Many of us consider social media as an extremely useful modern invention. We forget, however, that with advantages also come disadvantages. Many of us would rather voice out our concerns in the virtual world than in physical reality. But when we exercise our freedom of speech, we must keep in mind that the One Who has access to our brains and hearts also has access to our social media accounts. Actions considered as sins in physical reality are still sins in virtual reality. Let’s look into some common activities that we engage in on social media, which would be categorized as sins.
Slandering, abusing, or correcting others
I have witnessed people use abusive language on social media, while they would not even dream of uttering such obscenities in public. Some even try to cover them up by replacing some letters with symbols. Does that change what you are saying? Absolutely not, and when the Prophet (sa) instructed us to either speak good or stay silent, he also directed us to not abuse or slander anybody.
Similarly, constantly correcting people you do not even know is equally wrong. How can disgracing somebody in public be justified? Also, when Allah (swt) talks about hypocrites in Surah Al-Baqarah, He says: “And when it is said to them, ‘Do not cause corruption on the earth,’ they say, ‘We are but reformers.’” (Al-Baqarah 2:11) While the Prophet (sa) says: “The people whom I hate most and who will be furthest from me on the Day of Judgement are the ones who talk uselessly, those who put down others, and those who show off when they talk.’” (Tirmidhi)