Hereunder follow a brief set of tips for using social media with caution and good manners.
- Be wary of sharing messages before verifying its authenticity. It is all too easy to forward on Whatsapp messages without taking time to validate if it is true or not. As well as ruining lives this can hurt the feelings of family and friends in the community. The Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) said, “ it is sufficient for a person to be considered a liar, that he conveys everything he hears.” (abu Dawud)
- Lower the gaze. This applies to both men and women, and should be enacted even whilst online. Beware of what the eyes are exposing themselves to and seek Allah’s protection from the Zinah of the eyes. “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze… And tell the believing women to lower their gaze…” [Quran 24:30-31]
- Choose who you follow carefully. Do you want to be a leader or follower? What are you allowing someone that you follow on Twitter or a Facebook friend to bring into your life? Open your life to those who will help you strengthen your Imaan (belief), and will help you to be closer to Allah.
- Be cautious of what you share & post. Allah is always watching us and angels are present to write every action we make. Whether it is a public post or private chat, be always aware that you are not alone. If you son or daughter reads your post or status, what kind of footprint are you leaving behind? Will it make them proud or ashamed? “The Muslim is the one who others are safeguarded from his hand and tongue.”
- Is technology benefitting you? With the advent of You Tube videos, are we using this for our best interests. Are you using it to learn something beneficial? Social Media can also be used to do good, it can amplify good and help influence others to do good.
- Limit your time on social media. Don’t get consumed video after video on Youtube or scrolling the Instagram feeds. You have responsibilities: Salaah, family, work, education etc. Don’t let your social media habits impact your real life adversely.
- Ask yourself, is this positive or negative? Are you multiplying your sin or multiplying your reward?
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “You must be truthful. Truthfulness leads to dutifulness and dutifulness leads to the Garden. A man continues to tell the truth until he is written as a siddiq with Allah. Beware of lying. Lying leads to deviance and deviance leads to the Fire. A man continues to lie until he is written as a liar with Allah.” (Bukhari)
- Be careful of what you say. Your words posted/said are like an arrow that cant be retrieved once it has left the bow.
Abû Hurayrah relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.”[ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim ]