IS IT A BAD INFLUENCE ON THE MUSLIM YOUTH AND SHOULD THEY BE ENCOURAGED TO AVOID IT?
We live in a Facebook generation where using social networking sites is an everyday necessity! Some say it’s a fantastic tool to communicate, interact and learn whilst others argue it’s nothing but a dating platform where the youth can go astray and simply waste their time.
Shazad Rehman and Abid Iqbal argue NO there is nothing wrong with Facebook; it’s how you use it. Adam Patel and Suhail Jamil argue YES and state why Facebook has more negatives than positives and therefore should be avoided altogether.
Don’t blame it on Facebook!
By Shazad Rehman
I must admit I used to be a very frequent user of Facebook while I was going through my college and university days. I have been told I still am but back then it was the norm to spend at least 7-8 hours on it and that was longer than the time I spent sleeping!
There were many things that me and my mates used Facebook for. To play games, chat to friends, see what they are up to and of course sending friend requests to people from all over the world.
Now, some people still use Facebook to do all these things but as I have grown through the years, my reasons behind using it have also evolved.
My work takes up a lot of my time and usually I am on the move from city to city. Facebook has now become a very important and a quick communication medium for me. My whole family use it from my father to my youngest brother. It's easy for me to let all of them know exactly where I am and what I am doing at the same time. Some people would say you can use your phone but calling/texting my whole family at the same time is near enough impossible and it would take more time than I might have. Facebook helps me in the sense that I know for a fact that my message will be read by every member of my family. It's also quicker to arrange a night out with friends without taking too much of my own time and theirs. My mates have also started to use it in a different way. One of them is a writer and uses Facebook to post various articles which he himself writes ranging from sports to religion.
Yes, there are people out there who use Facebook in a negative way and our young generation might see it as a dating platform because our parents can hardly catch us 'dating' someone on Facebook. Saying Facebook is the mother of all evils is a bit of a stretch and I completely disagree. Anything if used incorrectly can be harmful but it all depends on the person using it. Blaming Facebook for the behaviour of certain individuals is wrong. The problem lies with their upbringing and not a multi-purpose online forum such as FACEBOOK!
Is Facebook Evil?
By Abid Iqbal
Facebook is a tool, a vehicle, a means to an end. Like any other tool or vehicle it possesses massive potential and power but needs to be driven, directed or used to realise its full potential. More often than not, the driving force or 'user' is always a human being. Human beings have been gifted, by the Creator, with the power to differentiate between good and evil, right from wrong. Unlike our animal cousins, humans possess the free will to make a choice.
Lets continue this analogy and use the example of two very common instruments: A car and a television (the make and model of both items is not relevant).
A car is a transportation vehicle. On its own it can do little good or bad. The driver can put it to good use by commuting to work, ferrying kids to school, grocery shopping or driving around elderly parents. The driver could also choose, if they were so inclined, to drive to a nightclub, carry out illicit acts in the car or even use it to stash drugs! The car cannot be blamed for any bad that is done through it. Nor can the car be praised for any good that it is used for. The driver is solely responsible for the praise or condemnation through his/her choices and actions.
Let’s take the trusted telly. It is a vehicle for passing information and entertainment. We possess the power to watch educational documentaries, Islamic programmes, light entertainment OR we can choose to watch MTV or movies where the people are so poor they have lost all their clothes (you catch my drift?). Again the TV is not at fault for what it plays on the screen. The guy/gal with the remote chooses what to watch and must be held accountable for what is screened.
So, with that as a background, Facebook is a social networking tool designed to connect people, share photo’s, stories and thoughts.
The intention and motives of FB are simple, as with everything, the human free will complicates matters.
We can choose the content of our FB page. However, we cannot control the content of other people’s pages. But, we can choose our “friends” and we can control our privacy settings. If a “friend” chooses to host unsuitable material which tests the strength of your character, then you can choose to block or unfriend this so called “friend”.
FB is increasingly being put to good use by its vast Islamic content and promotion of good causes. As always, with good, there comes evil. There is also bad, sexual, racist, anti-Islamic content hosted on FB pages. We have a choice to be part of it or to stay away from it. The existence of this bad content is not different in written and electronic media and news channels. FB is not unique in delivering bad messages. FB does provide you the control on what you see on your page. If temptation is too great, then stay away.
My argument attempts to provide a premise, God has provided the intellect and the ability to choose. Is Facebook evil… you decide. But choose wisely.
Facebook or Fitnah?
By Adam Patel
Almost everyone I know is hooked on Facebook. Why? I’ll tell you why. You wanna chill and flirt with gals/guys, you go on FB! You wanna have a ‘secret’ boy/girlfriend, then you meet on FB. It’s a dating platform I tell you.
Anyone and everyone is happy to add you as a friend. I mean girls I don’t really know are posting all kinds of personal photos which I shouldn’t really see- but I’m not complaining if you know what I mean.
Dates are organised on FB. The beauty is our parents ain’t got a clue what FB is and what goes on. Most of my mates chat up girls ALL the time and end up meeting them, then the rest I’ll leave to your imagination.
As Muslims are we supposed to be mixing freely with the opposite sex? What’s happened to segregation? Surely this CAN lead to fitnah! I mean young Muslims give in to temptation easily…
The reality is there are a lot of messed up guys on line and they use FB to groom young naïve girls. And if you’re a bored husband/wife then FB is perfect to tempt you to play away from home!
It’s not just that. I stopped using FB because it is really addictive and you waste so much time- it’s unbelievable. I would spend hours viewing everyone’s profiles, reading random posts and checking out everyone’s pictures. It’s there if you wanna kill time but can be a massive obstacle from other more important things like academic studies to Islamic activities to even spending time with family and loved ones rather than being glued on some social networking site that holds no benefits whatsoever.
Yes FB can be used in a good way and to learn and spread Islam but come on… not many people sign up for those reasons!
WHY I THINK FACEBOOK IS A PROBLEM!
By Suhail Jamil
The social networking platform is one of the most common trends amongst the current generation. Although many such interfaces have popped up over the web in the past few years such as Bebo for instance, many have failed to withstand the test of time leaving only a few standing. However one site which was an instant hit and still has hundreds of new members signing up daily is Facebook. Although it is needless to say the multimillion dollar enterprise has its advantages one cannot help but think about the problems and possible dangers it also poses.
When looking at the possible flaws in this social networking system one can spend hours and hours pointing fingers but I don’t really want to go into that much detail so I’ll just point out the issues which seem most relevant to me.
WHY YOU GOTTA SHAME BROTHERS UP OVER FACEBOOK!!
There seem to be many reasons why people choose to either deactivate or completely delete their accounts off the web, however for me; it was one incident which really made me think about this whole idea of social networking and its uses. The problem I see with the site founded by Mark Zuckerberg is that people have begun to use it as a platform to humiliate and shame the people around them publicly. Although I knew this was an issue, it only hit me in the face when someone decided to post such a ‘hate status’ about me. It left me thinking like ‘whaaaaaat?!?!’ Do people sink so low as to publish your details over Facebook in an attempt to slander? Not only did this incident affect me and this so called person I once considered a friend but it also had a knock on effect on my other close circle of friends…leaving me in a state where I was answering unnecessary questions. So the point being, I think people have lost all sense of moral direction and have reached a point where they publish each and every single detail of their daily lives without the consent of those around them. This inevitably leads to the breakup of relationships such as married couples falling out and filing for divorce. You may be thinking that this rarely happens but no, its definitely a growing issue in the online world!
WHY YOU WASTIN’ YOUR LIFE FOR BRO…???
Another problem which really gets on my nerves is the amount of time people seem to waste on Facebook and how addicted they become. It’s not as if people aren’t aware of its drawbacks yet they just can’t help but login every ten minutes and check their favourite timelines. Many hours pass and you fail to realise that you could have utilised your time doing more important things. You might be thinking why the hell am I banging on about this but it actually brings to mind a certain hadith. As narrated by Ibn Abbas, the prophet (pbuh) advised us to take ‘benefit of five before five’. Applicably our free time before we become further preoccupied and sad to say we’re all guilty of procrastinating and losing sight of the things which really matter. This doesn’t apply solely to Facebook as switching on the TV after work and sitting on the sofa for hours on end has exactly the same effect.
WHAT THE HECK WERE YOU DOING ALL THAT TIME… FACEBOOKIN?!!?! REALLLY!!
What actually makes me laugh is when assignment deadlines and exams approach. People panic and actually start annoying me when they’re posting questions over FB about this query and so and so exam structure. It gets to the point when I have to go through work with others when I could actually be revising myself. So why is it that when people have a hundred and one other things to do in their life, they can still find time to publish their life story over the net?
THAT E-CHICK AIN’T EVER GNNA LINK YOU CUZ
The dangers of social networking sites have always been apparent and you can’t hide from the fact that our own brothers and sisters are abusing it for a means of linking up their so called boyfriends and girlfriends. Now you might be thinking it’s only over the web, what’s the worst that can happen….yeah right!!
It’s easy to turn a blind eye but you can’t hide from the fact that Facebook is the place where so called e-relationships begin and before you know it brothers feel the need to link up whoever they’ve met online and it comes down to this issue of zina and how it’s become so easy to fall into. This topic in itself could probably be discussed in a separate article but the point is that firstly, we as Muslims need to educate ourselves and secondly refrain from that which has been prohibited because at the end of the day the crime of zina is no small thing!!
DAD SAW THOSE PICTURES YOU POSTED!!! Oooo you’re gonna get it now LOL
Now although this may not specifically apply to me (or even you), I still think it’s a huge problem for the Muslim youth of today. It’s the issue of shamelessness and how our young Muslim brothers and sisters have lost all apparent sense of shame and self-respect. How can a brother post pictures of his Friday night endeavours getting drunk and having a ‘good time’ without thinking about the effect it may have on his friends or family who may come across those pictures. Many a time it’s happened that I’ve come across a picture of a brother and I wish I really hadn’t clicked that link or seen that status update.
Well you might be thinking so what, it’s got nothing to do with you right? But coming across such pictures changes your opinions of someone you may have previously held in high regard. Now this is only amongst friends…but you have to ask yourself what if someone’s parents came across pictures of their children getting involved in such shameful acts. It would become the downfall of households and destroyer of families and indeed this is taking place each and every day. Information on this social networking platform has become so openly available that people rather than thinking twice about what they post, are now paying the price for their mistakes.
BUT IS IT ALL REALLY THAT BAD?
Giving my personal opinion, no I don’t think Facebook is what some may phrase as ‘haraam’ and a place of ‘fitnah!’ Mashallah, there are brothers and sisters out there working day in day out using Facebook as a way of promoting da’wah and issuing helpful reminders to the youth of today. Plus it’s an excellent resource for means of communication as it’s not always convenient to pick up the phone thus social networking has perhaps filled that gap in communication where it’s not easy to stay in contact with people from all over the world.