23 thoughts on “Refutation: Facebook: Let Common Sense Prevail

  1. Why is it that when I click on “Are Chanda and Wasiyyat Islamic?” It brings me to this article instead?

  2. On hearing the statements made by Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih in his address in Germany, I changed my Facebook settings from private-from-strangers to private-from-even-friends, to a point where all that was left was my name and my thoughts with people being able to comment if they wished (not too different from the current situation on this very blog). I really felt that I had followed the instructions of my beloved Khalifa at that point and would carry on with my hyper-private accou

  3. Dear brother,

    I understand your concern regarding keeping contact with your close family. May I suggest a better way for doing this? You please visit http://www.geni.com and build your own family tree and invite your family to join whereever they are. It is a closed family website and I found it v useful.

    Wassalam,
    K.K. Badruddin

  4. Assalamu Alaikum
    This is another excellent post!
    I used to have facebook and there came a time when I became somewhat ‘addicted’ to it and started wasting so much time. But I stopped using it some time ago and deactivated my account. This was before Huzoor’s instructions that we should abstain from having facebook accounts. The only problem with deactivating is that all the content is still saved online. It’s not actually deleted. And facebook have hidden the ‘delete account’ pretty well.
    If you wish to completely delete your facebook account you can do so using this link.

    Wassalaam!

  5. A very good blog article and some very interesting comments! A refreshing change from hearing parents/people dictate to you who have no idea on how to justify their reasons other than threatening with a slap! I wish I could be surrounded by such great minds and rational thinkers in real life!

  6. On hearing the statements made by Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih in his address in Germany, I changed my Facebook settings from private-from-strangers to private-from-even-friends, to a point where all that was left was my name and my thoughts with people being able to comment if they wished (not too different from the current situation on this very blog). I really felt that I had followed the instructions of my beloved Khalifa at that point and would carry on with my hyper-private account.

    It wasn’t until a few days later when I saw the official statement on alislam.org stating that private accounts should be discontinued. At this point I did not understand how my Facebook account, at this stage almost equal to a permitted twitter account, was breaking any of the privacy issues that Hazoor had mentioned in his speech. At the same time, I had come across the comments of anti-Ahmadi writers who were questioning the loyalty of Ahmadis to the clear instructions of the Jama’at. That really didn’t sit right with me and I immediately deactivated my long-standing Facebook account. I mean if I can’t stay away from a simple thing as an internet website, as an Ahmadi Khadim how can I claim to be willing to sacrifice my life, wealth, time and honour, as I pledge to do? That being said, I still had a question mark in my head. I knew the answer was out there, I just had to find it.

    And I did. It was very simple in the end for me… Just because they couldn’t see me, that didn’t mean I couldn’t see them. And that was it. My account had already been discontinued, and now my brain could also sign out one last time.

    The reason I am writing this here is that the tone of this article does not seem to come from an experienced Facebook-er and one who understands the ‘withdrawal’ from it. After all, the respected author says he was only an active user for around 20 minutes. There are a number of Ahmadi brothers and sisters who still have active Facebook accounts and maybe require to be approached with a little more patience.

    The argument of ‘if they really are your friends you can communicate with them in another way’ in my opinion doesn’t provide a solution. I built an international network on my Facebook account for use in various ways, and that is now gone. If emails and text messages were easier, people would use those in the first place. It can’t be denied that having everyone and everything in the same place (i.e. the Facebook platform) makes things easier. But the fact remains: the benefits of leaving Facebook outweigh the costs.

    The argument of ‘I don’t put up my own pictures’ might be noble, but trying to manoeuvre that website without seeing a picture of somebody else is highly unlikely, almost impossible. The point mentioned in this article about insight into another person’s personality that we wouldn’t know otherwise is very real. In fact it is the very foundation of the website and the reason that it is so popular. It is our duty as Muslims to both cover ourselves up and to lower our gazes. This not only applies to pictures, but equally to written posts and comments. Islam permits communication from behind a veil to an extent, but how much would you say to a friend behind a curtain knowing full well that there are countless other strangers on the other side? The fact remains: the benefits of leaving Facebook outweigh the costs.

    I actually place some weight to the argument that ‘Facebook is educational’. You might not find it in a University’s resource list, but then again not all education is gained at school. And no, information about other people’s personal lives does not count as education. However, I came across many useful links posted there that I learnt something from. Facebook is also a useful platform for tabligh. While others are using their profile pages to advertise worldly things, I have seen many individuals use it as a place to post useful links to invite people to Ahmadiyyat, and to help donate to various charities. Pasting a link on one friend’s profile would no-doubt be seen by others who visited their page. However on the flip side, today a person like me now spends more ‘internet-time’ reading informative blogs such as this one instead of having to sift through the majority-useless information on Facebook. The fact remains: the benefits of leaving Facebook outweigh the costs.

    Being constantly tested on that website in knowing the difference between good and bad might be good exercise, but is not a good way to progress in your spiritual standing. And as they say, if you’re on a diet, the last place you want to be standing is next to the dessert cart. Maybe online blogs aren’t quite to your liking, but there is something out there that is. Go find it.

  7. Pingback: Is This Hatred or Love? | Demystifying the Cult

  8. Great post. Totally agree with the idea of it being addictive. It also felt like an invasion of privacy – I primarily joined to keep in touch with family, but then your friends start adding you, then your old friends from your old schools start adding you, who you haven’t actually seen in years. So when you post something, they can comment on it and interact with you…it was just weird!

    One advantage of it I must admit was that it allowed me to share news with my family really easily – it’s a lot harder to do it by email now e.g. attaching pictures one by one, then each of your family members replying to you one by one – gets a bit messy. But I definitely think the costs of Facebook greatly outweighed the benefits. The breakdown of purdah was probably the biggest – I could be talking to my cousin about something, and her friend who is completely unrelated to me could join the conversation – doesn’t feel right!

    I’m not sure if business accounts are totally banned though – the jamaat definitely has an official one, and other auxiliary organisations make reference to them e.g. the tarbiyyat newsletter has a ‘facebook like’ button lol

  9. To AhmadiMuslimah

    I totally agree with you. I have moved quite far away from my friends, so I thought Facebook would help me keep in touch with them. But then again i thought, if they wanted to keep in touch (and vice versa) then I and they should make the effort – they have my number and email. And to be honest Facebook makes one lazy – in that you post a message every now and then and when you next see that person, you don’t really feel like you have missed that person.

    I remember when Hudhur explained the situation of Facebook, out of mere love and respect, I cancelled my account, and alhamdolillah haven’t gone back! Like you said it gives you more time to read and do more productive things.

    Wassalaam

  10. Jazak’Allah for a very informative write-up. The rationale of Huzoor’s instructions on this score is very apparant now. The rampant divorces on account of the menace of facebook is an open secret. Let the warning be taken with all seriousness.

  11. Jazakallah for the post.

    I myself joined Facebook in the early stage and got myself occupied by the games on it. Racing cars, growing pets, etc, you name it. Been there done that.

    Up to the point where I heard Huzur aba’s wish and deleted my account, it serves mostly only to maintain and retain my relationships with my friends. I do get benefitted by getting contact to old friends in Facebook. Updated my status once in a while, usually only where twitter cannot contained because it was more than 140 chars.

    In Indonesia, the modesty of most people is still intact. Even if the Ahmadi ladies who post their pictures are still on the outfit that they would have in daily life. At least for most of them who are in my friend circle. However, the interactions in chats, messages, status, comments, etc do have breach the limit that they should have maintain. At least that is what I feel.

    I did get more active again in the last couple of months before Huzur advice because we had a group for Ahmadis where we can discuss many things from a to z. I even asked Mr Nasim about this but his advice is to seek another ways to do that.

    May Allah enable us to follow Huzur aba advice on this matter. Amin

  12. I agree with you two, Hadhur’s decision and advice also was another reason for deleting my account. As Art of misinformation mentioned we should all understand the reasoning for this instruction and should be able to apply it to other aspects of our everyday life.

  13. I agree. After deleting it we should then look to understand the wisdom behind the instruction of Hadrat Sahib (ayyadahu Allah ta’ala bi-nasrihi al-‘aziz) so that we can shun other similar dangers in the future as and when they appear. May Almighty Allah protect all Muslims from the evils of Satan.

  14. Some excellent points. Self esteem is a big thing – that was a big issue I observed with some of the people I knew. They were constantly trying to win the pleasure of others and almost justify why they were more socially acceptable. The other important point I took for your comments is regarding the backbiting etc. There are obvious issues here, but one big one is bullying amongst children and teenagers. This isall part of the wider cyber-bullying crisis facing us. I added a new link to ”Child Line” which discusses all about it. Anyone who is experiencing this or have children that are should not ignore it. Please make sure you report it and report it to your parents / school teachers.

  15. AA

    It’s so weird how a website has become a necessity in some peoples lives; I admit it,I myself was a victim to this social norm. I know exactly what you are talking about when you mentioned the university library setting, I used to see the same thing when I was at University. Students would have a deadline but would still find the time to check their facebook?
    Alhumdolillah, I have been off Facebook for a few months, I have more time to study, read a books, increase my knowledge and most of all be productive with my time.
    I think it also comes down to one being comfortable with their own self, people who constantly update status’s, upload pictures…it’s almost like their trying to prove something to people or crave a need for acceptance. It is a lack of confidence that seeks to conform in society.
    You realise how paranoid people are aswell. The first question you will get is..”why have you blocked/deleted me?”
    Your experience of Facebook is different to mine. Honestly, I did not leave Facebook because of Pardah (mainly because I didn’t upload pics or details about myself), my security settings were high so not even friends of friends could see me. I left Facebook simply because I was sick of reading the backbiting, gossip, people venting their frustrations indirectly towards individuals, cyber bullying and because it’s such a waste of time.
    Family and friends, the ones that are relevant and want to keep in touch with you will find a way. With regards to business…I used “pages” for business purposes, however, it’s not a necessity. Businesses survived before Facebook, and if your business is meant to prosper it will, by the grace of Allah Almighty.
    Facebook, mobile phones, internet, tv, e-mail..these are all worldly things. Im not saying be a hermit, but you have to have a healthy balance; Islam teaches the middle path.

    Try one day to switch off the internet, tv, mobile… and go to the park (on a nice day – like today) and read a book or not and let your brain think for it’s self! and reflect.

    You may look at things differently and appreciate what you may have missed before.

    Philosophical maybe, but don’t knock it until you have tried it.

    Wasalaam

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