The iPod Complex A Memoir by

I walk into the Masjid and meet two youth (only a year or two younger than me). While waiting for our class to begin, I take out my iPod Touch to read some Qur’an.

However, one of the two kids eagerly asks if he could see it, pretty please.

I allow him. He, along with most of the other youth, finds it weird that my iPod doesn’t have a pass code on it. I don’t feel my iPod contents needs to be hidden. I try to live my life correctly and justify my actions (I know they can’t be hidden from Allah, so what do I care what anyone, but Him, thinks of me?)

So, he gets over that and continues browsing my app(lication)s. Then, he comes to Music. The other of the two youth quickly quips “He doesn’t have music.” Apparently, as an older, somewhat role model type, they have this idealist image of me.

The kid clicks on the app, and finds over 500 songs. Pure amazement. What even hits him harder is when he looks through the list; strangely, he doesn’t know a single piece of audio on my iPod. Granted, he disregards about 114 “songs” beginning with “Al-” that were Qur’anic surahs (and a large set more were a couple lectures’ series). But, I do have nasheeds and songs from Islamic artists on there.

The kid searches through and through, remarking to me, “You have absolutely no songs on here at all.”

I correct him – “No mainstream, non-Muslim, or unIslamic songs.”

The point is that the Muslim youth need to see that being “religious” (like I guess they percieve me, as I strive to be) does not entail one alienating themselves from all affairs of this world (ex, creative arts, sports, or any other worldly outlet). And if you’re not this image of being “religious”, then you just keep a Muslim name and engage completely into listening to (nonbeneficial or excessive) music, dating and other societal norms. The true moderate Muslim always lies somewhere in the middle.

The iPod is a complex that I feel represents an individual.

  • If an iPod touch is jail-broken (hacked to add custom features and gain free applications that otherwise would cost money), I think that individual felt restricted or trapped and needed to break free.
  • An iPod with a pass code belongs to someone with something to hide. Beware of this as a sin “is that which wavers in your soul and which you dislike people finding out about.” (An-Nawawi 40 Hadith, #26) (Muslim)
  • An iPod filled with Qur’an and lectures may represent a student of knowledge while an iPod with the latest releases from (insert artist name here) may not be so much into Islamic knowledge.
  • An iPod with dozens of useless games could speak of a person’s maturity while another’s featuring ebooks and notes show for a studious person.

I feel I’ve found a balance that I hope to keep improving on.

Now, as this is a blog primarily for the youth, I know that most of the readers have iPods or mp3 players. Comment with your thoughts on this iPod Complex theory and if it holds true (or untrue) for you.


   
  • http://www.muslimyouthmusings.com/ Arif Kabir

    I agree with a lot of your theory of an iPod complex, but I don’t think that having a passcode on an iPod necessarily means that they have a sin in there that they don’t want to share.

    A lot of times, people are turned off from stealing something if they see that there’s some type of security on a device. For example, most cars that are stolen in our area are because of people that left their keys as ignition inside the car while quickly going inside 7-Eleven to get a cup of coffee or something.

    Frankly, there are always signs that one may going in one direction due to a sign or another, but it’s all about the intention at the end of the day.

    • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

      Yeah, I didn’t mean for it to be that the passcode necessarily always translates to that…the hadith I mentioned did make it seem like that though..

      I know security’s always an issue…but it really does come down to intention. My thing was just that when people see i don’t have a passcode, most of the time they’re surprised because they believe the norm to be that I’d have to hide something like an iPod (especially in a Masjid…)…

  • Anonymous

    Asalaam Alaykum,

    I just came across your blog today and was about to write a comment about having a passcode on an ipo but by scrowling down a bit i saw bro Arif kabir’s comment, Having a passcode on ur ipod doesn’t mean you have a sin to hide or even anything to hide. I am a person who likes to keep things that belongs to me hidden for no reason… its just me and there are many people like.. Anyway the bro has said enough and i agree with him and I agree with every thing else you’ve said…

    But what I find strange is that the kids were suprised that you didn’t have a passcode on ur ipod… A lot of people don’t have passcodes on their ipods.

    Nice blog btw, keep it up.

    • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

      Jazakallahu Khair for the comment. This is actually a blog with many writers that write on issues for and about the Muslim youth. Thanks for stopping by though!

      As far the code thing, I agree, some people are just private people. I just mentioned to beware as I’d remembered the hadith that we should keep in mind, most of the time when we’re doing something, we know it’s wrong by the fact that we don’t want our parents or our peers to know about it (though this doesn’t always apply to sins, it could just be something embarrassing or private we’d like kept to ourselves). Once again, thanks for the comment Rasala!

  • http://www.muslimyouthmusings.com/ Arif Kabir

    I agree with a lot of your theory of an iPod complex, but I don't think that having a passcode on an iPod necessarily means that they have a sin in there that they don't want to share. A lot of times, people are turned off from stealing something if they see that there's some type of security on a device. For example, most cars that are stolen in our area are because of people that left their keys as ignition inside the car while quickly going inside 7-Eleven to get a cup of coffee or something.Frankly, there are always signs that one may going in one direction due to a sign or another, but it's all about the intention at the end of the day.

  • http://www.muslimyouthmusings.com/ Maryam

    mashaallah this is a well writte article.
    this happened to me too.

    A girl in my class was checking my phone out and shes like u have no songs in it!
    you shouldve seen her face, she thought that i was an alien.

    Nowadays people promote so much haram that the halal becomes so lost that if you practice it, you get to hear alot of stuff from people.

    SubhanAllah. perhaps ill write my side of the story someday inshaAllah,

    jazakAllah brother JAK :)

    • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

      Shukran for sharing sister Maryam.

      I guess it comes down to the hadith where the prophet (SAW) states that Islam came as something strange and it will return as something strange. Nowadays, being religious or even following a faith has become ‘weird’ and ‘strange’ and dare some say even ‘backward’. however, the hadith finishes by saying that glad tidings are for the strangers-the Muslims.

      • http://www.muslimyouthmusings.com/ Maryam

        yes jazakAllah, the first time i heard that ‘stranger’ hadith, i felt so blessed because i could relate to it alhamdulilah. subhanAllah, Islam is a complete deen. Alhamulilah

  • http://www.momo17.wordpress.com/ Maryam

    mashaallah this is a well writte article.
    this happened to me too.

    A girl in my class was checking my phone out and shes like u have no songs in it!
    you shouldve seen her face, she thought that i was an alien.

    Nowadays people promote so much haram that the halal becomes so lost that if you practice it, you get to hear alot of stuff from people.

    SubhanAllah. perhaps ill write my side of the story someday inshaAllah,

    jazakAllah brother JAK :)

  • http://pen-marks.com/ Sadiyah

    Mashallah that was great, I kinda agree with the passcode thing, I don’t put a password on mine because I don’t see a reason for it really, well I actually do only when my little kid cousins are visiting so they don’t get into it (they end up trying to guess it and when they guess wrong the iPod locks itself so I stopped turning the password on now lol)

    • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

      Lol…yeah, I actually had a passcode when I first got the ipod, and once I saw that feature, i took it off. I usually let others use my ipod if they like, and it really gets annoying when you have to wait 5 minutes after their unsuccessful attempts. :)

  • http://pen-marks.com/ Sadiyah

    Mashallah that was great, I kinda agree with the passcode thing, I don't put a password on mine because I don't see a reason for it really, well I actually do only when my little kid cousins are visiting so they don't get into it (they end up trying to guess it and when they guess wrong the iPod locks itself so I stopped turning the password on now lol)

  • http://www.muslimhomeschoolers.wordpress.com/ Zainab

    Lol… I don’t think you’re necessarily hiding something if you have a password on your things… I have a password on my computer so my lil bro doesn’t go on it without permission…

    Aside from the password issue… Every time I look through my friends iPods.. the only thing I find in there is a ton of music and one friend actually had all 114 surahs along with 100+ songs. Haha… I found that strange.

    • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

      Yeah, as the previous comments also stated, it all comes down to your intention behind locking it…

      On the other issue, I remember from a lecture of Shaykh Usama Canon (Zaytuna Institute) where he asked a whole set of youth for their ipods, and one kid finally gave in. He looked through it and found a whole bunch of inappropriate rap (lil wayne, t-pain, etc.). The boy had also said previously how sometimes Salah is boring for him to keep attention (listening to Qur’an). The Shaykh said (paraphrased) “Subhanallah, you find peace in these songs, but not the word of Allah?” Somethin to think about.

      Thanks for the comment Sister Zainab! (Lol, are ipods an issue for homeschooled students? :) )

  • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

    Yeah, I didn't mean for it to be that the passcode necessarily always translates to that…the hadith I mentioned did make it seem like that though..

    I know security's always an issue…but it really does come down to intention. My thing was just that when people see i don't have a passcode, most of the time they're surprised because they believe the norm to be that I'd have to hide something like an iPod (especially in a Masjid…)…

  • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

    Jazakallahu Khair for the comment. This is actually a blog with many writers that write on issues for and about the Muslim youth. Thanks for stopping by though!

    As far the code thing, I agree, some people are just private people. I just mentioned to beware as I'd remembered the hadith that we should keep in mind, most of the time when we're doing something, we know it's wrong by the fact that we don't want our parents or our peers to know about it (though this doesn't always apply to sins, it could just be something embarrassing or private we'd like kept to ourselves). Once again, thanks for the comment Rasala!

  • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

    Shukran for sharing sister Maryam.I guess it comes down to the hadith where the prophet (SAW) states that Islam came as something strange and it will return as something strange. Nowadays, being religious or even following a faith has become 'weird' and 'strange' and dare some say even 'backward'. however, the hadith finishes by saying that glad tidings are for the strangers-the Muslims.

  • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

    Yeah, as the previous comments also stated, it all comes down to your intention behind locking it…

    On the other issue, I remember from a lecture of Shaykh Usama Canon (Zaytuna Institute) where he asked a whole set of youth for their ipods, and one kid finally gave in. He looked through it and found a whole bunch of inappropriate rap (lil wayne, t-pain, etc.). The boy had also said previously how sometimes Salah is boring for him to keep attention (listening to Qur'an). The Shaykh said (paraphrased) “Subhanallah, you find peace in these songs, but not the word of Allah?” Somethin to think about.

    Thanks for the comment Sister Zainab! (Lol, are ipods an issue for homeschooled students? :) )

  • http://www.igotitcovered.org/author/dania Dania

    Good stuff, i really find that too when people are amazed when there isn’t ‘music’ on my iPod. Also, the password thing, like you said, if you need to hide something then you would have it.

    jazakAllahu khairun

  • http://www.igotitcovered.org/author/dania Dania

    Good stuff, i really find that too when people are amazed when there isn't 'music' on my iPod. Also, the password thing, like you said, if you need to hide something then you would have it.jazakAllahu khairun

  • http://JawaadAhmadKhan.com/ Jawaad Ahmad Khan

    Lol…yeah, I actually had a passcode when I first got the ipod, and once I saw that feature, i took it off. I usually let others use my ipod if they like, and it really gets annoying when you have to wait 5 minutes after their unsuccessful attempts. :)

  • http://www.momo17.wordpress.com/ Maryam

    yes jazakAllah, the first time i heard that 'stranger' hadith, i felt so blessed because i could relate to it alhamdulilah. subhanAllah, Islam is a complete deen. Alhamulilah

  • http://twitter.com/FatihSeferagic Fatih

    If someone has a password on their iPod, that doesn’t mean that they are hiding sins. Many people have pictures of their sisters, and siblings, or maybe even their spouses on their phones; and they don’t want others to see those things.

    Although I do agree; most YOUTH that have passwords on their iPods do have music on them, but then again; a large percentage of youth listen to music, regardless of a password, or an iPod.

  • SumaiyahKhan

    Amazing article masha Allah! its soo true what you said. even things like email, or now, google buzz, or facebook can tell you alot about who a person is..

  • annonamus

    i had an ipod but i lost it cuz of water damage but then it also made me reliize that maybe god took it away from me becuz i want using it the way i should hav…… even though i lost it i think that waz better for me becuz it help me relize that wat im doing whith it is going to hurt me later. Thank u to who wrote this and inshallah if it works again( am tryin to fix it) i will use it a better way that will benifit me in the hear after.

  • Slave of Allah

    I have an iPod touch 4g. It’s got a pass code that’s for sure but that doesn’t necessarily mean I have something to hide. As a matter of fact I don’t have anything to hide, I do not have any music on it nor do I have anything else that I would be ashamed about. All I have on it is nasheeds and lectures and my fave surahs recited by my fave reciters. But I still like to keep it locked at all times just for protection, so that no one goes through my personal information such as my email other accounts etc. I think the whole pass code lock is based on a matter of people’s preferences, nothing else really.

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