Table of Contents
What Is Ummah Apps & What Is The Need?
Ummah Apps is the parent company under which a number of multiple other applications and websites will be made available to the Ummah, in order to create mediums of communication, education and interaction for the overall development of the Ummah.
The main focus of Ummah Apps is to help digitise the Muslim Ummah; this way we can relate to the younger generation, taking into consideration the amount of time the youths are spending on their mobile devices.
Ummah Apps aims to close this gap by creating outreach programs via easy-to-use Apps. Our user-friendly guides will enable us to disseminate messages easily, we aim to have a one key portal where users will be able to download multiple apps that apply to them. By doing so, this will avoid and negate multiple distractions that often occur when searching for Islamic related programs online, and parents will be able to monitor & tailor Islamic Study programs without ad distractions or indecent content
The 21st century has seen an inescapable growth in the amount of social media usage by individuals, in particular the younger generation. Social Media allows youths & adults to create online identities communicate with others and build social networks. These networks can provide individuals with valuable support, especially helping those who experience exclusion or have disabilities or chronic illnesses.
However, Social Media use can also negatively affect youths & adults, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumour spreading, unrealistic views of other people’s lives and peer pressure. Therefore, it is imperative for the Ummah to focus on creating safe spaces for individuals, especially the younger generation to thrive in without compromising their Islamic Identity.
Ummah Apps aims to reduce this growing disparity between the risks of Social Media, technology usage and the youths Islamic Identity- by creating a safe online presence. We aim to achieve this by educating parents, community leaders and social reform activists about the benefits of technology and how we can use it to enhance the lives of those we love and value the most.
Through this online medium, we also aim to support Masjids to control their web presence and further keep up maintenance by creating live-stream and interactive web portals.
As we grow, we aim to venture into multiple different avenues. Essentially enabling Muslims globally to have useful Islamic information at the tip of their fingers!
What Is Behind The Name Ummah Apps?
Ummah is an Arabic word which translates to a community in the English dictionary.
Historically, the concept of a community arose from the beautiful teachings of our forefather in faith, Ibrahim Alayhis Salam. He travelled far and wide to deliver the message of peace, to unite a dysfunctional community and to remind those who’ve forgotten their duty to Allah SWT.
One of the greatest gifts our forefather left behind for us was the unwavering concern he had for the community. From supplicating for an entire nation to be guided to seeking ways to improve worship for those around him.
He Ibrahim Alayhis Salam was a visionary leader, a pioneer in seeing beyond the obstacles ahead of him and one who was solution minded for the problems of the common societies. His Sunnah was inherited by our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, who continued to spread the message of peace and unity throughout his lifetime.
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ spent his entire lifetime ensuring those around him were taken care of in the best manner. The concept of an Ummah started with our beloved’s household, his local surroundings, his neighbouring cities and further transpired globally. Today, the spiritual concept of the Ummah is meant to transcend national, racial, and class divisions to unite all Muslims.
The notion of the Ummah stresses the importance of the organization of society along ethical (and Islamic) lines. Membership in the Ummah is dependent on the threefold agreement of all its members: consensus of the mind (all perceive the world similarly), consensus of the heart (all share the same core values), and consensus of arms (all act accordingly to represent the values shared).
Ummah & Technology
Technology refers to ways in which people use discoveries to satisfy needs and desires and to alter the environment to improve their lives. In order for an Ummah to progress, then we must look at the current changes that are occurring in society today, from technological developments to economical changes.
Being able to navigate through these changes accordingly and having adequate change management practices such as technology awareness and up to date user friendly guides, will enable the ummah to become more responsive, less divided and more progressive. One way of keeping up with the times we live in is not shying away from community online engagement. This means that useful websites and app innovations are needed to create wider conversations regarding impending global changes.
The current pandemic has proven the need for a more progressive, unified online engagement within the Ummah. The closure of places of worship and the move towards remote working has opened new ways for companies to create better online outreach.
The fact that a number of Masjids worldwide have not moved towards creating an online presence, or the lack of development of saver app based Islamic interactive programs, are a few reasons for the Ummah to embrace technological advancements.
A Masjid is the heart of the community and creating an online presence that matches the level of support individuals would receive face to face, is needed now more than ever.
Youth & Social Media
The 21st century has seen an inescapable growth in the amount of social media usage by individuals, in particular the younger generation. Recent studies have shown that Social media is a big part of many youths’ lives. A 2018 Pew Research Centre survey of nearly 750 13- to 17-year-olds found that 45% are online almost constantly and 97% use a social media platform, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.
Social Media Benefits
Social Media allows youths to create online identities, communicate with others and build social networks. These networks can provide youths with valuable support, especially helping those who experience exclusion or have disabilities or chronic illnesses.
Youths also use social media for entertainment and self-expression. And the platforms can expose teens to current events, allow them to interact across geographic barriers and teach them about a variety of subjects, including healthy behaviours. Social media that’s humorous or distracting or provides a meaningful connection to peers and a wide social network might even help teens avoid depression.
Social Media Harms
However, social media use can also negatively affect youths, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumour spreading, unrealistic views of other people’s lives and peer pressure.
The risks might be related to how much social media youth’s use. A 2019 study of more than 6,500 12- to 15-year-olds in the U.S. found that those who spent more than three hours a day using social media might be at heightened risk for mental health problems. Another 2019 study of more than 12,000 13- to 16-year-olds in England found that using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens.
Other studies also have observed links between high levels of social media use and depression or anxiety symptoms. A 2016 study of more than 450 youths found that greater social media use, night-time social media use and emotional investment in social media — such as feeling upset when prevented from logging on — were each linked with worse sleep quality and higher levels of anxiety and depression.
How youths use social media also might determine its impact.
A 2015 study found that social comparison and feedback seeking by youths using social media and mobiles was linked with depressive symptoms. In addition, a small 2013 study found that older adolescents who used social media passively, such as by just viewing others’ photos, reported declines in life satisfaction. Those who used social media to interact with others or post their own content didn’t experience these declines.
And an older study on the impact of social media on undergraduate college students showed that the longer they used Facebook, the stronger was their belief that others were happier than they were. But the more time the students spent going out with their friends, the less they felt this way.
Because of youths’ impulsive natures, experts suggest that youths who post content on social media are at risk of sharing intimate photos or highly personal stories. This can result in teens being bullied, harassed or even blackmailed. Youths often create posts without considering these consequences or privacy concerns.
It is imperative for the Ummah to focus on creating safe spaces for the younger generation to thrive in without compromising their Islamic Identity.
By understanding the growing disparities between the risks of social media usage and the youths Islamic Identity, better precautions can be taken by parents, community leaders and social reform activists.