Saturday, November 02, 2013

Q&A: Online Communication between Men and Women

In one of the sessions about what is going on in the Internet from conversations, it was stated that the online world is a virtual world, hence one is not to be punished for his words in it. It was also stated that there is even nothing wrong with talk between men and women, no matter what was said, because it does not amount to mixing... Is this true? Please clarify this matter and BarakAllahu feekum.
By: Abdullah Abdulrahman
Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah
"Question about the rule on chatting of the opposite sexes on Facebook or via e-mail"
Often the youth of our time are confronted with this issue, especially teenagers. Therefore we have to inquire about the issue, so our young people do not fall into sin, and to preserve our society from a matter that constitutes a sin, perhaps even a great one.
By: Abu al-Qasim

Wa Alaikum Assalaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu
Your questions are similar, and we happened to have answered a similar question, therefore I repeat it for you:
There are people who like to philosophize, for example they focus on the question: Does communication on Facebook constitute mixing?
As if only mixing amounted to Haram, and there is nothing wrong with other than mixing!
The above focuses on the viewpoint that it is a virtual world, as if it were only a mental illusion that could imagine anything!!
Some of them are ignorant of some of the issues affecting the Hukm Shar'i (legal judgment) on communication on Facebook. They think as long as there is no mixing, there is nothing wrong with it or something like that, which appears to them either through ignorance or confusion.
The matter is not so, but the speech made in a letter from one person to another, if its occurrence from its owner and the arrival at the addressee are proven, then it takes the ruling of direct discourse from one person to another.
There is no difference between a letter being written by hand or with the help of a machine.
Also there is no difference between the letter being carried to the addressee by another person, or it being transferred to him via the Internet or Facebook or any other means. Rather it is important to prove its occurrence from the owner, and to prove its arrival at the addressee. The analysis of the reality before legal judgment (Tahqiq al-Manat) will result in one of the two alternatives.
Therefore the provision pertaining to a letter is one and man is responsible for it, because it is one of his actions, and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم says:
«إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَجَاوَزَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي مَا حَدَّثَتْ بِهِ أَنْفُسَهَا، مَا لَمْ تَعْمَلْ أَوْ تَتَكَلَّمْ»
"Allah transcends over my Ummah what they say to themselves, what they do not do or say."
[Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (ra) in the transmission of al-Bukhari]
Furthermore it is narrated from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم that he sent written messages to the kings and rulers to notify them of Islam, which proves that the notification via letter –and this constitutes a Hukm Shar'I – is the same as a notification in direct discourse.
Al-Bukhari reported: "Ibn Abbas said: "I was told by Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb that he was in ash-Sham among the men of Quraish who offered trade in the period which was between the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and between the Kuffar of Quraish. Abu Sufyan said: "We found the messenger of Caesar in ash-Sham... then he said: "Then Caesar called for the message from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, it was read out, containing:
«بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ، مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرُّومِ، سَلاَمٌ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الهُدَى، أَمَّا بَعْدُ: فَإِنِّي أَدْعُوكَ بِدِعَايَةِ الإِسْلاَمِ، أَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ، وَأَسْلِمْ يُؤْتِكَ اللَّهُ أَجْرَكَ مَرَّتَيْنِ، فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ، فَعَلَيْكَ إِثْمُ الأَرِيسِيِّينَ وَ: ((يَا أَهْلَ الكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ، أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَلاَ يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ، فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا، فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ))...»
"In the name of Allah the Merciful, from Muhammad, the servant of Allah and His Messenger, to Heracles, the leader of the Romans, peace upon those who follow guidance, further: I invite you with the call of Islam: Convert to Islam and find peace (Aslim Taslam). For if you convert, Allah will reward you twice, but if you turn away, then you will carry the sin of the Arissiyyun and:
"Oh People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you - that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah." But if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]."
(Ali-Imran: 64)
Accordingly, the answer to the aforementioned question is as follows:
1. The correspondence, whether by regular mail or via Internet or on Facebook or Twitter...the ruling is a single one, it does not differ from the speech face to face. It cannot be said: "This is a virtual world and that is the real world". Rather this means sinking into ignorance and sin. If you say forbidden words to a strange woman face to face, then you are punishable by the Shari'a, and it is the same with correspondence. Therefore after the establishment of the proof of the occurrence of such a correspondence, the punishment is sought, just as if the words were said face to face.
Thus, as it is prohibited to talk to a strange woman without a need approved of in the Shari'a, it is the very same with correspondence. What is allowed in this context face to face is allowed in correspondence and what is prohibited face to face is prohibited in correspondence.
2. Unnecessary mixing is prohibited by the Shari'a, but not only mixing is haram. If you called a woman far away from you with bad words, then this is Haram, even if she is not beside you. If you sell an item to a woman in the market, looking at her with pleasure, then this is Haram, even though mixing for the sake of trade in the market is permissible. If you rode a public means of transport and spoke lewd words to a woman far away from you, even if she were not sitting next to you, then this is Haram.
Similarly, whatever you write in a correspondence, you are just as responsible for it as if you had said it face to face.
3. We call on every Muslim and Muslimah, especially the Shabab and Shabbat from the carriers of this pious, pure Da'wah, who carried it and continue to carry it amid waves reaching us head-on and from behind us, from our right and on our left, such that there is no shelter except Allah Almighty: We invite them to abide by the provisions of the Shari'a with a strong commitment. Do not only to stay away from the Haram, but even from some permissible things out of fear from the Haram that is close to it. The Sahaba stayed away from several permissible things out of fear of falling into Haram.
4. We also emphasize to every Muslim and Muslimah, especially to the Shabab and the Shabbat from the Da'wah carriers, to work diligently and with seriousness on the productive use of these modern means for the propagation of Islam in an effective way. At the same time stay wise and conscious, far away not only from all unclean ashes, but even from the dust of unclean ashes.
I ask Allah Almighty that we remain pious and pure, so that we find success in this world and the hereafter, and glad tidings to the believers.
22nd Dhul Hijjah 1434 AH
27/10/2013 CE
Your Brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

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