Day 19 (Internet Adab)
The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) said: “I was only sent to perfect noble character,” [Ahmad]
He also said: “The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character.” [Tirmidhi]
We, starting with me, should all be striving to achieve better character in this month in particular. Character can be measured through many channels, the way you conduct yourself online is one of them.
So here are a few tips I hope we can implement to improve our Internet character:
1. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say behind a keyboard. Some of the sweetest people I’ve met in person are not so sweet online. In person they’d give you a hug, online they’d give you a cyber slap. So the question is: which one is REALLY representative of their character? Only Allah knows. But seriously, whenever you type especially something personal. Read it out loud and ask yourself if you would say that to that person. Especially when you are dealing with someone who is older than you.
2. With all of the heated discussions that take place online, passions are bound to be enflamed. It is a trying time for the ummah and all of us feel very strongly about certain things. If you are unable to hold yourself back from personally insulting people while holding your strong views, you jeopardize your fasting and Ramadan. So it’s best to not type anything if you can’t be civil. Just hold your fingers and your tongue.
3. Political commentary is one thing, dua is another. If you spend more time typing about the issues of the ummah than making dua for the wellbeing of it, now is a good time to shift your focus.
4. When it comes to dealing with the opposite gender online, be modest in the way you address them. Al hamdulila we are one ummah and we collectively should care for one another, but observe the limits even when typing because an expression is still an expression even when written and shouldn’t come off as immodest.
5. Don’t type when you’re angry with a particular person! You’re bound then to do some serious, and sometimes irreparable, damage to your relationship with that person. Remember, haste is from the shaytan.
6. Finally, when someone personally insults you, don’t respond but instead seek the reward from Allah. Lets face it, sometimes it hurts just as much when written as it does in person and Allah is aware of that. You can also respond with a joke or something more light-hearted to shift the tone of the conversation.
I hope all of us, starting with me, can start to make these changes and hopefully spare ourselves from unknowingly adding extra sins to our slates that we cant afford to have.