Aisha Ahmad, Ontario, Canada
It is said in the Holy Quran:
“He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, even if those who associate partners with God hate it”. (Surah al-Saff, Ch.61: V.10)
Technology in the modern age has evolved in leaps and bounds providing mankind with platforms as were never thought of before.
This revolution in civilisation that started from the basic invention of the telephone allowing for the communication of humans across long distances has become increasingly expanded to the point where, at the click of a button, whole messages can be transmitted across the entire world in a matter of seconds.
With such an advancement, one wonders concerning the reason for such rapid technological evolution in the past few years. What purpose does this technology maintain in the modern day and age?
Islam explains the role of technology in the current age as a medium through which it will be propagated and prevail over all other religions of the world.
The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was entrusted with two important tasks: the perfection of the guidance and the completion of the propagation of that guidance.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas declared that the second task was to be fulfilled in his time and after him, through his community. He said:
“It should be borne in mind … The perfection of guidance from every aspect took place through [the Holy Prophet’ssa] first advent, and the completion of the propagation of guidance was accomplished through his second advent … This makes it clear that he will have a second advent … [that] is now taking place. Thus, this is the time of the completion of the propagation of guidance … Therefore, these advancements are in fact the advancements of the Holy Prophetsa because through them, the second part of the excellence of his perfect guidance is being completed.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 4, p. 10)
In the years leading up to the appearance of the Promised Messiahas, the Industrial Revolution was well underway. It was a period of great technological development which began in the middle of the 18th century and stretched as far as the mid-1800s.
This industrial revolution took place at such a rapid pace, with such inexplicable and unimaginable technological creations that it seems to have been done in quick preparation for a great transformation of the world. Within a century, the living standards of the masses had undergone a complete change to a level as had never been attained before.
The connection between the age of technological advancement and the advent of the Promised Messiahas is staggering and cannot be ignored. The Promised Messiahas once commented, “It is a matter of principle that whenever a messenger appears in the world, all great world events and revolutions that take place in his time are attributed to his advent.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 9, p. 366)
These innovations were put in place by God Almighty so that the prophecies of the Holy Prophetsa would attain fulfilment as he had declared:
“The Hour [i.e. Judgment Day] will not come until time draws near and a year becomes like a month, a month like a week, a week like a day, a day like an hour, and an hour like a burning piece of wood” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Zuhd an Rasulillahsa)
Indeed, by way of trains, airplanes, cars, telegraphs, postal services and printing presses, the world has become a global village, making it possible to spread the teachings of Islam throughout the world with unprecedented ease.
The Promised Messiahas wrote:
“O ye who yearn and thirst for truth, listen! … God has Himself provided the means for fulfilling His prophecy that the message of the Messiah will spread in the world like lightening and will encompass all four corners of the earth like the light from a tower. The railways, telegraph, steamships, excellent postal services, easy modes of travel and tourism and other such means have been established to fulfill the prophecy that the message of the Messiah will illuminate every corner like lightening. The true nature of the tower of the Messiah that is mentioned in the Ahadith is that the Messiah’s invitation and message will spread on this earth very quickly just as light or sound from a tower reaches far.” (The British Government and Jihad, p. 18)
The Promised Messiahas was in constant interaction with technology and considered all new innovations to be stepping stones through which he could convey the message of God to mankind.
One of the greatest technological advancements was the invention of the printing press which made the production and spreading of books more efficient and easy, since scribes were no longer required to meticulously handwrite every book.
Another invention of great significance of the Promised Messiah’sas era was the camera that, according to Hazrat Ahmadas, allowed people of Western origin to “… estimate the level of one’s spiritual prowess … The reason I had my picture taken was to benefit from this medium in calling others towards Islam”. (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pp. 364-365)
The phonograph was a device which recorded and reproduced sounds. This machine quickly gained fame and when it arrived in India, the Promised Messiahas was highly enthusiastic about this invention, remarking :
“Up until now, this phonograph has only been used for fun, but in actuality, God has kept this invention for us and great tasks will be carried out through it.” (Al Hakam, 10 November 1901, p. 4)
The advancement of technology has provided us such tools and gadgets that we can watch MTA according to our own convenience, wherever we want, whenever we want.
In his Friday Sermon of 11 November 2016, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
“MTA is a medium to connect the Jamaat with Khilafat”
And, in our age, technology has become even more advanced in the abundance of resources available for the propagation of Islam. Platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter allow for the spread of Islam by merely liking or sharing a certain saying of the Promised Messiahas or his Khulafa. Through resources such as the Al Islam, Al Hakam and the Review of Religions websites, answers to allegations against the Islamic philosophy may be found in as simple an act as typing the question into the search bars.
Hence, technology has become very easy to garner our interests. This era of technological advancement provides the Promised Messiahas and his community with the necessary tools by which to propagate the message of Islam to the corners of the world.
May Allah enable us all to understand the importance and means of the proper use of modern day technology in order to bring about the victory of Islam. Amin.