Thus religious, civic and ethnic conflicts characterise societies across the world.
Here it is prudent to say that Islam has guaranteed the availability of the basic needs of man from the very beginning. The Holy Qur’an states: “It is provided for thee that thou will not hunger therein, nor will thou be naked. And that thou will not thirst therein, nor will thou be exposed to the sun.” (Ch. 20: 119-120)
The purpose of Islam therefore is that on the economic level, four fundamental rights are granted to man at the very start of society. These are that every person has the right to be fed and none will remain hungry, that every person will have the right to be adequately clothed, that every person is guaranteed a supply of water and that no one will be left without shelter. Islam therefore seeks to make sure that man is rid of want of all these basic necessities.
The other side of globalisation is the technological advancement in the area of communication which has seen the television, the Internet and social networks like Facebook, magazine covers, Internet blogs, and movies screaming to be read and watched.
What is the attitude of Islam to these social networks which bring people, as it were, face to face with strangers from different parts of the world? Islam does not forbid Muslims the use of these gadgets but has put in place measures to check and control them so as to eradicate, or at least minimize the negative impacts they can have on people so that the global village can be a source of blessings and not curse, the increased interaction of people should be based on truth and justice. Allah the Almighty has said in the Glorious Qur’an: “And everyone has a goal to which he turns his attention. Then vie with one another in good works. Wherever you be, Allah will bring you all together. Surely Allah has the power to do all that He wills.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 149)
The verse contains in a few words, all the necessities of a successful life, whatever the definition of success may be to you. As Muslims, we should have fixed goals. With a fixed goal, we should not only pay attention to its attainment but should vie with others in a spirit of healthy competition. The sinful pleasures of life are not the source of happiness and they are thus a hindrance to globalisation and humanisation of the world.
The social networks are meeting points for people from across the world. People who would not have heard, known or seen for weeks, months, years or never on earth are now communicating in a matter of seconds. Live (free) video calls on Skype and others offer us the opportunity to see and talk simultaneously. These among other facilities disclosed by the revolution in science and technology should not be taken for granted. When properly utilised, they are a blessing for all. And this will go a long way in making the world a safer and better place to live.
On the other hand, it has negatively impacted on many people, enabling them to see and interact with other people on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other sites to promote and propagate immoral and illegal affairs and relationships. In this regard the scriptural injunction of the Holy Qur’an should be remembered and adhered to at all times while using – for beneficial purposes- the opportunities presented by them. Allah, the Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “Say to the believing men that they should restrain their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely, Allah is Well-Aware of what they do.”
In this quotation, we are reminded that God is not content with superficial view of things but goes beyond to their very root. According to the Holy Qur’an, every good or bad quality springs from a certain root. In the case of a good quality, the Holy Book maintains that root should be mastered and fully kept under control. In the case of an evil, it aims at its complete eradication and extermination and thus it bolts and bars all the avenues to it. As it is the eyes through which most evil enters the mind, so in the verse, believing men and women have been commanded to guard their looks when they meet.
However, this does not in any way suggest the destruction of technological facilities or blocking of social networking sites as the case in some countries, it rather demands for a responsible usage of these facilities and sites.
The edifice and the whole superstructure of Islamic faith is predicated on one cardinal principle, the principle of the unity of the Creator (God/Allah) and the unity of humanity which He has created. Islam bases the culture it seeks to promote on the foundations of a firm belief in the existence of a uniquely divine singular Creator (Tawheed). This Creator revealed Islam as the synthesis and unifying philosophy of life leading us not only to spiritual enlightenment but also to a unique set of morals and culture. It fosters in a unique manner mutual love and affection, human togetherness and tolerance for others who are different from you. These universal and profound teachings of Islam are meant to create a universal human culture based on the unity of Almighty God and equality of humankind. This should be the basis for globalisation, if it is to have a desired result not only for Muslims but for a global world with the desire to live in peace and harmony, mutual respect and justice. This will usher in heaven on earth which will be beneficial to all humankind.
If all people and all nations, regardless of creed, were to follow these guidelines, illegal migration – which leads to death in the high seas – will not only be reduced, but completely eradicated. End
Musa Bah is an English teacher at Nusrat Senior Secondary School and the author of several books]]>