There are now a large number of chat sites and there are many people who participate in them. What advice can you give to those who visit chat rooms, whether to read or to join in?
Praise be to Allaah.
Yes, there are indeed many chat rooms on the Internet, and many people who visit them. There follow some points of advice for those who read them and those who write on them.
- Sincerity towards Allaah. Every person will die and what he writes during his lifetime will remain. So strive not to write anything except things that you will be pleased to see on the Day of Resurrection. There is no good in doing anything that is not intended to please Allaah.
- The ordinary person who is not a specialist has to choose sites that are sound and useful, and avoid the sites of the followers of bid’ah and bad sites.
- Boycott sites of the people of bid’ah and sites which mostly contain bid’ah, because participation and discussion are the lifeblood of these sites. It is not permissible to promote the people of bid’ah; we must cause their names to die out and strive to prevent them from becoming well known. The reaction of some of the Ahl al-Sunnah may have the opposite effect. It is not permissible for the ordinary Muslim to read the sites of the people of bid’ah with the motive of just looking or of discussing without knowledge. He should leave it to those who are qualified to deal with it. There is nothing wrong with his telling the scholars about what the innovators are saying, then transmitting the scholars’ response.
- Reminding the owners of “mixed-up” sites (sites which indicate confusion between Sunnah and bid’ah) of Allaah and of the fact that it is not permissible for them to allow innovators or authors of false opinions to spread those views through their site.
- The seekers of knowledge (students of sharee’ah) have to support their brothers who have taken on the task of refuting the people of bid’ah who rely on their large numbers; if one of them writes something, ten others applaud and praise him, and condemn the one whose view he is refuting.
- It is important for shaykhs, writers and well-known people to take part in these groups.
- It is not essential for the scholar to join in directly. That may take up too much of his time. It is sufficient for some of his trustworthy students to convey information from him.
- Beware of wasting time. Many students have let these chat rooms take up too much of their time. It is not necessary to refute every single bleat and every single foolish notion. It is sufficient to note the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Part of a man's being a good Muslim is that he should leave alone that which does not concern him.”
- Being aware of the importance of spending time in teaching the Muslims and that calling them to Allaah takes priority over refuting this one and that one. Let us leave these refutations for situations where it is essential, such as when one of the people of bid’ah stirs up doubts or says something false and no one else is refuting him – in that case someone has to refute him.
- The person who enters chat rooms has to realize that he is dealing with a large number of unknown persons and that the margin of trust when dealing with people who are not using their real names is very thin indeed.
- We advise the enthusiastic youth not to indulge in matters of which they do not have knowledge. Regarding the matter of giving fatwas without knowledge, it is sufficient for us to note the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning)
“And on the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied against Allaah (i.e. attributed to Him sons, partners) their faces will be black” [al-Zumar 39:60]
- Adhere to the etiquette dictated by Islam and restrain the tongue (and the pen or writing is regarded as one of the two “tongues”). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And say to My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) that they should (only) say those words that are the best. (Because) Shaytaan (Satan) verily, sows a state of conflict and disagreements among them. Surely, Shaytaan (Satan) is to man a plain enemy” [al-Israa’ 17:53]
And Allaah is the Source of strength.