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Students of Knowledge Stepping Into The Spotlight Before Their Time

One of the biggest mistakes students of knowledge make – including myself – when embarking on the path of traditional study is to remain plugged into the internet and social media, writes Ustadh Salman Younas.

Whether it is having debates on forums, writing lengthy Facebook posts, coming up with catchy tweets, or posting pictures of your student adventures on Instagram, the base assumption that every student (actually, every person) should have is that these are largely ways to aggrandize the self (nafs) whether one realizes this or not.

A Destructive Distraction

Spiritually, it is destructive for a student. From the perspective of ilm-seeking, it corrupts intentions and distracts a student from the higher aims of seeking knowledge: God. There is an element of putting oneself out there and assuming a role before one is actually ready to step into the spotlight. There are indications that one feels his opinion counts and needs to be spread (if you pass a glance at how many shares your post got, you know you’re probably doing it for the wrong reasons).

There is a hidden desire that perhaps people should follow me – the layman taking the hand of the learned. Often times, there is argumentation, sometimes ill-will developed towards others, and the construction of a false image for the public. The consequence of this is summed up in a famous legal maxim:

“Whoever rushes something before its time is punished by being prevented from attaining it.”

If you are a beginner student, stick to studying and worship. Don’t waste the opportunity God gave you by occupying a station that He did not place you in.

This is a problem of my generation. Go look at our elders, such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Shaykh Hamza, Imam Zaid, Habib Umar, Mufti Taqi, and others. How many of them were putting themselves out while still students? None of them. They waited. They focused their attention on what they needed to do – on seeking knowledge for the sake of God. They understood the statement of Ibn Ata’illah:

“Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity. If something sprouts before it is buried, its fruits will never ripen.”

They took counsel from their teachers. They rectified themselves spiritually in addition to gaining knowledge of the outward. And God eventually opened the door of scholarship and spreading knowledge for them… and how beneficial was it when it was opened at the time He desired and not when they desired it.

Resources for seekers

How to See SeekersHub Stories on the Top of your Facebook Feed

Significant changes to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm mean you might not be seeing as many stories as usual. Facebook started prioritizing posts from paid sponsors and a few selective friends over posts from your favorite pages and publications.

While this might not be a welcome move for everyone who uses Facebook to stay connected with friends and favorite brands, it is still possible to choose what you’d like to see on your feed first.

Here’s how you can make sure to see stories from SeekersHub on the top of your Facebook News Feed.

If you’re using Facebook on a desktop

Click “See First” to never miss out on our updates!

The first step is to like SeekersHub’s Facebook page.

Then, hover over the Following button. In the drop-down menu that appears, click See first. This basically tells Facebook that you are interested in SeekersHub’s top-notch online Islamic courses, podcasts, answers and other related events.

Facebook Feed

You can even choose to receive notifications every time we post a new update.

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can even instruct Facebook to notify you every time we post a new update on our Facebook page. To do so, hover over the Following button and click the edit icon beside “Notifications.” Here, check the box where it says, “Be notified when this Page posts content that you might like.”

If you’re using Facebook’s mobile website or Facebook app

Go to Cult of Mac on Facebook, or navigate to SeekersHub’s Facebook page on your mobile device. Tap Following and select See First.

Facebook Feed

Tap “See first” to see posts from SeekersHub at the top of your Facebook feed.

This will ensure that you see posts from SeekersHub at the top of your News Feed.

Similar to the desktop, you can turn on notifications to get notified of updates on our Facebook page. Don’t worry about being bombed, though, as Facebook algorithmically selects up to five top posts per day and notifies you. To do so, tap Get Notifications.

By default, Facebook only notifies you of new events and Live videos, not about new posts.
To fix this, tap Edit Notification Settings. Now, check the Posts box.

If you want, you can get fine-grained control over notifications in the Edit Notifications Settings window. Here, you can specifically choose to be notified of new posts, events or just Live videos.

Facebook Feed

That’s it! You should now start seeing posts from SeekersHub on the top of your Facebook News Feed.

May Allah bless you with Tawfiq.

Dealing With My Husband Having Female Facebook Friends

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I have a husband and we are constantly having this same “conversation” about gender interaction in Islam. He insists on adding female friends on Facebook, saying they are my friends from primary/high school (age 8-18), and that they are married. I have advised and explained to him the rulings of it yet he doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to. Its killing me inside knowing that he chats to these women, and that he has the opportunity to look at their photos. I tell him I don’t like it but he continues.  Please help.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question. I pray this message finds you well.

My suggestion would be to overlook your husband’s Facebook friends unless you have some strong basis for believing his interactions with these women are inappropriate.

I can understand why you are concerned. Ideally, a man would only have males in his social network and women would only have females. The reality, however, is that social media have made it possible to network and communicate with members of the opposite sex in ways that would not have been possible in traditional Muslim societies.

The way to handle that is not by banning your husband from Facebook or resenting his female “friends.” The way to handle it is to establish parameters. Islam mandates ways to interact with the opposite sex wherein modesty is maintained. You can remind your husband of this important point, but do so in a way that is pleasant.

Another point to be aware of is that husbands and wives come into marriage with their own unique history and backgrounds, including friends. You cannot do anything about the fact your husband went to school with females and seems to want to stay in touch with them. This is a part of who he was before he married you.

What you can do is make sure his screen time is not interfering with your married life, your family time, your worship, and your time to really connect as a couple. What you can do is remind your husband that women need to feel safe in their marriage. Is he making you feel safe with his behavior? Probably not. If that’s the case, he needs to interact with his FB “friends” on the basis of Islamic adab and keep in mind that the real friends in our lives are those with whom we share hearth and home.

May Allah Ta’ala make things easy,

Zaynab Ansari

Related Answers:

Can I Chat With the Opposite Sex Online About Decent and Moral Subjects?

A Reader on Gender Interaction