‘my husband and I both have facebook accounts’ … ‘this man thinks he can tell me what to do’

Q: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Assalaamu alaykum Imam,
may Allah grant you Jannat InshaAllah for helping your Muslim Ummat.
1.) I’m married, and my husband and I both have facebook accounts that we keep in touch with our distant family members; my husband is okay with me having an account only with family members that are females, and I agreed to his request (I dont have no males cousins,uncles…etc). and i requested the same thing for him and he somewhat agreed to me. he wanted to still keep intouch with his females family members as well as his coworkers(bussiness related) i was okay with it and still I’m.but recently, i have realized that he has so many female friends that don’t fit what we agreed upon,(non mahram,non hijaabis, etc.) and when I confronted him about it, all he said to me was, “go ahead and add whoever you want to as well”. Imam, i would like  you to please touch on the women’s rights about this. it seems like, this man thinks he can tell me what to do but he doesn’t do what i tell him, just because of that  mindset,”man rules”.
Time: Saturday February 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Answer: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
Your scenario/question/concern in light of modern day gadgets — be it cell phones, lap tops, etc. is frequent and a seemingly everyday occurrence. Although we do not trivialize your query, your concern is linked to the values partners intend to share with one another as marital commitment and satisfaction is sort. In light of such a shared meaning we have responded.

  • Your husband’s behavior is unfavorable. It is not allowed for a person to display the self to attract members of the opposite gender in the manner you have described  — be it through Facebook,  Myspace,  Twitter,  texting systems, etc. The Quran not only prohibits zina, it also prohibits us to seek out avenues that facilitate getting close to it. (Zina is haram, so are avenues that lead towards it.)
  • For a husband to display strange woman on his page promotes the loathsome state of his opinion regarding woman and self. For us to accept your claim of his face-book page as it relates to the voluntary display of woman is crude and inappropriate.
  • A man that takes pleasure in his wife talking to other men is viewed negatively in Islam. It is the height of disrespect for that which Allah (SWT) has given him as part of trust (amaanah.) The behavior of displaying ones wife or encouraging such display of the female self is rebuked of in the Hadith.
  • In the context of such behavior and hadith, there is a phrase called ghayrah. In this context, ghayrah refers to a situation when a person becomes displeased when he sees that which he loves being preyed upon by strangers. Sadly, a man displaying his wife shows a lack of this type of emotion. He seems no different than a man wanting to sell his wife to a stranger for a quick fix/buck.
  • ‘Man does not rule,’ our (men/woman) rules and knowledge are derived from sacred Works and all Sacred texts agree that communicating with members of the opposite gender while they remain strangers to us is not religiously sanctioned behavior. This applies to both genders.
  • Only if mahrams can view the account, it would be allowed. As a general principal.  All aspects of Islamic modesty must be maintained for its permissibility.

Mere relational advice:

Facebook being a modern day reality, a reality that many scholars do not seem to fully sanction. It causes havoc to the married and increases unwanted desires in the youth. However, if need for it exists,  i recommend its usage that is coupled with an an open communication system. Both partners having equal access to each other’s accounts. This would be less threatening to the sanctity and security of the marital bond.

Many woman are in a double bind. If they do not show that they are ‘jealous’ about their husband, then they are viewed as non-caring. When woman get jealous, men take it as controlling. Thus in your families best interest, you would need to revisit and renegotiate this ‘face-book’ agreement.

Inform him in a calm and gentle manner that he is special to you. (If he was not, you would not have contacted us or broached the subject to him.) Explain to him the value of commitment, love and fidelity. Convince him that doing what he does reflects poorly on both of you as well as upon the institution of family, not to mention your respective families. Also convince him realize that although his intentions may be innocent, the intention upon him from the side of others may not be the same.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

4 responses to “‘my husband and I both have facebook accounts’ … ‘this man thinks he can tell me what to do’

  1. Factoid
    “Facebook and other social media sites have been blamed for as much as one fifth of the divorces that have taken place in the past few years. ”

    Read
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-pease-gadoua/facebook-poses-a-danger-t_b_795646.html

  2. Facebook is Fitnah

    A.Salam sister, I have had facebook for a while and my purpose for keeping it was to stay in touch with distant classmates and friends or keep in contact with current classmates to work on class projects or organization projects. However I felt it polluting my spiritual wellbeing, so I decided to delete male classmates. Then I only had females in my account but yet I still felt it was polluting my spiritual wellbeing. I just felt even with only female friends I had on facebook, there was still the issue of me knowing too much of their personal business because Facebook serves as a platform where everyone is not shy to share anything. I found myself constantly distracted by people’s personal life and thinking about; “I can’t believe she is posting these kind of pictures, I can’t believe she is doing this etc…” Therefore, Alhamdullah I decided to get rid of it once and for all. I know people have different opinions of facebook being good or bad but honestly I know I don’t have strong Eman and I think it would be stupid of me to test my weak Eman like that. Facebook is one of those things that seem ok at first but gradually pollute one’s spiritual wellbeing until it leads them to Haram. Islam not only prohibits haram but any path that leads to the haram because we are weak as humans. Alhamdullah, after I deleted my facebook I am able to have spiritual growth and alhamdullah I now realize its negativity. I still keep in contact with family/friends just by picking up the phone and calling them. After all, people used to keep in touch before facebook too. If your marital relationship is very important to both of you then I would sincerely advise both of you to get rid of facebook. Revising agreement is just going to create further problems. You can still keep in contact with your loved ones through phone . If you decide to get rid of facebook, patiently explain to your husband and talk to him about how the relationship both of you have is important and how it is not worth letting websites like facebook create negative impact in your relationship. Also make dua that he understands inshallah. May Allah (s.w.t) bless your marital relationship and may He protect it from any negative impact inshallah. Ameen

  3. Assalamu alakum,
    read the following articles; its explains it all….
    The question for all of us to ask is “is this social network(facebook, twiter etc) helping me come closer to my Creator? If you don’t have a good relationship with your Creator, how you expect to have a good relationship wtih your family members? The more we get away from Allah, the more our problem increase and our family relationship is ruined and we becom selfish people. May Allah guide us to the straight path ameen!
    (link deleted, we are sorry)

  4. I read the linked Huffington Post article (above). I do not dispute the dangers of misusing social networks, but I am going to quibble with the statistics.

    It said that 20% of an online law firm’s customers were divorcing because of social networks. That’s not the same as 20% of the general population. My guess is that the referenced firm’s clients are probably more likely to have that problem than average people (because if you find “love” online, doesn’t it make sense to find divorce online too?).