Social Media as A Challenge to Ummah’s Unity

By Sumayyah Maszlee

Social media is an internet-based form of communication where the platforms allow users to have conversations, share information and create web content. The use of social media has increased over the years, which used to be only among youngsters but now involves many elders. 

The increment of usage and time spent on social media platforms has been concerning as it can positively and negatively impact one’s life and well-being. 

Ummah is a term for the Muslim world or the community of believers. It is a concept to unite all Muslims so that they are not divided into classes regarding race or nationality. It is mentioned many times in the Qur’an, referring to a group bounded by the religion of Islam within a large community. In simpler words, the community of people formed based on their commonality, Islam. 

Nowadays, many challenges are faced by the ummah’s unity, especially with more knowledge of different views being spread around. The primary platform used is social media, making it a major challenge towards the ummah. Despite social media’s positive information and impacts on people, it is also misused in many ways and causes chaos and misunderstandings, eventually breaking the unity of the ummah. 

Social media is used by many such as the ones with bad intentions, to spread hate and false rumours. This behaviour could ruin Muslims’ aqidah as many would be influenced by the negative comments shared with the public.

Aqidah, in this context, refers to the faith of people in Islam, which could be tainted by the doubts people share based on their so-called proper knowledge when it is just pure opinion without in-depth research of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This doubt leads to arguments among Muslims as they defend their beliefs and want others to agree with them. It has also become a platform where people express their jealousy towards others’ achievements in the form of cyberbullying by throwing hate and encouraging others to do the same. 

Not only has it been a platform for those expressing jealousy, but it has also become a place where people spread false rumours about others. Influencers that are striving, for instance, have haters that will create scandals to give the public the wrong impression of them. They intend to change the public’s perception of an individual due to their hatred towards the person. This despicable act affects the individual being hated and causes groups of people to go against each other.

The use of social media has been increasing among those who want to voice their opinion to the public, which includes the issue of LGBT. 

It has been stated clearly in Islam that such a thing is haram, and no matter what others say, it will remain haram. With the influence of western ideologies in this matter, more Muslims are starting to agree and support the idea with the defence of being open-minded. However, this is the wrong understanding because they try to justify haram matters. 

The unity of an ummah breaks when those with religious knowledge get criticized for fighting against the issue when in fact, they are the ones in the right. 

People should focus on making peace to unite the ummah instead of creating fights to stand up for themselves without considering the opinion of others. One should always be open to listening to others as they might be more knowledgeable in certain matters. 

Social media should be used appropriately to benefit the whole ummah, which may influence others to Islam. 

Source: IIUM Today


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