Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,
The topic about Facebook had been one of the topics I had been itching to write about but never really had the chance to sit down to sort out all these thoughts. Al-hamdulillah, a Brother suggested in my previous post that I share my point of a view as Muslimah on this issue. This is a much better topic to focus on rather than initially intended. There are many articles on Facebook being a fitnah – try googling and you’ll get a list of articles related to this. Note that, I write this with the intention to remind myself first before anyone else as just like most of you, I am a frequent Facebook user too.
There are many things I want to comment on especially pertaining to how it affects our Deen.Unfortunately, many of us remain oblivious at how much fitnah Facebook can affect us unknowingly. The ‘fitnah’ that I’m referring is quite subtle I would say. We do or say certain things that we deem appropriate but unfortunately, do not realise that it might open doors that to lead fitnah. In Suraah Israh, ayaah 32, Allah swt said,
And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).
Imaam al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The ulama said that the phrase And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse is more eloquent than merely saying Do not commit zinaa, because the meaning is, Do not even come close to zinaa. This means not doing any deed that may get close to zinaa or lead to it, such as being alone with a member of the opposite sex, touching, looking, going to evil places, speaking in a haraam manner to a woman to whom one is not related, thinking about and planning immoral acts, and so on.
Facebook has indeed made it easier for us to interact with others. With just a click away, we are able to do wonders on Facebook – add friends (and even strangers) onto our account, browse pictures, ‘like’ statuses, chat with others, access personal information of others (i.e. school, hometown etc) – all in one portal. But how can that lead to fitnah?
One of which that is apparent nowadays would have to be intermingling with non-Mahrams. Those who have both sexes on their Facebook would have seen this happening frequently. Say a brother posts a status on his wall and both brothers and sisters comment on it with smileys and ‘laughter’ (in abbreviated forms such as ‘Lol’, ‘Hehe’) in it. If this form of intermingling freely between sexes is not allowed in public, do you think it would be permissible to do so online as well? Definitely not!
Posting pictures on Facebook can be a way which leads fitnah too. I have been seeing pictures of sisters displayed so openly for everyone to look at. There are pictures of sisters who are nicely made up, dressed in their best clothes whilst some have pictures of themselves in hijaab but not properly covered and also there are those without hijaab. ‘Tabarruj‘ or display of beauty is a sin for both of you and the one who’s looking at those pictures. (Brothers – please lower your gaze!). How is it that we tell brothers to lower their gazes but we are not doing our part in doing so?
This post discussed about setting limits and boundaries when chatting and personal messaging with the opposite gender.
How can we deal with this
I know of a couple sisters who strictly have all-females on their friends list so as to avoid having to deal the above . Personally, as much as that is desirable, we are living in the 21st century whereby having to interact with the opposite sex is inevitable. I have a two accounts- a mixed and all-females account – as I find that I benefit from the brothers too. Administrators for good Da’wah Facebook pages (e.g Islamiq) are run by brothers and in my opinion, I would be missing out on good ilm from them.
However, I must stress that if we choose to have a mixed account, ensure that you close all doors that can lead to fitnah. We take it too lightly such as when intermingling with the opposite sex that we overlook the possibility of something undesirable happening to us. Our actions and how we interact with each other can easily be misconstrued to mean something else thus it is only our duty to prevent it from happening.
If there is a need to say something to the opposite sex – do so but in a manner that is firm without having the need to be ‘friendly’. Smileys are unnecessary and laughter even more so.
Sisters, if you wish to share pictures of yourself with friends, the least you can do is to privatize it so that only those whom we trust can view it. It would be better if pictures of you without hijaab are not even uploaded for fear that it might be circulated if someone were to find it. Our beauty is privilege for us and our Mahrams to look at, not some random guy on Facebook.
If you use Facebook chat, create a list just for non-Mahrams and place them in the ‘offline’ category so that when you do come online, there is no way you have to deal with ‘random chats’ with those who are not related to you. And chatting is also being alone with the other person as only you and that person can see the conversation.
Lastly, this might seem trivial but how we interact with our own gender also matters sometimes. I’m not sure about any of you – but the sisters on my Facebook can be quite affectionate. Personally, I think referring to each other in endearing terms such as ‘dear’ or ‘love’ is fine. It’s just when it’s too affectionate that I find inappropriate especially if we have males on our Facebook who can access our walls at any time. And when I mean inappropriate, it goes something like this: “Baby, you’re so naughty!” or “Honey, I want to pinch you for saying that”. Lol! (Sorry, I had to laugh).. I think it leaves much to be desired..
As stated on the title, I write this post from my own perspective drawing from personal experiences. Some of the points are only briefly discussed and it would have otherwise been elaborated. Not everyone would agree with the points stated above and fair enough, we all have different opinions as to what constitutes a ‘Fitna-Free Facebook’ as it such a subjective topic to begin with. All in all, if we find that Facebook affects our eemaan negatively, then you know it’s time to give it up. Allahu Alam
Here are some good reads: