by Maryam Hedayat
An attractively decorated tray of fruit salad with eye-pleasing servings of cream and chocolates, bearing a caption over it “The best fruit salad for futoor…may our fasting be accepted!” This was an image someone posted on Facebook.
Very often people update pictures of gifts on social media networks received from someone, lavish food prepared at home, a new decorated house or any expensive items bought from the market.
For some people it seems mandatory to share everything on Facebook…their whereabouts, what they buy and whatever they cook. The food before it reaches the abdomen is displayed on the walls of friends.
“Wow bought I phone 6”, “going out for shopping”, my husband gifted me a diamond ring”, “today we had lunch at KFC”, “My new car is so coooool”, and so on.
In fact, from a fun social networking site, Facebook has now turned into a place where everyone is competing with and challenging one another in terms of exhibiting their prosperity, achievement, happiness and success.
Facebook seems the ground of contest, and each one is trying their level best to show themselves the better one…whether in style, fashion, beauty, or wealth. Some families I know personally are not what they show on Facebook. It seems as if they are living two lives at the same time.
Truth speaks itself. Those who are blessed with luxuries in life hardly bother to show them off to public that they are using them in a particular way.
Yet for some people, sharing pictures of decorated food, expensive belongings on social Facebook might be like showing others that how lucky they are, in other words others are not capable enough of having them.
To some others, attention and appreciation of people matters much. To gain admiration they go to any extent.
Apart from stories of achievement and success, even some do not hesitate to share or show their religious activities too, such as praying, fasting, going for Hajj or Umrah, helping the needy and the poor.
If our actions are solely for the sake of Allah and to come close to His glory, to express submission, to be obliged and grateful, to attain mercy, or to seek forgiveness from the Almighty, then only our deeds will be truthful and rewarding.
However if our actions and deeds are for the sake of worldly recognition such as reputation, importance, status, etc., then they are useless and fruitless.
Islam is strictly against showing off whether in material accomplishment or in worship. It considers it as a cause of making actions emptiness and inadequate. It resembles shirk (polytheism) though it is not disbelief.
Certainly show off (riya in Arabic) is spiritually so damaging that the Prophet, Muhammed (pbuh) expressed its danger in strong words saying:
“The one who prays and wants people to see him has committed shirk. The one who fasts and wants the people to know about his fasting has committed shirk. The one who gives charity (sadaqah) and wants people to know about his charity has committed shirk”. (Mishkat, Kitab Al Adab; 5331)
If Allah has bestowed his blessings upon us in abundance, we should be grateful and thankful to Him instead of making those blessings the foundation of being haughty and arrogant.
Furthermore, ‘Feeling lonely’, ‘feeling sick’, ‘feeling happy’, and so on…very often we see friends updating them on Facebook status. Nothing irreligious about!
But what is noteworthy is that if we feel ‘sick’, we should ask Allah for good health. If we are ‘lonely’, we seek solace in memory of the Almighty, if we are ‘happy’, we should thank The Almighty instead of reaching out to the world.
As an individual I am not against posting or sharing on social networking sites. What is to be kept in mind is that we must think of those who cannot afford them. The unbridled excitement should not dilute our genuine feelings of modesty and humbleness in sharing with others