Can Muslims spend time on social media?
Can Muslims spend time on social media? By all means, yes. For social networks give us an opportunity as was never seen before to widen the scope of people you can reach out to.
First and foremost it connects you with your fellow Muslims, throughout the entire globe, to discuss your concerns, to canvass opinions on important issues from a large array of people. The more people you can reach, the higher the probability that you will find answers that those closest to you cannot provide. You will also have the opportunity to bring your own opinions on many burning matters to multitudes of people who likewise find it hard to get such support from those near them.
Social networks mean boundless communication, however, we are only allowed to participate provided that we abide by the rules prescribed for Muslims.
These are the same rules that should serve as guiding lights for people in their everyday lives. However, for social networks compliance with them carries additional responsibility. While you’re in Facebook or Instagram, you are exposed not only to friends but to large numbers of people in general, letting yourself down in such circumstances means casting a shade on your religion, for the opinion of yourself shall reflect on the opinion of the people of your faith as a whole.
1. Do not bad-mouth other people and do not use swear words in your posts. The Prophet said: “A person utters a word thoughtlessly and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.” (Imam an-Nawawi’s Riyad as-Salihin, 1514)
2. Do not lie to the people you exchange messages with: “avoid false statement” (22:30) Lying can only be justified when it is used to resolve a matter of life and death or to install peace among warring factions. “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 2692)
3. Do not look at prohibited things (pictures and videos with erotic content, violence, calls to extremism, bad language) The Prophet thus admonished his son-in-law and companion Ali ibn Abu Talib: “Do not give a second look, Ali, because while you are not to blame for the first, you have no right to the second.” (Abu Dawood, 2149)
4. Abstain from spreading rumours and from backbiting. “Avoid much negative assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. “ (49:12)
5. Be modest and bashful, do not flaunt your virtues. “Modesty is the branch of faith” (Sahih Muslim, 35)
6. Do not expose sins, neither your own nor those of other people. The sins (for instance, pictures taken at a night club, indecent videos etc.) are meant to be known by Allah only. “Whoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal him his faults in this world and the Day of Resurrection” (Sunan ibn Majah, 225)
Social networks is a perfect way for people to communicate with each other and it opens up perfect opportunities for those who adhere to the rules of Islam.
But apart from that, social networks is a perfect opportunity to bring into the world the Light of Islam, to demonstrate be way of one’s personal example how boundless the beauty of Allah’s Religion is, what joy, excitement and freedom it gives to its followers and what a wonderful world can open itself to those who open it for themselves.