The Importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Ramadhan
The most-wanted month of all has come. Every Muslim’s 11 month-waiting is relieved by its presence. The month where on the first ten days Allah gives abundant Rahmah to all His creatures, on the second ten days He provides forgiveness for any mistakes that we made, and on the last 10 days Allah will put us away of hellfire.
During this holy month, when Al-Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh – Peace be upon him), every Muslim should be fasting, as stated in Sura Albaqara (2) verse 183:
“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint.”― (Al-baqara: 183)
For 29 or 30 days long, every believer should not eat during the day, neither should conduct sexual intercourse nor other lust-driven activities. It’s the month when our physical body and soul is trained.
It is believed that during that month we should increase our frequency in submitting good deeds to Allah Almighty while reducing the number of foul as minimum as possible since during this month, every ‘ibada that is worth sunnah in the other months, will be judged as worthy as fardu ‘ibada.
Therefore, it’s almost mandatory to always be doing great good things during Ramadan as well as spreading the invitations to do so. Not only conducting the good deeds by ourselves, but we also need to invite the others to do so.
How ICT meets the needs
In the last two decades, ICT has been the most developed technology for humankind. Since the use of first personal computer in 1970s and first laptop in 1980s, nowadays the use of computer for business applications, education purposes, military services, and personal needs is inevitable. We can find the application of ICT in almost every area of human interest.
In this modern age we can personally witness how ICT solve the distance problem in business life by the implementation of teleconference-distant learning. The use of cell phones has provided a great aid for businessmen to manage their networks wherever they are.
ICT has eased the teachers and professors in teaching their students. Power points based application is now everywhere in every classes throughout high schools and universities. E-Learning is now very popular in education field as Michael Jackson in music.
In modern military and security defense of major world leader nations, ICT has truly played significant role. The real life simulation of 3D helps them practice to adjust the war site. Satellite images from above-the-sky let them know the current conditions of enemies they are about to face.
Those applications can even be more useful for even much greater purposes, the da’wah of Islam. By implementing those advantages of ICT, the da’wah of Islam can even be much greater. There are some points where we can utilize the ICT for the sake of Allah.
Internet has been one of the greatly rapid developments of ICT. It’s the core value of modern communication and information dissemination. Implementing the Internet-based application, we can conduct the online da’wah in which we don’t have to meet face to face.
Using Internet technology, we can replace the old fashioned book with online e-book or article. In addition to its free price, we can also spread them out easily since they don’t need the packaging and delivery service. We can share those Islamic e-books and articles to our Muslim friends so that they can have the lessons inside the pages of those online books.
Moreover, Internet helps us to find out information that we need easily. In the decades before, Muslims brothers had to go from one library to another to search the articles/hadeeths that they needed, but now, every Muslim can just simply sit in front of his Internet-connected computer and look for any articles or information they need easily via Internet.
During Ramadan, we can surely find as many articles as we want. We don’t have to seek on library for Ramadan guide; finding on Internet is now much more favorable. Moreover, hadeeths or verses that we need to refer for better Ramadan daily activities will be easier to find on the Internet than looking for them in textbooks.
Short Messaging Service (SMS) has been a must in every cellular application service. There is no any mobile phone without SMS services. This function is very powerful, unlike its physically unsophisticated feature.
One important implementation for da’wah is by sending hadeeths to our colleagues or mentee students. We can send reminders to our friends to keep their minds on Allah. Another way is by sharing congratulations or good willingness for our acquaintances’ great achievements so that we can be better Muslim brother for them.
In the very basic function, SMS helps us to arrange religious meeting with our brothers. It could be mentoring meeting or discussion group for more advanced talk. During our Islamic holy days, we can send greetings to our friends everywhere in the globe.
During Ramadan, we can send religious message and reminder to our beloved colleagues, wishing their great day during Ramadan or wishing them nice dinner at night after fasting for the whole day. In society where there are no many mushollas or masjid, SMS is very helpful in collecting people to have the Teraweh together.
Another common ICT application is live (web) messenger in which we can communicate with our distant friends in real time. Not only chatting via text, the current development of web live messenger even allow users to call another freely through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as long as those two computers are connected to Internet access and possess microphone and headphone. Moreover, the current notebook even supports real time video calling for free as well. As both end-line computers have web-camera (web-cam for short) we can talk face to face to our friends.
This application is very important for mentoring or chief meeting whose members are on different places. In mentoring, the mentor and mentees don’t necessarily to stay in one room, sitting together on the same table. The mentor could be in Saudi Arabia while some mentees listening the mentor’s lecture in their room of Harvard’s students’ dormitory while some are participating from their Finish NOKIA’s office. The mentor can deliver his lecture and the students can also asking questions on real time and watching the mentor’s face on the screen.
Using live messenger such as Yahoo!Messenger, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, Skype, and Nate on, a transferred mentee can still join his old mentoring group even though he’s moving out to different country. Distance is no longer a problem since the fundamental needs of mentoring (live talking that enabling two-way communication) are fulfilled.
Many Muslims don’t live in the same city with their family, and therefore during Ramadan, the holiest month of all, they need to talk to their family to know how their fasting. Web messenger will be so helpful on that time since live conversation is possible during the day and night.
Moreover, mentors can still remind his mentees everywhere they are to keep up the good deeds during the Ramadan and to compete in good practices. A brother can encourage his sister not to get involved to her non-Muslim friends who don’t conduct the fasting during the days. A father working abroad can still monitor his children’s fasting even though they’re not in the same place. Those are possible in current age because of the rapid development of web live messenger.
Online video streaming is very powerful to spread out the news of Islam as well as for lecturing to Muslims all across the globe. Unlike the old era when we had hard times to get qualified lectures of Islam, nowadays we can find any kind of online Islamic teaching in Google Video or Youtube as well as other video streaming providers
If we need lecture, we can just open our computer and connect to Internet, and then we can get (almost) any kind of lecture that we want. We can find any information we deserve, from the application of fiqh in daily life, the tajwid of the Quran, the history of Islam, to the life of Muslims in different states.
During the Ramadan, we can also get live lecture from Ulama whose hometowns are in different countries. Their teachings are easily found on the Internet. If we are living in non-muslim are, we don’t have to travel two hours back-and-forth for the teaching so frequently, we can save our time by the use of online teachings that are almost ubiquitous in the current age.
Even though ICT is not the product of Muslim or Islamic Organization, its promising application for Islamic da’wah is very clearly visible, and therefore we the Islamic believers must utilize such technology for the sake of Allah.