Currently, many people have access to the information through the internet. They do communicate through different channels like social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In the past, people used to communicate using Instant Messaging (IM) tools like Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, Skype etc. However, while these tools remain the most popular and important tools, it seems like Facebook has taken the Lion’s share on the market with its advanced applications which allows users to share photos, sending messages and sharing anything what matters to them with their friends and family.
Almost everybody including our religious leaders have Facebook accounts as it is easy to register account, send friend requests to whomever they want and start socialising instantly. With the internet-enabled phones, things are easy as anybody can chat on Facebook using his/her phone.
But the question might be, is it possible to socialise with friends on social networking sites like Facebook?
Yes or no might be the answer to the above question as it all depends on how we use it and benefits we are getting from it. Some contend that it is a means to give Dawah while some say it helps them to keep in touch with their family and friends. However, it has been observed also that some people, in this case some Muslims tend to abuse it as they indulge themselves in sharing and ‘tagging’ in pornographic materials while some spend much time on Facebook that they sometimes miss Prayers.
This remembers me what our Senior Author brother Abdul-Aziz Kaisi wrote in his, ‘How a Muslim Can Use Time.’ He said that “time is more precious than everything. The fact that Muslims possess the book full of wisdom could mean that Muslims understand the true importance of time. Unfortunately, it is just the opposite that we, Muslims nowadays, are among the laziest people ever existed on the face of the Earth.”
This is true as we Muslims are always misusing time because we do not understand the value of time. So you will hear a Muslim saying ‘I want to kill time’, but if someone may ask, how will you kill time? He or she is planning to waste time on TV and chatting on Facebook that they miss salaah. They say, “Let me chat with this girl or this guy first then I should be going for Salaah” without knowing how important is the time in Islam.
Some Facebook users spend long hours doing nothing useful instead of utilising that time in doing things which will benefit one in this world and the Hereafter.
In Islaam, a Muslim must be cautious with the dangerous of wasting time because if people waste their time, they are actually wasting their life.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Take benefit of five before five: your youth before old age, your health before sickness, your wealth before poverty, your free-time before your preoccupation, and your life before your death.” (Haakim)
The Holy book of Quran also gives due attention to the idea of time and this is clear in many verses of the Quran when Allah takes the oath using the different times of the day to reveal the importance of time “By the break of Day,” [1:89] “By (the Token of) Time (through the ages); [1:103], etc.
A Muslim should also not forget this verse “And I have not created the Jinn or humans except to worship Me.” [adh-Dhaariyaat (51):56]. Hence one should use time in the best possible way and not be heedless about it. The best way to spend time is in obeying Allah Ta`ala. One will never regret time spent in such acts of obedience.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said:
“There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of and thus lose out: good health and free time.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6412.
The Hadeeth stresses two facts: People are not aware of the importance of being in good health until they fall ill and people are not aware of the importance of time and therefore waste their time doing trivial things.
However, for one to realise the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed a grade. To realise the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to the premature baby. To realise the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of weekly newspaper. To realise the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage labourer who has kids to feed. To realise the value of ONE HOUR, ask the bride who is waiting to meet her groom. To realise the value of ONE MINUTE, as a person who has missed a train. To realise the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who has avoided an accident. To realise the value of ONE MILLI- SECOND, ask the person who has won the silver medal in Olympics.
However, while Islam encourages Muslims to spend time easily it is not everything that a person should fill his time is exhausting and energy-draining. One thing we may do is to spend time in quiet worship, remembering Allaah in our hearts.
Apart from wasting time, facebook users of all sexes openly chat and post updates to each other which is contradictary to the teachings of Islam as communication between non-mahrams of the opposite sex is totally prohibitted, whether phyiscally or on social networking sites and such interaction would be classified as a type of Zina (Fornication).
May Allah protect us.