Islam encourages Muslims to continuously work towards improving their society and the world at large. A socially productive Muslim is a beacon of guidance and a source of knowledge and benefit to others. He contributes meaningfully to the welfare and development of his family, community and nation.
The noble Prophet said:
“Whoever relieves a Muslim of a burden from the burdens of the world, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens of the Hereafter. And whoever covers (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will cover (his faults) for him in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah is engaged in helping the worshipper as long as the worshipper is engaged in helping his brother.” [At-Tirmidhi]
There are countless number of blogs out there and if you channel your efforts in the right direction and for the right intentions, this can be a convenient way to be socially productive and earn reward in the process, In sha Allah.
Here are three simple ways blogging can help you become a socially productive Muslim:
1. Helping people with your knowledge
Blogging is essentially about teaching. Being a Muslim blogger, you share with your readers what you know, what you believe and what you are continuously learning. Since you can teach people what you are learning on the go, you need not be an expert at anything to do this.
Just look closely at yourself and notice things you’re passionate about and for which you receive commendations. This should give you an idea of the areas you can help others with.
For example, do people thank you profusely when you give advice on marriage and relationships? You could start a blog on that and save many marriages from gloom, constant squabbles or even divorce, In sha Allah. Are you a productive Muslim or do you aspire to be one? Like Abu Productive, you could share the helpful tips you know or have learned in the form of blog posts.
By the first half of 2012, I had won five writing contests. Consequently, friends started asking me to teach them how to write and tell them about writing contests they too could enter. I would explain the same things to different persons at different times, each day.
Soon, I was overwhelmed with the demands. So I thought of turning the problem into a prospect and then the idea of starting a blog struck me. And so my first blog was created. Over the years, the blog has attracted and helped tens of thousands of writers, Alhamdulillah.
Whatever your passion or core competence, you can do this too. You can help someone become an A-student, learn a craft, form better habits, find happiness, stop substance abuse, be a mommy-blogger, or even save a marriage if Allah wills. Just do it with the right intentions and you will be rewarded, In sha Allah.
2. Ending or alleviating social ills
When you blog and build an audience, you can move people to act. With that authority comes a great responsibility and an opportunity for social productivity. With it, you can raise awareness on causes affecting Muslims or even non-Muslims in your community or country; you can offer constructive critique on the policies of the leaders in your community and country; and you can expose social ills and make helpful recommendations to correct them.
You can read on BBC a report of how two girls, one in Scotland and the other in Brazil, started their respective blogs to critique poor learning conditions in their schools. In four months, the first blog (which inspired the second) attracted almost 8 million readers. In less than four weeks, the second blog attracted over 200,000 readers. In no time, the authorities in their communities took notice and quickly took action to improve the schools’ conditions.
And hear this shocker: the girls were just 9 and 13 years old, respectively. I don’t know about you, but that inspires me! It sets me on fire and makes me want to be more socially productive. It makes me see blogging as one potent way to translate into action Allah’s profound description of Muslims:
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” [Qur’an: Chapter 3, Verse 110]
3. Gathering support for good causes
With blogging, you can even go further in the field of social productivity by raising funds for needy Muslims or communities.
Think of how Islam Channel brings to the limelight and raises much-needed funds during Ramadan to alleviate the plight of orphans, blind people, people without access to drinking water, and the people of Gaza.
Think you can’t do that with blogging? Think again!
For instance, Pat Flynn, a blogger, recently raised $26,251 from his blog readers in 24 countries and added $25,000 to it himself, to build two schools in Ghana.
Trust me, you too can do this, and with sincere intentions, you will be highly rewarded, In sha Allah.
Helpful tips to get you started
I’ve told you some ways blogging can help you become a more socially productive Muslim, but how can you start putting these into practice?
1. Begin with good intentions
Umar Ibnul Khattab reported that the Prophet said:
“The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Your aim is to put your knowledge, skills and passion into productive use that will call people to good, shun evil, help others and earn you Allah’s pleasure in this life and in the Hereafter. You’re not out to become famous or be praised.
2. Start a free blog
You can start a free blog on WordPress.com or Blogger.com. But if you want more freedom and control, get ‘a self-hosted blog’ which will cost anything between $50 and $70 per year.
3. Choose a niche
Choose a thematic focus you’re passionate about and are competent in. It could be writing, productivity tips for Muslims, entrepreneurship, parenting, leadership, etc. Blogging without a focus is a big mistake that sets a blog to fail. Avoid it.
4. Give your best
Ensure that your blog posts are not the usual run-of-the-mill kind. Put in the effort to offer your help and advice in a way that has the highest benefit and impact. The Prophet said:
“Verily, Allah loves that when any one of you does a job, he should perfect it.” [Al-Bayhaqi]
5. Stay committed
Get to quality blogging by being consistent. Commit to publishing a helpful post once a week or twice a month or at whatever interval you find convenient, and stick to it. Share your posts on social media and encourage your readers to help spread the word. Read and make friends with other productive bloggers. You don’t have to invest all your time or burnout to gain traction in blogging – a simple blogging schedule that works for you goes a long way in helping you stay committed.
Blogging is a great tool that a Muslim can use to increase his knowledge, improve his skills, help other people and support good causes. It’s a potent way to become socially productive and be one more resourceful ambassador of the Muslim community. Most importantly, a sincere intention matters more than results. Never underestimate it!
Share with us below your experience with blogging and any tips that have helped you succeed!