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Making Islam a means of prosperity
By Harun Yahya

One of the most significant characteristics of the 20th century we left behind is the advancement of technology. Whereas a concept like the computer did not exist 100 years ago, computer technology is utilized today in service sectors just as education and health. Correspondingly, while the telegraph was the most advanced means of communication in the previous century, telephone apparatuses manufactured with better technology every day are being used. This is especially true for the last decade. Even telephones with visual components, which were the subject of space-age films 10 to 15 years ago, are a part of many houses today.

The past 50 years have seen an extremely fast progression in technology. Advancements that lasted for centuries in the past can be achieved in 20 to 30 years today. For instance, micro-chips have taken the place of computers as big as a room that would work only by emitting excessive noise and heat.

The era we are in now is a very important period. Advancements are occurring at a dizzying pace not yet seen in world history in the field of technology, putting forth the primacy of this era very explicitly. It may be a great loss if Muslims disregard this quick progress in every field of our lives or do not ponder over the wisdom and benefaction of such an improvement in technology.

But we must remember that everything that occurs in our surroundings and our lives can only be realized with the ordinance of Allah. Everything is under the control and within the knowledge of Allah. In that case, one who believes in Allah and who always turns to Him should question all these events and try to recognize the wisdom in every happening our Lord creates.

A believer who contemplates on this fast progress in technology will immediately face the fact that in such a period of extreme and violent disbelief that is rampant all over the world, quick advancement in technology is the support and help of Allah to the believers. Thus, believers who are striving to abolish disbelievers' philosophy from the world with great effort should consider technology as a means of maximum benefit even more than anyone else. The most prosperous position where technology will be used is in the work of the believers.

Before passing on to the subject of how technology should be used for goodness, there is another important point to emphasize. Most people regard technology, art, music and architecture as subjects unrelated to religion. They even conceive that religion is distant and foreign to these issues. Yet, this is a very big mistake that arises because of the ignorance of the essence and facts of religion.

The truth is that Allah creates technology, art, architecture, music and all other sciences. For instance, an artist paints pictures with the drawing ability Allah bestows on him as a blessing. He paints his picture with the colors that Allah wills and creates. It is Allah who creates the creatures, mountains, rivers and fruits he paints. Consequently, every picture is painted with the knowledge of Allah. The knowledge related to computers is already known to Allah; however, the specific time when man will invent and practice this knowledge is determined by Allah. Allah bestows this knowledge upon man at the time He wills and lets them use it.

Just like all the other blessings, Allah has granted technology to the service of man. But it is the morals and understanding of man that entails in what way this blessing will be used. Therefore, the routing of technology and scientific progress in correct means is very important. To illustrate this point, there has been tremendous progress in the war industry along with advancement in science in our day. However, these are developments that bring detriment and destruction to humanity. Certainly a country should establish the technology to defend herself against external threats. However, setting up objectives other than this and developing chemical weapons and poisonous gasses to devastate poor and innocent people signifies the erroneous path of technology. In the same way, the atomic bomb is another obvious indication of this. A discovery that could be in the service of mankind was used in the previous century for annihilating millions of innocent people and destroying future generations.

However, employment of technology entirely for benefaction and righteousness will enhance the achievements of man. For example, very important steps have been taken towards improvement in the field of genetics, which is considered to be the "21st century's science." And today, one-third of the genetic structure of man is decoded. These studies, called the Human Genome Project, will result in the attainment of extremely beneficial findings and information for humanity.

For instance, the genetic information of a newborn will be examined to determine the possible diseases that he or she may have in the future. Moreover, setting out from the genes, it will be possible to manufacture medication particular to each individual. If the faulty genes can be removed, then future generations will have been protected against this disease. As long as this project is aimed at vital subjects like the prevention of diseases, it will constitute significant and beneficial progress for humanity. But some groups of evil intention may hinder this good turn if they abuse this technology in favor of themselves.

Globalization Of The World
Another outcome of technology that interests Muslims is the Internet. The most outstanding feature of the Internet for the Muslims is its being an assistant to the Muslims in their primary responsibility, which is warning with the Qur'an. Allah commands the believers by saying, "O You who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are appointed angels stern and severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do what they are commanded" (Surat at-Tahrim, 66:6).

Today, every Muslim is able to communicate his works in the cause of explaining religion via the Internet to every part of the world. He is able to be brothers with millions of believers whom he has not even seen the face of or heard the voice of. In the same way, he witnesses the works of his faithful brothers for the attainment of Allah's will and benefits from their knowledge, eagerness and enthusiasm.

Since technology is widespread in every second of one's daily life, people may have developed familiarity to many of its details. The expressions and terminology related to this technology may seem a little bit "mechanical." However, it is good to look behind the jargon and peer into the essence of what can be done over the web. For instance, if a believer spares a special place on his homepage to promote his brother's work, or gets involved in an activity, or announces an activity to the entire world via the Internet, he will have joined together with his brother's efforts of notification and recompense.

This is obviously a very important blessing for the believer. Our Lord has brought into existence such novelties as support and ease in the believers' efforts to communicate the religion of Allah in such a time of obstruction. Considering that Allah has given the opportunity of notification to the entire world, it would not be right for the believer to call only his own village, town or country to the righteous morality of Allah. Everyone should strive up to the maximum of his efforts and opportunities.

Besides the Internet, technology provides other advantages for the religion. The believer who acts in conformity with his wisdom and righteous soul always uses his time effectively. Obeying the commands of Allah, he keeps working hard after being freed from task. After all, the worldly life is a place to achieve utmost remuneration by realizing maximum good deeds.

Technological progress provides bountiful facility in working for the believer, who strives hard in the cause of Allah. Because his work is finished in a much sooner time, he eventually accomplishes more righteous deeds. For instance, the books that used to be reprinted in manuscript historically are today printed by the thousand or even million with the aid of computers and printing houses, so these operations do not take much time from the believer.

There are many other means of communicating the religion of Allah. Printing books, publishing magazines, making CD's that possess the message for notification, and preparing tapes that explain and demonstrate the facts of creation are only a few. Moreover, communicating some issues to people through the organization of conferences and use of the most advanced techniques of devices and equipment will enhance the efficiency of the efforts. Addressing people in the finest manner in terms of audio-visual capabilities may give rise to their positive inclination to Islam.

The examples of use of technology in the service of religion are countless. The point is the priority should be directing technology the right way and using it for good intentions. Since these opportunities may serve humanity and bring about benefits only if they are used with wisdom and the righteous soul.

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