The beauty of social media for me is how much I’ve learned and unlearned from my interactions with people. And how these interactions have helped me form a better perception about a lot of things.
But then, I look around and I see how social media is destroying our faith, especially as Muslims.
It is not about the amount of time that we spend on each social media website or the company that we keep, but about the subtle ways that social media makes you rebel against Allah.
Akhlaaq (Good conduct and character)
I talk about akhlaaq first because it is the greatest casualty of our social media presence. Typing from behind a screen has greatly reduced how much bashfulness we have in front of other people. We have become the people who talk first and think later because we have the urge to quickly contribute to whatever discussion is trending.
Akhlaaq is the totality of who we are and how we conduct ourselves as Muslims. The way we address people, the way we respond to them even when they annoy us, and the way we generally carry ourselves in front of others.
All of these sum up who we really are in front of people, and in the sight of Allah (swt). Unfortunately, many of us are unconsciously projecting the wrong set of manners online. I say unconsciously because sometimes, our manners online is a response to other people’s manners.
But this shouldn’t be so. If you wear the cloak of every person that you meet, when will you ever be able to wear your own cloak?
I was listening to a respected da’ee talk about the state of Islam after the life of the Prophet (saw). In that sermon, she talked about the Prophet’s conversation with his companions where he told them that the Muslims of the later times will have great problems with their enemies not because the Muslims will be small in number, but because we will be weak as an Ummah.
I personally attribute this weakness to lack of knowledge and every day that I log in on the internet, I am convinced that the death of knowledge in Islam is spelling something bad for us all.
People are contented with basic knowledge when it comes to their faith. Primarily because they actually don’t realize that the knowledge that they have is basic. It is the duty of every Muslim, not just the Sheikhs, to continue to improve their knowledge of Islam till they leave this world.
Knowledge brings about unity. It teaches us what we should know about our faith. And acting on the correct knowledge of Islam brings about an improvement in the way that we live our lives, and this definitely translates to us becoming a stronger Ummah.
I’ve met a lot of people online who are solely dedicated to spreading the message of Islam on the internet. But there are also people who are dedicated to spreading the wrong message about Islam to others.
The latter may not realize it, but every time you say something online that is actually not valid in Islam, someone somewhere reads it and forms an opinion about Islam and you.
I’m a firm believer in the theory that the best way to show people the beauty of Islam, is through our actions. It is how we relate to others that they can see the type of people our faith makes us.
Finally, and perhaps the most important, is how social media makes the haram cool and the halal uncool. We know that pork and alcohol are haram, and that is okay. But have we thought of how many things are haram but we have partaken in it because we cheered on the people doing it?
I can’t say that I’ve not fallen into any of these social media pits, but as a Muslim, I know that it is my duty to continue to try to improve myself in a way that is pleasing to Allah (swt).