The Challenges of Online Social Networking


Assalamu Alaikum
My Dear brothers & sisters in Islam
Let me first pray that Allah almighty guide me first & foremost, then the rest of the ummah; Insha Allah!
I have been quite fazed by the willingness our muslim society has taken towards online social networking. Before judging me, please read what I have to say and by all means thereafter, you may voice your thoughts.
In my line of work (Social worker), I have recently come across numerous cases where relationships have taken strain, ultimately reaching the extent of total disentigration i.e. couples divorcing. It is sad and a tremendous concern that both males and females (single adults / teenagers as well as married couples), approach social networking with such light heartedness. You may at this point already argue that the entire concept of social networking is to do just that; socialize. But do we consider the risks involved? and if we have, are we prepared to risk our relationships as long as we fulfill the need to socialize?
I would like to specifically lay focus on married couples. We live in a very difficult “modern” age where the average parent spends very little time at home with family. Many homes also face the fact that both husband and wife (i.e. mum & dad to their children) , are from amongst the working class. To add to the average 8 working hours in a day, my guess is an additional 2 hours in traffic, which totals 10 hours where the husband is seperated from his wife & vice versa; and the kids are seperated from their parents & vice versa. By the time they get home, it is easy to see how tired they can be. Getting home only spells a different level of responsibility. It is now time to prepare dinner, make sure the kids have done their chores / homework (in the case of babies there are loads of responsibilities to see to), cleaning up, packing lunch for the next day, bathing… and the list just does not end!
Have you noticed something odd though?
In-between all of these tasks / responsibilities / chores, there is no salaah, no time for tilaawat of quraan, no family quality time. Without shifting focus, I will stick to the subject line.
My experience clearly shows me why and how online social networking can contribute, or be a catalyst for relationship breakups. Both husband and wife have a need for some “quite” time, where they can be free and relaxed without having to bother about what has to be done next. Another contributing factor is the need for husband and wife to feel less pressured by each other. In fact, the exact opposite may also apply. Consider scenario 1: a wife who is non caring towards her husband & vice versa and scenario 2: husband & wife simply take their relationship for granted. Either of these two scenarios is a major contributing factor that may lead towards infedelity (depending on the choice/s you make).
Online social networking has no rules & generally, one is not aware who he/she talks to. Flirtation at various levels occur, and because this is seen as an ‘online’ conversation, it is not considered harmful. I mean, what can happen by merely having a little light hearted & fun conversation? It is not as if we are falling in love are we? It is not as if there is every chance my heart will feel something is there? I have total controll over the Satan don’t I?
Please excuse my sarcasm but it infuriates me to know that our muslim men & woman can be so gullible!! Why is it that our muslim ummah suffers? yet we have Al-Quraan. Why is it that on a global scale, we are being mocked at & ridiculed? yet we have the teaching of the grand prophet of Allah (s.a.w). what is the matter with us? Is it not important what significance and beauty Allah himself has placed in a marriage! where he says a special bond is placed between a husband & wife’s heart. Have we lost our sense of honour & dignity that we find it easy to “advertise” ourselves globally (online is world wide). You may think you share your information to specific people, but how many times have we read about people’s personal information being hacked and then manipulated?
There is always a chance, and this is the key word; a chance that feelings may develop for the one with whom you are conversing. The reality of the situation is that each individual is different, and perhaps your online ‘friend’ makes you feel good inside of you. You may not realize this initially, but it is a known fact in my line of work, to be one of the foremost reasons / contributing factor towards a breakup. Always be aware of the satan as he will grap at every opportunity to mislead us. And the grand prophet (s.a.w) has taught us to be aware of the ‘little’ things we consider irrelevant; the subtle things.
Then there is the factor of not being with each other a lot. The western ideology manipulates the mind of the people by mentioning that spending too much time can and will lead to boredom. Yet the grand prophet (s.a.w) used to spend a lot of his time with his family!
Spend as much time as you possibly can for Allah will reward you for every second you spend with each other – Insha Allah!
Dear brothers & sisters, Consider your children and what potentially could happen to their lives because of your selfishness or inconsideration. Also love & respect your husbands & wives. Marriage is quite a significant and beautiful roadmap in Islam!
Cherish your partners because there is no tomorrow. Establish your salaah because there is no tomorrow. Live to submit to Allah because it is the reaosn we have been created &; there is a tomorrow whereby you will stand before your lord.
This material world is filled with temptation and vice. Do not allow yourselves to be roped into these acts of shame. Fear Allah always for he hears and sees everything! And remember, the duty of the husband is to please his wife, as is the duty of the wife to please her husband. It is as Allah has ordained it!
Insha Allah we can all find it in our hearts to learn, practice and teach. Share what little you know for every little bit of knowledge, compounds to form a fountain of knowledge!
Wassalamu Alaikum
Sister Anisa

1 thought on “The Challenges of Online Social Networking

  1. As some one who works in Social Media, I can’t help but say there is more to this. Social Media is like a telephone. It connects people. Blaming the platform for people’s behaviour is like blaming steel manufacturing for people who use guns to kill.

    There are definitely rules to social media, but ultimately it’s up to the individual to regulate the information they share. It is addictive, but like all other novelties, it loses its shine.

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