Red, numerous Facebook notifications as usual. Click, click, click. Friends abuzz, annoying-funny-repetitive posts all over your news feed. Just another day on your profile. Messages are next in line for your attention. Click, comment, click, comment. Okay, done… oh, look a message in “other”, who is it you wonder? And with that your nafs begins to find entertainment from this prospect, stroking your ego, amusing you even if you feel somewhat violated from the message of “Salam” or “Alaykumsalam” or “Hey (and your name), how are you?”. This is what social media is, an endless space. With an endless amount of people, and a major platform for communication.But what kind of communication?
I’ve been hearing stories. And they aren’t positive. It seems that our youth; and when I mean youth I’m talking about the demographic between 16 – 25 year olds, is caught up in communicating with the opposite gender on a romantic basis.Let alone I don’t think a crush could ever be romantic, just a phase and even a possible fad on social media, which unfortunately has tendencies to progress further into a “friendship” and sooner or later a “relationship”.
I never forget when I was in year 10, sitting in the library with my class scattered around; everyone doing their own thing, when a Muslim student from my class sat next to his non-Muslim friend, about two metres from where I was sitting. Despite their low voices, I could hear their conversation. The Muslim boy was explaining what he did on the weekend with his girlfriend, his non-Muslim friend quick to ask: “But aren’t you Muslim?” And the response: “Yeah, but my parents don’t know.” I felt uneasy about his arrogance, forget your parents not knowing that you have a girlfriend, I thought, Allah (swt) sees you.
It seems that we think that because our parents are unaware of our “relationships” that we forget about Allah (swt). Does he not say in the Holy Qur’an:“…I am with you, all hearing and all seeing”? (20:46). And in countless verses He sets forth a repetition of reminders that he is knowing of everything that happens on this earth. So, pretty much, he knows e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
The issue of gender-mixing is a problem for Muslim youth. It is impossible for a girl and a boy to simply remain as friends, as the third person will always be the Sheytan. Where there is haram, he will definitely be there. Whispering until one falls weak to his whispers and eventually commits a sin.
The stories that have come to my ear are more disturbing. Can you imagine, a brother or sistersitting with his/her friends at a public setting yet eyes fixated upon the sister/brother who sits at another table.He/she shows no embarrassment, as if the world around him/her has seized to exist. She is friends with him on Facebook and even bothers to send him a message afterwards. In another instance there are three at a table. It is a gathering between two whom aspire to marry each other, however, the girl is upset, giving short answers not impressed and not wanting to remain. When asked why, she puts forth his Facebook and Instagram. He doesn’t say anything. She states the girls, their comments. He justifies himself, and says they are “just friends”. Is it not too casual? Too Western?Too unlike a Muslim?
As Muslims we have duties and specific ways in which we are meant to act in public and in private. Off course we all go through our own trials, but there is a serious problem when we attempt to justify our un-Muslim-like actions. And, so I ask: when did the Haram become Halal?
What saddens me most is the aftermath of this sort of thing, there is always someone who gets hurt in the end. They say that youth is a time of making mistakes and learning, and though it might be, that doesn’t mean that they should repeat the same Haram one after another. It’s hurting them and those around them. We may see a handshake as a simple gesture, yet you can never trust the other person. You might think a hug is okay from a guy/girl, but you can never fully consider how the other person feels about you. You might think a high-five is okay, when the person your high-fiving finds a deeper meaning in it. We need to think before we act. We need to think about whether or not our actions are Islamically appropriate.
So, I ask again, when did the Haram become Halal? It never did. And never will. It won’t be Halal while Facebook is still remaining; it won’t be Halal even after you die. Once it has been declared it is Haram, then it is Haram. And don’t forget the story of Adam (as) and how he also committed a Haram act by eating from the forbidden fruit of the tree: ‘So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Sheytan is to you a clear enemy?”’ – Surat Al-‘A`raf; 7:22.
And don’t forget that Allah (swt) is All-Knowing: ‘Did they not know that Allah knows their secrets and their private conversations and that Allah is the Knower of the unseen?’ – Surat At-Tawbah; 9:78.
About the Author
Hilal Raile is a Journalism and Professional Writing student in Australia. She is Turkish Australian, and enjoys writing about Islam, fiction, non-fiction, politics, and anything else that inspires her to write as a Muslim. She is an aspiring author, editor and journalist, who is currently doing some editing work for her university’s student journal, and is in charge of the newspaper at her local mosque’s youth group.