More than ever before, our times are bearing witness to phenomenal changes in technological innovations and human lives are increasingly organized around smartphones and other technology-based instruments. Thanks to the convergence of communication technologies and the consequent emergence of social media platforms in cyber-space, virtual interactions with people anywhere is easily feasible in our globalized world. Certainly, advanced technologies are vital enablers and a force-multiplier for doing good, allowing individuals and nations to come together on common platforms to discuss specific concerns and to share best practices for addressing challenges. At the same time, we need to be critically-aware of the negative side effects- the many dangers and harmful impacts lurking behind the unprecedented ‘opening-up’ made possible by the new mediums of the digital space, especially for the young people.
In his Friday Sermon of 22 February 2019~17 Jamadi’ul Aakhir 1440 AH, Imam- Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius continues the theme of the perils affecting modern-day youth in our societies. Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) warns against the increasingly unabashed pursuit of synthetic happiness- be it in drugs and other deadly cocktails by the youth in our times, and points to the critical need for comprehensive intervention at various levels by the social stakeholders to ensure that our deeply-vulnerable young people are weaned-away from fatal attractions and dangerous choices in their lives, with profound consequences for families and societies as well.
Likewise, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) alludes to the many dangers of the new "addictions" of the youth, represented by their 'trendy gadgets', and the virtual access to social media platforms. The extraordinary reach of the new mediums to capture our emotions, thoughts as well as other inanities through photos, videos and other forms of self- expressions, coupled with the temptations of the young to share it all with both friends and complete strangers can have profoundly negative implications for our emotional happiness, psychological well-being and mental health, especially for the people who are virtually "addicted" to these devices. As the communication devices are 'neutral' enablers, the danger of criminality and immorality are ever-present, and as such, the new challenges of ubiquitous access requires careful handling, and the prudent deployment of vital ethical teachings on decent engagements and appropriate behaviour. The task ahead for the social actors is to ensure that the youth are constantly-educated and enabled to deal with the challenges and pitfalls of the new platforms so that they may only exploit their true potential in the most appropriate and creative ways for their own progress and the social common good, points out Hadhrat Saheb (atba).
Read the Friday Sermon Below:
By the grace of Allah, I continue today the second part of my sermon on “The Youth of the Ummah in Peril”. Last Friday I told you how young people also have a mission to accomplish. The youth are our future, and they must be protected from the harmful effects of globalisation. The Islamic faith of the youth of our Ummah must be protected and safeguarded.