Wednesday, 26 October 2011

SOcial RecOmmender Systems (SRS)

this topic might sound alien to many people but those with my educational background would be having a pretty good idea about it. I wont bore my readers with details of what SRS is but to get the gist of the main idea, the concept behind how social media and social networks recommend items,books,websites and commodities to us, primarily forms the SRS. for instance if i buy a book from amazon, it will recommend several other books to me based on various factors (my buying history, purchases of buyers similar to me etc). Now getting to the point of what's the idea behind me blabbering about SRS on the platform of REFLECTIONS !
When i first started listening to Quranic explanation, the first thing i learnt (and this was within one hour of the first lecture) was that my reading and understanding the Quran is not sufficient. No! the duty of a Muslim as clearly laid down in the Quran as well is to Seek,reflect and spread (SRS) and this SRS forms the social recommender system of a Momin's life. Seek guidance from the Quran and Hadith, reflect on it , ponder over it, apply it to your own life and then spread it to others to multiply your benefits and rewards. Summed up, it forms the ideal SRS (Social recommender system) -recommending and telling people what we need in life, what we need to purchase next (guidance through Quran and Sunnah by submission of our souls to the Lord) . Additionally, spreading knowledge helps in broadening the horizon of our knowledge as wel,l maybe because the person we impart the knowledge to, might have something more to add to it, which we might be previously unaware of. However, it's equally important to be sure about what we impart to others. Spreading wrong and misleading information(intentionally or unintentionally) would not only misguide the other person but would have undesirable consequences for us as well. It's better to confirm our knowledge before telling others and even them it's a desired approach to seek for Allah's forgiveness for unintentionally misquoting or mis-stating any information.

There are three important sources of authentic knowledge as is in the following Hadith:
Abdullah ibn Amir ibn Al As (r.a.) narrated that Prophet (s) said, “Knowledge consists of three things: the decisive verses (Qur’an), authentic Hadith and prescriptions rightly deduced from the two. What is beside them is superfluous (extra).

I thought listening to the Quranic explanation and trying to understand it, is itself an accomplishment. I was wrong, because  it's not a satisfaction until and unless we spread out our knowledge and learning to our brothers and sisters who may be equally thirsty for this knowledge but might just not have the required resources to achieve it. once we realize this responsibility bestowed on us by our Creator and our Dear Prophet Mohammad pbuh (who wanted his Ummah to continue his mission of spreading Islam and imparting it's knowledge to others), only then have we fulfilled the primary duty of being a Muslim. And that is exactly why i started off with this blog. it's not necessary that everyone has to hold a religious sermon at their place, has to write articles, give public speeches on Islam and Quran. That is definitely not what I mean by 'spread'. Each of us can spread the knowledge of Islam in our own different ways. Sitting with friends and imparting Quranic knowledge to them is good enough, sending an sms to contacts regarding something we learnt about Islam is worth appreciating, telling even just one person something that we know and they might not know serves the purpose of "spreading.' it all depends on each individual's capacity and ability.
But then again a hadith of the Holy Prophet pbuh condemns extremism in teaching Islam (implying that if a person starts off with a sermon when and where possible will make people run away from the religion rather than towards it)   :

Narrated Ibn Mas'ud: The Prophet used to take care of us in preaching by selecting a suitable time, so that we might not get bored. (He abstained from pestering us with sermons and knowledge all the time).

 Knowledge is one thing that multiplies when shared and whoever has the blessing of knowledge is no doubt fortunate.

the Holy Prophet pbuh is reported to have said :  "The best of charity is a Muslim who learns a knowledge and later teaches it to his Muslim brother."

Sahih Bukhari Hadith Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr (RA)
The Prophet (SAW) said : “ Convey my teachings to the people even if it were a single sentence”

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud: The Prophet said, "Do not wish to be like anyone except in two cases. (The first is) A person, whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it righteously; (the second is) the one whom Allah has given wisdom (the Holy Qur'an) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others."

lets all join hands in adopting the Islamic SRS in our personal lives to attain salvation and the pleasure of the Most Merciful. may our good deeds act as our saviours on the Day of Judgement and May Allah forgive us for all displeasing and disliked actions (of tongue and otherwise) done intentionally or unintentionally. Ameen. God Bless.


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