Hussein Rashid, who teaches Islamic studies at The New School, is also trying to cut back on gaming this Ramadan as part of his ongoing pursuit of a more “mindful” use of technology. Back in 2016, Rashid was spending well over an hour on Facebook every day when he decided to log out for the month of Ramadan.
‘The idea that Facebook promoted a false sense of self was really resonating with me and I started thinking about how Facebook encourages the nafs,” he said, using an Arabic word often used to describe one’s ego or animalistic self. At the end of the month, he realized he was both happier and more productive, engaging in less pointless arguments and idle chatter. The next year, he decided to delete it entirely.
“For me, part of developing spirituality is being honest with yourself and people you want to connect with,” he said. “Facebook was encouraging my worst attributes, my nafs, my ego, and pushing me to say, ‘Look how great I am. This is what’s happening in my life.’”