In the Qur’an, smart people are called ulul albab. Ulul albab or ulil albab (people of thought or reason) are mentioned in the Qur’an 16 times, namely in QS Al Baqarah verses 179, 197, and 269, Ali Imran verse 7, 190, Al Maidah verse 100, Joseph verse 111 , Ar-Ra’d verse 19, Ibrahim verse 52, Shaad verse 29, 43, Az-Zumar verses 9, 18, 21; Al Mukmin (Al Ghafir) verse 54, and Ath-Thalaq verse 10.
For example, in QS Shaad verse 39, Allah says, “This is a book which we have sent down to you with blessings, that ye may look unto his verses, and that they may learn of the minds (ulul albab).”
In QS Az-Zumar verses 9, 18, and 21, Allah explains in more detail who is ulul albab, that is, the person who remembers, hears the words then follows what is best among them, and considers the universe (how Allah sends rain and grow the plants).
I want to highlight the second characteristic in the above verse ‘who listens to the words and follows what is best among them’. Attitudes like this seem increasingly important in the era of cyber or internet era that makes information can be disseminated very easily. Young people are now easily searching for religious knowledge over the internet or termed ‘Mbah Google’. But unfortunately, the ease of this information also has a very damaging impact. For example, as is commonly known, ISIS recruits young people, both men and women, from all over the world through Internet propaganda. According to NU youth activist Syafi ‘Ali, ISIS internet propaganda is believed to have a key role in recruiting around 500 Indonesians to leave for the Middle East and join ISIS. The propaganda is mainly aimed at young people in big cities that are easier to get internet facilities. That’s why Shafi ‘Ali and his friends made Lasykar Cyber trying to fight against the internet against the ISIS’s massive propaganda (reported by Deutsche Welle).
ISIS propaganda is generally a slander against certain groups in the Middle East, especially Syria and Iraq, and the call to join in jihad action with the lure of celestial reward in heaven. In addition they also spread the understanding that Muslims today are oppressed by Western powers so to restore the glory of Islam needs to be established khilafah whose location in Syria and Iraq. Such propaganda is easily eaten by upset youngsters and has a passionate spirit to defend Islam.
But precisely here is the importance of attitude ulul albab, that is listening to words and then follow what is best among them. When they get various information, they will either have a rock or confirm it carefully. Is it true that the government of Syria and Iraq should be overthrown for the sake of the Islamic Caliphate? Why should Syria and Iraq be the majority of the Muslim population who are fighting? Why is not Israel that more than 60 years colonize Palestine? Then, if ISIS really wants to form an Islamic Caliphate, why should a wounded soldier be hospitalized in Israel (which borders Syria)? If ISIS really is an Islamic jihad, why are its war actions far removed from the morals of war taught by the Prophet, through suicide bombings, long-range bombings, and acts of beheading of civilians? If its khilafah is in Syria and Iraq, why ISIS actions are also conducted in Indonesia (eg, Sarinah bombs), France, Turkey, Bangladesh, Lebanon and other countries? And many more critical questions that will be submitted by ulul albab.
In essence, in this era of cyber we need to be careful in receiving information. Do not let the Muslims even become chess pieces arranged by the player chess, the disbelievers who want to control the natural wealth owned by the Muslims through the way of sheep. Every Muslim must be an ulul albab especially in this cyber era.