The computer is a great blessing on mankind from Allah.
The flawless order in every corner of the universe shows in complete clarity that everything from the earth to sky is created by our Lord Allah. Allah has equipped everywhere, whether we see it or not, with perfect structures and systems, has made each and every one a proof of creation and has ensured, by way of these systems, that human beings are able to live in comfort and easily satisfy all their wants. Allah shows us His infinite might through various innovations and inventions and facilitates the lives of all mankind with the novelties He brings into being in science, technology, medicine and art. Although these advances appear at first sight to be the work of human beings, they are in fact directly created by Allah, like everything else that happens in the world. Allah inspires some people directly with His own knowledge and leads them to invent innovations in the light of that knowledge, and by means of these inventions comfort upon comfort is added to our lives.
The “computer,” which came into use in the second half of the 20th century, is one of those comforts that Allah bestows on mankind. In our day it has become extremely easy to obtain or transmit information by way of the computer.
The computer undertakes very important tasks in many spheres that human beings find very difficult to accomplish. For example, satellite photographs are processed by computer, engineering designs and architectural blueprints for skyscrapers, bridges and dams are carried out by computer, the images from brain scans are resolved by computer, chemical processes that would be hazardous for human beings to perform and the follow-up work involved are carried out by computer, the monitoring of high-speed transport systems, vehicle fuel consumption and airplane flight control are all performed by computer, and power stations, satellites and communications systems are all run by computer. Archeologists make use of computers in reconstructing monuments or cities that have survived from very ancient times. Architects used to have to produce all their plans by hand, whereas they can now produce their projects by computer. Doctors are able to use computers to ravel at ease throughout the human body and see those regions that interest them in great detail, and can easily identify abnormalities using MR scans.
Of course the services rendered by computers are by no means limited to these. Scientific research and the production of new technologies based on it have been made much easier with the existence of computers. Scientists can use today’s super computers in the simulation of new physical models, by which means they can obtain information about, for instance, how the first stars came into existence in the wake of the Big Bang. Wide ranging experiments are carried out in the world’s most advanced computer science laboratories and the secrets of the universe are being unfolded one by one.
As we have seen, the computer, which provides more benefits than can possibly be counted, reveals the proofs of Allah’s creative artistry and are a means specially created by Allah of bringing these proofs to people’s attention. Bearing in mind how difficult it was to obtain and disseminate information in previous centuries, Allah’s bestowal of this blessing upon us shows that we are living in a very special time. In this age, known as the End Times, atheist movements and belief systems will be demolished and belief in Allah and the moral virtues commanded by Him will rule the world. The computer is a miraculous tool that directly serves that objective, and is a means created by Allah in order to introduce Himself in this century and to instill love and fear of Him in people’s hearts.
The Internet is a blessing created by Allah to spread His religion across the world.
Like the computer, the Internet, an electronic communication network that links computer networks all over the world together, is one of these blessings that Allah has created for mankind. By means of the Internet people can obtain information from where they sit, making no intense effort to do so. This miraculous system, used in just about every country in the world, is another of Allah’s blessings and one that addresses every society in its own language. People are thus able to read publications from all over the world in their own languages, access libraries across the planet and engage in comprehensive research on whatever subject they wish, while those who lack the means to buy books can download the volumes they wish over the Internet. The fact that Allah has created all these tools in our own day is of great importance in terms of spreading the moral values commanded by Him all over the world. Indeed, one of the main attributes of the Internet is that it is a system by means of which believers can perfect their faith and non-believers come to know Allah and His religion. There is no doubt that today the Internet is a means of preaching the word that easily enters people’s homes, wherever they may be in the world, and that tells them of the religion of Allah. Muslims who preach the moral virtues enjoined by Allah can reach billions of people through the Internet and, by the will of Allah, the moral values of Islam are spreading like an avalanche across the world. It appears from all this that, like the computer, the Internet is a vehicle specially created by Allah for people to be told about the moral values of Islam and for those values to come to rule the world.
One needs to avoid using computers and the Internet for empty purposes that gain one nothing. We are living in an age when views and belief systems incompatible with the religion are rapidly collapsing and when irreligion is giving way to belief in Allah. Insha’Allah, the Prophet Jesus (as) will be sent down again in this highly significant time, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear and the moral values commanded by Allah will rule the world. It is to be hoped that striving to free mankind from the lovelessness and unhappiness into which it has fallen at this time, to turn people toward love of Allah and the human love that stems from love of Allah and telling them of the proofs of His existence will be instrumental in obtaining a great reward in His sight. Someone wishing to serve Allah’s religion for the sake of earning His approval can make very effective use of the computer and the Internet to that end.
The “computer buff” culture is one of the facile and banal cultures of irreligion.
The computer is an instrument that Allah has created with great wisdom in order to cause His religion to rule the world and that possesses superior and wide-ranging operating principles and exceedingly miraculous characteristics. Yet in making use of this instrument people adopt the facile and banal character of the “religion of ignorance” and behave in ways that are displeasing to Allah. But before progressing to that subject it will be useful to provide a brief description of the religion of ignorance.
The religion of ignorance is a way of life the rules of which are not written down in any book, but which has taken hold of the majority of people on Earth just like a religion. The main feature of this way of life is that it develops in an environment far removed from religious moral values. People who live at a distance from the moral values commanded by the religion exhibit the behavior of the religion of ignorance, in which irreligion prevails. There is no room for justice, tolerance, helpfulness, altruism, true love or affection in such a life. The main aim of people who live such a life is to earn the approval of other people. For that reason, such people generally live artificial lives based on others’ demands and expectations rather than what comes from within them.
Everyone who has adopted such a life style belongs to one or other of the various characters and cultures required by it. All these people’s thoughts, behavior and even their gestures follow the line demanded by the character and culture to which they belong. For example, a young person will implement the kind of behavior required by the “high school student” culture. To summarize, when that young person enters a busy place the way he talks at the top of his voice as if there were nobody else around, speaks and laughs in a tone of voice that makes it clear he is totally unconcerned whether he is disturbing anyone else, makes disparaging jokes about people around him, talks in a manner that is disrespectful of his teachers and others and similar behaviours all immediately show that he lives by the “high school” character of the religion of igrorance. Or the way that a bank employee tells off the person opposite him, ignores the ringing phone for ages, speaks briefly and unclearly in such a way as not to provide the help requested and generally appears irritable and fed-up shows that he has adopted the “bank employee” character of the religion of ignorance.
Similarly, the “computer buff” in the religion of ignorance will also have his own particular modes of behavior. However, let us immediately make it clear that there is absolutely no rule of course to say that everyone who uses a computer or applies computer operating principles necessarily lives by this banal culture of the religion of ignorance. There are a great many people who spend all day in front of their computers but who never stoop to what is an utterly banal culture. The people referred to here in terms of the computer buff culture are those who have been heedlessly engrossed themselves in the rules of the religion of ignorance, though of course such people can rectify their behavior once they have seen how mistaken it is. On the other hand, someone who lives by the computer culture of the religion of ignorance identifies himself as soon as he enters any society. Because all his behavior, words, gestures and clothing give him away. These people generally have a fraught appearance. They tend to have unhealthy bodies and sickly faces. They speak in a way that is loaded with computer terminology that other people will never be able to understand. They thus satisfy their own pride and imagine that the information they possess raises their social standing and gives them some kind of superiority. One very common attribute of such people is that they try to portray their work as more difficult and complicated than it really is, and thus try to show the people in front of them how clever they are and how they can easily master subjects that others could never even comprehend. Since they imagine it will belittle them if others learn the things they know, they are highly reluctant to share their knowledge. If they have to teach anyone else anything about computers they are reluctant to tell them all they know and try and avoid telling people vital pieces of information. They even attempt to explain the subject involved in the most complicated manner, rather than in a practical way that can easily be understood, and to delay or even prevent the matter being comprehended.
However, the object of criticism here is someone becoming caught up in feelings of superiority of his knowledge, looking down on others and elevating himself. Deepening one’s knowledge, knowing the details of a miracle created by Allah, is a praiseworthy characteristic and a blessing from Allah. Therefore, and as in this example, knowing how to use computers well is also a blessing on the individual concerned from Allah. But there is also no doubt that becoming proud because of the knowledge one possesses and regarding that knowledge as something that gives one superiority to other people is ugly behavior that is displeasing to Allah.
People who engage in facile behavior that ill-befits their considerable knowledge are not of course only living by the “computer buff” character of the religion of ignorance. If a scientist who examines the proofs of Allah’s existence sees the greatness of Allah manifested in the miracles he witnesses then fails to submit to Allah and have humility, and adopts diametrically opposed behavior and becomes arrogant because of the knowledge he possesses and seeks to show off, then this all shows that he has come under the influence of the religion of ignorance. All this facile behavior reflects the religion of ignorance. When describing the miraculous properties of the cell, one of the great proofs of the existence of Allah, this scientist who has become part of the religion of ignorance may behave in a superficial way that fails to match the profundity of the subject and use plentiful foreign expression in an effort to show off to people, thus showing how knowledgeable he is, and thus attempt to give the impression of how superior and well-informed he truly is. Yet contrary to what he may imagine, nobody will be impressed by this at all. Moreover, this person who shows off with his knowledge and generally plays to the gallery merely belittles himself.
There is no room in the moral values of Islam for such culture and natures that are incompatible with the moral values of the religion or the behavior of those people who have such characters. Muslims never try to build an identity based on features of behavior, culture and character apart from those commanded by Allah. They merely desire to possess the characters and behavior of the people Allah praises in the Qur’an as having taqwa and dedicate themselves, in the light of that objective, to abiding by Allah’s commands and advice and to exhibiting the moral virtues that He finds pleasing. Accordingly, a Muslim who has a proper fear of Allah will carefully avoid character traits that belong to the dark world of the religion of ignorance and are incompatible with the moral values of the religion, and will be ashamed to commit any such error. He may know all about computers, or even be the person in the world best able to use computers, but he will still never adopt a state of mind that is incompatible with the morality of the Qur’an, become proud or ignorantly exalt himself on the basis of his knowledge.