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There are many interactive forums on
the Internet, including chat sites and
online communities. We need to address
the critical question of how Muslim men
and women should conduct themselves when
they come into contact with one another
while participating in these forums.

The following guidelines should be
observed by Muslim men and women when
interacting with one another on the

1. Never display photographs under any

To start with, photographs are simply
not necessary. The written word is more
than sufficient. We must also appreciate
how photographs can become a great
opportunity for Satan to tempt people
and make their foul deeds seem fair to them.

Some people might consider such caution
misplaced. However, those who understand
how people are seduced and tempted and
who have experience in dealing with
these problems, know that nothing is
far-fetched. Moreover, some people who
have a sickness in their hearts manage
to deceive themselves and others that
something which is completely wrong is
instead something that is good and that
is motivated by the sincerest and
noblest intentions.

2. Use typing and avoid audible means of

If, for some reason, using audible media
becomes necessary, then we must adhere
to Allah's command: “Be not too
complaisant of speech, lest one in whose
heart is a disease should be moved with
desire; but speak a speech that is
just.” [ Sûrah al-Ahzâb : 32]

This verse was revealed concerning the
wives of the Prophet (peace be upon
him). If this was the case for them, we
can appreciate how much more it must
apply to us. Moreover, that was during
the time of the Prophet (peace be upon
him) while we are living in the age of
permissiveness and promiscuity.

3. Maintain a serious tone and focus in

We must not get involved in talking at
length about things that are unnecessary
and unjustified. In truth, many people
get a thrill out of merely speaking with
the opposite sex, regardless of what the
subject might be. Some men just like to
hear a pretty voice. Likewise, since
women are indeed the full sisters of
men, they also find pleasure in speaking
with men.

Our tone should be serious. We should
avoid all that is superfluous and frivolous.

4. Remain vigilant at all times.

Those who we meet on the Internet are,
for the most part, apparitions. Men come
online posturing as women and women
often misrepresent themselves as men.
Then, there are so many things we do not
know about the other person. What is his
ideology? What is his background? What
country is he from? What is his line of
work? What are his real intentions? All
of these things are unknown.

I wish to call the attention of our
honored sisters to the dangers that
experience has shown us to be ever
present in these situations. Many young
women are quick to believe what others
tell them and are very susceptible to
sweet words. Such people are easy
victims for the predator who lays out
his trap. One moment, he is a sincere
advisor, another the victim crying out
for someone to save him, then he is the
lonely man looking for someone with whom
to share the rest of his life, the next
moment he is the sick man looking for a

5. Muslim women who work with the
Internet should keep in close contact
with one another.

They need to develop strong channels of
communication so they can lend a degree
of support to each other in this
important and possibly dangerous field
of endeavor. They need to cooperate
closely and share their experiences and
expertise. A person standing alone is
weak, but standing with others she is

Allah says: “By time! Surely the human
being is at loss. Except for those who
have faith and do righteous deeds and
exhort one another to truth and exhort
one another to patience.” [ Sûrah al-`Asr ]

Abû Mulaykah al-Dârimî narrates: “It was
the practice among the Prophet's
Companions, that if two of them met,
they would not depart from one another
without one of them reading Sûrah
al-`Asr to the other. Then one of them
would greet the other with peace.” [
al-Mu`jam al-Awsat (5120) and Shu`ab
al-Îm ân (9057)]

I also advise our Muslim sisters to
focus most of their attention and their
efforts on calling other women to Islam
and enjoining them to righteousness.
They should use this valuable medium to
assist and serve their sisters and to
reform them. This should be done
indirectly, subtly, and with wisdom. Too
direct an approach, when giving advice,
often causes the other party to become
angry, confrontational, and obstinate.
This is because the person giving advice
comes off as seeming high-handed and
arrogant, while the one being advised
feels shamed and belittled. Therefore,
be gentle in your choice of words,
good-natured, attentive, and forbearing.
This makes the receiving party more
conductive to receiving your advice and
less likely to spurn it.

By: Sheikh Salman al-Oadah


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