Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 4 Safar 1439
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I am a new female convert to Islam, is it wrong to post my photos on Facebook?

I am a new American convert and some people tell me that I should not post my pictures on Facebook because it might cause fitna (trials) for the opposite gender though I am a hijabi girl and my pictures are decent.

Answer

The issue of confining the woman at home under strict supervision where she can’t talk to any stranger because her voice could be seductive to men, or that she can’t walk down the street alone because this might tempt some lonely wolves to harass her, or that she can’t go to work because the mixed environment with men is a wide field for illicit relationships between males and females, or that she can’t post her pictures which are respectful and decent because of the remote possibility of causing lustful desires in the ill-hearts of some sick men, all of these delusional ideas portray women as an object which should be placed carefully in a closed environment without any interaction with the real world.
Some people see women as a source of fitna or temptation and thus should be treated with the utmost caution and be kept under constant surveillance. This warped logic goes against the merciful teachings of Islam which grant women equality and a dignified status by giving them a share in inheritance, financial independence, right to vote, and the right to hold political, scientific, and social leading positions. Islam encourages women to engage in civic activities and praises the active role they play in civil society. Extremists misinterpret the hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says, “I did not leave after me a more dangerous temptation on men than women”. They take it as a slogan for thinking of women as a serpent that seduces men at every corner. A closer look at the hadith will reveal that the problem does not lie in women in and of themselves but in the way men think of women as objects of potential temptation that may lead them to sin. Therefore the hadith revolves around men and how, according to their natural inclination, may view women. Thus, it has nothing to do with women being the source of problems for the Muslim community, or for any community. The concept of fitna does not only apply to men who are tempted by women to commit a sinful act. The lexical meaning of the verb “f-t-n” is to arouse passionate interest. Another meaning for the verb is being tested and examined.
According to these two meanings, it would be easy to understand that the concept of fitna could apply to various examples such as money; it is a great source for temptation. Money is a desired asset and thus forms a test for human beings. This explains the Quranic verse in which God the Almighty says, “And know that your properties and your children are but a trial (fitna) and that God has with Him a great reward” (Quran 8:28).
Also other elements that are seen as the sources of fitna or temptation are revealed in the verse in which God says “Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but God has with Him the best return” (Quran 3:14).
The listed items in the verse—women, children, wealth, food and drinks, prestige and status—are not sources of temptation in and of themselves, but carry the potential of becoming a source for misguidance if people fail the test of using them wisely. The excessive zealotry and intense love of these sources of happiness could very well correspond to the seven deadly sins in Christianity which are:
• Lust – to have an intense desire or need.
• Gluttony – excess in eating and drinking.
• Greed - excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness.
• Laziness – disinclination to activity or exertion: lethargy.
• Wrath – strong vengeful anger or indignation.
• Envy – painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same.
• Pride – the quality or state of being proud.
Therefore waiving the card of fitna against women as a potential source of evil is a flagrant attempt to degrade women and their noble status in Islam.
That being said, posting your pictures on Facebook are perfectly permissible as long as you wear the legal attire required of Muslim women and the pictures are not seductive. The aim is to keep your modesty and chastity intact.
God the Almighty knows best.

 

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