In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Verily, all praise is for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls [and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, [alone and without any partner] and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Ali Imran 3:102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).” [al-Nisa’ 4:1]

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth). He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise).” [al-Ahzaab 33:70-71]

As to what proceeds: Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire. As to what proceeds:

Servants of Allah! If you take a look at the definition of social media, you will find that it is the interaction amongst people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. And if you take a look at Islam, Islam appreciates and welcomes all forms of advancement for as long as it does not go against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and what Allah the Almighty has revealed.

So in a nutshell we as Muslims, our mission is to learn, to put into practice and to convey and as for the medium of conveying we need to use whatever is at our disposal to convey the beautiful Message of Islam so that the whole world can taste the peace that we are enjoying. And, we thank Allah for granting us the beautiful example of Prophet Muhammad, (SAW) when it comes to this. And this is why my brothers and sisters if you take a look at the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), most of the people were unlettered.

Allah says in the Quran“It is He who sent an unlettered a Messenger who was unlettered amongst the unlettered …” (Surah Al-Jumu`ah, 62:2)

Which means the bulk of these people were unlettered. They used to rely on memory. So much so that they knew the lineage of their camels, going back seven generations. You know I sit and I think of this, I don’t even know my own lineage seven generations going back and I don’t think most of us … 99% of us would probably not even know their lineage. So this is the type of technology they had.

They relied on their own minds. They had powerful memories. They were poets. They were eloquent. But at that time when the Message was to be delivered to the leaders of the globe, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) chose to write the Message to get those who will write it on his behalf because he was unlettered.

So Servants of Allah! If you take a look at the definition of social media, you will find that it is the interaction amongst people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. And if you take a look at Islam, Islam appreciates and welcomes all forms of advancement for as long as it does not go against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and what Allah the Almighty has revealed.

So in a nutshell we as Muslims, our mission is to learn, to put into practice and to convey and as for the medium of conveying we need to use whatever is at our disposal to convey the beautiful Message of Islam so that the whole world can taste the peace that we are enjoying. And, we thank Allah for granting us the beautiful example of Prophet Muhammad, (SAW) when it comes to this. And this is why my brothers and sisters if you take a look at the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), most of the people were unlettered.

Allah says in the Quran:

“It is He who sent an unlettered a Messenger who was unlettered amongst the unlettered …” (Surah Al-Jumu`ah, 62:2)

Which means the bulk of these people were unlettered. They used to rely on memory. So much so that they knew the lineage of their camels, going back seven generations. You know I sit and I think of this, I don’t even know my own lineage seven generations going back and I don’t think most of us … 99% of us would probably not even know their lineage. So this is the type of technology they had.

They relied on their own minds. They had powerful memories. They were poets. They were eloquent. But at that time when the Message was to be delivered to the leaders of the globe, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) chose to write the Message to get those who will write it on his behalf because he was unlettered.

So from the few who were educated he told them what to write. Bismillahir rahmanir rahim and so on and he sent the message all across. So this shows us that he used something that was not the norm in his own area because he had to get the message across. So much so that when this message was to be delivered to the Romans, the Companions informed him that you know what, they are not going to read what you have sent because it doesn’t have a seal. It needs an official seal. Immediately he said, ok. Let us get the seal. Let us make sure that we seal that letter.

He did not say, Oh this is their style. It is their method. Let’s not use it because what was at stake was guidance. What was at stake was the message itself. It had to be sent.

And the reason why I start this way is to demonstrate that today we find ourselves with technology advancing in leaps and bounds and if I’m not going to use that technology and you are not going to use it positively then it will be used in a destructive manner in order to promote that which is incorrect. That which is invalid and that which will earn the wrath of Allah the Most High perhaps snatch away the peace from our lives.

So, we have all come to the agreement that it is permissible and in fact it is necessary for us to make use of whatever the latest technology is, in order to beam the message of Islam, message of peace across the globe.

The problem is if you are to read statistics, you will find that these social networking sites and the social media is the cause of the snatching away of the peace of a lot of people. You find wives complaining. You find husbands complaining. Children complain. They are orphans…orphans of what?

Social media orphans. It means mum is busy with her phone. Dad is busy with his. And why we say phone because although it includes the internet at large, the phone and the mobile has become the device of the age. So much so that the S5 before it came out we already ordered some of these phones. And if I were to tell you the S6 is almost on its way, you would probably Google it and find out in a few minutes what’s happening.

May Allah grant us understanding of the power of this technology so it has spread the whole globe. Remember, Islam governs how to use it. It’s like a knife. You can use the knife to chop up your meat so that you can cook it in proper – Mashaa Allah – little cubes that I enjoy eating as well. You know which are cooked beautifully and soft and tender when you’re chewing them. Or, you can actually use it in a wrong way.

A knife can be used as a weapon. It depends how the person uses it. Islam says, use it in the correct way. Make sure that you use it in the proper way so that the day I meet with my Maker who is the source of all peace I will be from amongst those who has not left a single stone unturned in trying to reach out to the people in a beautiful way. So how did I make use of the social networks that were at my disposal.

If you take a careful look at technology, on many different forms you have the social media. For example, there are magazines, the internet forums, the web blogs, the blogs, the social blogs, a microblogging, the wikis, the social networks, podcasts, photos, videos, the ratings, social books and so many other things that we actually have not only the ability to source but even to be a part of its making or creation. So make sure that you have used it in the correct way, and this is how Allah the Almighty will bless you and I in this world and the next.

If you take a look at the word ‘social’, Islam has indeed given a very great importance to social interaction but within limits and for the right reasons. If you look at the Salah we read, the congregational prayer, the hadith says that Salah in congregation is better than Salah read individually 27 times. One narration says 25 times. It means so many fold more.

The reason is that interaction. You meet the people. You smile at them. The physical meeting is far more important than anything else. And the social networking if we were to take internet out of it, and make it physical then Islam has promoted it from the very beginning.

You have for example the Jumu’ah that is compulsory upon us as Muslims. We need to know that that is a gathering. The Eid is a gathering. It is something important. To go out to visit the sick is highly rewarding.

Today you can just send a WhatsApp message and say you know what, I heard you are unwell. I’m praying for you. And so on. And do you know that you will get a similar reward? If the person is far away, you would have visited them had they been nearer. But because of your busy schedule or whatever else it is, you were only able to message them so you have a beautiful reward.

I always say that there was a time when we could invite one person. You know I can talk to you. Interact with you, brother. This is the goodness. This is what it is. This is the peace. This is what Islam is all about or you know, I can share some good moments with one person, two people, perhaps – a group of people. Whereas Allah the Most High has made it so easy for us to earn a huge reward just by the touch of a button.

Let’s ask ourselves, “Are we doing that? Or are we earning the wrath of the Almighty by the touch of the same button?” Because in the same way that I can press just some knob on my phone or a little, perhaps a part of my touch screen as it is today and I can reach out to hundreds or millions of people with the correct message. I can do the same with the bad message. So ask yourself.

Allah has made it easy for you to earn reward packed as many rewards as possible before you meet with Allah the Exalted.

My Brothers and Sisters! It’s extremely important to know. To know that this social interaction in Islam is definitely an act of worship if it is done correctly, and this is when it comes to the physical relation, you know, to spend time with your parents, and with your children and so on, it’s extremely important.

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If you’ve gone away somewhere further away from home, how many messages do you send home? How many WhatsApp messages do you send home? Do you Skype your children? It’s a question. But we are quick to use all that when it comes to wrong sometimes because the devil is also as powerful.

Remember, pornography is something that would destroy your peace. It is something that might soothe your lusts that is inside but as a result the cactus that grows around your heart is so huge because it snatches away peace. So therefore, stay away from it. And worse than actually engaging in perhaps looking at something derogatory is to forward it to others just as a joke. And this is where Islam comes in.

My Brothers and Sisters! The Prophet (SAW) says, whoever sets a bad example, whoever has started a bad trend, they will have … they will bear the burden of it and the burden of everyone else as a result who has been affected by it, or who drops into it up to the Last Day. And that would be not decreasing the burden from anyone of them.

This is something very dangerous. So remember, do not just forward something that is perhaps pornographic. Something that is bad. Something racist. Something of the nature where we are earning the anger of Allah or it is something sinful because click of the button could mean great detriment to us.

It could mean great destruction to us. We ask Allah the Most High to save us. It is something extremely important. Also what Islam has done is it has given us rules and regulations regarding so many things. Do you know if I have to have for example a twitter handle, or a Facebook page or for example, on Instagram, WhatsApp, BBM, whatever else it is, Skype, the first thing I need to do is to choose a name and a profile.

It is extremely important as Muslims, the bearers of peace, that you choose a profile befitting whom you really are in terms of your link with Allah because sometimes it is these profiles that are made in such a way that automatically they beam a lot of nudity. They beam a lot of negativity.

And as a result what will happen to our inner and outer peace? What will happen to the peace of this world and the next? And be honest with yourself. You know sometimes people want to hide so they create a profile with a dubious name and this brings me to the point I wanted to raise.

People are on social networks for different reasons. Some are there to spread goodness. Others are there to have just fun. And some are there to con you and to dupe you and others are there just to abuse you. So be careful.

Let us not be from amongst those who are doing wrong. Let us be from amongst those who are there in order to maintain perhaps our family ties, perhaps to find out what’s happening to our friends in a beautiful way and to spread the message of goodness whenever we have a chance and in whatever way we can for as long as it thought of quite clearly and it is the best chosen method. As Allah the Almighty says:

“When you call towards the path of the Almighty, choose the most wise of all methods.” (Surah Nahl, 16:125)

And when you engage people in discussion, make sure it is the most powerful or the best of ways. So this would apply even when we are interacting with one another when it comes to social networking and so on. The difficulty we have after we’ve created a profile, we have Wefriends. So we choose friends, we allow friends and people befriend us. The type of friends you choose is extremely important. It will shape your peace or it will break it. This is why those who have chosen bad friends. Subhanallah. May Allah protect us all from that.

It is important for us to realise if they are having a bad effect on us and they probably will, then we need to get ourselves out of that as soon as possible because Allah speaks about it in the Quran.

Beautiful verses of Surah Furqan where Allah speaks of the one who will regret because of his bad company and he will say, Oh! I hope I had taken the path that the Messenger had taught and I hope I did not have so and so as a friend of mine because he has led me astray after the goodness was made manifest to me. Surah (Al-Furqan 25:27-29)

How can that happen? So make sure even your online friends are those who are people reminding you of goodness and turning you away from that which is bad for you. If they encourage you to do something bad, you need to take a step back. And you need to ask yourself, what am I doing to help them? May Allah use us to help them.

Another very important aspect of speaking about the type of friends. Extremely important for us to know the character, the language we use, the type of person we portray ourselves, or we come across as, and the type of comments we make when it comes to other people’s perhaps pages or twitter accounts, handles and so on. The type of comments we make, we need to carefully think of them.

Remember one thing, these comments will last forever and ever. Not like a long time ago, you make a mistake and you can just say I’m sorry to the person you made a mistake towards, but now it will beam across the whole globe, being retweeted, and shared and perhaps multiplied so many times before you know it the whole world has been affected by your mischief or misdeed. We don’t want that to happen. We’d rather be from amongst those who can use that for peace and that too Inshaa Allah encourage people to do that which is good.

Extremely important, the time and the limitations that I spend on these social networks and the social media and so on. Allah the Almighty has taught us to be mindful of time. Look at what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:

“There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.” (Sahih Bukhari)

There are two gifts of Allah that a lot of people have been duped about. A lot of people are deceived about. What are those two? Health and your time. Your free time. Many people you know you’re healthy and you end up doing all the wrong things, not realising one day your health will go. It has to go! May Allah protect us and make it easy for us on that day. And when we are free we just waste the time.

Nowadays even when we are engaged in the most important of things, you’ll find something happening very important and such a big irritation. Do you know how irritating it is? It is so irritating the most important of issues I may be engaged in and next thing I find Subhanallah I’m busy on WhatsApp. Such an important event. So many people watching me and I’m busy trying to… the few who were educated he told them what to write. Bismillahir rahmanir rahim and so on and he sent the message all across. So this shows us that he used something that was not the norm in his own area because he had to get the message across. So much so that when this message was to be delivered to the Romans, the Companions informed him that you know what, they are not going to read what you have sent because it doesn’t have a seal. It needs an official seal. Immediately he said, ok. Let us get the seal. Let us make sure that we seal that letter.

He did not say, Oh this is their style. It is their method. Let’s not use it because what was at stake was guidance. What was at stake was the message itself. It had to be sent.

And the reason why I start this way is to demonstrate that today we find ourselves with technology advancing in leaps and bounds and if I’m not going to use that technology and you are not going to use it positively then it will be used in a destructive manner in order to promote that which is incorrect. That which is invalid and that which will earn the wrath of Allah the Most High perhaps snatch away the peace from our lives.

So, we have all come to the agreement that it is permissible and in fact it is necessary for us to make use of whatever the latest technology is, in order to beam the message of Islam, message of peace across the globe.

The problem is if you are to read statistics, you will find that these social networking sites and the social media is the cause of the snatching away of the peace of a lot of people. You find wives complaining. You find husbands complaining. Children complain. They are orphans…orphans of what?

Social media orphans. It means mum is busy with her phone. Dad is busy with his. And why we say phone because although it includes the internet at large, the phone and the mobile has become the device of the age. So much so that the S5 before it came out we already ordered some of these phones. And if I were to tell you the S6 is almost on its way, you would probably Google it and find out in a few minutes what’s happening.

May Allah grant us understanding of the power of this technology so it has spread the whole globe. Remember, Islam governs how to use it. It’s like a knife. You can use the knife to chop up your meat so that you can cook it in proper – Mashaa Allah – little cubes that I enjoy eating as well. You know which are cooked beautifully and soft and tender when you’re chewing them. Or, you can actually use it in a wrong way.

A knife can be used as a weapon. It depends how the person uses it. Islam says, use it in the correct way. Make sure that you use it in the proper way so that the day I meet with my Maker who is the source of all peace I will be from amongst those who has not left a single stone unturned in trying to reach out to the people in a beautiful way. So how did I make use of the social networks that were at my disposal.

If you take a careful look at technology, on many different forms you have the social media. For example, there are magazines, the internet forums, the web blogs, the blogs, the social blogs, a microblogging, the wikis, the social networks, podcasts, photos, videos, the ratings, social books and so many other things that we actually have not only the ability to source but even to be a part of its making or creation. So make sure that you have used it in the correct way, and this is how Allah the Almighty will bless you and I in this world and the next.

If you take a look at the word ‘social’, Islam has indeed given a very great importance to social interaction but within limits and for the right reasons. If you look at the Salah we read, the congregational prayer, the hadith says that Salah in congregation is better than Salah read individually 27 times. One narration says 25 times. It means so many fold more.

The reason is that interaction. You meet the people. You smile at them. The physical meeting is far more important than anything else. And the social networking if we were to take internet out of it, and make it physical then Islam has promoted it from the very beginning.

You have for example the Jumu’ah that is compulsory upon us as Muslims. We need to know that that is a gathering. The Eid is a gathering. It is something important. To go out to visit the sick is highly rewarding.

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Today you can just send a WhatsApp message and say you know what, I heard you are unwell. I’m praying for you. And so on. And do you know that you will get a similar reward? If the person is far away, you would have visited them had they been nearer. But because of your busy schedule or whatever else it is, you were only able to message them so you have a beautiful reward.

I always say that there was a time when we could invite one person. You know I can talk to you. Interact with you, brother. This is the goodness. This is what it is. This is the peace. This is what Islam is all about or you know, I can share some good moments with one person, two people, perhaps – a group of people. Whereas Allah the Most High has made it so easy for us to earn a huge reward just by the touch of a button.

Let’s ask ourselves, “Are we doing that? Or are we earning the wrath of the Almighty by the touch of the same button?” Because in the same way that I can press just some knob on my phone or a little, perhaps a part of my touch screen as it is today and I can reach out to hundreds or millions of people with the correct message. I can do the same with the bad message. So ask yourself.

Allah has made it easy for you to earn reward packed as many rewards as possible before you meet with Allah the Exalted.

My Brothers and Sisters! It’s extremely important to know. To know that this social interaction in Islam is definitely an act of worship if it is done correctly, and this is when it comes to the physical relation, you know, to spend time with your parents, and with your children and so on, it’s extremely important.

If you’ve gone away somewhere further away from home, how many messages do you send home? How many WhatsApp messages do you send home? Do you Skype your children? It’s a question. But we are quick to use all that when it comes to wrong sometimes because the devil is also as powerful.

Remember, pornography is something that would destroy your peace. It is something that might soothe your lusts that is inside but as a result the cactus that grows around your heart is so huge because it snatches away peace. So therefore, stay away from it. And worse than actually engaging in perhaps looking at something derogatory is to forward it to others just as a joke. And this is where Islam comes in.

My Brothers and Sisters! The Prophet (SAW) says, whoever sets a bad example, whoever has started a bad trend, they will have … they will bear the burden of it and the burden of everyone else as a result who has been affected by it, or who drops into it up to the Last Day. And that would be not decreasing the burden from anyone of them.

This is something very dangerous. So remember, do not just forward something that is perhaps pornographic. Something that is bad. Something racist. Something of the nature where we are earning the anger of Allah or it is something sinful because click of the button could mean great detriment to us.

It could mean great destruction to us. We ask Allah the Most High to save us. It is something extremely important. Also what Islam has done is it has given us rules and regulations regarding so many things. Do you know if I have to have for example a twitter handle, or a Facebook page or for example, on Instagram, WhatsApp, BBM, whatever else it is, Skype, the first thing I need to do is to choose a name and a profile.

It is extremely important as Muslims, the bearers of peace, that you choose a profile befitting whom you really are in terms of your link with Allah because sometimes it is these profiles that are made in such a way that automatically they beam a lot of nudity. They beam a lot of negativity.

And as a result what will happen to our inner and outer peace? What will happen to the peace of this world and the next? And be honest with yourself. You know sometimes people want to hide so they create a profile with a dubious name and this brings me to the point I wanted to raise.

People are on social networks for different reasons. Some are there to spread goodness. Others are there to have just fun. And some are there to con you and to dupe you and others are there just to abuse you. So be careful.

Let us not be from amongst those who are doing wrong. Let us be from amongst those who are there in order to maintain perhaps our family ties, perhaps to find out what’s happening to our friends in a beautiful way and to spread the message of goodness whenever we have a chance and in whatever way we can for as long as it thought of quite clearly and it is the best chosen method. As Allah the Almighty says:

“When you call towards the path of the Almighty, choose the most wise of all methods.” (Surah Nahl, 16:125)

And when you engage people in discussion, make sure it is the most powerful or the best of ways. So this would apply even when we are interacting with one another when it comes to social networking and so on. The difficulty we have after we’ve created a profile, we have Wefriends. So we choose friends, we allow friends and people befriend us. The type of friends you choose is extremely important. It will shape your peace or it will break it. This is why those who have chosen bad friends. Subhanallah. May Allah protect us all from that.

It is important for us to realise if they are having a bad effect on us and they probably will, then we need to get ourselves out of that as soon as possible because Allah speaks about it in the Quran.

Beautiful verses of Surah Furqan where Allah speaks of the one who will regret because of his bad company and he will say, Oh! I hope I had taken the path that the Messenger had taught and I hope I did not have so and so as a friend of mine because he has led me astray after the goodness was made manifest to me. Surah (Al-Furqan 25:27-29)

How can that happen? So make sure even your online friends are those who are people reminding you of goodness and turning you away from that which is bad for you. If they encourage you to do something bad, you need to take a step back. And you need to ask yourself, what am I doing to help them? May Allah use us to help them.

Another very important aspect of speaking about the type of friends. Extremely important for us to know the character, the language we use, the type of person we portray ourselves, or we come across as, and the type of comments we make when it comes to other people’s perhaps pages or twitter accounts, handles and so on. The type of comments we make, we need to carefully think of them.

Remember one thing, these comments will last forever and ever. Not like a long time ago, you make a mistake and you can just say I’m sorry to the person you made a mistake towards, but now it will beam across the whole globe, being retweeted, and shared and perhaps multiplied so many times before you know it the whole world has been affected by your mischief or misdeed. We don’t want that to happen. We’d rather be from amongst those who can use that for peace and that too Inshaa Allah encourage people to do that which is good.

Extremely important, the time and the limitations that I spend on these social networks and the social media and so on. Allah the Almighty has taught us to be mindful of time. Look at what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:

“There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.” (Sahih Bukhari)

There are two gifts of Allah that a lot of people have been duped about. A lot of people are deceived about. What are those two? Health and your time. Your free time. Many people you know you’re healthy and you end up doing all the wrong things, not realising one day your health will go. It has to go! May Allah protect us and make it easy for us on that day. And when we are free we just waste the time.

Nowadays even when we are engaged in the most important of things, you’ll find something happening very important and such a big irritation. Do you know how irritating it is? It is so irritating the most important of issues I may be engaged in and next thing I find Subhanallah I’m busy on WhatsApp. Such an important event. So many people watching me and I’m busy trying to…

Dear respective Brothers and Sisters! Mass media as we all know is a means of public communication in reaching a large audience, in the past this is usually achieved through the use of town-criers and horse men to deliver messages within and outside communities, those medium were less advanced and thus subject to control and also less probable of truncating the limits of Islamic jurisdictions.

Today this means has gradually evolved into the use of facilities like the satellite TV, telephones, billboard, social networks such as Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp, and so on. These social networks are today known as the social media because they invariably support the spread of information and in the least controlled manner also.

These modern media tools will in most cases serve to promote the traditional role of mass media as defined by the media practitioners which is to inform, educate, and to persuade the people by providing them with the right information and education on critical and trivial matters within and outside their environments.

The media can bring changes in behaviour and attitude of the people by emphasising certain issues.

But today due to the lack of control and rightful actions, these tools are used to de-propagate the religion of Islam by showcasing anti-Islamic vices, promoting anti-Islamic ethics. I shall however outline some of its negative and positive impacts on Islam as well as a best practice approach to utilizing its potentials positively inshaa Allah.

Negative Effects of Social and Mass Media

1. Promotion of Indecency

Islam propagates the emulation of certain manners by Muslims, these manners are without a reason to better the ummah in general, and one of such is the lowering of the gaze as stipulated in the following verse where Allah the Most High said:

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty that will make for greater purity for them and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” [Surah An Nur, 24:30]

The rule of modesty applies to men as well as women. A brazen stare by a man at a woman (or even at a man) is a breach of this refined manner.

This is a commendable virtue which today has been abridged by the social media platforms we have. The expression of almost naked pictures of both men and women on social media such a Facebook, Blackberry messenger, twitter, WhatsApp as well as all other electronic communication mediums has made it almost impossible for the Muslim community that utilises such tools to uphold such a noble command from the Almighty Allah.

This is ultimately because it is not easy refusing to enlarge the display picture of that Aura exposed girls or guy on your social network profile.

2. Unguarded Utterances

One of the founding principles of the media is “freedom of speech”, freedom of speech irrespective of its effect on the individuality of society, freedom of speech weather blasphemous in nature to the principles of not only islam but also other people ideology in general.

This principle of mass media practice has been transferred to the social media of today and has caused several negative tendencies to its users which include the Muslims in general, tendencies such as the act of engaging in illicit discussion with the opposite sex and all that care to participate, public insult/abuse of individuals via these electronic means, display of illicit pictures of one’s self and foes, all these are done in the name of “freedom of speech and expression.”

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Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“…He who believes in Allah and the last day, let him speak good or remain silent.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet has commanded “good” in the speech of man, this is to promote good qualities in individuals and promote peaceful coexistence beyond the right to utter anything we like in the name of “freedom of speech and expression” which only end in sowing seed of discourse between people.

This Prophetic manner is also an indication of the faith in Muslim for He said:

“…He who believes in Allah and the last day…”

This manner is fast becoming absent today in the way words are being exchanged through social media. Updates of Un-godly statement are the trends of the day on our social media.

The spread of illicit pictures and lyrics of western songs has done no good but succeeded in corrupting the minds of the Muslim ummah against upholding good virtues and manner as stated in the quoted hadith above.

Reading these messages, engaging in hearing them or promoting their subsequent multiplication will invariably lead to a decline of iman in the hearts of any Muslim, a danger which today drives some even out of Islam. Subhanallah

Or how do you explain your individual “belief in the Messenger and the last day” when you have chosen bad and illicit utterances as against Prophetic traditions and manners.

We should be aware that the things we write online are also recorded by the angels so we shouldn’t allow ourselves to fall into a false sense of security thinking that our anonymous comments go unrecorded.

3. Demonisation of Islamic Clerics and Muslims

Opposing basic rights are the primary images that are repeatedly portrayed through the media. This creates misconceptions that portray Islam as a religion of violence, today the western Media has launched a campaign against Islam in the name of a campaign against terror by referring to these clerics or the Muslims as “terrorists”, “extremists”, “radical Islamists”, because of the actions of few.

These are all misconceptions about Islam that are due to the media’s prejudice and ignorance mostly because not enough knowledge is always sought in Islam.

Abu Darda’ reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:

“Nothing will be heavier on the scale of the believers on the day of resurrection than good manners; Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language.” (At-Tirmidhi)

In another Hadith, Abdullah Bin Umar reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:

“The best of companions to Allah is one who is best to his companions and the best of neighbours to Allah is the one who is the best of them to his neighbours.” (At Tirmidhi)

So how does one define as “radical” a religion that preaches the best of manners and thereby forbidden the utterance of utter and foul language?

How do you define as “extreme” a religion that preaches the best in a man as that who is best to his neighbours?

So how does one define as “terrorism” a religion that preaches kindness to animals and even plants?

The media today does not carry or portray all that is good in the religion of Islam but miss-represents it mostly through doctored or one sided show in order to influence people’s views on Islam.

The Western media usually identifies “Islam” in Muslim conflicts. It hardly points other religions out in their conflicts.

For example, the news would say, “Five Israelis may have been shot, but they were shot by five Muslims”, instead of saying “Five Israelis were shot by five Palestinians.” The media often reverses this action when a conflict is against Muslims, for example the news would usually say “Bosnians are being killed by Serbians”, but instead rarely says, “Muslims are being killed by Christians.”

Servants of Allah! The negative impact of the media and social media in general are numerous but that also is not without an advantage it plays in the role of Muslims lives and Islam as a religion.

Positive Effects of Social and Mass Media

1. Teaching the Quran

Uthman bin Affan reported that The Prophet said:

“The most superior among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.”

It is not without doubt that this is indeed a noble tradition, the social media no doubt today presents us with countless opportunities to achieve this spiritual superiority before Allah the Almighty. Muslims today have developed countless ways of giving online courses in Arabic, Tajweed and so on through the social media and internet.People can now learn the language of the Qur’an as well as its recitation within the comfort of their homes. Islamic internet websites provides question and answer segments which are closely regulated by Islamic clerics and Ulamas.Mashaa Allah.

2. The Ease of Propagating Da’wah

During the early Islamic era, the Companions of the Prophet and other Muslims ride Horses or use other local transportation means to travel to nations in order to call them to Islam, the religion was propagated through Da’wah in gatherings or during discussions with individuals, these local means of communications not as viable and fast but nonetheless aided successfully the spread of islam through the special grace of Allah.

The Prophet (SAW) said:

“If Allah guides a person through you, it is better for you than all that is on the earth.”

And in another Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

My respected people! We have an advanced media and other electronic means of communications today so that can enable us achieve so much more that’s better than all that’s on this earth before Allah the Most High.

A simple message today on Islamic propagation can be viewed and read by billions of people around the globe through the use of social media platform and electronic aids.

This social and electronic media in this regards provide us with the opportunity to enlighten more individuals about Islam within a concise span of time, so therefore if used right has no limit to extend of which the messages of islam as a religion travels to all around the world, this can also be used to positively correct the view of islam in the minds of certain individuals.

Methods of Constructive Usage of Social Media and Electronic Aids

1. Ensure that you limit yourself to the quest for useful knowledge always. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“He who sets foot on a path in the quest of knowledge, Allah facilitates for him the path to Paradise.” (Tirmidhi)

It is therefore essential for us that if we must indulge in the use of the social and mass media, then we should do so in such a manner that it will be beneficial to use with respect to the acquisition of rightful knowledge and May Allah guide us to paradise through such venture. Ameen.

2. We may live in an environment dominated by non-Islamic values and behaviours. Parents and elders should understand that Islam makes it clear that children are a blessing, a trust, and a test from Allah. Allah says:

“And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and surely with Allah is the mighty reward.” (Surah Anfal: 28)

This remind us of a binding responsibility to ensure that we instill the path of guidance on those we are responsible for, be it our friends, brothers and sisters as well as our children.

We can always endeavour to educate them on the most effective ways to utilize the media tools they find at their disposal.

3. The social media today enables us to bridge communication boundaries by staying in a virtual company of people from all over the world. This is similar to a gathering of people around each other but just with the absence of physical presence.

We therefore stand to benefit just as much in a social/virtual gathering as we would in a physical one. And this is of course with reference to our contacts on Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp, blackberry, yahoo, google+, TUMBLR and so on.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

And in another Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Mix with the noble people, you become one of them; and keep away from evil people to protect yourself from their evils.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah the Most High says:

“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” [Surah Al-Isra’i 18:28]

My Dear Brothers and Sisters! We can see from the Hadith and verse the importance of keeping good friends and also the effect of it. If we stay with someone for a long period of time, after some time the quality of that person that we are with will be reflected in ourselves. We begin to talk or act like them so if their action and lives values are not in conformity with that of Islam, we begin to loose our iman by gradually being with them.

It is therefore imperative that we regulate the communication we make with people through the social and mass media to that which will benefit us and Islam positively.

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognize the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us, ameen.

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Al-Mighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rajab 9, 1438 A.H. (April 7, 2017), By Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.