She started out Ramadan with high hopes, for a new beginning, more enthusiasm, greater spirituality.  Every Ramadan for the past few years she had been really trying to take advantage of the holy month and to come closer to God and to grow as a person.

She logged onto Facebook right before heading out to the Youth Qiyam at the masjid.  In her News Feed, she saw all of her friends who were going…and noticed that he was going as well.  He being one of the brothers in the youth group, someone who she had noticed becoming more serious about Islam recently as well.  He being the one who would creep up into her thoughts sometimes.

And now he was creeping up on her Facebook News Feed as well.

So, she “liked” his status.  She thought, come on, it's just one “like!” 

She woke up the next morning and noticed all of her friends posting about the Qiyam last night.  She was wondering whether he had posted anything, and started to scroll down the page looking for something.  He had posted as well.  It was a quote from one of the lectures.

That quote also resonated with her.  So, she “liked” it.  She thought, come on, it's a great reminder!  Maybe I'll share his status on my Wall as well, help spread the khayr!

She had posted a quote from the Qiyam as well.  And guess who “liked” it…? And commented…?

He did.

A crazy rush of excitement shot through her.

The next day, her phone beeped, someone had tagged her in a tweet.  She went on to Twitter, and she noticed a recent tweet of his.  Turns out he was going to the masjid in the neighboring town tonight for tarawih.

I've been wanting to check out that masjid, I've heard the reciter is amazing!…maybe I can convince the family to go there tonight.

Ends up they didn't make it to that masjid that night.  It made her a little sad.  So she logged into her Facebook.  She was hoping he had posted something new.  She logged into her Twitter.  She was hoping he had posted something new.  She was in luck!  He posted a picture at the masjid.

So, she “liked” it.

He had posted an ayah that was read in tarawih that night as well.  She read the comments below, and saw some interesting things that people had posted.  And she wanted to respond and share her insights, too.  It reminded her of another ayah she had read the other day.

So, she commented and posted that ayah.

He commented back a few hours later.

So, she “liked” his comment.

It kept going and going like this every day.  She logged into her Facebook and Twitter hoping one of his posts would pop up in her News Feed.  She didn't feel like she was doing anything wrong.  There wasn't much interaction, they weren't even really talking, she made the excuse.  And it was just posts about Islam and Ramadan!  She was actually finding benefit in some of his posts.  They made her think and she was learning from them.

She had developed a tick–she started logging onto her Facebook more and more everyday, constantly on the hunt for a post of his.  He kept popping up in her mind more and more as their interaction via social media had increased.  She just had to go back onto Facebook multiple times a day.  It seemed like an addiction had developed in her halfway through the month.  She would go and check his profile daily.

Her mom started noticing she was online so much these days, and she was getting angry with her.  So she was forced to cut down on her time online.  It was really annoying her.  She would sneak away from her mom and go on Facebook when she got the chance.

It was getting out of control.  She had never cared this much about Facebook or Twitter before he had started posting so much.

After Ramadan ended, a lot of the progress she had made seemed to have faded, but her interactions with him still continued.  However, she had started to notice things about him that were bothering her.  He was posting about stupid things these days after Ramadan had finished.  She didn't care to know all of these little, useless things about him.  And why were there so many girls “liking” his posts and commenting?  It was really peeving her.  Before, nothing would make her happier than his posts showing up in her News Feed.  Now, nothing would put her in more of a sour mood.

It came to the point where she was over him.  He wasn't worth her time anymore.  When she was reflecting back on the month of Ramadan, she realized that she had allowed him to steal the barakah from her month.  It made her disappointed in herself, she had wasted the best time of the year.

And it had all started with just one little “like.”

She realized what a distraction he had been for her during Ramadan, and even afterwards.  She deleted him as a friend.  She unfollowed him.  She didn't want to deal with it anymore.

She got a friend request from one of the brothers at the MSA.  She didn't accept it.  She kept weeding out all the guys she was friends with. She realized what a distraction social media in general could be, but especially what a fitnah and test the guys could pose.

She realized how easy it is to slip online in terms of gender interaction.  She learned what it meant to take herself out a situation she knew she couldn't handle.  Joining Facebook and Twitter wasn't fard upon her, so she limited herself in this medium of entertainment and connection.

She promised to never let this happen to her again, especially not during Ramadan.

—-

Part of this story sounds all too familiar, doesn't it?

Please, let's not allow for this happen to us this Ramadan.  Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GChat, or anything else, we must delete, unsubscribe, unfollow anyone who is distracting us from our worship and creating fitnah for us in our lives.  This is the time of the year when Shaytan is locked up.  Also, fasting is recommended for those who feel like they can not control their physical desires, so we should take advantage of this 30 day block of fasting that we have and make a clean cut from members of the opposite gender, especially in our interactions online.   A lot of the times, we ignore gender relations online, and we undermine and underestimate the impact it may have.

Believe me, from all of the stories I've heard, it almost always starts online.

And maybe in retrospect we realize we got ourselves into a crazy situation…and that its source was just one “like.”

This is reminder to myself first and foremost. May Allah accept our deeds from us this Ramadan and help us make the changes in our lives that we need to be able to move forward and progress in our lives. Ameen.

About The Author

Standing at just under 5’2,” Meena is still growing (figuratively, sadly no longer literally) into her place in the world. She is in her 3rd year of Comparative Literature studies at the University of California, Irvine, where she is active with the Muslim Student Union. She is a graduate of the Bayyinah Institute Dream Program 2012 and is also a student of the Al Maghrib Institute, having attended Ilm Summits 2010 & 2011. Meena has discovered the power and beauty that words can have, the highest example being the Words of Allah preserved in the Holy Quran. In her own capacity and with the help of Allah, she hopes to capture and communicate her reflections and thoughts as she continues on in this exciting time of her life. You can follow her on Twitter @imeanking & read more of her posts on her personal blog: http://imeanking.wordpress.com/

18 Responses

  1. Hafsa

    Excellent, excellent post Masha’Allah! You have driven the point home beautifully.

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  2. MuslimTeen

    This article was really good! However, I don’t have a Facebook in the first place, so I don’t have to deal with that! :)

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  3. Intrigued

    No, this does not sound familiar. If liking statuses on facebook makes you or anyone else that obsessive then perhaps what you need is more interaction with men so as to decrease the unbearable excitement you feel at the very thought of them.

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    • Ali

      Totally Totally relate… SAME THING happened to me during last RAMADAN, but I was thinking marriage… There came a point I joined TWITTER just to see her tweets even when she BLOCKED-ME and I would send her “work related” messages on FACEBOOK so that she responds, I also joined Instagram so I can see her profile… LATER i was blocked in all 3 profiles.

      Amazing Subhan’Allah… wonder how many young people join media Platforms so just to interact with the person they feel they are interested in.. MANY MANY I’M SURE.

      SInce it began in RAMADAN, It made me do lot lot of DUA, more push in iibadah but eventually I got a NO :( … I approached the person 2 times after that… it was still a NO ! Allah (swt) Tested me and NOW Alhumdulilah better.

      I have taken upon myself to improve my social media etiquette and keep it HALAL_FOR_REAL although in my case that is the only time it happened and I was serious about MARRIAGE.

      *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*

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      • Ali

        If I was SERIOUS about Marriage I should have been careful right but … that’s what I thought.

        LOT of us get trapped into this thinking it gonna be for REAL but end up HURTING OUR SELVES !

        *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*

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  4. Mrs. Mariam Mababaya

    Alhamdulillah that I no longer spend any time on facebook and twitter.com I don’t have any accounts, not even one, on those sites.
    Thank God. Alhamdulillah. Interesting topic, sister in Islam.

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  5. MyNight | ليلي

    During Ramdan, I checked Facebook and I’m in a group where my old classmates get together and share posts. But they’re not Practicing Muslims , but Allah knows best, so the reason I’m in the group was only because I wanted to do Islah, but every time I check and do Islah among them, I really felt that I should leave the group. The group is filled with loads of Fitan. And I felt bad, really. And I know I have weak points in the group. And usually once I check Facebook, I would look through posts and look at comments then like or comment on them which is a total waste of my time. And every time I logged out I felt guilty. So when the last 10 days of Ramadan was coming, I vowed not to check in Facebook until Ramadan ends, because I know I will never succeed in doing lots of ibaadah during the last ten days of Ramadan because there is a lot of Fitan in my Facebook and it always raises up my desires. So I stopped. And I deleted all my friends (which were only my classmates and my sister) except my sister ofcourse and one Female lecturer, so I had two friends. But then I add some friends back which was only girls but deleted them back after Ramadan. And when I stopped facebook I felt free! And after Ramadan I didn’t check Facebook that often anymore because I know I don’t do well with Facebook but only check in when I want to ask a question from a sheikh. :) Jazakallah Khair for the post. And MashaAllah it was amazing.

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  6. Kazi Ashfaq

    Your logic inevitively leads to a point when you say that men and women need to have zero interaction. Because a simple interactin may start it all, right?
    Yes, MAY. Or may not. I think when you have a headache cutting off your entire head isn’t a solution. You need to weed out the part in you that is causing that headache. You need to strenghten YOURSELF to resist the temptation. Don’t run away from the problem. Fight it.

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  7. Rayan

    Some of the above posters already pointed out that you cannot say that ‘we should have zero interaction because JUST ONE can lead to haraaaam.’ For personal example, I personally have a Facebook account with hundreds of people I know, men and women, who I work with closely daily – I can’t even imagine that someone would assume that I ‘liked’ them when I liked a decent point they made about something on Facebook. I use my Facebook in a way that I know is appropriate, and in keeping with what I would say and do in real life.

    However, I sympathize with the story’s POV – definitely, from the point of view of this girl, she should have stopped herself from obsessively ‘checking out’ a crush online, as she knew perfectly well what her intentions were. And having lived in a similar community, where people are normally more separated and ‘being online with each other’ indicates relationships and chatting for no reason, then this should be completely avoided.

    The key is – one size does not fit all with gender interactions, but everyone knows what is REALLY in their hearts in these situations, and should act accordingly. I know perfectly the difference between commenting once to say “Great discussion, I really liked x x x points, what do you think we can do about it?” and stalking a guy on FB.

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  8. Wael Abdelgawad

    It’s an interesting premise and started out well – you had me nodding my head – but wrapped itself up a bit too neatly. In the real world the girl might well have gotten more out of control. Learning personal things about the guy would not have turned her off – in fact she might have developed an interest in the same things, just to have something in common with him. When you start a story with a certain premise, you must be true to that premise and see it out to its logical conclusion, even if the conclusion is disastrous. To have the protagonist suddenly realize the error of her ways and learn her lesson, takes the heart out of the story.

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