By A. Zeynep Donmez – Ozlem Ata Translated from Turkish by Yilmaz Kaso
A chapter from the book ‘Friday of the Youth’ Sydney, AUSTRALIA
LEARNING THE RELIGION THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
وَقَالَ ٱلرَّسُولُ يٰرَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِى ٱتَّخَذُواْ هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُوراً
Then the Messenger will say, “Oh my Lord! My people did indeed discard this Qur’an!” (Al-Furqan 25:30)
إِنَّ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ، وَأَحْسَنَ الْهَدْىِ هَدْىُ مُحَمَّدص لى الله عليه وسلم.
“The best speech is God’s Book (Qur’an), and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (PBUH).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Al-Adab, Chapter 70, 6098).
Today we all use the Internet in a variety of ways. I even know that most of you are spending a lot more time on the Internet than you spend with your family under the same roof. Sometimes you play games, sometimes you do research for your homework and sometimes you share your photos and thoughts on social media. For example, many topics ranging from current events to politics, from health to religious information are on social media. Briefly, you also use social media as a source of information. Have you ever thought, to what extent is the information you get from social media correct? What are the sources of this information and to what extent can we trust them? From time to time, you also come across conflicting posts about the same topic. Which of these is correct, how will we decide?
For example, God forbid, you got sick. What would you do? Do you go to a doctor who specializes in that disease, or do you follow a drug recommendation that you read on the internet? I’m sure you all go to the doctor; because you can’t afford to be sicker while hoping for improvement. Anyway, a proverb says: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. Considering only the meaning of this proverb, it turns out that we cannot learn our religion based on the information we read on the internet alone. Because some of this information includes the comment of the person who shared it and that comment may be wrong. Trying to live religion by following these comments is just like following drug advice online. You should be cautious and selective. They can take you away from God’s commandments and prohibitions.
In this case, what we need to do is: We should know that social media or random websites are not the source of learning our religion. The real source of religion is the Quran. Muhammad (PBUH) also set an example for us by applying the Qur’an to life. For this reason, we should read the Qur’an frequently. When we say reading, we do not mean reading only the Arabic text without understanding. If the Qur’an is the primary source of information for our life, we must understand it when we read it. We must try to understand what the verses mean, to find out which other verses are associated with them. Thus, you will not keep the Qur’an away from you and as stated in Al-Furqan 25:30, you do not have to deal with the Messenger of God’s complaint.
If you ask where to start, I recommend this:
For example, you all know surah Al-Fatiha. If you learn the meanings of the verses in Surah Al-Fatiha, you will know why this Surah is read in every rak’ah of prayer. Besides, if you learn the meanings of the Surah or verses you read after Fatiha and you remember these meanings while you are reading, your prayer will give you peace and keep you from evil. Thus, your interest in the words of God increases, and we hope that you will gain the blessing of God.