Reflections: Advising In Islam

In the age of social media, not only does everyone have an opinion, but everyone knows everyone’s opinion. There are so many benefits social media has given to us, I mean, if you’re reading this right now; you were probably brought here through some social networking site (shout out to social media for that). There is no denying that it’s also extremely easy to get sucked into the negative realm that exists within it. Lately, I’ve noticed some really troubling and disturbing behaviors between the Muslim youth, particularly from those living in the west.

Our beautiful religion does encourage us to look out for our fellow brothers and sisters in Islam, and to advise them away from harm. Recently, I’ve noticed that some people (looking at all you wallah bros), actively take this aspect of our religion, without any real knowledge on how one should advise another, and use it to repeatedly put down, destroy, and humiliate a fellow Muslim that may or may not have made a mistake in terms of following Islam “correctly.” This might just be my own personal observations and analysis on these situations, but from an outsider’s (who is Muslim) point of view, it honestly just looks like you’re being ultra-arrogant and want to show off your “knowledge” of Islam. Not to mention you look hella rude, mean, and annoying.Isn’t the point of it all to call people to Islam and have them embrace it wholeheartedly? For some odd reason, us women in Islam always seem to get the most heat from people. We’re already getting targeted daily by non-Muslims who don’t know a thing about Islam and who follow whatever the orange agent and his crew tell them. On top of that, our own community, one that should be a safe place, is bullying us? Nah, fam.

 “Isn’t the point of it all to call people to Islam and have them embrace it wholeheartedly?”

Our Prophet (SAW) encouraged us to advise one another away from haram acts. However there are some very important guidelines that you are supposed to remember to implement when you advise someone. First and foremost, check your intentions beforehand. Are you really doing this out of selfless love and for the sake of Allah (SWT)? Or are you doing it to feel good about yourself while putting someone else down? You should never even attempt to advise someone if you have the feeling of wanting to look more pious or righteous. When you want to genuinely help another brother or sister get back on the right path, you speak with them privately. That means you don’t go on Twitter (or any other social media platform) and call out your fellow believers. These are two of the most important aspects that are too often forgotten when many young Muslim men feel the need to “advise” sisters in Islam. Also, what ever happened to making a million excuses for someone instead of accusing them of haram? It is extremely embarrassing to witness these young men becoming so disgustingly hostile, arrogant, and unforgiving towards the sisters in particular. I’ve seen way too many Twitter rants from boys who think they’re Islamic scholars, attempting to publicly bash sisters who might wear makeup, or want to wear nice hijabs. It really makes me question what their intentions behind publicly shaming Muslim women are. If you really were sincerely concerned for a sister, you would never even think about calling her out via social media and trying to look like you’re this perfect Muslim.

“…what ever happened to making a million excuses for someone instead of accusing them of haram?”

On another note, I can’t imagine how non-Muslims must perceive this disrespectful behavior. Imagine someone contemplating whether they should convert to Islam, but then they see how nasty some of us are to our own community. We have to remember to not only treat each other with respect and kindness, but also if we genuinely want to advise, then to at least advise properly. There is literally no excuse to violently shame another Muslim on social media (or any place else), and if you had even the tiniest bit of intended good while going off on a Twitter rant, your bad actions out-weigh the virtue of it. No one really benefits from it.

Maybe before you decide you want to take to social media to call someone out on something you think is so immensely horrible, you should look at yourself first. Reflect on who you are and the sins you struggle with. Then look at the characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and learn from his lifestyle and the way he called people to Islam. I’m no Islamic scholar myself, but I’m pretty sure our beloved prophet would never think to publicly disgrace a fellow believer. It’s just not the point.

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