Forum Etiquette

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بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

Continuing on from the netiquettes theme, here are some pertinent points worth observing when posting/debating on forums:

  • Do not post non-Islamic (non-mubâḥ) naughty stuff.
  • Try to refrain from using emoticons/smilies (excessive use is just childish).
  • Do not link to an article or piece of news without verifying its contents first (see Email Etiquette for more details).
  • Do not address a member of the opposite sex directly (and definitely not privately); "Aww, jazâkillâh khayr sister, may Allâh reward you" (written by a brother), for example, is a statement that could so easily be paved with dodgy motives. And posts like "lol sister" and "mâshâ-Allâh sister" are akin to flirting.
  • Do not spend too much time on forums - you can easily be fooled into thinking it's all for a good cause when in actual fact you're just wasting time; allocate some time in the day and timebox it.
  • Do not argue, get abusive or overreact on forums (in the Hadîth: Do not get angry [al-Bukhâri]); it can be very easy to say things you'd never say in person because you're anonymous or hiding behind a pseudo-name. Besides, there really is more to life than forums.
  • Do not do takfeer of other Muslims (as stated in the Hadîth: He who says to his brother 'O disbeliever' then it returns upon one of them [al-Bukhâri, Muslim]).
  • Do not backbite (as Allâh says: Do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? [49:12]). If it's to discuss someone going against the Sharî'ah, for example, ensure it's constructive (with a view to correct rather that simply backbiting), i.e. to discuss ways in which it can be prevented and/or with an intention to safeguard other Muslims from falling prey to the harms of that.
  • Be nice to whoever you're dealing with:- to Muslims because that's the way our dear Rasûl Sallallâhu 'alayhi wa sallam taught us: ... don't bear enmity against one another, don't bear aversion against one another and don't feel envy against the other and live as fellow-brothers as Allâh has commanded you [Muslim]; and to Non-Muslims because you want to set a good example: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice, and argue with them in a way that is best [16:125].
  • Remember that there are many non-Muslims out there whose sole purpose in life appears to be to ridicule and prove Islâm wrong so there is no point in arguing with them once you realise what their motive is; only converse with them if they are sincere. Allâh says: ... when you hear the Verses of Allâh being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them [4:140] and ... when you (Muhammad) see those who indulge in mockery of Our Verses then stay away from them till they turn to another topic [6:68].
  • Be modest. If you have modesty, you can't go wrong: Rasûlullâh Sallallâhu 'alayhi wa sallam was more bashful than a virgin concealed in her veil [Ibn Mâjah] and, conversely, ... when you are immodest then do whatever you desire [Ibn Mâjah].

In general and to summarise, write only that which is beneficial (be it in terms of the world or the Deen): Whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day should say (something) good or he should keep silent [al-Bukhâri, Muslim].

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