Publicly Private


public private

By Umer Raza

There is a dearth of introverts in this world now, and extroverts the same time seem to be in extra supply (according to the personality type institute which researches such data, the introverts are around 25% whereas extroverts are 75% of the population). The dearth of introverts has also been fuelled by an unruly presence of social media. The Facebook is on top of creating this unruly rule of sharing everything that you do, whenever you do and wherever you do. This has made even many introverts feel like lonely birds in this die-hard world of sharing and communicating. And thus few borderline introverts have also “converted” in this sense of sharing to extroversion though unpleasantly.

Since the time when these social media tools have jumped in to capture the major share of our daily life and made us busy for nothing we have seen sharing at its pinnacle. Sharing has taken a different meaning altogether. It has become a norm of the day and a culture of sophistication to be available all the time to all the people. Whether it is a religious ritual or a very private event, those who are social media addicts crave to share the latest happening and their “Intellect” with their loved one’s immediately. While doing so, I am afraid, they fear not their obligation towards their own privacy, what to say about others. Even more ominous are the comments that spill over through those who read the status update. They also fear not the very code of religious boundaries and attempt to become a social activist defying all boundaries.

Let us not bring religion into this……..but why not and how not we stay away from bringing religion into this. This practice is even tearing apart the very fabric of the current society and threatening to become a usual, normal and a way of life “thing” for the generations to come. When a husband and wife post their smiling picture on the face book for everyone to see, I become wobble at the fact as to why they do so. They are happy and may Allah keep them happy, but where on earth have they learned to post their picture (romantic picture in many cases) on a social network where everyone is going to see them. How they could not observe the very basic of PARDA of ISLAM. Picture of my wife with me on a social network for everyone to see………. Wow……people will appreciate, they will pray for us, they will see how happy couple we are, they will write comments of “MashaAllah” “sweet couple” etc. How naïve our people turning out to be? People at the same time will be jealous, save your picture, resent and may even feel depressed or might event use this against you some day. (there is much data now available on net about this kid of behavior on social media another recent article was published through linkedIn network and can be viewed through the link below – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140922010418-49573554-when-you-stop-checking-facebook-constantly-these-10-things-will-happen)

In Quran Sura Nur Allah has this order for us: “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed”.  (Quran 24 :31)

I was stuck by a disgusting picture the other day when I saw a status update picture of someone on facebook. (thanks to him, by the way, as his act of adolescence (he must be 50 years old) forced me to write this article). He posted his status as “Just 10 minutes after my first Umra”. The next was the selfie image of him that took my breath away. He was lying on his hotel bed with no upper, sweating, exhausted and his facial view was like an extra extra large blot on screen. It was not only disgusting to see him like this but even more sickening were the sycophantic comments shared by his friends and his juniors. It is now a routine matter as those who go for Hajj and Umra keep people posted as to where they are and what they are doing. I wonder if they have gone to the holy place for a personal renovation, rehabilitation and having a lone quite time with their Allah or to create a worldwide prime time show out of it. I wonder what that impact might have had over those who do not afford to carry on this ritual. The Hajj is of course a conditional obligatory prayer and not binding on all and even more so Umra is just a “Nafal” prayer (a prayer which you do for your own spiritual uplift – Faraz prayers are good to be carried out in public for others motivation as well, but Nafal prayers are a very own private matter).

These days many of our brothers and sisters are going for Hajj. The facebook at the same time is a forum that is helping them to show that “they are going for Hajj”. I was going through the following ayas of Quran and wondered if these are somehow related to such an act.

In sura An-Nisa Allah has said: “And those who spend of their wealth to be seen by the people and believe not in Allah nor in the Last Day. And he to whom Satan is a companion – then evil is he as a companion”. (Quran 4:38)

Then in Sura Al-Ma’un: “……..So Woe to those who pray – who are heedless for their prayer – Those who make Show – and withhold assistance…….” (Quran 107: 4-7)

May Allah help us in our endeavour to understand His words.

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