Freedom of expression is a right that anyone possess. Everyone's been practicing it; including me. But unfortunately, many have use it as an excuse to abandon etiquette (adab). In the guise of freedom of speech, we use profane words just to proof our point. In the guise of freedom of speech, we say hurtful, provocative, and racist words on top of our excessive anger; despite the fact that we know how to say the same thing in a polite but firm manner. Perfect examples of these and many others are especially rampant on social media platforms.
|Source: Nouman Ali Khan Collection|
In truth, it is our natural tendency to like something that is beautiful such as good manners. Thus it is quite astonishing how we are lacking in that aspect. It is also unbelievable how some disregard adab as something imperative to possess. I guess we had forgotten that adab is what makes us human. In this post, I intend to remind us just this.
1) It is okay to be silent
From my observation, the need to state an opinion for practically every issue known to mankind have become a new culture on social media; even though when we don't particularly understand that issue. Instead of researching it first, we haphazardly take a stand and post it on Facebook anyway. Sometimes we even post it just to gain attention. Not only we manage to make a fool out of our self, we had also slandered an innocent group or individual.
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr, The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden."(Sahih al-Bukhari, no.10)
This new culture has spawn point no.2 onwards.
2) Stop passing unfair judgement
Unfair judgement, born mainly out of false aspersions, leads to character assassination. Should we become the target, the possibility of broken relationships, lost in confidence, and ultimately depression is highly likely. Yet we simply love doing this to others.
"O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful." (Quran, 49:12)
3) Refrain from using profanity and excessive angst
Look at it this way. Don't you always feel that something is wrong with a person who acts like these? What would you feel if someone uses this kind of language to you or your loved ones? And isn't anger management a mental problem that requires the assistance of psychologists?
Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, "The believer does not insult the honor of others, nor curse, nor commit Fahishah, nor is he foul." (At-Tirmidhi, no. 1977)
4) Don't be shy to admit mistakes
Unhealthy debates has certainly become a social media norm. Comments on Facebook for instance show that many are blind to their mistakes. Even when the truth is stark clear, there will always be a group of commentators unwilling to admit that they are wrong. Admitting mistakes has somehow become a sign of weakness when it is actually a sign of arrogance. For me personally, admitting to one's mistake is a sign of courage and a humble soul instead.
Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, "Whoever has a mustard seed's weight of pride (arrogance) in his heart, shall not be admitted into Paradise. And whoever has a mustard seed's weight of faith in his heart, shall not be admitted into the Fire." (At-Tirmidhi: no.1998)
From this moment forth, let's take a moment to think before posting, sharing, and commenting anything on social media. Stop being an online robot which we are not. Let's instead start to become human again.