2024 Dawns in the Midst of Myths, Massacre, and Melancholia
Hope remains the fuel for our voyage to the future. As we embark on the journey of the new year, let's aspire to make it one of enrichment, productivity, and greatness. It's opportune to pause and scrutinize the reality that envelops us. This reflection serves as a guide to liberate ourselves from any misconceptions that may have entangled our lives. Placing hope in myths and misconceptions can worsen our suffering. Let’s approach future challenges thoughtfully. Highlighted below are various misconceptions and myths, each accompanied by its corresponding reality.
Limitless possibilities are often associated with technology and social media. However, a closer examination through the lenses of productivity and creativity reveals a stark truth – our inherent potential frequently remains untapped. Wasted energy is evident in seemingly busy but ultimately unproductive activities. From an Islamic perspective, amidst celebrations and leisure, there's a tendency to neglect the profound journey towards our true 'home' – a paradox where happiness resides in fleeting moments. It makes us to say that we live in myths.
In today's digital age, mental health is a rising concern. The continuous exposure to comparisons, unrealistic expectations, and information overload can become overwhelming. Our online presence opens us up to an unfiltered world, disrupting the tranquil shores of our hearts and stirring up storms. The only filter in place is our self-control and discipline, akin to the concept of ‘taqwa.’ While it's essential to seek knowledge, there's wisdom in acknowledging that not all information around us is beneficial. The Prophet (ﷺ) sought refuge from knowledge that doesn't bring benefit, emphasizing the importance of discerning between beneficial and unnecessary information.
Despite the vast accessibility of billions of e-books, online publications, and exclusive entry to libraries, archives, and manuscripts, our professed wealth of resources sharply contrasts with our reading habits. Even individuals deeply immersed in education often find it challenging to foster a genuine connection with the act of reading. For many, reading is synonymous with sifting through the often trivial content on social media and YouTube comments. Meanwhile, books in the library remain untouched, their pages longing for someone to breathe life into the letters they hold. The first revelation for this ummah is to "Read," without which everything is a misstep.
Our homes overflow with material possessions, yet our lives are overtaken by bustling schedules. Despite this abundance, our true wealth becomes obscured beneath layers of stress, pressure, ingratitude, and greed. The relentless pursuit of accumulating belongings inadvertently impoverishes us in areas vital for our well-being, such as meaningful relationships, personal growth, and a sense of purpose. This stems from the misguided belief that material possessions are the root of happiness, a notion that, in reality, lacks foundation. The most precious treasures are intangible but profoundly felt—love, compassion, kindness, and gentleness. Enriching ourselves with these qualities constitutes true wealth.
The myth of overnight success preys on the impatience of the younger generation, enticing them with the promise of immediate results—invest today, profit tomorrow. While success stories may seem instantaneous, the hard work, determination, and perseverance behind them often go unnoticed. The new generation tends to focus on meeting immediate needs and pleasures without much consideration for long-term plans, rendering them somewhat trivial in essence.
The art of prioritization appears to have waned. The younger generation often struggles to discern between obligations, recommendations, and permissible actions. This struggle can result in becoming overly involved in permissible activities, neglecting the fulfillment of obligatory duties. Individuals often endeavor to portray themselves as heroes online, but their commitment to home life may be 'zero.' The number of likes and social media friends provides little substantial assistance in critical situations. The digital applause is an allure. Regrettably, those who genuinely care may inadvertently be overlooked. In this pursuit of virtual validation, we inadvertently deprive our nearest and dearest of the time and attention they crave.
There's a prevalent concern for health, with many individuals investing time in exercise and gyms. However, on the flip side, there's a tendency to indulge excessively in unhealthy foods and addictions. This reflects the myth of health. In reality, a balanced approach to food consumption, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep are crucial elements for maintaining good health.
The pain endured by those around us is immense, and it necessitates our reflection. The dawn of 2024 emerges against the haunting echoes of brutal massacres in 2023. The pages of the new year's calendar are stained with the blood of innocent children, a grim testament to the prevailing injustice worldwide. In the midst of these tragedies, countless voices go unheard, and the profound value of numerous lives is tragically overlooked. Millions of dreams lie buried, and countless lives are shattered in their infancy. In this ongoing battle, it is imperative for each individual to contribute to the best of their abilities through meaningful words, impactful actions, and resolute stances.
About the author
Sayyed Mohamed Muhsin, PhD is Assistant Professor of Islamic jurisprudence at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Islamonweb-English (https://en.islamonweb.net/)
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.