View Full Version : Islam and the Internet Series

11-05-2012, 06:07 PM
Assalamu Alaikum

I've found these articles on sohaibwebb's website and thought it can benefit all of us who uses internet and seeks for knowledge on it regarding Islam.Insha-Allah we can all try to benefit from them with our best.

The “Sheikh Google” Phenomenon

Googling The Sheikh

The term ‘Sheikh Google’ generally refers to an amateurish approach of studying Islam, more specifically to the study of Islamic Law (fiqh) and theology (‘aqīda). Yet of course, this does not imply a wholesale negative judgment on studying Islam online, but instead highlights a pitfall which some may fall into whilst reading on Islamic law or theology by themselves: equating basic literacy with scholarship. In other words, to simply ‘Google’ a topic (hence using it as one’s Sheikh) one may then think of oneself as an expert, or at least act like one.
One aspect that has plagued so many of the websites online providing knowledge on Islam is polemics; even when article(s) are written by a single author, there are straw-man attacks on other valid Islamic perspectives. For someone who wants a balanced and nuanced understanding, such sites are best avoided, or they can be used as a spring-board to generate questions, which can then be presented and discussed with a teacher. This is because when embarking on learning something new, it is dangerous to let someone’s deep held views have an unrestrained influence on your understanding, without you engaging the material critically.

The Exclusivist Approach

Another aspect of polemical material is the fact that usually one side is trying to ‘win’ the argument by trying their best to discredit the views of others. It is thus an exclusivist approach. This exclusivist approach ultimately leads to narrow-mindedness and an inability to appreciate or even listen to the views of others. This is further compounded by the fact that arguments are sometimes presented on the basis of “piety,” thus one view is presented as “more pious” than the other. Not fully understanding what could be meant by this, one not only becomes intolerant of those that differ with him/her, but also holds themselves more pious than the others. All this helps to create a very inflated ego, which gives the false guarantee of “you are on the truth” and ultimately becomes another manifestation of “Sheikh Google.” In this regard imām al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH) says knowledge is: “Not the profusion of narration, but a light which God casts into the heart. Its condition is followership and the flight away from egotism and innovation."

This should serve as a helpful yardstick of differentiating when one is honestly seeking knowledge or just accumulating information: when it starts to feed our egos instead of helping us overcome it. When this happens, we should sound the spiritual alarm.

Hence, it is this very involved approach, where ideas that are swallowed wholesale can be damaging to one’s spiritual and intellectual development. Here, Edmund Husserl’s notion of epoché may be useful, which means ‘bracketing out’ one’s own views and subjectivities to the best of one’s abilities in order to appreciate ‘the object’2 or phenomenon as it is, which is the main purpose of phenomenology. This seems to echo what our Prophet ﷺ supplicated for by saying “Oh God, show the truth as the truth and grant us the ability to follow it, and show falsehood as falsehood and grant us the ability to refrain from it.”

True and correct perceptions are thus a gift from God. Yet gifts are usually bestowed on those that deserve it, and so it behooves a student seeking knowledge to keep this in mind particularly when studying Islam, especially controversial issues related to fiqh and ‘aqīda. Though this may be difficult, it can be made even more difficult by the group mentality that exists on some online forums. This can easily lead to issues of fiqh and ‘aqīda becoming more than issues of knowledge, but becoming polarities that define us. We fail to see that by becoming emotionally attached to certain positions, we bring detriment to our learning. At that almost irretrievable stage, we engage in mindless polemics to defend those positions, which destroys nearly all the blessings that knowledge brings.

Engaging The Text

Avoiding websites that offer partial information is perhaps easier said than done. Sometimes we may need an immediate answer to a pressing question, or can sometimes be shy to ask the local imam etc. In such scenarios the usefulness of being critical cannot be over emphasized. What do we mean by being critical? One thing for sure: it certainly does not mean being rude and difficult; rather, it simply means asking questions to clarify what is being said or to inquire for further information. However, this can be difficult to achieve online. This is because the process of reading involves reading what the author has to say, and then processing the information, and ultimately making a judgment on whether to accept or reject the information. Usually, one cannot engage in critical dialogue with the online author, and ask questions to seek clarification, all of which help to refine our understandings. And even if we do have this opportunity, it is usually limited in the form of comments. This fact should humble us if we get overzealous about an issue, and seek to engage in polemics or act as if we ‘know it all.’

Imām Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150 AH) used to sit with several of his students, engage in long discussions over points of fiqh, and only after listening to all of what his students had to say, he used to state his opinion. Thus the understanding of his pupils was in a sense validated by their teacher. Although that is not to suggest he dictated his opinion to them, as this is proven by the fact that his two most famous students Abū Yūsuf (d.189 AH) and Muhammad (d.189 AH) frequently differed with him. Nonetheless it at least made sure they did not misunderstand him. It is this vital aspect that can be missing when we read online. What we take from a text might not be what was intended by the author, and although authorial intent has been dismissed by some modern literary theorists, as far as I am aware, it still has its importance when studying Islam.

When Facing Contradictions
The above also helps to highlight another challenge in learning from what ‘Sheikh Google’ and similar websites may present. One frequently comes across conflicting information and doesn’t know which to accept, so while one website says “xyz is permissible,” another not only says it is prohibited but is from the major sins! Without recourse to a teacher for further clarification, one has to inevitably decide independently on which opinion to give preference. This can be loosely identified as “tarjīḥ. Tarjī usually refers to the scientific process of a jurist giving preference to one view over another, which can be a complex process, and hence usually it is the activity of scholars. For example, the Mālikī practice of accepting the (historical) practice of the people of Medina as authoritative was not accepted by the other schools of fiqh. However, Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya (d.728 AH), though a Hanbalī, wrote a whole treatise supporting this doctrine. He thus engaged in a scholarly tarjī. More importantly this usually enables a scholar to then offer scholarly criticism on why an opinion is weak in his view, as he bases his critique on an objective criteria, not his emotions.

In a similar manner, every Muslim engages in tarjī when faced with conflicting opinions, although this is based on different criteria than the scholar – which is usually based on the argument’s persuasiveness, or which scholar one holds to be more knowledgeable and pious, or whether or not one goes for the difficult opinion or easier opinion, etc. This latter type of tarjī is primarily geared to facilitate practice rather than be an intellectual scholarly engagement. Hence it does not befit someone who, after having read some answers to specific questions (fatāwā. [sing. Fatwa]) to then go on about how every other opinion is weak or misguided, simply based on the fatwa they read. For then, one acts as a scholar, as if to suggest one has read books upon books on the matter, when in fact, one has only read a few fatāwā. This does not mean belittling fatāwā issued by qualified scholars online but rather acknowledging the purpose of such sites, which is primarily to inform and facilitate practice, not produce scholars.

Online Fatāwā

It is not difficult to recognize the fact that the Internet has facilitated access to the knowledge of many great scholars, without which many people would have been deprived of such knowledge. And for this we should be grateful. This has obviously seen the rise of sites offering fatāwā. Again, whilst it is undoubtedly useful to seek answers to questions one may have, it is important to remember that whilst specific answers can be helpful for immediate practice, it should not be used as the main source or the only source of one’s education at the cost of a holistic approach. Ad-hoc answers can form scattered knowledge, which without proper guidance, can lead to confusion and or an imbalance in one‘s attitude.

Being critical also involves making sure a fatwa does actually apply to one’s situation. Indeed this can be a difficult task at times, and indeed as part of the training of a Mufti, certain institutions offer specific training on how to apply fatāwā to different contexts. If in doubt, it is best to seek clarification before acting upon the fatwa. It is also important to check the credentials of the person issuing the fatwa, especiallyif they follow an exclusivist approach e.g. ‘every other opinion is weak or wrong.’ If however someone is merely narrating the opinions of other scholars, than they need not be Muftis themselves.

In terms of the actual topics of fatāwā, edicts can be found given on everything under the sun. Though this can be seen as something positive, it also is worrying due to the possible implications of misapplying a fatwa. Therefore, a good criterion to follow is to discuss beforehand with a Mufti the issues related to the rights of others such as in marriage and divorce, as well as inheritance. This also includes contract law. Such issues have immense social implications, and it is best to tread carefully. Another issue that really should not be our concern, yet it does come up, is the issue of takfīr, or calling others disbelievers. Any website that deems a Muslim known for their knowledge as a heretic or disbeliever, should be flagged and avoided, and if one is left in doubt, then it is again best to discuss it with a scholar, and not the nearest Muslim online.

Scanning Your Teachers

While Imām al-Shāfi’ī(d. 204 A.H) was sitting in a mosque, a man came to him and asked him to provide the proof for the legal doctrine of Ijmā’ (consensus). If he was unable do this, then the man suggested the imām refrain from issuing fatāwā. The humble person that he was, the imām sought respite. When after a few days later the imām provided the proof, the man asked if the imām would teach him. He then became one of the imām’s leading students, whom we know as al-Muzānī (d. 264 A.H.).

The importance of a real life teacher who is balanced and firmly grounded in knowledge is indispensable when it comes to learning. This is because when we learn from real people, we learn knowledge as well as learn manners (ādāb). The right teacher may rebuke us if we raise our voices and discipline us if we act haughty and arrogant, which helps refine our character and ultimately become a better person, which is perhaps one of the most important goals of learning. And it is the absence of such a teacher when it comes to online learning, or when the Internet becomes our only source of learning, when we may become self-deluded into qualifying ourselves with attributes not befitting a student, ranging from adopting the attitude of a judge instead of a seeker, to always looking for evidences to back up our opinions and rejecting all others. This is reflected in the saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”Discussing the origins of this saying, Gary Martin identifies a 17th century writer who notes: ”Twas well observed by my Lord Bacon, That a little knowledge is apt to puff up, and make men giddy, but a greater share of it will set them right, and bring them to low and humble thoughts of themselves.”

Yet learning ‘a greater share of it’ requires finding a teacher that not only is able to impart such knowledge, but one who also embodies the ethics of differing (ikhtilāf), and who is balanced. Al-Muzānī knew this very well, thus he made sure al-Shāfi’ī was someone worth studying under. However, in the absence of such a teacher, it seems fair to concede to the fact that the harms that can result from a sectarian-minded teacher can far outweigh the shortfalls of learning from balanced, well-researched websites online. In such instances, we all acknowledge the usefulness of ‘Sheikh Google’ when used correctly, whilst recognizing that ‘Sheikh Google’ should never replace the real balanced Shuyūkh.

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11-06-2012, 09:29 PM
Thanks for sharing. This is very important.

Quite honestly I think a lot of the information about Islam on the internet, not counting the anti-Islamic websites, really needs to be cleaned up. I've suffered from some confusion from imams and sheiks not properly translating things in English or using the wrong terms in English to explain Islamic concepts. I've known people who've chosen not to embrace Islam due to these types of issues on legitimate websites about Islam.

I agree that the internet shouldn't be the only source but it is the first place that many people go to learn about Islam since mosques aren't too frequent in some areas, especially here in the U.S. That and people don't understand the Islamic culture and might feel out of place speaking in person right away.

I need to find a teacher.

11-07-2012, 10:39 AM
Arguing on The Internet: the Ultimate Heart Monitor

Our Culture Of Arrogance, Anger And Online Arguments
Dawud Wharnsby once wrote in one of his songs:
We use so many words but have so little to relay
as angels scribble down every letter that we say.
All the viral attachments sent and passionate insults we vent
It’s easy to be arrogant behind user passwords we invent.
But on the day the scrolls are laid, with every word and deed displayed,
when we read our accounts, I know, for one, I’ll be afraid.

That day I’ll be so afraid to read. (Album: The Prophet’s Hands, 2003)

One of the tragedies of the Internet is that it strips away much of the social contract we have put into place in order to make our interactions more pleasing and less confrontational. If someone upsets us online or gives an opinion we disagree with, there is no physical danger in refuting them, in calling them an idiot, a kaafir or any other host of names. If someone quotes a scholar we happen to believe is a “sellout,”or gives us a sport statistic about a player we don’t particularly like – many of us have no problem publically labeling the elderly knowledgeable scholar as a sellout and making sure the world knows through vile vocabulary that we think the player sucks. Of course when we insult them, we do not acknowledge that we are neither knowledgeable scholars nor professional sports players.

We would not say these things in front of the people we’re talking about; if these were our parents, we would adamantly make excuses and prevent gossip. So why do our fingers move fluidly to vent insults, accusations and even high-level political analysis about events that we have merely done a few Google searches on?
A few months ago, a young brother from my community was killed in a train accident while walking. Readers on the local newspaper’s website casually commented that it may have been his fault if he wasn’t watching the train coming. This was on the day of his death. Would they have said this to the face of his crying mother? Would they have spread this thought outside the funeral, so everyone within listening distance could hear? We would hope none of them would have the cruelty to do this. But by typing their comments on the Internet, this is exactly what they have done.

Similarly, many young Muslims youth throw accusations against Muslim scholars, spend hours online insulting Sunnis, Shi`ites, Ikhwanis, Sufis, Salafis, Tableeghis, Deobandis, and every other flavor of the Muslim spectrum one can imagine. Many actually dedicate a portion of their day updating their Facebook status, insulting so-and-so through a clever blog post, warning others, listing out their faults – all this with the conviction they have “enjoined the good and forbidden the evil!” And don’t deny it, many of us cannot resist commenting on websites, or Facebook statuses, where our Islamic political, social, economic, creedal, and legal opinions – usually set in stone – are MORE sacred than the other because “we learned it from a teacher.” Yet the majority of us did not have any formal, conclusive training in the Islamic sciences – which even if we had, would not justify the bitter tone and behavior. As Imam Suhaib Webb says, “We are like firemen arguing about what hose to use, while the house burns down.”

What we must realize is that when we take part in this culture of debate, arguing, than arguing again, day after day after day, we are slowly devastating our own hearts. On social networks we feel a rush of adrenaline waiting for the counter-argument or foreign person to respond. We create intellectual forums then wait like vultures to check another person’s clearly messed up thinking to respond back with a counter-proof: “That’ll show them!” That AWESOME feeling after a lengthy response is not enjoining good or even productive: we are simply letting OUR nufoos (our souls and desires) tear apart the heart and run wild to see if they can prove ascendancy over someone else.

In order to truly understand the psychology behind this, we will approach this from two angles. First, let us see what the Qur’an tells us about this behavior. Secondly, we will explore a few points that can remind us why and how we need to stay away from this culture.

Let us examine Surah Luqman:
31 17 1 -
“O my son! Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.

31 18 1 -
And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster.

31 19 1 -
And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the donkey.” (Qur’an, 31:17-19)

Benefits of the Passage:

  1. We see that Luqman orders his son to enjoin good, forbid evil, and be patient. Why does he tell him to be patient? Because anyone who TRULY takes on the job of enjoining good and forbidding evil in a society will be faced with calamities, trials, and tribulations. I assure you, being overweight, being sleepy, or having hurting fingers in the morning as a result of excessive typing and online arguing is NOT the calamity Luqman is discussing. Rather, he is telling his son to remember that people will end up physically oppressing you if you stand up for what is right, and to be ready to bear that trial patiently.
  2. Luqman tells his son not to “swell one’s cheek” in pride or be insolent. Yet, when we tell people that Shaykh X is a sellout, and that “I don’t take from him,” or that “He is not a traditional scholar so I would ignore what he says,”we have done just that. We have attempted to establish our superiority over a learned person with our words and have demonstrated our own intellectual bankruptcy. We could not counter the proof, so we fell to countering the man. As Muhammad al-Shareef once stated: “When one proof fails, a person often falls back to anger. Anger is not a proof.”
  3. Finally Luqman tells his son to be “moderate in his speech, and lower his voice.”

What is the purpose of lowering one’s voice? So that one is not displaying one’s words to everyone in the vicinity, and bothering them with our displays of arrogance. Yet, every single time we write something publicly (including on this blog), we are displaying words for all to see. We are yelling at the entire world, asking the world to witness our words. Are we going to ask the world to witness us calling to good things? Or will we ask the world to witness us defaming scholars, insulting this group of Muslims or that group of people who we’ve decided are not Muslims? Will we spend our time showing the world how the Prophetﷺ lived? Or show the world how we have our own personal problems, inadequacy issues, and a need to demonstrate how we are on the “right path” and all others need to fall in line?

We all need to seriously evaluate our souls in this culture of online argumentation and identify why we spend our time the way we do. A few realizations we must begin to change include:

Continuously leaving controversial and provoking messages in our online personalities, whether through networks, forum posts or blog comments. This is NOT “forbidding the evil”; this is opening a gate for evil. Any trained mental-health professional will point out that this is attention-seeking behavior from a person who wants to feel like they are making a difference and are important. Ask yourself do I need to respond? What would Prophet Muhammad ﷺ do?

While the refined soul wants to do dhikr (remembrance) of Allah (swt), the diseased soul wants others to do dhikr of itself. It feels proud that it has stood against evil by posting YouTube links, by invoking walaa wal baraa (loving and hating for the sake of God) and by invoking creedal differences we barely understand to excommunicate entire groups from being Ahl-As-Sunnah(people of the Prophetic way). In all our interactions, we must make Allah our focal point, not ourselves.

The soul thinks it is making the world a better place, but it is simply trying to make itself feel useful through the use of the Internet and is involving itself further and further in argumentation. Al-Awza’i said: “When Allah desires ill for a people, He opens the door of argumentation for them and prevents them from doing good deeds.”
An online action is no different than one which is written down with a pen and signed, and sent to the receiver. The act is witnessed by the Honored Scribes, the angels who write our deeds, and is recorded in the scrolls of our actions, and will be present for us to read on the Day of Judgment. An online insult against a person, a scholar, or simply an acquaintance has the same weight as a letter would. To think otherwise is a deception from Shaytan.

We are not God’s police on the Earth. We are His worshippers and the representatives of the Prophet ﷺ. Would the Prophet ﷺ spend his time telling everyone that Group X is not doing a good job for the Ummah and Group Y is better? Would he spend his time insulting scholars? Did he even curse the people of Ta’if who threw stones at him? Rather, he ﷺ would reflect on the revelation and build Muslim men and women through constructive, productive coaching in real life, rather than gain retribution for every wrong against him. And this is a man ﷺ whose words were heavier than ours, yet even he did not stoop to argumentation.

If we are not ready to stand before historic imams: Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn ul Qayyim, or contemporary shuyukh Albani, Qaradawi, Yasir Qadhi, Hamza Yusuf, Taqi Uthmaani, Suhaib Webb – or any of the ‘ulama, jama`ahs or senior students of knowledge (that we like to discredit) – on the Day of Judgment, with the Angels of Allah and Allah’s Might before us and say:“Ya Allah – My word against his, this imam/sheikh/person is an innovator and led people astray, and I was your servant and I called to Your way with sound understanding that exceeds his” – then we should keep our mouths SHUT.I am not referring to scholarly differences of opinion that are dealt with through the referencing of proofs and legal methodology. I am referring to the bickering of people that many often resort to in judging the sacrifices, efforts, and studies others have made to serve Allah and further his deen.

Our own identity crises can make us feel we need to belong to a stronger group that is “correct” which in turn may encourage our online behavior in seeking conflict, being difficult and wasting everyone’s time. Many people feel alone, especially online, and to seek strength they resort to joining those who mock other groups. Their nafs feels it is better than other misguided people and revel in the pride that it is on a better path. This is dangerous thinking and needs to be checked.

We may have anger or emotional issues that we need to vent online to feel better. We may leave comments in the hopes of people thinking better of us, or for some other inadequacy that we seek to fulfill. It would behoove us to quickly do an examination of ourselves and our online personalities. Our various online anonymities allow our true selves to come out and act in ways that our common sense prevent us from doing in real life. So now you need to ask yourselves, why am I typing that? Who is it really for? Me, or them?
Lastly, we may just need to “get a life!” It is possible that you want to serve the deen, be involved in daw`ah, helping our communities and societies through Islamic values, but do not know how. The solution is relatively simple: get involved in local masaajid, your communities, engage with real people, serve your people and get away from the internet.

Additionally, seek knowledge for the sake of God, not for the sake of argumentation. I recommend searching more on seeking knowledge, as well as reading a broad range of Islamic books. Study Islam in depth, pick a field and specialize in that area. Finally, read the Qur’an more often – after wudhu, Book in hand, computer switched off.

The threat of the nafs glorifying itself is an ever-present threat to every writer, speaker, and presenter who shares information about Islam. All of us must consistently take caution, advice, and spend time with people who discourage argumentative behavior and know us well enough to remind us of our own weaknesses, so that we do not let such behaviors manifest themselves in our lives. Many of us are surprised that the internet remembers everything. But to a Muslim, we should already know that nothing we do, type or utter ever escapes the pen of the angels who write, or the sight of Allah (swt). As Dawud Wharnsby says, when we are handed our accounts, will we be afraid to read?

11-07-2012, 10:43 AM
Avoiding a Harmful E-Diet

Food is a necessity in life. But keep over-eating (irrespective of nutritional value), and you can become overweight and obese. Eat unhealthy, fatty foods, and you get high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other nasty illnesses and diseases. The Internet can be compared to our relationship with food. It is a great tool that provides us innumerable benefits. But if we over-indulge or keep ingesting unwholesome pieces and quantities, it can ruin our physical, spiritual and mental health. With the plethora of content in cyberspace, it’s difficult to maneuver without feeling overwhelmed and virtually claustrophobic. It’s a challenge to be selective in what to read, who to talk to, and what activities to engage in. It’s a struggle to even turn off our electronic gadgets that constantly beep, flash and vibrate with new e-mails, updates, and instant messages. Someone or some group always wants to show and tell us something—always wanting immediate attention. If we comply—all the time—we’ll be hooked for good, and always waiting for more.

The Internet will gladly consume our thoughts and time, if we let it. Our unhealthy online habits can detract from nourishing our real-life interactions, from excelling at work or in school, from reading beneficial books and publications, and from spending quality time with friends and family. We can develop a horizontal approach, broadening our exposure to numerous people and information while developing little to no depth in any of our relationships or knowledge of certain subjects. Our incessant perusal through other people’s pictures, videos, and blogs can make us aimless consumers, and distract us from leaving our own meaningful footprint in cyberspace. Worse, our online sins can develop into addictions that violate our moral code, eat away at our soul, translate into real-life sins, and sever our relationships with spouses and loved ones. If we find ourselves developing any of these problems, we might consider doing the following:

1. Unplug. Log-off. Disconnect. Give your eyes (and ears) a break. Go to a park, or watch a sunset. Enjoy the solitude. Listen to the chirping birds, rustling leaves, and the streaming rivers and creeks. Praise God for the beauty in His creation. Bond with your spouse, children or siblings. Talk about your hopes, dreams, fears and needs. Have a cup of coffee with real friends, and connect in person. Catch up on all the unread messages in the Qur’an. Reflect on their meanings, and on your purpose in life. Try making these daily or weekly habits. Be present with your heart, mind, body and soul.

2. Minimize. When you’re back online, think small. Take bite-size portions you can chew. Be selective. Choose quality over quantity. Read only some posts, watch only some videos. Maybe read an e-book instead. Remember to leave room for breathing space, and digestion. Try not to multi-task online. Don’t toggle between so many tabs and conversations, or jump from wall to wall, and post to post. Focus, process, reflect. Ponder on how you can apply new lessons in your life. Then take time away to implement.

3. Refine. Think of your activities online. Evaluate your surfing, speaking, and spamming. Is it useful, appropriate, and modest? Is it impulsive or superfluous? Choose your words wisely, cautiously, courteously. If they’re with the opposite gender, make them kind but modest. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Try expressing thoughts and feelings in words, rather than using emoticons. Use proper grammar. Take the time to infuse your communication with excellence. Don’t abbreviate, abridge, and shorten where length is valued. Don’t expose, reveal and elongate where concealment is needed. Before you share, post and forward, check if you’ve benefited and reflected.

Remember, from all the online struggles, addiction to viewing pornography can become a clinical problem. It is complicated by changes in brain chemistry, which are difficult to reverse. Don’t let it happen to you. If it already has, seek professional help to prevent further harm to you and your loved ones.

Finally, I’d like to share a passage from Elias Aboujaoude’s Virtually You: the Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality. It sums up the dangers and hopes for the new virtual phenomena quite eloquently:
Virtualism, as enabled especially by the Internet, is a major signpost in our journey through history. There can be no doubting that it has opened windows and brought opportunity—for social connection and outreach, for liberation from anxiety and doubt, for financial and personal success, and for self-realization and fulfillment. Similarly, there can be no doubt any longer the big experiment we are conducting with our psyches. To offer a psychological read of the virtual age is to offer a candid assessment of an encounter between humankind and a new type of machine—one that is not entirely inanimate; that can be alluring, deceptive, and addictive at the same time; and that can efficiently prey on our basic instincts and impulses, our need for amusement and information, and our never-ending search for longing, and self-betterment. Yet for all the problems and “for the worse” changes this machine might have introduced into our lives, we are not lesser for it; only much more complicated…I hope that we will someday be able to measure the World Wide Web’s legacy beyond gross domestic product indexes, efficiency gains, and the number of smiling emoticons flying through the ether. Only then can we honestly rejoice in the Internet’s many real bounties

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11-07-2012, 11:20 AM
very impressed bro :) Masha-Allah.

11-08-2012, 12:14 AM
I really like your quote at the bottom of the page!

11-08-2012, 11:32 PM
:sl: good job! This is very useful for new Muslims or Muslims who want to know more about Islam in the net. Beautifully typed well done~

11-10-2012, 08:38 AM
Spiritual Pitfalls for the Muslim Blogger

Blogs are gateways, that grant us access into the interior worlds of other people. They offer us glimpses into people’s experiences, thoughts and feelings, revealing their strongly held opinions and their innermost dreams. The relative ease of blogging, especially with free hosting and user-friendly services, has made it an extremely popular way for many of us to share pieces of our lives and personalities with others on a global scale. Blogs have given a voice to many whose realities would otherwise be unknown to the general public, and we now find an ocean of Muslim writers contributing to the online blogosphere. While there are many beautiful, beneficial, and positive things we can share with others through our blogs, which can make blogging a spiritually uplifting experience, there are also certain types of writing that can actually be harmful to our spiritual state. Here are six blogging tendencies that may be spiritually detrimental for us, and that we should seek to avoid when we write and post.

1. Cathartic Sharing
We should be wary of using our blogs as outlets for venting negative feelings and frustrations in our lives. Instead of channeling such feelings into positive avenues, that would bring about benefit for ourselves and others, we may instead feel a false sense of relief or satisfaction in simply ‘letting it all out’. It would be far better for us to make constructive changes in our lives and seek out the proper support, guidance, and advice needed to help address the difficulties we may be experiencing.
Another harm of this type of blogging – especially when writing about situations in which we feels that we have been wronged – is the ease of falling into certain prohibited types of speech, such as speaking ill of others, making accusations, and exposing people’s faults to others’ scrutiny. One may feel that they are simply telling their side or letting the truth be known, however, when one is emotional and feels that they have been oppressed it is difficult to be cautious in one’s speech and it is easy to trample on others’ rights.
Lastly, in lamenting on the personal difficulties we may be going though via blog post, we may be missing out on the opportunity to show a beautiful level of etiquette with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is he), in not complaining about the Creator to others in creation. Instead of openly venting our negative feelings to others, we can instead turn to Allah (swt) and beseech Him for His help, showing a level of patience, composure and dignity in the face of tribulation, and withholding ourselves from emotional rants or complaints.

2. Arm-Chair Critiquing
Blogs are a means by which we can openly share our opinions on an array of issues, and it is common to find Muslim bloggers discussing their communities, masjids, Islamic organizations and institutions, and other Islamic projects they come into contact with. While it is easy to complain about the wrongs and negatives that one may see in different settings, it is much harder to actually become involved and invested, and work to make things better. We should be cautious of letting our blogs make us into arm-chair critics, who, while other are rolling up their sleeves and doing actual work, sit back as spectators, concerned more with commenting than constructing. We should be wary of becoming isolated from the community, relegating ourselves to the role of observer and pundit rather than actual participant.

3. Using Words as Weapons
We should also be wary of attacking others, individually or as groups, and using words as a way to humiliate and punish. There is nothing wrong with feeling passionate about an issue, and respectfully disagreeing with others; however a passionate expression of ideas is very different from simple emotional ranting. We can find many examples of blog posts in which entire groups of people are targeted and charged with the actions of a few – “Muslim men these days are all irresponsible and immature” – or where complex ideas of Islamic law are emotionally debated and labels are tossed down on whoever disagrees – “That idea/scholar/group is Wahabi/Sufi/etc.” We should use our words to inspire, enlighten and educate, and not to insult or denigrate. In engaging in this type of rhetoric, we may feel a sense of satisfaction in one-upping the other party. However, the evident harms of such speech – in hurting and discouraging others, and engendering resentment and hatred between people’s hearts – makes it something extremely dangerous. Passion and strong feelings can exist, but must be reigned in by composure, level-headedness, and fear of Allah in the words we write and share.

4. Loving One’s Own Opinion
Another issue we should be cognizant of is a feeling of self-importance that may come from constantly sharing our opinions with others, and latent feelings of arrogance, over-confidence and condescension that may arise from this. One may begin to write desiring or expecting the admiration of others, seeking to gain their approval, or to be talked about and discussed. This is very harmful to the sincerity of one’s intention, and leads one to a disproportionate perception of the importance of one’s opinions and writings.
In addition, we may begin to feel that we should have a fixed and strong opinion on everything, even those matters about which we are ill informed or unqualified to discuss. The grave seriousness of discussing religious issues may be disregarded in our constant desire to philosophize, debate, and have our opinions be heard. This is in complete contradiction to the tradition of our scholars, who were extremely hesitant to state their opinions on religious issues unless they were confident about their understanding of them. The great 14th century scholar Ibn Rajab al Hanbali describes them in the following way:

“The early imams were cautious about speaking about [the lawful and unlawful] because one who speaks about such matters is relating information from Allah, enunciating His commandments and prohibitions, and passing on His sacred law. It was said about Ibn Sirin, ‘If he was asked about something regarding the lawful or the unlawful, his color would change. He would be transformed until he no longer seemed the same person.’ Ata’ ibn al-Saib said, ‘I met people who, when asked for a religious verdict, would tremble as they spoke.’ It is related that when Imam Malik was asked about a legal matter, it was as if he were suspended between Heaven and Hell. Imam Ahmad was extremely hesitant to speak on the lawful and unlawful, to claim that something was abrogated, or related matters which others would too readily expound. He frequently prefaced his answers with phrases such as, ‘I hope that…’ ‘I fear…’, or ‘It is more beloved to me…’ Imam Malik and others would frequently say, ‘I do not know.’ Imam Ahmad would often say on an issue with which righteous forbears had various opinions, ‘The most likely answer is, ‘I do not know.’’”

5. Excessiveness in Speech

A wise person once said that the more one speaks, the more one is likely to fall into mistakes. Bloggers are often prolific writers, sharing their thoughts on a daily or weekly basis and producing volumes worth of material for others to read. We should make sure that we are not writing simply to fill the page, but with the intention of bringing about some type of benefit. This is a very practical manifestation of the Prophetic tradition which says, “Speak khayr – that which is good and beneficial, or remain silent.” In the same vein, we should blog well, or instead keep our thoughts and writings to ourselves.

Another point to consider is that in constantly sharing and writing about religious experiences and knowledge, we may not be giving ourselves enough time to sufficiently absorb and digest what we have learned. While it is commendable to share beneficial knowledge with others, our first consideration when learning should be to understand and implement that knowledge in ourselves and our own lives. We may need time to reflect deeply, ruminate and ‘feel’ what we have learned, moving it from intellectual data to something felt and understood with the heart, and acted upon with our limbs. This is not something that can be easily done if we are constantly in the mode of ‘transferring’ knowledge to others.

6. Sharing that which has No Benefit

The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) would pray for Allah’s refuge from “knowledge that does not benefit.” There are many types of knowledge that exist, the most noble being knowledge of God Most High. There are also types of knowledge or information that bring about harm, or are meaningless and actually do nothing but waste one’s time. Becoming immersed in discussions about these types of knowledge is spiritually harmful, distracting one from more important matters and taking up important spiritual and psychological ‘space’ that should be filled with other, better things. We should avoid trivial or meaningless discussions and debates. We should also be wary of sharing personal matters, that should be kept within the sanctity of one’s family and loved ones, or in some cases, solely between a person and their Lord.

An Arabic expression states that there are three things that cannot return; a spent arrow, a missed opportunity, and a spoken word. May Allah Most High make us conscious of every word we speak, write, or blog. May He make our words something that we are rewarded for, that draw us closer to Paradise and to His pleasure, and that once expressed, do not become a source of regret. I ask Allah Most High to make our writing and blogging a means of elevating our spiritual state, and to protect us from falling into the prohibited, disliked and detrimental. Ameen.

11-10-2012, 08:47 AM
Assalamu Alaikum

Once a Brother wrote to me when I was quite obsessed with things going on forums

"Do not making things complicated for yourself in life and do not concern yourself with that which is not in your control or about other people. Just concentrate on bettering yourself as a Muslim in every way that you can. Say and do all that which will benefit you in this world and the next. Involve yourself with good company and keep away from bad company. Involve yourself and post in threads that will benefit you in this world and the next and leave those that will not. Be the best towards others regardless of how they treat you as you are only doing so to please Allah. Do not worry about anything else. Just make the best of each and every second"

At that very time,I wasn't able to get the meaning behind those words but when I read those couple of articles,those words begins to make sense,Its a advice not anyone but my own self needed most.To make things clear,none of these articles has been written by me,HEAD of each Article is HYPER-LINKED with original URL


11-10-2012, 12:39 PM
wellsaid. i only read the first and in-sha-Allah i'll get to the others when time permits.

08-15-2013, 03:37 PM
The use of the Internet to propagate Islam


In the beginning of the year 1969 CE, in the state of California, people were able to transfer data between two personal computers which were few metres apart via a telephone line, and this was the first such connection to be established anywhere.

Before this incident, such a link was only a concept which was to be implemented in the computer laboratories of the United States Department of Defence as part of their Star Wars program. The aim was to have a network fit for military use.

The number of people who connected to this initial network increased rapidly and developed at a very rapid rate, such that the number has reached more than billion people today, who are connected through millions of personal computers globally, and this, in the opinion of many, was the most important invention of the twentieth century. Allaah Says (what means): “[Allaah] Taught man that which he knew not.” [Quran 68: 5]
Allaah has made mankind a successive authority upon the earth, wherein man lives and worships Allaah; He has granted man great ability of mind and has created for him upon the earth things which he can invest in and utilize in the obedience of Allaah; so glad tidings for the one who utilizes the earth's resources in the obedience of Allaah and woe to those who utilize them in His disobedience.

One cannot help but be surprised when he witnesses the development of the Internet in light of the Hadeeth of the Prophet icon1 1 - which was narrated by Abu Hurayrah icon3 1 - in the book of Imaam Ahmad and others icon7 1 - ; he icon1 1 - said: “The Hour will not come until trials appear in large numbers, lying becomes widespread, markets converge and time shortens.”In another narration, he icon1 1 - said: “Until time shortens and Harj increases.” So a companion of his asked: “What is Harj?” and he icon1 1 - replied: “Countless killing.”

In the past, the scholars such as Ibn Al-Khattaab, Al-Khattaabi, Ath-Thawri & Ibn Hajar icon7 1 - have interpreted the shortness of time to mean that time will lose its value and people will feel that there is not enough of it to do anything. Contemporary scholars like Shaykh ibn Baaz icon6 1 - said commenting on the book Fath Al-Baari of Imaam ibn Hajar icon6 1 - : “This can be interpreted to be the contraction of distance and the time required to travel it due to aircraft and cars, as well as the closeness that people feel regarding events due to radio (which broadcasts these events).”

However, if we take a look at the invention of the Internet, we will see that it best fits as an interpretation for this narration, because the Internet has made everything seem closer and turned the entire world into a global village. As for the closeness of markets, Shaykh Mas’ood Ad-Dakheeli icon6 1 - said: “It seems that this is referring to how the distance between places has shortened during our time due to the various means of transportation via air and land, and due to the electronic devices, like radios and televisions, which transmit sound and images and have made the markets in different parts of earth seem near to each other, so that traders know about any changes in price anywhere in the world, and consequently raise their prices in their own locations accordingly, or decrease them if they drop elsewhere.”

Therefore, the closeness of markets is in three ways: firstly, the speed of transfer of market data, secondly, the physical proximity due to modern transportation methods, and thirdly, the similarity in prices between markets.

Anyone who is well acquainted with the Internet will realise just how closely it fits the abovementioned prophetic narration.

There is one website, for example, that has three million items and runs an international auction on a number of these items. One can buy anything via such websites, and there are very many of these on the internet. Also, one can also display on such websites what items he himself has to sell, and this is an indication that we are living at the end of time, close to the Hour, as in the aforementioned narration, and that the minor preconditions of the Hour are taking place and that there are about three of them still left to occur. After these, the ten major preconditions will start occurring. It is worth mentioning that there is nothing to prevent a major sign from occurring concurrently with some of the minor signs of the Hour, as some of the scholars noted.

The point here is the closeness of markets and the shortness of time, which is fulfilled by the Internet, and is another proof of the prophethood of the Prophet icon1 1 - who informed us fourteen hundred years ago about things that are taking place during our time.

Other narrations related to the preconditions of the Hour include the saying of the Prophet icon1 1 - : “Before the Hour, dealing in trade will become widespread.” Electronic trade has overwhelmed the markets and is in the billions of dollars. He icon1 1 - also informed us that of these signs will be: “…the spread of adultery and fornication” as in the narration in the book of Imaam Bukhaari icon6 1 - . In the narration of Imaam Al-Haakim icon6 1 - he icon1 1 - said: “Immorality will spread…” - In excess of four hundred thousand pornographic websites are present on the Internet which spread immorality worldwide.

Another relationship between the Internet and the preconditions of the Hour is highlighted in the narration in the book of Imaam At-Tabaraani icon6 1 - where the Prophet icon1 1 - said: “Before the Hour, dealing in Ribaa (i.e., interest and usury) will become widespread.” It is well known that on the Internet, dealing in Ribaa is widespread and many banks have established websites and set the cost of a customer transaction via the Internet as only ten cents, whereas the cost of a live transaction inside a bank building costs one dollar and seven cents; this is an indication that as time passes, dealings inside bank buildings will become obsolete and all banking transactions will be done via the Internet by people who are at home or in their offices. These banks are institutions that have been established on Ribaa and their proliferation on the Internet has become evident. Additionally, the use of credit cards on the Internet is also widespread. The prohibited use of cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express, all of which entail dealing in Ribaa, causes the wrath of Allaah to befall the one using them.


Another matter regarding the Internet which is associated with the preconditions of the Hour is the saying of the Prophet icon1 1 - as in the book of Imaam Ibn Hibbaan icon6 1 - : “Lying will spread.” A liar will be punished in his grave by having his face ripped down to his rectum, because of how his lies spread among people. Nowadays, one can lie and publish this on the Internet, and it would spread from the east to the west in an instant.

A recent survey states that the number of users on the internet are more than billion people, and the number is increasing extremely rapidly. 77% of the Americans say that they have benefited from it, 44% say they cannot live without it, and 87% use it to call and contact their relatives. The Internet has entered the Arab and Islamic world, but there are two obstacles which obstruct it from being used freely in these countries:

1. The lack of technical knowledge on an individual level.
2. The lack of knowledge of the English language.

On the other hand, the Internet is potentially very beneficial; I am not trying to market the use of the Internet here, but I am simply displaying its benefits as well as its dangers. There are many benefits such as:

· It facilitates purchasing and brings within reach the display of any item one desires to buy or order, such as books etc.
· It facilitates running a business.
· It is inexpensive to make calls via it.
· It makes contacting international research centres an easy task.
· It enables the swift sending of mail.
· It enables people to listen to the radio, watch medical programs and participate in discussions.
· It contains many means that one can take advantage of in the propagation of Islam and calling people to Allaah.

A question arises: how can we benefit from the Internet in the field of propagating Islam? Our presence on the internet is very weak, which is a shame for a Nation that is supposed to be the best nation ever sent out to mankind. I am addressing here those people who have a real concern for spreading Islam, and not just anyone.
There is no doubt that there is a spiritual vacuum in the west as well as the east, and that people lack a system which can establish justice. The world is full of injustice and oppression; it is also filled with corruption and enmity. People live the law of the jungle where the strong eat the weak; this is a world whose evil knows no limit. This world is full of people who commit suicide, have nervous breakdowns and many other disorders which reflect the vacuum we mentioned earlier, and people will never live in justice and peace except through Islam.

Islam is a religion which is a mercy to mankind; it is the only religion which Allaah accepts from people as Allaah Says (what means): “Whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him.” [Quran 3: 85]

If we acknowledge that Islam must become the international religion which all people should adopt, we must convey it to mankind using all available means and methods. We will not reign supreme if we fail to utilize all means to make this religion dominate, or else we will be forsaking Islam and not supporting it. We are commanded by Allaah to explain Islam to the masses and we must have the sense of responsibility to spread this religion worldwide, to the best of our ability.

Spreading and propagating Islam via the Internet is something which cannot escape us. Even with simple planning and limited resources we can establish projects to propagate Islam and present them to people, which will have very beneficial results. Thus, we must have the eagerness to address the hearts of people and try to convey to them the light of Islam.

With regards to spreading Islamic knowledge:

First: We need a huge amount of resources and careful planning and entities to adopt mammoth projects and see their successful completion.
Second: We need to establish huge databases for the different Islamic sciences, in addition to advanced search engines in Arabic, because what is available on the Internet now is insufficient as well as substandard.
Third: We need to connect the masses to the lectures of scholars via the Internet.
Fourth: We need specific channels for academic lectures, where the scholar delivers them and people can instantly see him from their home - worldwide, because despite the fact that some of us are blessed to be around scholars and be able to attend their lectures, there are many others who are deprived of this bounty as they do not have either scholars or students of knowledge living in their area; this would open a way for people to seek knowledge, the reward for which is, as the Prophet icon1 1 - said, Allaah opening a way towards Paradise for the one who does so.
Fifth: we need to make the Fataawa of the scholars reach the masses people and enable them to inquire about matters directly via the Internet by setting aside certain times for them.
Sixth: Islamic universities should teach students around the world via the Internet for a small fee to cover the expenses of such a project, as is already the case with universities in the United States and Europe that teach worldly subjects … we must join the caravan.
Seventh: Another idea is to publish on the Internet Masters and PhD degree theses in Islamic studies and organise them with efficient indices, which would facilitate searching by Muslims and even non-Muslims who may thereby benefit greatly; there is a yearning to learn about Islam nowadays among the non-believers worldwide. The era that we live in has seen a revolution in the field of data and communications, and we must take advantage of this to spread Islamic information which will benefit those who search the Internet. There are many out there who compare the world's religions. There are people who would like to read the Quran, or the translation of its meaning, as well as prophetic narrations in order to know the nature of Islam, its economic, political and religious system, as well as all other things related to this religion.


It is sad to note that when a researcher looks through some of the international libraries available on the Internet in order to find information and references regarding any type of data he requires, he finds what he is looking for indexed in a very accurate manner, but, at the same time, we as Muslims do not have a single library about Islam that would serve as an encyclopaedia on the Internet for researchers to find any data they require about Islam, save it to their personal computers, and print it out. Are we not the ones with the superior system of life? Are we not the ones referred to in the saying of Allaah (which means): “You will be superior if you are [true] believers.” [Quran 3: 139] If we are the ones upon the truth and our religion is superior, then we must realistically establish this loftiness and superiority. If are unable to conquer the disbelievers by means of weaponry, then the least we can do is conquer them by spreading this religion via the Internet.

When one takes a look at some international radio stations, he finds the likes of Monte Carlo, which spreads Christianity day and night and is upon falsehood with claims such as Allaah is one of three (i.e., the concept of trinity) and that Allaah is ‘Eesaa the son of Maryam, or that he is the son of Allaah. They utilise titanic resources to broadcast such deceitful information to the world. On the other hand, we Muslims do not exert any effort to propagate our faith - even amongst the workers who live among us such as our drivers and maids. Indeed, this is a great shortcoming which Allaah will hold us accountable for.

We must exert all efforts and utilise all means within reach to teach our religion and spread it, because Allaah Says (what means): “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.” [Quran 3: 110]
Why are we the best nation? Allaah tells us in another verse of the same chapter where He says (what means): “[Due to your] inviting to [all that is] good.” [Quran 3: 104]

Where is our invitation of people to goodness? Where are our students of knowledge? What happened to the duty of conveying the message of Allaah? Where is the duty of conveying on behalf of the Prophet icon1 1 - ? Anyone can convey what he knows about Islam; we are not suggesting that people without knowledge should shoulder the responsibility of propagating Islam, but one may know something and can convey that to others. What effort are we exerting to convey Islam?

The disbelievers are working day and night, as are the innovators who spread their ideology that Allaah is the sum total of everything in the universe - and that therefore, even pigs contain Allaah, Glorified and Praised is Allaah above what they claim; these sects have many sites on the Internet translated into various languages. Some of their websites contain clear infidelity, and they have their homepages in many languages such as Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese …etc. while on the other hand, the Muslims, who are the followers of Islamic Monotheism, are still lagging behind in this regard. There are websites for all the different deviant sects, such as the Ismaa’eelis, Qaadyaanies (who claim that Ghulam Ahmad Mirza Qadyaan was a Prophet after Muhammad icon1 1 - ), Bahaa’ies and Satan worshippers. When one searches for the word 'Islam' with the major search engines on the Internet, the first website that is listed is that of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam – the group that has destroyed the image of Islam. Moreover, the search will also list other websites that call to and encourage evils such as committing suicide.

We must present the pure Islam to mankind – the Islam which is based on the Quran and the Sunnah with the understanding of our righteous Salaf icon7 1 - . We must present it in place of the misguided rationalists who claim to be intellectuals and twist the texts of the Quran and Sunnah in order to fit their desires and please the disbelievers - some of them by rejecting the texts in the Sunnah. There are others amongst them who claim that the Jews and Christians are our brothers, and that it is permissible to exchange gifts with them during their religious holidays. They pass odd Fataawaa in order to please the disbelievers; They make statements under pressure such as that it is permissible for women to take charge of ministries and the judiciary, thereby rejecting the statement of the Prophet icon1 1 - in the book of Imaam Al-Bukhaari icon6 1 - in which he icon1 1 - said: “Never will a group of people succeed if they make a woman in charge of their affairs.” These people spread their garbage via their websites and their Islamic rulings spread misguidance, just as they do on some of the satellite television channels.

Misguidance after misguidance, where is the Jihaad by means of the tongue? We must spread sound belief and faith, we must spread the pure understanding of Islam according to the understanding of our righteous Salaf icon7 1 - we must propagate the real Islam in place of what is being done by these misguided people who spread their falsehood in the name of Islam, and who collect millions for their websites so as to enable themselves to publish and broadcast their garbage.

Jihaad is of different types which Muslims must carry out. Establishing websites to propagate Islam and call the disbelievers towards Islam, which gives them the chance to ask questions and have them answered is an obligation that we must fulfil, It is also an obligation to call the Muslims to Islam when they stray away whilst living in disbelieving countries, dissolving into western communities and thereby regressing into becoming Muslims in name only - them and their children. These people need help and instruction, and experience has shown that the method of using Islamic Propagation via the internet is a highly successful one.



08-17-2013, 03:25 AM
Jazak-Allaho khair. I will get around to reading this soon in-sha-Allah.

01-08-2014, 01:13 PM
The Shaykh ‘N Bake Shame Grenade – A Muslim Internet Phenomenon

A critical analysis of the utilization of shame grenade discourse by Muslims on the internets and its efficacy.

Definition of Terms
Shaykh 'N Bake: To reverse a regular conversation into something serious, religious, or self-righteous. Characteristic of manipulative behavior.

In other words, to lob a shame grenade.
\'shām grə•nād\ noun - A rhetorical object hurled into a conversation to compel someone into a certain action via complete embarrassment. When detonated it makes everyone within its “shame radius” want to give up on life.

Commonly occurs online. Utilized most often by overzealous people online under the guise of “da‘wah” or “naseehah,” but accounts to little more than a feeble attempt at self-importance and humiliation of others. The phenomenon is not unique to the Muslim community (see: Jesus Juke), but we do have our own distinct flavor of it.
The easiest way to shame grenade someone is to conflate two situations that are not mutually exclusive (or sometimes even related) in an attempt to guilt someone into a desired action. “How dare you spend $3 on coffee instead of donating $3 to my project.” Or, “how dare you watch a movie in Ramadan, you should spend that time in ibadah.” Also, “if you love Islam and want people to stop starving, share this photo on Facebook otherwise you are complicit in their oppression.”
Please see video above for more detailed real life examples.


If I haven't seen it, it must not exist.
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We sometimes confuse having Google with having access to the angels recording everything (or rather, the angels on the shoulders of whoever we want to attack). I once engaged someone in this type of discussion and asked them, “have you listened to every single lecture of theirs both online and in person to know they've never spoken about this topic?” And they said something along the lines of no, but it should show up when I google it.
What's ironic is the same people want you to make 70 excuses for them or their cause, but they can't give you more than 1.5 seconds of Google.

Guilty until proven innocent.
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Because their cause is so important, it somehow gives them free reign to throw out accusations against people. It is okay to be rude, abrasive and offensive – because attacking people is for a greater good of clarifying the truth. And because these are scholars/speakers/activists, it is okay to assume they're guilty first. The burden of proof and good manners are thrown in the trash in the name of the truth and the “good” of “the ummah.”
And the qualifications of those shaming the speakers? Often, nothing aside from feeling entitled to throw around accusations of guilt.

Polarized Us vs. Them Cult Mentality
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They think whatever issue they are shaming others on is a clear, unequivocal truth. And not only a truth, but a truth that trumps any other issue of concern. Therefore, if you're not with them, you're against them.
Sound familiar?
This leads them to make personal attacks against whoever they are 'advising' and feel it is completely justified. Priorities will always differ by context and circumstance. But you know what? Most of these people will acknowledge that point and then argue that they are the exception. Mark my words, it will probably happen in the comments section of this very article.

Advice is a Duty Upon Muslims
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We have something in Islam called hikmah (wisdom). An example of this is Aisha wwwislamicboardcom - saying if the prohibition of alcohol was the first commandment given, no one would have followed it. Another is the hadith mentioning that gentleness is not put into something except that it beautifies it [reference].
Even Musa [as] was told to speak to Fir'awn in a kind way.
They think just because what they are saying is technically “true,” it somehow absolves them of context, good manners, and common sense. It's kind of like being in the ER because you just had a heart attack, on the brink of death, and then kicking the Muslim physician out of the room for not having a beard. You may win the battle, but..

False Humility
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This is my favorite one. This is when someone feels they are right, but they know if they insist upon it, they will sound arrogant. So they put on the cloak of false humility and act like they don't know anything and ask questions to cause fitnah. This is unbelievably common. If you have an opinion or understanding, there is a way to express it and ask a question. People do it all the time. But donning the false humility persona is usually an indicator that they're gearing up to attack someone but want to appear polite.
Part of false humility is claiming they are acting for the “good of the ummah” – as if their comment on a YouTube video will somehow save thousands of people from falsehood.
It's very much a Fox News style tactic (that was also parodied quite well by Southpark - Disclaimer: link may have some inappropriate language).
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Toxic Negativity
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This is the worst consequence.
It seems people who do this are obsessed with determining who Allāh hates, why He hates them, and speaking on His behalf about it nonstop.
They show up online, shout venom at everyone, and then disappear. If you went to their local masjids, most people would not even know who they were. It's doubtful any of them have made a positive impact on anyone there. Rather, they're usually most likely known as troublemakers (if known to anyone at all).
They think they are doing good work online by somehow forbidding the evil, but all they do is alienate and drive people away from the religion. This type of negativity never results in anything positive. It doesn't result in changed behavior on the part of the one being “advised.” It doesn't even motivate the one “advising” to actually do something productive.

A Zero-Sum Game
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This is bigger than just being a characteristic of the Shaykh 'n Bake. It's an entire mindset. It's the incorrect understanding that everything in life is zero sum. It is about making things mutually exclusive when they aren't.
Zero sum is something normally applied to things like money. It's like the gas in your car, once it's out, it's out. But do you apply this principle to your kids? Do you have 2 kids, find out you're expecting a 3rd and say, “You know what, that's great but I'm just all out of love to give.”
One of the ways these people operate is by convincing others that everything is zero-sum. If you comment on one tragedy, it means you've somehow taken away importance from another. If you make du‘ā’ for one thing, it means you can't make du‘ā’ for another.
This point is critical, because their entire paradigm hinges on it. They have to convince everyone that if a scholar comments about one thing, it means he is ignoring another – and therefore must be attacked.

Manipulation, Bullying, and Spiritual Blackmail
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Yes, there is such a thing as spiritual blackmail. When someone is not able to articulate a point in an effective or persuasive manner, such that the one listening is actually affected by it – then they resort to this manipulation technique. I am right, and if you disagree with me, you're going to hell. Forget about my own akhirah, how are YOU going to answer to Allāh on the Day of Judgment when He asks you in front of all of mankind about your Facebook post??
In reality, this behavior is nothing more than good ole bullying – except under a religious guise. It's meant to manipulate others and try gain some type of upper hand.
They will never admit they are wrong. They get overly dramatic and give an exaggerated sense of importance to their issue.
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Life is a game for them. In fact even the religion has some game like qualities for them. It's about proving you are right, that you're on the winning team. It's showing you held your ground and overcame your opponent. And in order to win, you may manipulate others.
People who cannot articulate their faults or mistakes see life as a game. They are keeping score and they intend to win. They want you to submit but have no intention of submitting themselves. Theirs is not a world where we are supposed to create intimacy and trust through grace, but a world where we are supposed to accumulate power and security by tricking the people around us (Donald Miller, The Single Defining Characteristic of a Manipulator).
All is fair when you are working for a higher purpose.
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The most important lesson I have learned is to simply block these people out. There was a time where I used to engage and debate with people on issues like this, but life is simply too short. In the end, you don't win anything. At most, you might change someone's mind, but even that is unlikely. The most likely consequence is that they will kill your positive energy. They will make you hate life. They will make you wish you had never opened your mouth, about anything. If these people had their way, no one would ever accomplish anything good. In their mind, unless something meets their arbitrary level of perfection, it is not worth being done.

Keep doing your work. Keep driving your bus, and don't let them get on it.
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allāh, wwwislamicboardcom - , said, “If you're about to plant a tree and the Day of Judgment commences, finish what you started” (Musnad Ahmed, sahih).
No matter what you work on, there will be haters. No matter what effort you make, someone will be there to criticize it. And while it may not be easy, you simply need to sniff out those trying to shame grenade you and block them out of your life. Unfriend them on Facebook, block them on Twitter, delete their contact from your phone, and don't let them get to you. Those who complain and criticize will disappear forgotten, but in the end the good work you do will remain and inshā'Allāh be a legacy.

Click the image below for an infographic of the video by Sketchy Muslim:
BacQeCEAAojHT150x150 1 -
Humiliating people in the name of religion is the practice of someone deprived of the first fruit of religion, humility.
— nouman (@noumanbayyinah) August 29, 2013
“There are two types of people in this world: people who do things, and people who criticize those who do things.”
— Ḥamza Yūsuf Quotes (@HamzaYusufQ) September 2, 2013
Insulting others is never a way of correcting them. Instead it causes more damage & proves that we need help ourselves.
— Mufti Ismail Menk (@muftimenk) September 2, 2013
7. Haters are life's truest losers. Do you want to end up losing everything that matters in life? Be a hater.
— umair haque (@umairh) September 1, 2013
Why do so many Muslims assume everything is forbidden, and look to deny and prohibit rather than encourage and inspire?
— haroon moghul (@hsmoghul) August 29, 2013
2. Be a creator, not just a critic. Otherwise, you'll always wonder.
— umair haque (@umairh) August 27, 2013
Do the hard work or support those doing it but dont hinder it. Some people neither do the work nor let others do it.
— Mufti Ismail Menk (@muftimenk) August 23, 2013
"Shame الحياء" is a believer's personal trait to introspect one's own words-actions, not something to bring upon others #shamegrenade
— Nomaan Baig (@ShaykhNBaig) September 2, 2013
I'm always uneasy about the concept of “speaking truth,” as if we somehow know the truth and only have to enlighten others…
— Noam Chomsky (@daily_chomsky) September 11, 2013
…who have not risen to our elevated level.
— Noam Chomsky (@daily_chomsky) September 11, 2013
When you are blessed or successful in any way, you must expect a fair share of haters. How you react to them is a part of your test.
— Mufti Ismail Menk (@muftimenk) December 2, 2013
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09-06-2014, 11:31 AM
THis is very interesting information and it reminds me of how easily the internet can distort information regarding a certain religious group. It's always important to be able to highlight sources that can be trusted online.

Ali Mujahidin
09-08-2014, 01:31 AM
JazakulLah, ya akhi, for posting this. Is this available in pdf? If so, may I have the link, please?

09-10-2014, 06:21 PM
Originally Posted by Ali Mujahidin
JazakulLah, ya akhi, for posting this. Is this available in pdf? If so, may I have the link, please?
Wa Iyyaka,Unfortunately,its not.Its a collection taken from multiple links and websites but if you insist I can make one for you.(even It will be the my first experience but there is nothing like helping someone,Is it?:))

12-29-2014, 06:56 PM
Originally Posted by Signor
The “Sheikh Google” Phenomenon
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