You are at a major Islamic conference at a well known convention center. There are people from all over who have come together to listen in on lectures, attend workshops/halaqahs, and purchase items from vendors. You are there for the sole purpose of being a vendor. For the grater part of the day you are handing out business cards, talking about your business, and inviting those passing to try your product. There are men and women in attendance, but everyone knows their place. Men lower their gaze and women do the same. At each session there is a section for women and men to sit comfortable without too much mixing.
You find an empty room to make up a missed prayer. As you finish your prayer you look up and see a strange man standing there. He smiles and begins talking to:
“As salaam alaikum”
Awkwardly you respond, “Walaikum salaam”. You assume the only reason he is talking to you is to ask a question so uncomfortably you wait. He then asks a line of questions. “How are you?, “Are you married?” “Can, I have your number so that after the convention we can stay in touch” Abruptly you stop him and ask “brother, what are you doing?” He responds by saying “Sister, it’s ok. We can talk. I am your brother in Islam.” You realize he is up to no good and dismiss yourself.
Now let’s pretend this “convention” is Social Media. For me, my social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are like a convention open to all. I welcome everyone to exchange intelligent dialogue free of inappropriate content and personal attacks. I encourage this dialogue by kindly reminding my male Facebook friends to stick to commenting on public posts upon receiving a private message. Quite often there are males who do not seem to understand this request. To me, private messages are an empty room in which I wish not to be alone with any male.
Honestly before blogging I did not think this would be an issue I’d have to address but it is a very beneficial reminder for both the men who continue this behavior and the women who allow it. Remember what is said in Surah 8 verse 25 “And fear an affliction which may not smite those of you in particular who are unjust…” This is no joke and privately speaking to non-Mahram women is inappropriate and sinful. Let us all try to keep our social media accounts halaal (good) and stay away from what is forbidden. May this reminder benefit us all.