Rabu, 10 Juni 2009

‘Fatwa’ on Social Networking - Facebook

The so-called fatwa against the use of social networking sites like Facebook and Friendster.

A conference of Islamic students and clerics called “Forum Bathsul Masail (BMP) Putri XI”, and held at the Putri Hidayatul Mubtadi-aat Islamic boarding school for girls at Lirboyo in Kediri has been widely reported to have issued a fatwa against the usage by Muslims of social networking sites such as Friendster and Facebook.

Muchammad Nabil Haroen
Muchammad Nabil Haroen on Facebook

However the man who started the controversy, a spokesman for Lirboyo school, Muchammad Nabil Haroen (or Harun), says:

I too have a Facebook account.

Nabil said that Facebook, any form of online chatting, particularly with foreign men [1], or telephones and SMS allowed young, unmarried people to consort with people of the opposite sex, and that this was haram, but if such sites were used for spreading the message of Islam, or for business relations, or innocent getting-to-know-you, or similar such non-sinful activities then there was no objection. [2]

It’s like a knife, if it’s used for cooking it’s good, if it’s used for killing it’s bad.

Many reports had stated that 700 clerics from Java and Madura had attended the conference and declared Facebook haram, but Nabil says

This was just a routine meeting, there were 700 delegates from Islamic schools for girls, they’re students not clerics.

Apart from the internet the BMP meeting also discussed the issue of election posters that showed the faces of women, and decided that this was permissible within limits. The matter of Ponari the child healer was also brought up, and condemned as superstition. [3]

Muchammad Nabil Haroen’s Facebook pals.

All issues discussed arose from questions from ordinary Muslims about the rights and wrongs of various things, and the Facebook/Friendster item was one of eight others the meeting dealt with.

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