Interesting discussion of these issues by Sh. Hamza Yusuf. Excerpt:

HY: Yes. Modern technology dehumanizes by its nature, because it is based on massification (a computer in every home). Everyone is reduced to sitting around looking at blinking cathode rays on a screen. There is no human exchange anymore; people just send e-mail. People get nervous if you start talking like this because most Muslims are really embarrassed by the simplicity of the Prophet’s (pbuh) life. Many don’t want to admit that he lived in a house devoid of furniture; that he sewed his own shoes and collected firewood. The Prophet (pbuh) wasn’t interested in improving that aspect of his life.

Improving ones standard of living has become an idol whereas I think Islam lowers your standard of living. You become content with less. When the Prophet’s (pbuh) wife put a cushion in his bed he got upset. He consciously lowered his standard of living.

The truth is the whole world can’t support a bunch of consumers. Western technology is based on the exploitation of the other 90 percent of the world. All our wonderful technological achievements are based on the rest of the world living in abject poverty. Through enjoying the fruits of Western technology, we are in fact participating in the destruction of indigenous cultures all over the world and the impoverishment of those people.

Read the full interview here.

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