It’s Ramadan! We All Need Some Social Media Etiquette
“Social media is just a place to have fun!”… Sounds familiar?
In an age where ‘tweeting’, ‘instagraming’ and ‘facebooking’ seem to be the order of the day, too many people (especially Muslims) appear to have fallen prey to the idea floating in the above quote. Influenced by the philosophy, they expect that you don’t take their posts seriously. “Don’t judge me by my post, Akhi !” , they indirectly scream. That is how you find some Muslims sharing unIslamic content on social media ranging from nudity, to vulgar language, to disrespectful words. They claim they don’t mean it; it was just for the fun, attention and popularity. Unfortunately, what such people miss is that what might look like an innocent joke may have others highly offended. It can go to extents of them holding it against you in their hearts.
So as a Muslim, should you take social media seriously?
Well, for starters, as a Muslim, submitting your will to that of Allah’s demands that there is a reflection of Islam in all that you do. In most cases, you may not even need Imams to convince you with scholarly proofs (be them fatwas, ahadeeth or Qur’anic verse) before you know what is morally acceptable. In fact, it’s not just about saving the image of Islam but also, your reputation.
People find it funny that one could be judged by their social media posts. It is easy to argue that your post does not represent your personality or views. It is however important to remember that though you are using devices to transmit such messages, the end users are not robots but humans as well. It’s even more dangerous because you don’t know where your audience ends. You don’t know who your actions are going to affect and how it is going to affect them.
What if you share some nudity and it serves as the reason someone gets corrupted when you don’t even know about it? What if you share a sarcastic or derogatory remark that makes someone commit suicide? A lot happens behind the scenes and you won’t know because you don’t know the millions of people who see your post.
This is not to say as a Muslim, all you should do on social media is be a strict Ustaz who doesn’t even laugh or shares or enjoys a good joke (that’ll be really boring!). Even in your daily life, you laugh at and share jokes. However, what you know won’t be acceptable in reality, avoid it on social media.And that includes flirting around with ladies (hello brothers!) and vice versa, under the guide of ‘it’s just play’. Why let ‘wrong playing’ on social media be the reason you get questioned on the Day of Judgement?
Social media has made and unmade people’s lives. In case you still think it’s just play, it has put unnecessary pressure on ladies (especially Muslimahs) to strive to look as photogenic as possible (even if that means dressing improperly in order to get the attention of people). Again, here is where Muslim brothers also fall, since they turn to liking and commenting on pictures of ladies dressed inappropriately. The act in itself indirectly serves as an encouragement to these ladies who post them. It has become a sad phenomenon that ladies would drop their hijabs and share their non-hijab pics because apparently such pics get more likes; ironically, from Muslim brothers. In exchange for a few likes, shares, and retweets, social media is making people post content out of their Muslim character in order to sound interesting. How did ‘a play’ become such a serious affair then? How did ‘a play’ start affecting your ego? Yes. Those likes pump your ego even if you don’t want to believe it. It affects your life. Don’t you think it will affect your afterlife as well?
So, the next time you decide to share or retweet that post, think deeply and view it under your Islamic lenses. Ask yourself if it would benefit or harm. Be careful in your quest to share the latest news or scandal. Ask yourself if you really need to share that video of a sex scandal that would make more eyes commit fornication (zina). Ask yourself if it is really worth it. Ask yourself a lot of questions till you are certain it’s okay to hit that tweet or share button. Lastly, one golden rule you can use on social media is ‘If it ain’t shareable in Ramadaan, it ain’t shareable in other months’. In short, abide by the hadith of the Prophet Muhammed (Blessings of God be upon him) that says; “Whoever believes in Allah and in the last day, should either speak good or remain silent.” This hadith applies perfectly to social media use: especially because of its emphasis on belief in the last day. Ponder over this.
Social media can be and is still fun but remember to not transgress the Islamic limits.
May Allah save us from the menace of social media and grant us the good of it…. Aameen.