Quoran is a new series of ask-and-answer styled articles where we share questions we receive from our readers and fans who wish to never deviate from halal living.
Asalamu walaikum. I was on Facebook and someone had posted a sign that said exactly how I feel about the Noble Prophet. Of course, I “liked” the post, but then I “un-liked” it because I remembered now they have the different choices where you can also click the “love” button, because it sounds not as nice to say I only “like” the Prophet (saws) when wallahi I love him so much, more than my own family and my own self. But then I realized that most of the other 137,000 people have chosen the “like” button and then I thought maybe it’s haram to say I “love” the Prophet (saws) because I’m not his wife and it’s like a zina to say I “love” him. So I didn’t know what to do and I was trying to consult you then for your advice.
Then something awful happened and wallahi I am regretting it every minute since then. While I was trying to reach you some guests came and I was distracted from the computer. It was not till the evening that I remembered that I had left my Facebook open and now I know at least there are some friends who have seen that I removed the “like” of the picture, and even if not they say that Facebook is collecting all the data on it. And Allah knows what I did and the Prophet (sws) knows what I did.
Now this happened 4 days ago and I have not been able to do anything at all. I have been afraid to go near my computer, and I have just been hiding in my bed every day. I had to lie to my husband (astaghfirallah) and say I was in my time so he has left me alone for 4 days but soon he will say either it’s over or think I am pregnant so I must face him sooner or later. Please guide me on what is to be done in this situation. JazakumAllah khairan. I have included the image here also, so you can know the severity of the offense I have committed and advise me accordingly.
– An Anonymous Sister
First, praise be to Allah, subhana’wa’ta’aala, The Master of the Universe. We seek your guidance so that you may keep us on the right path, and please do not let us stop believing in you, so that we are subjected to your grievous punishments. Keep our eyes and ears shut to this world, and keep our iman strong and focused on what the scholars tell us. Open our hearts to your message, and close it to any other foreign influences that are not Islamic. Give us the knowledge to lash out at those who criticize Islam. Ya’Allah. Ya’Allah.
Your action was clearly unintentional and the Qur’anic injunctions against disrespecting the Noble Prophet are not meant to punish people for such trivial actions. However, the reality is that four days have now passed, which certainly increases the severity of the matter. I am sorry to say that had you simply “re-liked” the post within a few seconds of having “un-liked” it, I doubt very much anyone could find fault with your action. But four days is a long time to have left it like this.
All scholars within the fold of Islam are agreed that this action is an act of blasphemy towards the Noble Prophet, as his likeness should never suffer from even the slightest disrespect or even perception of disrespect for even a moment from anyone. That much is clear.
The reputation of the Prophet of Islam must be protected as if it is a helpless newborn baby. And not just any newborn baby, but a baby that will grow up to the Messenger of Allah. And now, it is like you have harmed that baby, and even if it is unintentional, still the baby has been hurt.
Beyond this, mainstream scholars are divided into two camps on this very controversial issue.
There are some scholars who will say that your action is akin to leaving Islam, on the grounds that if you have “liked” something to do with the Messenger and then “un-liked” it, it is similar to renouncing his message after having accepted it. This is the most severe interpretation however, and many scholars reject this interpretation for the reason that you were not given any formal chance to repent for your action. But still, it is important in this case for you to re-accept Islam right away, and all your prayers prior to your abandonment must be re-done over your life. As to your punishment from the authorities, we refrain from commenting on any private legal matters done by governments, but suffice it to say Allah is merciful and so should his followers be.
There are also more modern interpretations that are more understanding to your situation, and it is with this camp that I side with myself. Because the modern technology is a new creation, it has been analogized that really it is not you who committed the act, but the computer who has committed the act. You were doing the right thing, and in fact, the other blasphemy is for any Muslim to come across a picture like the one you saw and to neglect to “like” it! You were trying to right this wrong and to give honor to the Prophet, but the computer has done the act of un-liking it and that is the main point of dishonor for the Prophet.
My recommended solution is to ask your husband to clear your computer’s memory cache. Do not use this computer again, it is best to get a new one and to dispose of this one in the proper manner that is respectful of something that has borne the name of the Prophet on the screen. Dig a hole deep in the ground where people do not walk and bury the computer in it. Alternatively you can dispose of it in a running river. Then get a new computer, and get a new Facebook account (delete the old one because it still will have the record of your action), and perhaps a new email address as well.
Also, I will close by reminding you that Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful. And the Noble Prophet, he would never, ever harm another person who insulted him, unless they were insulting Allah (swt) also or it caused a danger to the Ummah (which may or may not be the case here, we don’t know). So as you consider this problem, you must not accidentally allow yourself to think that Allah or His Messenger will be angry with you, because if you project anger onto them that is greater than they would have, then that is like being ungrateful for Allah’s mercy and like an extra blasphemy towards the Prophet you will be committing on top of the one you already did. So do watch out for that.
Thank you for your question, and please be careful in the future.