Allah has granted only to humans, and not to any other of His creations.
However, this intellectual development and technological advancements must be accompanied with the growth and improvement of our moral values.
Brothers and sisters,
Technology is an important tool that we wield in our hands. We create it. We use it. But, how do we use it, and what do we use it for? Technology is both a test and an opportunity. It is only a tool and a form of instrument to acquire certain objectives and to achieve certain goals. It is at this juncture that our values and morals play an important role, as it will shape our objectives and goals. Technology itself is neutral, and we are the ones who are able to instil our values and morals to it.
Should these tools and platforms fall into the hands of those who possess poor morals, such as greed, arrogance, and egotism, this is when we will witness destruction in the world. As Allah says in surah al-Rum, verse 41:
Which means: “Corruption and disaster have appeared on both land and sea, because of what the hands of humans themselves have brought; that Allah may give them a taste of their own misdeeds, so that they may return (to goodness).”
We must therefore emphasise the importance of developing positive values and instilling good morals in ourselves. Even though there were no technology and advanced gadgets during the time of Rasulullah (s.a.w.), it is up to our intellect and creativity to extract lessons from prophetic traditions, to fulfil the needs of humanity during our time.
Indeed, the Prophet (s.a.w.) emphasised the importance of values and morals. Let us ponder upon the first advice by Prophet (s.a.w.) after arriving in Medina. As part of his efforts to build a society and cultivate a meaningful life for all, as well as developing the foundation of civilisation in Medina, Prophet (s.a.w.) advised, as narrated by Ibn Majah: “O humankind, spread peace (salam), give food, work on your relationship with each other, and offer prayers at night while the rest of the city sleeps, so that you may enter heaven safely (salam).”
Let us all remember the advice of Rasulullah (s.a.w.). Technology is in our hands to wield as we see fit. Let us view social media and other technological tools as means and opportunities to do good, to spread peace, to help those in need, to maintain relationships, and for us to work on building a strong relationship with Allah. Hopefully we will then prove ourselves to be worthy of being placed amongst the righteous, in peace and happiness. Amin. Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ
الْحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ الْعَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ، الْأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالْأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا الْبَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالْمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ الْبُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ، وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدْكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ يُعْطِكُمْ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ.