Nasihah on using Facebook

Assalamu alaikum:

You’re probably rolling your eyes already, figuring this is another rant from some “auntie” weighing in on how “bad” Facebook is. But before you click away from it, for the sake of your future, please continue reading. And no, this is not another dumb chain letter. Read on.

Once upon a time, I was young like you. I wanted people to like me. I wanted people to think I was funny, smart but not nerdy, and of course, good looking. But I digress. The point is, these needs of the young for attention and affirmation from peers haven’t changed. However, with Facebook, they’ve gone in overdrive. And the repercussions can be dangerous for your future, even if today, it seems like it’s just “fun”.

Who doesn’t like to be complimented? Most of us get a non-drug-induced high if we’re told we look “hot” in a photo, that our status update is so witty, or that that comment we made about someone’s picture or wall post is just so funny. LOL.

Sometimes, we cross the line further in our attempts to please. We may say things which we’d never say in front of parents, aunties and uncles. We may put up pictures of ourselves arms around a coworker, friend or classmate of the opposite sex thinking, hey, it’s all in good fun. We’re not doing anything “bad”, really.

We may even remark about the physical characteristics of a certain woman in a crude manner. Or we may use words more fitting of a locker room athlete, not a dignified young Muslim.

First before Facebook, is Allah, the One Who knows your status whether you update it or not. The One who made you “hot”and “witty” in the first place. Remember that your parents may not catch you making that dumb comment or posting that picture. But of course, Allah is the All-Aware. And with Him, there’s no delete button to turn to when you’re caught.

But Allah is Forgiving. He is Merciful. He remembers and knows everything. But He knows we humans can do great things and cringeworthy things. He turns to us when we turn to Him in sincerity and forgiveness.

Human beings on the other hand, are not. They may not remember everything. But when it comes to recalling facts about the misdemeanors of others, many of us have a hard time overlooking, let alone forgiving or forgetting. Which brings me to the whole point of this letter: a mistake on Facebook can cost you big time.

Plenty has been written about bosses looking up potential employees on Facebook and the dangers this poses to employment. But for many others, long-term marriage prospects can and will be affected if you, young Muslim, forget that FB isn’t just about your real friends. It’s also about those others you casually add to your profile’s collection. It’s also about their friends.

Think about this in two situations.

Scenario 1: you post a questionable picture of yourself looking “hot”. It doesn’t have to be bikini material. You are probably already aware that there are plenty of ways to be seductive without dressing like a Baywatch Babe. A number of your friends on FB tell you how “hot” you look. But remember, whenever one of your friends comments on anything, ALL of their friends know (unless they choose to turn this option off). These other “friends” also have access not only to the picture commented on, but your ENTIRE album.

Scenario 2: you make a crude remark about a certain person’s attractiveness or lack of it on your wall or in a status update. I’ll give you an example I know of personally. A young guy, unmarried, put in his profile that he was surprised that one of his overweight female patients had a boyfriend (he’s a doctor in training). This guy has memorized the entire Quran. He teaches about Islam. He is not on my friends list. But I know about this comment through FB.

Now, a lot of guys could and do say cruel and inconsiderate stuff like that. But someone who’s memorized the Quran? Someone who teaches Islam? Someone who knows that God looks at our hearts not our appearances? I’m not saying he needs to go and marry someone overweight to atone for his comment. But it does say something about his character, doesn’t it?

Getting married nowadays has become a major struggle in the Muslim community for many reasons. There are plenty of explanations for it, which I’m not going to go into. But most relevant for the purpose of this letter is that Facebook can kill your prospects pretty quickly if you say or post something stupid. There are serious long-term consequences. If anything, FB offers people a look at your character. Stuff that you could easily hide in a meeting at a prospective spouse’s home for tea can easily be found on FB. Then, the flashy suit, six-figure salary, good looks and Ivy League education will quickly go out the window. Nobody wants to marry a jerk or a jerkette. And even if they decide to, these couples usually end up splitting up a couple of years down the road eventually. Few people today can stand day to day contact with a jerk or jerkette whether there are kids involved or not.

‘It’s not fair!’ you’re probably saying. You’re right. It isn’t always fair. An angry comment on your wall on a day you were ticked about something or a joke about a fat girl when you were in a jovial mood shouldn’t be the sole judge of your character. But those who aren’t your real life friends don’t really know that and are unlikely to care. Don’t judge a person by their Facebook profile is good advice, but few are there who will heed it.

So be careful. Converse with your friends, but be on guard. The potential for misunderstanding about who you really are is ripe on FB. And ultimately, remember that Allah is always watching, and we are all accountable for everything we say and do.

Sincerely,
Auntie Who Cares

P.S. If you’re a parent, aunt, uncle or older sibling of a young Muslim on FB, please share the main points of this letter with him or her.

source: Chicago Muslim Parent

14 thoughts on “Nasihah on using Facebook”

  1. Alhamdulaillah! I love this!
    I understand there are A LOT of things on FB which are against Islam, however this doesn’t make it “Haraam” to use like many Muslims suggest. Instead (like you said) Be careful about what you do and say.
    FB can also be used for the greater good…Many amazing groups about Islam, Charity etc…

    I love your article…definitely a turner!
    Assalaamu’alaykum! and may Allah reward you! Ameen.

  2. Aoawrwb
    jazakALLAH khair
    its not always like that depends on hw one uses it
    ayesha is rite we should see positive side
    but ofcourse mostly it is mis used
    jazakALLAH khair 4 pointing out an imp issue
    aoawrwb

  3. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah, MashaAllah! I also must say that I love the article, it makes alot of sense and that’s what I always think about when I am on FB. Many people take things for granted and don’t really care to think about implications. When I talk to my friends they feel I am being too ‘Islamic’ subhanAllah! and so i just ask them since when is it bad to be Islamic and they say ‘oh, this is our time…we can’t afford to be left behind’. Well two things that are clear is that most people don’t remember Allah and constantly forget death. Shukran jazeelan for your care and concern. JazakaAllah khayr!!

  4. Im 18, i have facebook and i understand everything you’re saying here, i completely agree with you. this article is very eye opening JazakAllah.

  5. Totally agree with you.. you’ve said the exact words i’d like to share with my young teen students. and i’d like to add, somehow the results of today’s tech can be worrying.. thanks for the article.

  6. It’s really nice to know someone else in this world also shares my point of view. MashaAllah!! And yes, Ofcourse i will shre with ALL of my friends. to be honest, I too was on facebook once and faced alot of problems because of it! Thank you for writing this, you have shown alot of lost young Muslims the right path. Jazakallah Khayr!

  7. Asalamu Alaikum

    Thank you for posting/sharing this article, May Allah bless you.

    Visiting this website made me cry because I can see the people around me changing because of FB. Being materialistic, trying to catch guy’s attention, and forgetting that they’re Muslims. I must admit that I myself have nearly tried to do that things, but Alhamdulillah and lucky I woke up in that dangerous dreams. Muslim girls this days are now wearing tights and short dresses, while Muslim boys are trying to be cool w/ their hairs standing. Sometimes, I think that world is being world. It pulls people.., I hope more Muslims know this site.

    I sincerely Thank the people who created this and for the creator of the stories and others.. May Allah bless us.

  8. It’s true that Facebook can bring about many harmful effects mostly for muslim youth.Facebook creates illegal relationship between people who are otherwise are not soppose to interact mtually.A lot of illicit sexualrealtions take place between of opposite sex as dating is an order of the day in facebook.Again, Islam doesnt allow men to critiacally analyse the photos of women who are biologically not related to you.But this is a common occurence in Facebook.Facebook has resulted to so many cases of marrage breakages.Facebook consumes a lot of time.Precious time is wasted on browsing facebook.If we must use facebook,lets do it wisely.

  9. my husband of many years compared me ( a housewife and mother of his 3 children)to a younger free and single woman he was chating to secretly on fb with,then he abandoned me and the children for her.

  10. As Salaam Walaykum,
    I love this article you wrote! it reminds me of myself few years ago.
    i just started high school and heard about this new social network that everyone is raving on about facebook. i thought to myself ” wow this sounds cool to interact with all my new friends at school” a few months went by and i started uploading pictures of myself. i started accepting random invites from strangers because i liked the ” attention ” 3years went by and i landed up with just about 5000 friends. drama arouse when i started hearing guys ive never heard of in my life or had over facebook were claiming that him and i dated.SERIOUSLY? i questioned and asked myself ” what if my parents hear this ” “what might other people be doing with my pictures” i realised my reputation was at stake. People will begin to talk but then i went for umrah and when i came back i realised what a bad muslim i was! here i am spending time taking pictures of myself to get random comments from strangers when instead i could be learning about Islam and bettering myself. Nowadays it is so easy to just click and save a picture . who knows what strangers might be doing with all your pictures!
    i felt ashamed so i deactivated that account and made a new one but this time i told myself i’ll only accept people i know and guess what? we were back to square 1.. shukr end of last year i finally deactivated my account, i realised i wasn’t using facebook for the right reasons and even if i tried i’d still become more and more tempted to go back to seeking all the attention etc. i made the wisest choice ever now. I have been making my salaahs trying to be a better muslim and even though i might not the be one of the holiest of muslim sisters. i am definately trying and inshallah Allah will guide me to the right path.
    I hope Facebook and any other social sites don’t lead any of you muslim brothers and sisters astray! May we all stay on the righteous path.
    JAZAKHALLAH KHAIR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *