The Satisfaction of an iPhone - 02-12-2012, 08:40 PM
Either way, that's no-one's business and it is your money.
You have the right to spend it as you wish & don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
When you do go to make a purchase however, it may be worth taking some things into consideration.
Here is an article I recently read.
You may or may not relate to it. Regardless, it has a meaningful message.
You don't have to be a Muslim to appreciate that.
The Satisfaction of an iPhone
You have owned an iPhone 4 since it came out. You accessorized it with
different covers, a wall-charger, and even a car-charger. Then in October
2011, the iPhone 4S emerges. Suddenly, you want the new iPhone, you
need the new iPhone, you envision the new iPhone in your hands. So you
upgrade, and you get rid of your (suddenly) old model. The newer version
is minimum two hundred dollars with a two-year contract, you add on
insurance (just in case), and a new cover or two.
You are content…until the iPhone 5 comes out in 2012, and then the cycle
This scenario is familiar to many Americans who like to keep up with the
latest trends. It is a cycle of replacing and upgrading perfectly usable
objects that we own, and it is a result of ‘perceived obsolescence’.
Perceived obsolescence is a concept that explains how we believe that the
items we own, that are still usable, have suddenly become ‘obsolete’ (The
Story of Stuff). They cannot be used anymore because there is a better,
newer, and more functional version out there. Remember the first version
of the iPhone? It has become so obsolete that the concept of buying and
using one now is laughable.
However, perceived obsolescence applies to more than just iPhones; it
applies to any material object that we buy. Down the line, we decide that
we want to get rid of these objects because they are no longer trendy;
this includes clothing, electronics, and even home décor.
The Qur’an tells us how we have become so distracted with material
“Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you, until you visit the
graveyards,” (Qur’an 102:1-2).
Do we wish to spend all of our lives racing to accumulate material goods
and benefits that will never bring us true satisfaction? Although it is
exciting to receive a new iPhone, how long until we get bored and decide
that we want something better, newer, and more expensive? We spend
countless hours per week working, only to spend a great percentage of our
paycheck on things that we do not need.
As for the solution, are we supposed to shun all material aspects of this life
and deem them haram (prohibited)? No, not necessarily. But we do need
to realize that the problem is not in the practice of being consumers, but in
the actual mindset of consuming. We need to learn how to alter our
perspective and realize the difference between wanting something
and needing something. Of course we all know the actual difference
between wanting and needing, but the line between these two concepts
becomes fuzzy when we desire the wrong things. We begin to believe that
we actually need the new iPhone, video game console, or pair of jeans,
even though we simply want it and in reality, our life would not crumble or
fall apart without it.
As Yasmin Mogahed reminds us: “Remember that everything in this life is
only a glimpse. Love, beauty, happiness are only imperfect approximations.
Only the dunya (worldly) version of these things. Seek the Real thing […]”
The line between the ‘real thing’ and ‘approximations’, however, has
become blurred. We have become so bombarded with advertisements that
lure us into believing we want things that we do not even want. Men are
convinced that if they buy a certain cologne they will look as handsome as
the model wearing it, and women are convinced that if they buy a certain
mascara they will have eyes as beautiful as the model’s, even though both
the male and female models in the advertisements have been heavily
photoshopped. Many times we believe the advertisement, we fall for its
promises, its deceptions, its lies, and we buy the cologne, the mascara,
the jeans, the camera—anything and everything that is advertised these
days. We buy the product, we may use it for a while, and eventually it
becomes clutter that fills up our homes and our lives. Eventually our homes
and our minds become so stuffed with clutter and things that we do not
need that our values become inflated as well. We forget what is important
and what is not.
Remember our main goal in this life: to serve Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala
(exalted is He), and to reach jannah (heaven) in the real, everlasting life.
Enjoy the beauties of this world because they are gifts from Allah (swt)
but do not be led astray by them. The less stuff we have, the more
grateful we will be for the things we do have.
Studies have shown that truly happy purchases are not material objects,
but experiences that we create. These types of purchases create
memories that will never be forgotten, that we can carry with us at all
times, and that will never clutter up our shelves.
The article makes an excellent point, "that truly happy purchases are not material objects, but experiences that we create".
Don't fall into the overly consumerist/materialist lifestyle that these Western Capitalist economies (ones in which many of us currently reside in) wish for you.
Don't be afraid of not sticking to the latest trends like all your friends do. If they laugh at you for doing so then you need new friends.
Be content with your material possessions. Do not fixate yourself with them.
Will improving the content of your possessions improve the content of your character? If not then how can you work towards the latter?
I'm not telling you to not buy stuff you like.
It's just something to ponder over...
To advise others is an easy matter, the difficulty is accepting advice -- since it is bitter for those who follow their
own inclinations and desires.
-Imam al Ghazali
02-13-2012, 01:04 PM
In life everyone does not deserve that type of a luxury. I respect people who spend their money wisely but what good is an impressive bank balance if you are dragging yourself to work everyday or are laying dead in your coffin having deprived yourself of the goodness life had to offer. And mind you, if buying stuff provides instant satisfaction, saving up provides security. There is no escape so might as well enjoy it. Work hard and reward yourself accordingly.
I am no bird, and no nest ensnares me.
non commercial would cost less if he was in charge himself which he plans on doing. right now it's n herat but soon it will be in qanadahar.
02-13-2012, 01:33 PM
I am glad I am not a materialistic person, I mean I do like good clothes, technology etc... but the way I see some people go crazy over these things just makes me sad, there is so much more to life then materialism, yet for so many people out there, their only satisfaction is materialism and having the best of best is a must for them.
02-14-2012, 05:09 PM
Mashallah, thank you very much for putting up such a wonderful article wrora, alhumdulillah I am not a very materialistic person either, but the last time I did an act which was typical of "keeping up with trends" was the fact that I spent £272 for a Blackberry Bold 9870 at the time when it was new, then all of a sudden it was updated with a newer version within 4 months, I was really annoyed and since then I haven't bothered with any of this materialistic rubbish except constructive things. And as for clothes and everything else, I manage to keep such things of mine in good condition that I can end up using them for many years.
02-14-2012, 06:59 PM
It is a great article.. Thanks for sharing it with us..
I am still using my Iphone 3gs and it is working fine for me.. When the time comes, I will upgrade to an android phone (most likely an HTC)..
02-22-2012, 04:37 AM
I agree with the others, this is a great reminder. I have an Iphone but I regret having gotten one, data plans are expensive and most of us have internet access at home as well.
I must admit though it has made Islamic materials a lot more accessible for me - qibla and adhan, Qur'an with audio, tools and resources for learning/practicing Arabic, etc. Once you use the capacitive touch screen it's hard to go back though...