Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
Series: Yasmin Mogahed - Serenity
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Assalamu alaikum This is Yes minja hit and you're listening to serenity streaming live on one legacy radio. Today we're going to be talking about an international phenomenon that pretty much affects every single one of us. Let's face it, we live in an AI world. We're surrounded by iPhones, iPads, YouTube. And the focus basically is very, very clear. It's a world of MySpace, iPad, iPhone.
The focus here is me, my eye.
But one need not look very far to see this obsession with the self. In order to sell for example, advertisers must appeal to the ego. For example, many ads appeal to the part of us that loves power and being in charge. If you look, for example, at the ad for Direct TV, it tells you don't watch TV, direct tv, even yogurt land says, you rule Welcome to the land of endless yogurt possibilities where you rule the portions, the choices and the scene. But advertisers aren't the only ones who appeal to our ego. There is a global phenomenon that provides a breeding ground and platform for that same ego. And it's called Facebook. Now, I'm going to be the first to assert that Facebook can be a
powerful tool for good. It is after all, you know among any other thing, it is what you make of it. For example, a knife can be used to cut food, which feeds the hungry, or it can be used to kill someone. And Facebook can be used for great good After all, it was Facebook that helped facilitate the toppling of a dictator. Facebook can be used as a powerful tool to organize call remind and unite. Facebook can also be used to strengthen our connection to Allah and to each other.
or Facebook can be used to strengthen the hold of our neffs, our ego or our lower self. Now see the Facebook phenomenon is an interesting one. In each and every one of us is an ego. It's the part of ourselves that must be suppressed. If we are to avoid anniken state of turning to the dark side that is the danger of feeding the ego is that as the ego is fed, it becomes strong. And when it becomes strong, it begins to rule us. Soon we're no longer slaves to God, we become slaves to ourselves. The ego is the part of us that loves power. It's the part that loves to be seen, recognized, praised and adored. Facebook provides a powerful platform for this. It provides a platform by which every word
picture or thought that I have can be seen, praised, liked.
As a result, I begin to seek this. But then it doesn't just stay in the cyber world, I begin even to live my life with this visibility in mind. Suddenly, I live every experience every photo every thought as if it's being watched, because in the back of my mind, I'm thinking I'm going to put it on Facebook. This creates a very interesting state of being almost a constant sense that I am living my life on display. I become ever conscious of being watched. Because everything can be put on Facebook for others to see and comment on.
But more importantly, it creates a false sense of self importance, where every single insignificant move I make is of international importance. Soon I become the focus the one on display. The message is I am so important. My life is so important. Every move I make is so important. The result becomes an ever stronger me focused world where I am at the center. But see, as it turns out, this result is diametrically opposed to the reality of existence. See, the goal of life is to realize the truth of God's greatness and my own insignificance and need before him. The goal is to take me out of the center and put him there instead. But Facebook perpetuates the illusion of the exact opposite. It
strengthens my belief that because of my own importance, every inconsequential move or thought should be on display. Suddenly what I ate for breakfast or bought at the grocery store is news enough to publish.
But when I put up a picture
I wait for compliments. I wait for encouragement and recognition. I wait for acknowledgement. When the number with the number of likes or compliments, or even physical beauty becomes something that can now be quantified. When I put up a post, I wait for it to be liked, and I'm ever conscious of and I even compete in the number of friends that I have. And friends here needs to be in quotation marks because of course, no one really knows 80% of the friends on their list.
But this preoccupation and rivalry to acquire more and more is talked about in the Quran. Allah says Allah hare Kamata castle, that the mutual rivalry for piling up, of worldly gains has preoccupied you.
But whether that rivalry is in piling up wealth, or it's in piling up friends and likes on Facebook, the result is the same. We have become preoccupied by it.
Facebook also strengthens another dangerous focus.
That is the focus on other people, what they're doing, what they like, what they think of me. Facebook feeds the preoccupation with others assessment of me. Soon I enter into the orbit of the creation, and inside of that orbit, my definitions, my pain, my happiness, my self worth, my success, and my failure is determined by the creation. When I live in that orbit, I rise and fall with the creation. When the people are happy with me, I'm up. When they're not, I fall where I stand is defined by people. I'm like a prisoner, because I have given up the keys to my happiness, sadness, fulfillment, and disappointment to the people to hold.
But once I enter and live in the orbit of the creation, rather than the orbit of God, I begin to use that currency. See, the currency of God's orbit is His pleasure and his displeasure, his reward or his punishment. But see, the currency of the orbit of creation is different. The currency of that orbit is the praise and criticism of the people.
So I as I entered deeper and deeper into that orbit of the creation, I covet more and more of its currency, and I fear more and more of its loss. Now, if you think about the example of when you're playing Monopoly, when you're playing Monopoly, you covet more and more of that currency. And it feels really great to be rich for a moment. But when the game is over, what can I really buy in the real world with Monopoly money, the human currency of praise is Monopoly money, it feels great for a moment to collect. But when the game is over, it's worthless. In the reality of this life, and the next, it is worthless. And yet, I even covet this false currency in my worship. And it's this
that makes me fall victim to what is called the hidden ship. And that is react via is when you show off, even in your worship, yet is a direct consequence of living in the orbit of the creation. And the deeper and deeper I enter into that orbit, the more I become consumed with gaining human praise, approval and recognition. The more I enter that orbit, the more I fear loss, loss of face, loss of status, loss of praise, loss of approval. But the more I fear the people, the more I become enslaved. Because true freedom only comes when I let go of the fear of anything and anyone other than God.
Now, when we return, I'll be talking about a very, very profound Hadith, in which the prophets of the law tells us how to be loved by Allah, and by the creation.
Welcome back. This is just me Mujahid and you're listening to serenity on one legacy radio, and we're talking today about Facebook. Now we're talking about the hidden dangers of Facebook. Facebook is something which has basically become an international phenomenon and in a very short time, it has
Basically, one thing that can be said about Facebook is it really is what you make of it. And just like, you know, you know, we talked about the example of a knife that a knife can be used to, you know, cut food and feed people or it can be used to stab someone and kill them. The point is that things are what what you make of it, just like the internet, for example, can be used for much good, it can also be used for much harm. And similarly, Facebook can also be used for much good, we all got to witness and hamdulillah the, you know, it facilitated the toppling of a dictator in Egypt, so hon Allah, by the by the Nasir of Allah and the victory of Allah. But at the same time, there's some
you know, hidden, and I say hidden, because these are things that we wouldn't necessarily notice. We don't, we may not be, it's not the open types of sins, necessarily that that we fall victim to in Facebook, this is a very hidden type of danger in Facebook, obviously. I mean, there's those those open, open dangers that that are, that are obvious. And that's, you know, you know, that you, you might have inappropriate relationships that you build on Facebook or inappropriate communication, you know, the propagation of hot or anything like that those things are, those things are obvious, obvious sense, those are things that we can easily look at and say this is wrong. And this is, this
is, you know, this is one of the dangers of Facebook. But you know, at the same time, you know, those are obvious, those are dangers of dunya. Those are dangers of any kind of communication, dangers of any kind of social networking, whether it's online, or it's in person. But what I'm getting at here today is a deeper type of hidden danger. And it has to do with the ego, it has to do with creating a platform for the ego, which wasn't otherwise, as you know, readily accepted, I mean, available before something like Facebook and MySpace, basically, what has happened with, you know, blogging, and Facebook and MySpace is that now there's this, this platform for me to put myself out
there for me to basically be on display for me to be at the center of attention. And what happens as a result is that I start to have this false sense of self importance, I start to see myself as very, very important. And as a result, everything that I do, whether important, unimportant, significant insignificant, in my eyes becomes very significant and significant enough to put up on my Twitter or on my status, or on my blog, basically, it's that I because I am so important, everything I do is so important. And so all these, you know, again, all of a sudden, what I you know, what I ate for breakfast is just, you know, it's important enough for the world to see, you know, so I, I get, I
get sort of consumed by this, and this is part of the danger of, of Facebook is that everything that I do, and everything I think and every picture I have, can be can be put for the world to see and comment on. And so what I do is I, instead of feeling sort of this sense of insignificance before God, I sort of become,
I become conscious of the fact that I can always be watched that people, or that all I become, I start to have this illusion that all eyes are always on me. And as a result, I, you know, I kind of I think it makes us I think it feeds the ego in the sense that it makes us sort of, sort of self centered. And, and then what happens is, and this is this is part of the danger as well, is that I become very preoccupied by what other people think of me, what are other people's assessment of me, if I put up a picture I wait for, you know, what are people's comments going to be even even in and this is something I talked about is even physical beauty, now can be quantified by the number of
likes or by the quality of the comments. And so it's very, it's a very much a, it provides a platform for this worship of not just the self and the ego, but also of exterior, exterior things, the superficial things that you can, you know, that you can see on the outside. Now, the other danger of Facebook is this, and that is that I become not only preoccupied with people's assessment of me, but I become preoccupied with people in general. And I talked about this idea of an orbit where, what I mean here is that I talked about two different types of orbits, there's the orbit of the creation, and there's the orbit of God. And what that means is that it has to do with what I put
at the center of my life, it has to do with what is most important to me, it has to do with my definitions, and, and and where and what defines my self worth. What defines my happiness, what defines my sadness, what makes me rise and fall. And so when we are in the orbit of God, and this is the orbit that we want to strive to be in as believers. When we're in the orbit of God, what makes me rise and fall is
God, what what defines myself worth is God, what defines my, my happiness and my sadness is God. And and basically, once I'm in that orbit, there's like a currency basically, that goes with each orbit. And the currency of God's orbit is how pleased is he with me how, you know, his punishment, his his reward. But see, there's also a currency for the orbit of the creation. And that currency is the, the praise and criticism of the creation. And so when I am in the orbit of the creation, basically, I put human beings at the center of my life, everything revolves around either myself or other people, I rise and fall with the people what that means is that is that my happiness and my sadness,
my sense of self worth, my fulfillment, is defined by other people. And if, for example, you know, people like me one day, I'm happy, right? Two minutes later, they don't like me anymore. I'm sad. You know, they, they're, they praise me one moment, the next moment, they criticize me. So when they praise me, I'm, I'm glad I'm happy, I'm fulfilled. But when they criticize me, I'm devastated. And so this up and down, this is the the roller coaster that happens when we are in the orbit of the creation, because we allow the creation to define for us what it means, what my happiness means and what my fulfillment means. And we let the creation define for us what my sadness means and what my
disappointment means, and what my failure means. And so, you know, the more that we again, enter into that orbit of the creation, that obsession with people, you know, what people think what people are doing what what people think of me, the more we enter into that the more we become consumed with gaining that currency with gaining more praise. And we become very, very afraid of losing that currency, we become very afraid of losing that approval. And, and we become afraid of not being liked, we become afraid of being criticized. It's, it's, it's really what what is the most it's the greatest fear in our life, is is to not be liked by people is to be criticized by people. And the
greatest thing that we strive for, is to be liked and approved of and to be acknowledged, and maybe praised. And so this, this is exactly what we want to break out of. And the danger of Facebook is that it is it basically creates a little world where that is the currency, the currency is likes, the currency is,
you know, other people's praise and comments. And so it becomes very difficult to make our life surrounded, or basically to to revolve our life around God, and to really be in that orbit of God, when we are very consumed by what the people are doing, what the people are saying, what the people are thinking about me. Now, we'll go ahead and take a break right now. But please do call in or write your comments on the chat box. And when we return, we'll discuss more about Facebook.
Welcome back, this is ismene moja heads, and you're listening to serenity on one legacy radio, where we're talking about Facebook and the hidden dangers of Facebook. Now, a lot of times, you know, people talk about the, you know, the obvious dangers of Facebook, which I think those ones are easier to see. And so today, what we're really discussing is what are those hidden hidden dangers of Facebook, that people usually are not aware of. And, and they're very, they're very difficult to find and notice in our own selves, and it has to do with the ego and it has to do with with feeding the ego, and it has to do with where our focus is and whether or not it is breeding the you know,
entering into the orbit of the creation, or breaking out of that orbit and instead living in the orbit of God. Now, I want to encourage you guys to call in at 1-800-955-5548 we'd love to hear from you, or on the chat box and we have some some questions here on the chat box from one from one listener who says a cinema and a comb. What is the best way of reaching self contentment in this AI era? And I think that's a really great question because what what we basically want is we want to be able to live in the dunya without being of the dunya we want to be able to you know we have the dunya but it's in our hands and it's never in our hearts. We What that means is that although we may
have things we have, you know we have the iPhone or we have the iPad or we have the money we have whatever it those are things which we
own in our hands, but they never own us. They are not something that we are attached to. They're not something that we carry in our hearts. And it's it's, it's really there's this very beautiful saying of, I'm just gonna, we have a color and I'm going to go ahead and just finish this this quote and then go ahead and take the caller. But but basically this this quote of a meme Ollie, where he says that Zahid which is detachment, detachment from this life is not that we do not own anything, but that nothing owns us. And so the idea here is, you know, we have these things, but we shouldn't let them own us. Go ahead caller.
Why do you have to lay over cattle?
So my question is, let's say that you post Islamic, you know, you do a lot of that on your Facebook, you post links, and, you know, basically, your Facebook has a lot of Islam on it. And people, people are praising you for something like that, or people like that, or, or people compliment your page or, you know, that kind of praise like you don't, you don't ask for that. But should you continue or discontinue or put to a minimum, your posts or your though efforts on your Facebook page? Okay, that's a great question. Caller, thank you for it actually, because it gets to the issue of sincerity, it gets to the issue of intention. And it also gets to the issue of a very hidden tool of
shaytaan. Now, one of the things that shaitan likes to do is he wants us to stop doing things for the sake of Allah, He wants us to stop our work for the sake of Allah. So if you're putting up information reminders, you know, Islamic things on your Facebook, you are doing something, which is, you know, on the path of Allah. Now, so what shaitan wants to do is he wants you to stop doing that. And so sometimes what he actually uses is this reverse sort of psychology he comes, and he actually uses this weapon of saying, Well, you know, you really shouldn't do that, because your intentions are not right, or you're just doing it for the praise. So you should really reduce the amount of
work that you're doing, or you shouldn't do, you know, you shouldn't do those extra prayers, because you're just doing it so people will see or you shouldn't, you know, pay that charity, because you're just doing it for people to see. Now while intention is essential, what shaitan here will is trying to do is he's trying to get you to not worship Allah, and then he will have one. So what we really need to do is this, the issue of sincerity is a constant battle, we should never abandon the deed that we're doing, we should never abandon the good deed for the sake of Allah, because we're worried about our intention. Because if we do that, really that shaitan has one one on us. And so what we
should do instead is we should continue our work or maybe even increase our work, and at the same time, begging Allah subhanaw taala, to purify our intention, because again, we have to realize that the issue of intention is something that is a constant battle against our neffs against shaitan. And so we should continue at the one hand, doing the work, you should continue putting up your posts, may Allah reward you and and benefit others with those posts, but at the same time asking a lot to to purify your intentions, because it's something that can only come from Allah subhanaw taala. And what I would say in terms of the comments and the compliments, is the main issue, it goes back to
the seeing of it, or the line is that you might have those compliments, and you might have those that praise, but realizing that that's just Monopoly money, that it isn't something that really is going to do anything for you in this life or the next.
Now, I think that I want to actually get to the next question, where someone says that, you know, that they're a Facebook fan, but the topic freaks them out. And they say that Facebook cannot control anyone, they are not, this says they can control cannot control no one unless they are not in control of themselves. And and and this is true, where you know, you can again, the idea here isn't that you have to leave these things completely. And that's the whole point is you don't need to leave Facebook completely, you don't need to leave wealth complete, you don't need to leave the dunya completely, what you need to do is not allow the dunya or Facebook or anything else of the
creation, to control you, you do have to be in control of it. So, you know, while you own things, and you're involved in Facebook, you have to be careful that Facebook doesn't control you, and that it's not becoming a platform for you to put your ego out there for you to be you know, basically a platform for you to you know, to feed your ego. And that when you are doing things and using using Facebook for the sake of Allah, that you're you're you're trying at the same time to purify your intentions and you're not getting attached to the praise, but rather seeing it for what it is and that is that you know it's that it's really is like that Monopoly money.
So, you know, if you again, we'd love to have your comments on the chat box or give us a call. You know, I want to inshallah just just sort of summarize what we talked
about today, Facebook is you know, it's a big hot topic. It's something that has basically touched you know, every corner of the world. It's amazing how it has really connected the world in ways that that couldn't be connected before easily. And so you know, Facebook really does have it is a very, very powerful tool. The key here is that we use it for good. And so what I would say is this, and I want to inshallah share this very profound Hadith with you, because it teaches us a very important lesson. And that Hadith is this that a man came to the prophets, I send them and he asked him the golden question, basically. And that question was a messenger of Allah, tell me something that if I
do it, God will love me, and the people will love me. This is basically what we all want, right? We want to be loved by God, we also want to be loved by the people. And the prophets. I send them answered by saying, detach yourself from the world from this dunya and God will love you. detach yourself from what is with the people, and the people will love you. So ironically, here's here's the lesson here. Ironically, the less we chase after the approval and the love of the people, the more we gain it, and the less needy we are of others, the more people are drawn to us and seek our company. This has it teaches us a really profound truth. Only by breaking out of the orbit of the
creation. Can we succeed with both God and people? So while Facebook is indeed a powerful tool, let us make it a tool of your freedom, not a tool of your servitude to yourself, or to the assessment of others. Thank you was Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh