Caught in the Net

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011



I'm in need of advice.
I've stopped watching tv,Alhumdulillah.. All the good things i do now i owe it to Allah.. like I read 5 times..started wearing hijab, alhumdulillah, I dont listen to music anymore, etc etc.. But suddenly I've got addicted like crazy to internet!! Like BADLY!!! It's not like I do anything bad .. I just read updates from islamic pages on fb.. I read articles on all other islamic blogs and sites I come across..! But i'm doing this in excess.. like now I shud be studying for my exam tmrw .. but instead im here on net .. and i just cant seem to get myself off it! I've spent hours since morning on net!! I'm hating it..! I'm delaying my prayers coz of it.. and I feel if I dont work on it asap .. It'l spoil my relationship with Allah!! .. And then i cant think of anything that I can do without the internet .. which will keep my day productive.. I dont go out either! I do nothing .. I just eat and open my laptop and surf surf and surf net!! It's getting on my nerves but i just CANT seem to get over this addiction..! What do I do? How else can I keep myself closer to Allah?..and What can I do to get over this! I was recently hired for a islamic website too as a writer now I am all the more worried that i'll have more reasons to sit on net.. and u know my addiction might increase! What can I do to keep my surfing on net productive.. even though it is prod now since all i do is read islamic stuff etc.. but I dont know.. It doesnt seem right!!.. I log in and log on million times unnecessarily!! Because of this I dont do anything else during the day!! UGH! Please advice!! and pray for me!!!
I couldnt find any similar question or may be I missed out on something.. if any similar question is already answered please direct me to the link!



Dear Sister,

I just want to say that I’m very proud of you! Sounds like you’ve really been working on improving, yourself. It’s great to hear that you have begun praying 5 times and wearing hijaab. And it’s equally impressive that you’ve stopped watching TV and listening to music. Seriously, you should be proud of yourself. May Allah keep you steadfast and may He continue to guide you to what He loves.

About the Internet….It’s great to hear that you enjoy surfing Islamic sites. And I know how hard it can be to get off once you log on! But the truth is that surfing Islamic sites is not the only way to strengthen your relationship with Allah. That’s only one way. Sitting down at home in front of a laptop all day is definitely not good for your body. And I’m pretty sure your family misses you….Not to mention the fact that your prayers are starting to be affected.

Alhamdullila, you recognize all of this and just want a little push in the right direction.

The first thing you need to do is to remind yourself that Islam is a very practical religion and it recognizes that just like we have rights, Allah has rights over us, our bodies have rights over us, and our families have rights over us.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once asked a companion:
"(Is it true) that you fast all day and stand in prayer all night?" The companion replied that the report was indeed true. The Prophet then said: "Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 127

Second of all, you need to try to brainstorm of other ways to get closer to Allah. Right now, you're suffering from what I call the laptop crutch, where you are using the laptop as your means to becoming a better Muslim. But you don't need your laptop! Just remember that.

Here are some ways I thought up of that you can do (and remember, I want you to try these methods without the LAPTOP):


  1. Reading Quran and its tafseer
    (Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.'')
  2.  Making dhikr. There are so many hadiths about the excellence of dhikr.
    For example: Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “He who uttered these words: There is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. Sovereignty belongs to Him and all the praise is due to Him, and He is Potent over everything" one hundred times every day there is a reward of emancipating ten slaves for him, and there are recorded hundred virtues to his credit, and hundred vices are blotted out from his scroll, and that is a safeguard for him against the Satan on that day till evening and no one brings anything more excellent than this, except one who has done more than this (who utters these words more than one hundred times and does more good acts) and he who utters: Glory be to Allah, and all praise is due to Him, one hundred times a day, his sins are obliterated even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the ocean.
3. Fasting extra days.
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
4. Making dua :
“And when My servants ask Thee (O’ Prophet) about Me, then verily I am near, I answer the prayer (Dua) of the supplicant when he beseeches unto Me. So let them hear My call, and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” S. 2: 186
Think about the fact that no matter how many articles you read, none of the writers know your exact history/ your sins. Only you and Allah know, so turn directly to Him and talk directly to Him. Don't let the laptop or any daee be your intermediary between you and Allah. The more you talk to Allah directly, the better your relationship with Him.

5. Working on your relationship with your parents. 
Prophet Mohammed (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam) said: “The pleasure of the Lord is the pleasure of a parent, and the wrath of the Lord is the wrath of a parent.”
6. Trying to help someone else: (I think you even posted this before here...)
Abû Hurayrah relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever removes one of the hardships of a believing soul, Allah will remove from him one of the distresses on the Hereafter. Whoever solves someone else's problem, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and the Hereafter… Allah is ever assisting His servant as long as that servant is helping his brother.” [Sahîh Muslim (4867)]

So as you can see, there are a lot of other ways to get closer to Allah. What you need to try to do is to make sure that you’re using the Internet productively, as you said. To do that, there are a couple of steps.

- Number One: Decide that you are going to go online only after you have finished most of your school work. This is also a good idea so that you don’t keep checking the same links/ sites endlessly. That’s not really that productive. Instead, decide that you are only going to check the sites one time. Make some kind of reward/ punishment system so that you stick to it.

- Number Two: You need to give yourself a time limit and stick to it. You said that you were hired as a writer on an Islamic site. It would be a good idea to ask the admin about how much time they expect you to spend and how many pieces will you have to write. Two and a half hours a day might be a good number to start off with. With a time limit, you’ll prioritize and look at the things that really interest you. To stick to the limit, think about asking a parent/ sibling to remind you when time is up. You could even shut your laptop or computer. If that’s not your thing, you can check out some programs like EzInternet Timer or TimeUpKidz, though they cost money.

- Number Three: Try to get active at your local masjid. Think about joining a Quran halaqa. Or if you want, you could try to get a group of girls together. Every week, you could read from a tafseer together. Or how about creating an Islamic book club? You guys could recommend good Islamic books and lend them to each other. It’s important that you start meeting other practicing people besides our online friends and that you get out of the house every once in a while. (I’d even suggest having some sort of daily exercise plan)

Finally, check out this link to learn more about being addicted to the Internet:
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction.htm (And yes, I do see the irony of telling yo to check a site out, lol). inshaAllah also, our readers can help a bit, too :)

Lots of love,



8 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Sister-caught-in-net,  November 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM  

Jazakallahu Khair auntie :) I really needed someone to give me such a precise advice! Insha'allah, I'l work on the things you've asked me to! :)
And the hadees u mentioned in the beginning, even though i've heard it before.. but i always understood and viewed it in the religious sense but now I have a better understanding of it and I'll remind myself of it whenever I get caught up doing things in excess, insha'allah! :) You are right Islam is a very practical religion, All praise be to Allah for blessing us with it!

Jazakallahu Khair again and May Allah reward you for you noble work! :)

Anonymous,  November 30, 2011 at 11:26 AM  

Dear sis,i think you should get a planner,list all your daily activities and allocate time for each activity.Discipline yourself to stick to it.i advice your surf the internet last thing before you sleep.so by then you will be tired.Try out productive Muslim website.May Allah help you.

@Aunties may Allah Grant you guys a home in Jannah
You guys rock

THG

BookwormHijabi,  November 30, 2011 at 4:53 PM  

Assalam-o-alykum sister!
I SO know where you're coming from-its something I have been struggling with myself (JAK Little Miss Aunty for all the suggestions!)
Some other things that might help:
a)Try to plan such that you go online towards the evening-don't start your day with the very thing you're trying to give up! Keep sticky notes/a notepad with you and jot down sites you need to visit/stuff you need to look up etc throughout the day, when and as you remember.Once you do go online, use the notes as a guide and stick to them.This way you cut down on the unnecessary browsing
b)Spend more and more time with your family, especially your parents (it makes me shudder every time I realize that more than anything, hurting parents can be something that can lead you straight to Hellfire! Lost in all our acts of worship and seeking knowledge of Deen, we tend to forget some people that have quite a few rights on us!) So while you're online, you could find a recipe or something and then bake/cook with your mother and sisters-give your Dad a gastronomic treat! =D Also if you come across articles that you think your parents might like, mark them or email it to them and later hold discussions with the whole family.(However, DON'T waste extra time browsing for these!)
c)The knowledge you've gathered so far and keep gathering, take out time to share it with family, visit friends and share it with them...
d)Find out about lectures/classes being held in your city and attend them-there are more ways than just the Net to gain all that knowledge!
e)And finally, if NOTHING seems to work, ask your parents/elder siblings to keep a password for your laptop and have them log you in for a certain amount of time during the day.
Hope you can overcome the addiction!
*hugs* and Good Luck!:)

Sister-caught-in-net,  December 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM  

Walaikum assalam
Jazakallahu Khair sisters for your lovely advises. I really appreciate it! May Allah bless you both! :) I'm still working on my habits, remember me in ur duas! Insha'allah, hoping for a change soon!

Grey Abaya Girl,  December 3, 2011 at 11:58 PM  

Lovely post by Little Miss Aunty and nice answers from everyone. I'll share some online resources that will help if they catch your interest, Sister-caught-in-net. (Like Aunty said, it's kind of funny to use the internet to break the internet habit, but hey, even smokers use nicotine gum/patches for breaking the habit. So, it kind of makes sense, in a way.)

I recently fell in love with this website:
www.productivemuslim.com

Warning: it is addictive! hehe *wink*

But the stuff from it that I'm recommending is stuff that you either download or make a copy by hand. And if you like the articles on the site enough to follow them, then you can set a limit to read 1-2articles per day, or use another rule.

Anyway THE STUFF ITSELF IS:

1. The ultimate goal planner: to organize your general goals about life
http://www.productivemuslim.com/introducing-the-ultimate-goal-planner/

2. The daily taskinator: if you want to plan each day in detail.
http://www.productivemuslim.com/the-daily-taskinator/

3. The weekly taskinator: if you prefer to plan a whole week at a time.
http://www.productivemuslim.com/the-weekly-taskinator/

This website recommends this book for breaking addiction:
http://www.make-or-break-habits.com/book-summary/

It's the type where the free ebook has announcements in between to buy the full copy, but for your habit-changing mission, this version has good information. To make full use of it you would have read it with the internet turned off, take a notepad and pen, and make notes, and make goals from those notes, and then make dua to cover it all. (In fact, dua is the starting point, and the "perform at every step" point, actually).

I pray that Allah helps you. You know it takes 30 days to make or break a habit. It may even take longer, according to personality difference. So the key is PATIENCE...and to have faith that Allah will bring you there in the end. Your responsibility is the effort, Allah's responsibility are the results.

Grey Abaya Girl,  December 4, 2011 at 12:25 AM  

P.S.: The "addiction factor" of reading good Islamic stuff online is in the "feel good" effect. "Oh, what a lovely way to say it." "Such a nice article." "That's so beautiful", etc. You get addicted to the "faith rush". But you know, there's more to it than just reading and feeling good. If you read something good, then note the important points in your own words, then phrase those points as goals and add them to your planner/goal list, then figure out ways you can act on that concept--THAT is the real thing.

Just so you know, I haven't followed my own advice all the way to the end, yet. I'm still at the beginning stage i.e. planning my week. That's a habit I have already formed. I have yet to organize what I read with my weekly planning. But this is my "map" for how to go ahead with it. I don't want to live on intermittent "faith rushes". I want to bring my "baseline faith level" up. But for that, I have to put real effort into it. We all want to feel connected with Allah and "into" Islam, but we have to make the input, too. Regularly.

Proud To Be A Muslimah December 6, 2011 at 2:02 AM  

Wow JazaakAllah khair. May Allah SWT forgive me too

dawnrose December 17, 2011 at 7:25 AM  

Great advice as usual, Subhanallah. :))

@Grey Abaya Girl:

I was really taken aback at your comment, because that is precisely how I want to feel about faith - it shouldn't be some few spikes of "iman rushes" here and there, it should be a constant flow of iman, and sometimes spiked higher than USUAL when our iman reaches the peak. :) Insha'Allah.

And its what I have been thinking all along about WORDS. Words have such power over feelings; so to make sure I know what I'm feeling, I try to remove the words, then see how I feel. It's like how you said - we've got to understand the concept first, then warm up to that feeling when we realize, beautifully said words or no, we truly will still feel that way. Lovely said by you. :))

That's not to say we shouldn't be moved by the words, though, because the Al-Qur'an itself is made out of words that are truly very powerful. :)

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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