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Fitnah of Our Times: Never Ending Debates and Drama On Muslim Social Media

Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam Al Kawthari

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It is extremely sad that the only excitement and enjoyment many Muslim youth get from the deen – and for some, their only involvement – is by getting embroiled in controversies, polemics, debates, seeing people argue, refutations, etc… I am referring to the general masses and not those that are directly involved in polemical dialogue.

Rather than spend time in worshiping Allah, perfect one’s prayer, fulfill the rights of Allah and the creation and engage in productive activities, so many of us today are hooked on the quarrels and disputes that take place between different groups/sects/religious leaders. We love the drama that takes place, we can’t wait for the next episode of the debate, we get excited when one person challenges another about some matter of religion. Get a few brothers or sisters together, and the only discussion that takes place these days is who won the debate and which scholar refuted which other scholar, and so on and so forth.

Stop being an Audience: Deen is Nasiha Not Entertainment

Anyone who talks or writes about polemics gets a big audience, whilst there is very less interest in listening to someone who avoids such things and teaches you your deen. It’s the same type of enjoyment – in a sense – that people get from football rivalries or boxing matches, but with a religious flavour to it. Social media is amass with such controversies.

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One scholar posts something about his dispute with this person or that group on his Facebook page and his followers all comment and even argue amongst themselves in relation to his post. The followers of the refuted group/individual then start attacking the person who refuted and they also argue amongst themselves. This soap opera just continues and never seems to end. Many of us sadly thrive on this. We enjoy all the bickering and argumentation, such that being a Muslim would be boring without it.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have the internet and social media, and Al-hamdulillah it saved us from much fitna. These days, what someone thinks on one side of the world is debated and counter debated several times within a matter of hours. The harms of social media are increasingly outweighing its benefits.

The debates of today are not munadara- these were supposed to be cordial discussions.

My sincere advice to especially young Muslims is that please do not let your precious time be wasted in such matters. Let those that are arguing and debating fight it out amongst themselves; you do not need to get involved. Avoid giving them ammunition or pouring oil on fire. Instead, identify those who you trust and learn your deen from them and then get busy in beneficial things – and avoid the others. We seriously need to reconsider our priorities.

May Allah guide us, Ameen.

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Shaykh Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari is a traditionally-trained Islamic scholar who has studied the Arabic language and various other traditional Islamic sciences including Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), Hadith and Fiqh in different parts of the world including the UK, Pakistan and Syria. His authored works include: Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations, Elucidation of Forty Hadiths on Marriage, Birth Control & Abortion in Islam, The Issue of Shares and Simplified Rules of Zakat, and is widely known for providing answers to people’s everyday issues and comprehensive fiqh related articles; which can be found at his website www.daruliftaa.com.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Dirar

    March 2, 2019 at 1:06 PM

    Can you suggest some beneficial pastimes that are engaging, build character and substance?

    • Avatar

      Moss

      May 4, 2019 at 8:22 AM

      Charity, local community work, volunteer at your local mosque, read books, plenty of options out there

  2. Avatar

    Aksam Zarook

    March 3, 2019 at 1:55 PM

    Mashallah good insight and reminder. I do this too. insha’Allah must avoid. Jazakallah haira

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