It may not be a great deal for Muslims even to check if hanging around in social networks in Islam is Lawful (Halal) or forbidden (Haram) for them. The question may sound very dogmatic when you hear it at first, and you may reply: “What are you saying? We are living in the 21st century. We live in a world of technology. All our communications and a high percentage of our work depend on social networks.”
Okay! Stop answering me before you let me finish my words. I know that we are living in a world of technology and as you see, I am communicating with you via the internet, using social networks. But what I’m talking about is not about the advantages of social networks. We are all aware of how useful cyberspace is in our daily life. But here I want to invite you to think about your habits and behaviors in the cyberspace.
In this article I would like to go through the pathology of our use of social networks and to see if we are going astray at some point, then we can bold it out, so we can solve it.
Apart from phone calls and necessary communications that have become easier via social networks, some people run their businesses using these networks. People can sit at home and instead of traveling far distances for work meetings, can stay home and manage their works, or some can even study and graduate via distance learning organizations.
There are loads and loads of advantages that we can keep counting for social networks, and I am not going to ignore all of them. But I want to make a few points that we may be neglecting in using social networks.
Let me remind you that Islam is a way of life and Muslims and those who convert to Islam believe that it is the best way of life for one who wants to achieve success in this world and the hereafter.
Believe it or not, YES. Just like any other aspect of life for which Islam tells us how to behave to achieve absolute success, it has recommendations for Muslims’ use of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, etc. it may not be directly mentioned in the Quran or narrations, but since social networks are types of virtual societies, the Islamic lifestyle and its rulings may apply to our behaviors in social networks.
Being in any gatherings or societies has its own conditions and requires its special behavior. It is important that we can analyze different situations and find out how we should behave according to our Islamic lifestyle. Social networks are also like a society that requires specific etiquette, and we, as Muslims, should discover these etiquettes. There are a few points that are very important to consider from an Islamic viewpoint, while talking about the etiquette of Muslims, hanging around in social networks in Islam:
Islam has specific rulings about the relationship between men and women in society. These rulings are presented to dignify and respect the character of both men and women. These may contain the following:
- Etiquette of speech and look.
- Not joking and praising the opposite sex for personal acts that are not common to be praised in real society.
- Sending heart or kind stickers that are not common to use in real gatherings.
- Posting photos of either men or women in different places. Muslim men and women do not keep the images of those who are of unmarriageable kin (non-mahram).
Usually, practicing Muslims try to keep these limits in social networks, just like controlling their manners in real society.
Another thing that is known to be abhorrent according to Islam is showing off to others. Islam says that Muslims are like sisters and brothers . And therefore they have to make sure that if one sister or brother doesn’t have the ability to have something or to go somewhere for any reason (financial, health-wise, etc.), you should not make them feel sorry for what they don’t have or cannot have at the moment.
Therefore, from an Islamic viewpoint sharing your moments of having fun with your friends, or eating at a fancy restaurant, or gaining a great opportunity at work or school, is not recommended.
Considering the above, you can conclude which of your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, etc. are not liked by God.
Allah recommends Muslims that when they finish a task, they should start another task . It means that Muslims should not waste any time, and we all have the experience that hanging around on social networks consumes a lot of our time without we even realize it.
Therefore it might worth that we specify a specific amount of time to our use of social networks per day, and don’t allow the cyberspace to carry us with it wherever it wishes.
Too much of communication and too much of speech always makes the ground fertile for dangerous words such as wrong judgment of others, the humiliation of other groups or sects or races, insulting people (especially famous people) for no right reason, accusing people of what they haven’t done, etc. These are all forbidden (Haram) according to Islam . But Muslims may sometimes forget to be cautious about these issues in social networks in Islam.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that we specify some time and revise our manner in social networks in Islam. Then, we might realize that much of our use of social networks are useless and is preventing us from attaining our success in this world and the hereafter. Or on the other hand, we may again realize that our use of social networks has no contradictions with Islamic law, and we can keep up the good job!
Let’s be honest guys and not justify the importance of our presence in social networks. If we are wasting time, we need to make a firm decision. And if we don’t live based on an Islamic lifestyle, we shouldn’t expect to be the most successful.
- The Quran: Chapter 49, Verse 10
- The Quran: Chapter 94, Verse 7
- The Quran: Chapter 49, Verse 11-12
As we all know, human life is on an extremely fast pace of progress that is made possible by human expeditions and exploration. But no one can say for sure that all the achievements of this progress have been used on the righteous path. Some of these explorations are known as a forward leap in human history just like dynamite that has been used to ease miner’s jobs. But the same invention has also been used as a deadly weapon against thousands of innocent humans. Obviously, Islam did not miss this point about human life and gave advice to all Muslims in this regard: “Islam forbids eating, drinking and consuming things that are harmful to human health. The more harmful it is, the more severe the prohibition of its cause and effect, to the extent that it reaches the level of sanctity.” (1)
Now, we are going to talk about narcotics, the basis of all of the soothing medicine that are used as one of the essential materials in the ancient times surgery but is also used by heedless people for entertainment at the expense of decomposing their body and brain.
Narcotics are the most common cause of death and disability in the world that exacerbates many diseases, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, infectious diseases, cancer, bone diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hearing problems, and oral diseases. In every 8 seconds, one person in the world dies of diseases caused by narcotics; fortunately, with the advancement of science and technology and optimal information, the level of awareness of people about the effects of narcotics on their health has increased. We will see what advice Islam gave us on the issue of using narcotics for mortal pleasure.
As we said before, Islam forbids consuming materials that are harmful to human health to the extent that even on some occasions it reaches the level of taboo. Imam Khomeini, the first leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran said: "Eating something that is harmful to human beings is forbidden."(1) It is obvious that the criterion for being haram (forbidden) is to have harmed, and it does not matter whether this harm goes through eating or in some other way. Drugs is one of the things that harm human health, but is it harmful to the extent that makes it forbidden to use?
Many physicians and practitioners are following the opinion that narcotics has significant harms and have written numerous books on the dangers and diseases caused by narcotics, especially smoking. Therefore, it can at least be claimed that the harmful effects of smoking to human health vary based on the person and the situation. On this basis, some jurists have considered the extent of the forbiddance of narcotics to the level of absolute religious prohibition. Some other leaders have not seen the extent of the damage to the extent that could lead to an absolute ban on smoking. For example, if a person has heart disease and his doctor strictly forbids him from smoking, smoking is forbidden for him. (2)
Not only Imam Khomeini, but also Ayatollah* Makarem Shirazi said: It is forbidden to eat or drink something that is significantly harmful to human beings. Smoking cigarettes and other types of tobacco is also haram if it has significant harm, but the use of narcotics is absolutely haram (3), whether in the form of injection or smoking or eating or in any other ways; also the production, sale and assistance in spreading it, is forbidden. (3)
Grand Ayatollah Sistani gave guidance to Muslims in this matter: If smoking and tobacco -though in the future- causes significant harm to the body to the amount that is feared by the wise person, it is haram for being safe from the major harm caused by it. There is no problem with moderate smoking, however. (4)
As we think about this matter reasonably, we surely would understand an important point:
1. Why should we harm ourselves for a little mortal entertainment?
2. What price should we pay for this kind of entertainment?
Just think and you will see how important abstaining from narcotics is. Live safely in the light of the Quran.
- Majma Al-Masayel (third volume – page 65)
- Islamic Laws (Second volume – page 600)
- Jame Al-Masayel (First volume – page 578)
- Islamic Laws (Second volume – page 600)
- The official site of Ayatollah Sistani
* Ayatollah is an honorific title for high-ranking Twelver Shia clergy in Iran and Iraq that came into widespread usage in the 20th century.
In Islam, there are some ceremonies and occasions which are held all around the world among Muslims. They all have religious backgrounds and are mostly referred to in the holy Quran. Muslim nations have been commemorating them in the course of history. Here we are going to have a glance at the most significant Islamic occasions based on the Lunar Calendar.
The month of Muharram is the first month of the year in the lunar calendar. On the tenth day of this month, Hussain Ibn Ali (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and his companions were brutally martyred, and their women and children were taken captive by the caliph of the time, Yazid ibn. Muawyah. Their story has been the source of inspiration for many new converts.
Arbaeen is the Arabic word for forty, and it marks the 20th of Safar, the fortieth day after Imam Hussain's (AS) martyrdom on the day of Ashura, who was martyred in the event of Karbala along with his companions in the cruelest and most inhumane way possible.
According to some historical accounts , some of the members of Imam Hussain's (AS) family after being released from the bondage of Yazid's forces returned to Karbala from Sham (today's Damascus) to visit Imam Hussain's (AS) grave. Also, some believe that Imam Hussain's (AS) head, which was taken to Sham by Yazid's army was brought back to Karbala on this day and buried with his body  & .
Every year, a few days before this day, a vast number of people from all over the world, Muslims or even non-Muslims, gather in Iraq to take part in a symbolic walk, to revive the teachings of Imam Hussain (AS) and commemorate his sacrifice in the way of Allah and humanity.
There is a disagreement concerning the exact date of Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH&HP) birthday. Some believe it occurred on the 12th of Rabi al-Avval, while others consider it to be on the 17th of Rabi al-Avval, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was born in Mecca. All Muslims around the world celebrate his birthday and regard it as one of the important Islamic occasions. On this day, Muslims feed the needy, pray and recite the Quran, commemorate Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and his challenges to deliver the messages of Allah to human beings.
The first day of the month of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, is called Eid al-Fitr. After fasting for one month, during the month of Ramadan, remembering, worshipping Allah and trying to do fewer sins beside not eating and drinking from before the Call for Fajr prayer to after the Call for Magrib prayer, Muslims celebrate the first day of the month of Shawwal, for their success in submitting to Allah's command. They perform the Eid prayer first; then, they hold a feast inviting their loved ones, wear their best clothes, and visit their friends and family. The culture of feasting might be different in different Islamic communities, but one thing is for sure; no one is allowed to fast on this exceptional day. Allah also obliges Muslims to share their blessings and happiness with the needy with the money they donate to them.
Eid al-Adha is one of the most significant Islamic occasions. Some of the most important events of this Abrahamic religion happened on this day. On this Eid, similar to Eid al-Fitr, Muslims are not allowed to fast. The first is the sacrifice of Ishmael by his father, Abraham, for the sake of Allah. When Abraham and his son both surrendered, and he was ready to behead his son, Allah sent a ram and asked Abraham to kill that instead.
"So when they had both surrendered [to Allah's will], and he had laid him down on his forehead, We called out to him, 'O Abraham! You have indeed fulfilled your vision! Thus indeed do We reward the virtuous! This was indeed a manifest test. Then We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, and left for him a good name in posterity." (37: 103-108)
This day is also the last day of Hajj rituals, in which Muslims shall sacrifice an animal to feed the needy Muslims. On this day, those who attended Hajj have performed all their Hajj rituals, and with the great assistance of Allah, all their sins are wiped away, and Allah accepts their good deeds and repentance.
Many Muslims celebrate this day. They sacrifice an animal to feed the needy, even if they have not attended Hajj. If they do not have enough money to buy a sheep, they do other things and feed the destitute in different ways. This sacrifice is an expression of generosity and obedience to the commands of Allah. This Eid also reminds humankind of the characteristics, such as envy, rage, dishonesty, etc., they have to symbolically sacrifice in themselves to become the better version of themselves and be worthy of being Allah's best creation.
This Islamic occasion was a day in the last Hajj pilgrimage (Hajjat al-Vida'a) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). When he was going back to Medina with all his companions and other pilgrims, he gathered everyone around a place called Ghadir and announced these words in which he appointed Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (AS) as his caliph and the Imam after himself following a direct order from Allah [i]:
"Whomsoever, I am his leader (Mawla), Ali (AS) is also his leader (Mawla). O' Allah! Love those who love him (Ali (AS)) and oppose those who oppose him" 
This is another important day in the Muslim calendar. On this day, Muslims can fast and again feed the needy, as an essential part of Islamic culture.
These are the most significant and most celebrated Islamic occasions. As one can see, feeding others and praying to Allah are the essential things a Muslim should do to celebrate a feast, which reveals the importance of caring for others in Islam that results from the devotion to Allah.
[i] Verse 67th of Surah al-Maedah known as Al-Tabligh Verse, and the third verse of the same chapter known as Al-Ikmal Verse.
- Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 605; Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 295; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 110-111;
- Ibn Tawus, 'Ali b. Musa, Al-Luhuf 'ala qatla l-tufuf, Uswi, Qom, 1414 AH.
- Al-Biruni, Abu Rayhan, The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries, p.331.
- Qazi al-Tabataii, Muhammad Ali, A Research on the first Arba'een of the Leader of Martyrs (Imam Hussain (AS)), vol.3, p.304.