Maulana Saif Abbas Naqvi from the Shia sect recently stated that they are a liberal community and don’t have a Taliban mind-set. However, they have their own reservations of women posting pictures on Facebook or for that matter anywhere on the Internet since it is against the religion.
“Women are not allowed to show their faces to anyone apart from their ‘mehram’ (male kin like father and brothers). So posting pictures on Facebook is ‘haraam’ (banned),” Maulana Saif Abbas Naqvi said.
He further stated, “We are liberal. We are not Taliban-minded. When youngsters ask us if they can have a Facebook or Twitter profile, we allow that. But the Shariah (Islamic law) does not allow women to post pictures.”
Maulana Naqvi was supporting similar views shared by Sunni Mufti Abul Irfan Naimul Halim Firagni Mahli. Mufti holds the view that by seeing a profile picture on Facebook you can’t decide if you want to be friends with the person. Instead one should look into the real world.
However, Mufti who belongs to the famous Ulama-e-Farangi Mahal family of Lucknow, is also not pleased about women being on Facebook to make friends and is definitely against them uploading pictures on the social networking site. “Women should not post pictures on Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet. This is un-Islamic,” he said.
Both the heads associated to the two popular Lucknow-based helplines – run for Shia and Sunni Muslims – have been flooded with phone calls asking if virtual profiles are Islamic. The number of the calls to both the helplines have more than doubled in the holy month of Ramzan. It was shared that from 1,000 calls that Mufti addresses in a month on his helpline, more than 50 percent questions are about Internet usage.
The reasons of discouragement for women on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are for the fact since Islam has prescribed hijab for women, they are not allowed to show their faces to anyone apart from their ‘mehram’ (male kin like father and brothers), addressed Naqvi. He further added that – “Posting pictures on Facebook is ‘haraam’ (banned).”
However, Mufti added that if someone uses Facebook for business purpose or any other constructive purpose apart from relationship then the move is justifiable. He thinks, “Relationships that blossom on the Internet often turn sour in the real world. ‘Dokha aur fareb se bachna chahiye’ (We should save ourselves from deceit and fraud).”
Staying in the real world is better, has been the one advice from the clerics to the young callers.