Fitna-free Facebook for Sisters – From my perspective

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Bismillah…

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..

Conclusion

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:

Harmless Chatting

Is Facebook hurting my eemaan?

Fitna Facebook

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Fitna-free Facebook for Sisters – From my perspective

  1. As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, it is a pleasure to read such a great article.
    The fact remains in the brothers and sisters not understanding the dangers of Facebook. I created a social network just for Muslimahs and yes I have been able to keep it open for 2 years. I invited thousands of sisters to come an join, as for today we have 287 members from around the world. Alhamdulillah, I am very please with the numbers and the sisters trying to stay connected. A lot of them don’t want to join and May Allah forgive me, because is no interaction with the opposite sex and is no fitnah allowed. What is wrong with this picture? Is not so hard to choose either you choose the right way or the wrong way is no middle path in Islam.
    Jazak allahu khayr,

    • Wa alaik salam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh Sis!

      Anything that is tayyib comes from Him alone, mistakes are mine alone. Al-hamdulillah, I saw your social network page and have signed up for it. In fact, I signed up for it again since I can’t remember my previous which email I used. Kheir Insha Allah, I’m sure sisters are not aware of the dawah4sisters page and they will sign up once they come to know 🙂

      I believe there is a middle path in Islam but we need to know where to draw it. If there is a necessity to interact with the opposite gender (i.e. in crucial situations for example someone is in need of help), then there should be guidelines in doing so. Allahu Alam.

      Wa Jazakillah khayr for your comment!

  2. True sis, Facebook really is one giant quicksand pit, you don’t even realize that you’re slowly sinking if you don’t watch it.

    My sister once called FB voyeuristic when I asked her why I don’t see her there often. It’s basically peeping at what everyone else has got on display isn’t it? And this in turn leads to other stuff such as backbiting and promoting haram and creating endless fitnah!

    But then again, there is also the other side of the coin. Facebook can also be used as a platform for good. As you said, Da’wah pages are run by brothers and we would be missing out on beneficial ilm if we choose to avoid them. The trick is as you said, to avoid becoming too chummy by talking about irrelevant things and going overboard with the smilies and lolz!

    It’s an interesting thing you’ve said about how the sisters interact. Sometimes I see people getting a little too much with the affection on FB! Lol, I find it weird too 😛

    I recently read an article about the horrors of facebook (can’t remember from where now) and promptly went on a cleaning spree. Lol, I wonder what people are gonna say when they discover they’re no longer on my friends list? *bites nails*

    • I like that term ‘giant quicksand’ you used to describe Facebook.. It fits the description nicely! How often is it that we don’t realize our eemaan is plunging until we reach the bottom? And especially with Facebook, with all the interactions with each other, we don’t realise that it can have a negative effect on our Eemaan..

      You raised a good point there. Since it is easy to add just about anyone, we wouldn’t know who our friends are.. Some might harbor ill feelings towards us and like you said, all kinds of fitnah can occur without our knowledge.

      Sis, this is similar issue with television – some people say it’s haraam because of all the indecencies and innuendos but like you said, it can be a good tool for da’wah as well. We should be smart enough to pick out the good from all the bad that is happening on Facebook and insha Allah we can benefit from it. Personally, I have learnt so much from all the Da’wah pages that had discussions and articles. Follow the Islamic guidelines and insha Allah none of us have to deal with fitnah.

      Haha sis, I speak from my own self actually.. all the lovey dovey messages can be quite nice (and I say this with a heavy heart lol) but I think some sisters forget that males can actually see those messages. I don’t want them to be having any unnecessary thoughts especially when the message is very affectionate.

      Don’t worry sis, I did a cleaning spree (about time for another one) a year back and so far males haven’t tried finding or contacting me.. Hopefully it’s the same for you 🙂 But don’t worry, if they do, just explain nicely to them hehe ❤

  3. Good post, sis!

    I like the practical tips you put, ma’shaAllah 🙂

    I think another fitna on facebook is the ‘making light of sins’. I see a lot of people publicizing their sins and this is a big no-no in Islam….

    Oh and about interacting with your own gender….I hate it when sisters put that their marital status is ‘married’ (and it’s like to their best friend who is a girl). As homosexuality is a terrible sin, I see no reason to ‘make light of it’, if you know what I mean.

    Also wanted to add that I believe a lot of what was mentioned can be applied to blogs, as well. Sometimes you start to see inappropriate comments in blogs and people getting way too ‘friendly’ all n the context of ‘sisters and brothers’.

    May Allah guide us all 🙂

    • OOo you raised very good points sis! It’s very common nowadays to find Muslims displaying their sins so openly to everyone when Allah has already veiled it for them!

      Lol! Oh man me too! Most of them do it as a joke but it’s actually quite silly because it’s like they don’t mind people thinking that they are lesbians. Even if it’s not true (let’s hope these sisters do it for fun!), it would be considered as lying about yourself.

      Jazakillah khayr for the reminder sis! ..Definitely it’s true – actually I would say that the points mentioned in the post should apply in our everyday life and not just on Facebook, blogs etc. How we behave ‘online’ should be the same as when behave ‘offline’! (I quote from you hehe) ❤

      Aameen! 🙂

  4. Wa alaik salam wa Rahmatullaah Sis Palwasha :))

    Al-hamdulillah if you have benefited from this post! Anything that is good comes from Him alone and mistakes are only from me. I’m glad to hear that it had helped you in some way.. 🙂

    I am not married sis 🙂 This post is actually a reminder for myself and other unmarried sisters especially who are facing this problem with Facebook. I merely write this from my own experience in hope we can all avoid fitnah of the Facebook insha Allah. And aameen to your dua 🙂

    Asto why I have a mixed account.. I’m actually living in a Western country at the moment and it is difficult for me to get access to good Islamic classes. There are, but it is very far from where I live. So at the moment, I am quite dependent on Facebook and online lectures and articles as my form of gaining knowledge 🙂 I would rather not have a mixed facebook account but seems to me that most of the good Islamic Da’wah pages are run by brothers so I knew that I cannot entirely run away from having mixed account. Sis, may I ask why you are not allowed to learn Islam at institutes? Women are not restricted from gaining Islamic ilm.

    I don’t use only Facebook to learn Islam.. actually most of the time, I read Islamic magazines, articles, books and listen to online lectures by various sheikhs. Facebook is merely a place where I can discuss Islam with other people or read some articles and that’s about all. Even on Facebook itself, you cannot entirely take their articles posted at face value because I would think a majority of them are not even scholars to begin with. I have personally come across Islamic pages that teach very skewed understanding of Islam so you should be careful. It would be better if you take from trusted sources.

    Also, if Internet is your only source of Ilm, then maybe you should take up a free course at Islamic Online university.. You would be studying under teachers at least and not have to worry about free mixing insha Allah.

    The issue is Facebook to me, is quite similar to that of whether watching television is allowed. I know some people deem it completely haraam but I think if you can carefully sift out the good programs from the bad, then it can be quite educational (i.e. documentaries). Just like Facebook, if you follow proper Islamic guidelines and stick firmly to it, then insha Allah, you can gain some ilm from there.

    Jazakillah khayr for sharing your thoughts with me sis! Insha Allah, I’ll post more about interaction with non-mahrams if I have something to write about 🙂

    • Wa alaik salam wa Rahmatullaah Sis 🙂

      That’s true sis, Allah teaches but at the same time, we are also encouraged to seek ilm from classes 🙂 When we read Qur’an for example, we would not be able to understand why and what does a particular ayaah or suraah is saying unless we refer to tafseer or asbabun nuzul and that too would require a knowledgeable person in the Deen to explain to us. Allahu Alam 🙂

      May Allah bless you too sis and keep you firm in this Deen! Aameen to your duas sis!

  5. wa alaik salam wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh my dear sis.. you did not do anything wrong sis, i don’t think there’s any reason to delete your comments. And besides, you were not debating and even if you felt like you did, I welcome different opinions on this blog 🙂 Khayr insha Allah..

  6. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,
    this very true writing about FB and its half-open-door to fitnah.
    may Allah reward you for this shake up! Hopefully insha Allah it will make think all sisters, who aren’t aware of this slippery road to sin.
    Fi amani llah,
    Khadeja

    • Wa alaiksalam wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh Sis Khadeja 🙂

      Aameen sis! May Allah reward you too! Insha’Allah it’ll be a reminder for all of us sisters especially for myself!

      May you be in His care always 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s