The Devil’s Net
The social sites that nets billions of youth, are dominated by free-thinkers, atheist and the gay. These sites help the youth cut off their elders from themselves. A sea divides father and son, mother and daughter. They are liberated from such ties by the Satanic culture spreading through the social sites on the Net, and its daughter, the smart phone, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.
The place is Russia. A boy of 10-12 is at the computer, playing games late at night. His father tells him several times to switch off the computer and go to bed. The lad wouldn’t move. Finally, the father comes in, switches off the computer and goes back to his bed.
When the son is sure his father is asleep, he takes a large hammer, and, with a single blow on the head, finishes him off. That was someone, not only his progenitor, but with whom, not too long ago, he had shared the very bed as an infant.
Sometime later his mother enters the house. Finding her husband dead, she is in panic and, concerned about her son’s safety, starts looking for him. She finds him at the computer playing games. (“Cool” – today’s youth would, perhaps, say).
When this news was narrated in the Gulf, the listeners were not horrified. A similar incident had taken place in their own town.
Where do the games come from? After the simple ones were on disks, most of the engaging ones now come from the Net. And, of course, more, much more of what lures the adults too.
So, what is the Net? It is like a bazar where you have a billion shops selling a variety of goods: basically, electronic. You think of something, however serious or absurd, and there are thousands of websites containing one or another electronic detail connected with it: a film, a little script, a talk, pictures, cartoons, statistics, tips, guidelines, business opportunities, stories, poetry, jokes, gossip, proverbs, pornography, atheist’s creeds, layman’s philosophy, Facebook addresses, in short, information of all sorts.
Ignoring the inactive sites, by 2014, there were close to a billion sites (1,000,000,000). From a single website launched in 1991 to a billion in 2014, this is the fastest growth record ever achieved in the entire human history of any event, of any class. The fastest growth occurred between 2013 and 2014 when close to six hundred million (600,000,000) sites were added.
It’s an electronic bazar, but a bazar the like of which does not exist.
There are a few useful sites on the Net. They are not in hundreds of millions, but mere thousands. They are needles in the haystack. They are scientific, literary, history, humanistic, culture, etc., visited by a handful. While the great majority goes for the junk, a few – perhaps, one in every hundred thousand – are the true beneficiaries of the Net. They upload well-researched material, and keep updating the stuff for the benefit of researchers or simple information seekers. It is run by a few, profited by a few.
Some Islamic sites, run by well-known people or organizations, are also an exception. However, despite the respectful names, no more than a few dozen visit authentic Islamic sites daily. Perhaps, there is none which is visited by thousands.
The great majority of Islamic sites are more or less a failure. Problems are several. First, who runs the site? The first ever Islamic site was run by Jews. A Christian-hosted Islamic site of recent visit consists of an Encyclopedia which offers a paragraph on Ibn Taymiyyah, and found from his 36-volume Fatawa, one worth quoting as a sample: “If a Muslim does not offer Prayers, he may be killed!”
In this bazar, good Muslim websites are like peanut-hawkers in the inner lanes, away from the main streets where the fashionable stuff is sold and where stroll the cultured gentry. It is hard, therefore, to reach these peanut hawkers – the true Islamic sites. How does one find them among the billion websites? Google ‘Islam’ and you get tens of thousands of sites lined up for examination. More than half of them are inactive. But where and which is the site which offers authentic information? Unless you know such sites by name, it is not possible to reach them. The final reliance concerning their address is on word of mouth.
Accordingly, for any webpage to introduce itself as offering authentic Islamic stuff, and get people to visit it, is an almost impossible task. But, sadly, every time you question the Net-lovers about the benefits of the Net, they always answer, “You can reach millions.” They do not seem to understand that there is some difference between “you can” and “you will.” It is sites that host sports, pastimes, celebrities, tourist, film actors, musicians, pornography, etc. that are visited by the millions.
Islamic sites face another disadvantage: the visitors are not willing to pay to visit the sites. They want the Islamic material free. But, it is widely known that it is worthless material that is “sold” free. As soon as you say “free,” the human mind accords it zero credibility. A thousand years of free distribution of the Bible failed to gain readers, let alone converts. Millions of copies were placed in hotel-rooms all over the world. Perhaps, no copy was opened in decades, until they were withdrawn. The fact that Muslim readers do not wish to pay for Islamic material, tells us plainly that they are in no need of it. Their point is: If it comes free, let it; if not, “no issues, I’m fine as it is.”
If it comes free, then too, it is only curiosity that leads them to visit. They have no desire to be guided. In truth, majority of them are looking for untruth. To explain, one of them is in a little discomfort about an Islamic ruling. He has already received the opinion, for example, that it is not allowed in Islam. “Fine” he says to himself, and starts searching through the Net until he falls upon a site, run by one of the Samaritans, which says that it is allowed. They hold on to that and ignore the authentic opinion.
There are other problems that should discourage Muslims from placing Islamic stuff on the Net – unless it is serious, authentic, reference work, etc., as mentioned above. The other classes of stuff placed generously there, do not educate. They only inform, if there is any informational value in the stuff, which is not always the case.
The best maintained sites are of the deviated sects who conceal their identity so that a clear message does not appear at the first encounter. They poison the minds in small doses. Some are actually hate sites. They create hatred for common Muslims, for those who follow ways of the ancients, and those who are holding on to piety. These contemporary Samaritans belittle them, their learning, and their piety.
The Samaritans are in thousands. They waylay every passerby.Who are they? They are a disgruntled, poorly-educated, angry, proud, young show-off upstarts, who have been influenced by ideas of Western liberalism and wish to popularize them among the Muslims.
They do not know the lingua-franca of Islam, the language of Paradise, the language in which their Lord decided to address them. Actually, many of them hate the Arabs too. They believe it was unfortunate that the Prophet was raised among them. They would be happier if he was one of the “two great towns;” that is, America and Europe (ref. the Qur’an, Zukhruf: 31).
In actual fact, they are the fifth columnists of Islam, trying to remove foundation stones from the edifice of Islam to topple it ultimately. Ever-critical of the Shari`ah, they conceal their dislike by issuing articles criticizing the clergy. But this is a proxy blow. By the clergy, they mean what Islam has stood for through the ages – held on now by the clergy. They are not the ones establishing Madrasas, or orphanages, or medical centers in the slums. They offer no services – for instance, to the black Muslims in America, slum dwellers elsewhere, free coaching to students, and the like works. In short, they are vociferous spokesmen for a new Islam – devoid of its pillars. Their Sheikh is popularly known as “Sheikh Google.”
As for reading from electronic versions, whether directly from the Net, or downloaded into a computer, a book on the screen can never convey what a printed book will. As a reader reads through a printed book, he places pencil marks on areas of special interest, underlines material he could quote, and marks out pages he wishes to return to in order to understand better. The loss is not great if he does not have a pencil around. He remembers roughly where the material is: whether at the start of the book or in the last one-third, whether on the left hand page or right, in the middle of the page or bottom, etc. His refer-back attempt has educational aspect. What happens is that as he searches through a book, he notices other interesting things on his way to the text of his immediate reference.
Another advantage consists in readings through printed books is that a reader can look into a dictionary and pen down the meaning on the borders of the page. Obviously, if he has a book in his possession, he can read or refer to it any number of times. He can carry it to someone who could help him explain unclear portions. He can read it anywhere, and especially while on the move: in a bus, at the airport, waiting in a visitors’ hall.
An electronic version on the computer, say laptop, does not offer the same conveniences. The battery is off before you are finished with ten pages. Packing off the computer and re-opening is not as easy as closing and opening a book. Screen reading blurs the vision quite soon. It is hard to remember areas of interest when read on a screen because it is not something substantial, physical. Notebooks and Pads do offer software for marking texts. But, the gadget, its software and the books are expensive. (The $1 books are junk). The Net-lover will hasten to tell you that, in the USA, every student has one in his bag. He won’t tell you that almost 90% of the earth’s population cannot afford these things. He will also not tell you that since a decade or so, there has been a declining trend in IQ, and one suspected reason is www.
The software (a PDF reader costs a hundred dollars in USA), handling the electronic books is not like taking a pencil and underlining text in a printed work. The software do not allow for writing on the borders of an electronic book. For reasons not established yet, paragraphs and lines do not seem to be able to impress themselves on the mind for recall. Memory about them is quite blurred, whereas, in case of printed books, the mind seems to retain areas with clear memory. Indeed, the flow of meaning seems to be disturbed when you slide the page on a screen. Many people complain that they do not seem to remember what they read in the previous screen.
Searching of a book stored in a computer is not as easy as searching for a book in the shelf. You cannot search by a title if you have forgotten it; whereas forgetting the title and the author does not make it very inconvenient to search among printed books in a shelf. You remember that it was a blueish book, paperback, around 300 pages, slightly bigger than the standard size, etc. It is but few moments that your eyes rest on the book (if the sight is not captured by another book on the way, which you had been wanting to consult). No such help can be had while searching a book in PDF format, on plain, black and white screen which does not accommodate a full page in 1:1 size. And, if you reformat your hard disk, your e-library painstakingly built over years evaporates in a second. This writer greatly benefits from electronic books on the Net with the help of the most modern gadgets, and is sincerely grateful to mankind for providing these services. But neither would he suggest anyone to read on the Net, nor has anyone ever done to any benefit, except, of course, some benefits obtained from a few on-line courses, which are far from being popular.
The Net is a good source of jahalah. People sitting in study circles, those in contact with scholars, those attending lectures, or those reading Islamic magazines, now prefer to educate themselves through the Net. The result is devastating. The Samaritans kidnap them and stuff their heads up with scrap. The company of the good people in the study circles is gone. The company of sluts is obtained. Reading Islamic literature on the Net today is like listening to Qur’anic recitation in the company of half-dressed women. The aura is missing, the effect is undetectable.
Some Islamic magazines, unable to get enough readers, (the majority of whom they have lost to the Net), have either stopped printing, or are on the verge of it. That’s a regrettable step. They must hold on to the publication, even if left with a few hundred readers. They may produce fewer pages, fewer issues, but must raise the quality of their writings. Mujaddid Alf-Thani revived Islam through mere hand-written letters that he wrote to Moghul courtiers, governors, officials, the area shuyukh, and, his own pupils at times when even the printing press wasn’t there. Those letters were copied by hand, and reached Kashmir, Lahore, Kabul, Tashkent, Bukhara, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Makkah and Madinah. Altogether some 600 in number, (some written while he had chains in his ankles), most letters were roughly three-fourth of a page long. But, loaded with amazing qualities, they helped – after Allah’s help – re-establish unadulterated Tawhid in the heart of millions. They also revived the Sunnah, Hadith studies, and by placing the `Ulama’ Rabbani in the center of Muslim polity, he chased away many pseudo-Sufis and the `Ulama’ al-Soo.’
Today’s land bazars are nothing in evil compared to the bazar on the Net. First: the size. Land bazars hardly have a few thousand shops. The Net has a billion. Second: mobility. To visit a few shops at different locations through a land bazar, you need hours. The Net bazar allows visit to any shop in seconds. Third, today’s bazars have a few ill-clad women that pass by you as you walk through. The Net has them – worse clad – stuck to you, giving you company, throughout your stay. You do not have to invite any. They come in uninvited, and, it is as difficult to get rid of them as war-mongers in the American Senate. Fourth, bazars normally have only an area where there are a few pimps and prostitutes lurking and strolling around. The Net has them all over, every nook and corner, at every lamppost, and in every dim-lit or well-lit area.
This bazar is one of the hottest in terms of sale of pornography. Total global porn industry is estimated at $ 96 billion (96,000,000,000) – much of whose trading is done through the Net. And this is the count of raw porn. It does not include the half-clad women’s ubiquitous presence on the Net. There are 420 million (420,000,000) Internet porn pages; and customers searching through the bazar for porn via search engines is 68 million per day (68,000,000). [Chris Hedges, ICH]. This is apart from gay and lesbian stuff, which are promoted by millions of respectable pimps, because it is legal.
The social sites that nets billions of youth, are dominated by free-thinkers, atheist and the gay. These sites help the youth cut off their elders from themselves. A sea divides father and son, mother and daughter. There is good reason why a Net-addicted boy doesn’t ever talk to his father, or a daughter to her mother. They are liberated from such ties by the Satanic culture spreading through the social sites on the Net, and its daughter, the smart phone.
Yet, a bazar it is. And so, it is Satan’s nest. Said the Prophet: “People! Do not be the first to enter the bazar and not the last one to leave. That is where Shaytan pitches his post and that is where he hosts his battles.” Another narration adds: “That is where Shaytan lays his eggs and that is where his chicks hatch.”
Knowing its nature explains us why so many people are so crazy of the internet. Shaytan moves along with them as they move through the Net. The Prophet said, “I have learnt that when a man heads to the mosque, an angel accompanies him and remains with him until he returns to his house; and that Shaytan accompanies a man heading to the bazar, and remains with him until he returns to his house.”
It will do us good to remember that the Prophet was speaking of the much civilized bazars of his time.