These days, it’s really hard being a Muslim in Nigeria and elsewhere since no matter what you do, you have to answer questions on terrorism and your religion. This could be the reason why some Muslims are quiet on social media on this subject and other critical topics. The silence is so strong that many are beginning to assume that social media is haram (sin) in Islam. But Yusuf Hassan, founder and CEO of Tutlub disagrees. Hassan might just have found a way to create fruitful and open online dialogue.
“Islamic scholars and Imams’ position on social media is that it is a medium, channel, instrument, means and not the end. It is the purpose for which we use them that matters and not the channel or medium. A knife on its own is not unlawful but the use can either be for good or for bad,” he said.
“It could be used to slice bread and spread butter and could also be used to do harm to another person,” the entrepreneur added. “So even when using the knife for an evil act, the knife itself does not become unlawful but what becomes unlawful is the act itself.”
Although he admitted that a lot of social networks were categorised as unlawful by some Islamic scholars in the past, this was only because of the way they were being used. “It is now left up to you to choose how you use the social media; social media itself is allowed,” he said.
Since social media and technology are not sin, I became to know why many are not actively involved in online dialogues on topics of Islam especially with people from other faiths. He blamed this on the traditional media.
“Muslims are definitely on the social media, but the truth is that Muslims do not have as much a say or chance on the traditional media and my experience in the field led to the general knowledge that what eventually drive the social media is the headline in the traditional media,” he said.
According to him, the multinational media are the base of news and issues; the social media are the distributors who escalate it. He said what Muslims have been able to do is respond to the escalation as much as they can, but where what Muslims are doing is deliberately ignored, under reported or misrepresented, hence, if Muslims’ efforts are not the basis for discussions, it would become more difficult to see the effect.
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