In today’s fast growing world, the modern Muslims of the Ummah are always looking for ways to create a ‘halal version’ of almost anything that the West introduces. Although most have vast controversial issues, with many of the extremists objecting to them and trying to stick to the traditional Islamic rulings, it has not stopped the introduction of Halal Music, Halal Entertainment, Halal Fashion and so on.
One of the most highlighted issues that seem to be driving the community astray today is blamed on social media. Social Networking gives people the ease of connecting with anybody around the world in the click (or should I say touch) of a button, and within seconds you could be video-calling a person on the opposite side the world. Sadly, the misuse of this has led to hundreds of unnecessary divorces, suicides, break ups and what not. And so they introduced the ‘Muslim Social Media’ as an Islamic Facebook alternative.
The top thriving Islamic sites like Ummaland, TurnToIslam and SalamWorld are just three of of the many Facebook alternatives for Muslims that have been launched of late to provide the Muslim community with Islamic social networking. Although this has brought differences of opinion from scholars worldwide, the creators of these websites claim to have pure intentions.
With strikingly similar features and appearance of Facebook, but only more Islamic, Ummaland is a famous Muslim Social Media site among Muslims around the globe. Launched only a year ago, by three Danish Muslim friends who had an aim to make Muslims use their free time wisely by reading beneficial pieces instead of frivolous and idle ones, this website already has more than 60,000 active users.
“On other social networks people use tons of time by checking trivial posts; someone is boasting, someone is gossiping etc. We are creating Ummaland on Islamic values, no small talk, no boasting, no gossiping and backbiting but focusing on the message that really matters. We encourage every user to ponder upon if the message they share will benefit Ummah or not, if not, it is better to be silent.” says Maruf Yusupov, one of the co-founders of Ummaland Daily Hadiths, reminders, Arabic Language teachers and other productive groups are available on the website, that are extremely profitable for any Muslim. Maruf Yusupov has also introduced documents, some that have motivational quotes for the betterment of the Muslims.
“This website is a social network built to expand the true understanding of Islam based upon the Noble Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah for the Muslims today” – Ameer Abbas Ali, Founder and CEO of TurnToIslam. The website was launched in 2006 after Ali met many non-Muslims who had little knowledge about Islam.
Turn to Islam has a community and a forum, that everyone, including Non-Muslims are welcome to to follow and stay updated with. The forums allow discussions of any kind of Islamic related topics. The site has some unique features, including Brother/Sister only sections, privacy controls to keep your profile as private as possible.
The website aims to help develop and strengthen the bond of the Ummah, by sharing inspiring Islamic videos, photos and blogs, and to show the world the beauty of Islam. The site also greatly supports New Muslims and Non Muslims interested in Islam. TurnToIslam, like UmmaLand, has various beneficial and interesting threads, like Learning Arabic, Learning Islam, Current Affairs of the Muslim World, Islamic History, Fatwas and a lot more. The community and forum are also available in more than 10 different languages for easy access of people all over the globe, who don’t speak English.
SalamWorld is a social media platform launched to unite Muslims all over the world, to support the progress of new enterprises and projects in the Muslim world. The Founders had a passion to create an All-Islamic social media Network of high standards for all Muslims to be proud of. While developing the idea of “To Collect and Unite the Best in the Islamic World”, Salamworld is looking to bring together all Muslims, and encourage them to show the best of themselves.
The site is an opportunity for young Muslims to develop themselves and put to practice their skills and experience. Their mission is to help young Muslims to be transformed ‘from emotions to actions’ in a wise and intelligent way.
The word ‘Salam’ means peace in Arabic. Having instituted a strong bond with well-known scholars, leaders and communities all over the world Salamworld declares position of tolerance and openness towards all religions. “We are open for all, both Muslims and non-Muslims, creating a platform for interfaith dialogue. Reveal the beauty of ‘pure’ Islam!”
Islamic social networking gives Muslims the chance to learn more about Islam and to put aside differences and unite as one with the rest of the Muslim community. The Islamic Social Networking sites mainly focus on giving the Muslim community a bigger insight to what Islam truly is, by allowing only Islamic content. And educating the Muslims to become better people with many posts on getting closer to God, the prophet’s traditions and general Islamic topics.
And yet, like almost everything else, the Muslim Social Media has it’s share of defectiveness. The different schools of thought that divide the religion today have different opinions, of which some may be misguiding. The users get led astray by untrue statements quoted by hypocrites and sometimes you can find heated arguments and debates in the forums concerning fatwa, leading to disunity of some groups.
The intermingling of the sexes are available. And although it is mostly limited, you can always find a pervert in the lurking, trying to find a way to misguide the young women and put them into trouble.
But when you come to think of it, Islamic social networking is a much better alternative when compared with social networks as large as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram,where the percentage of badness is so much more. In brief, Islamic social networking could make the Muslim world a much better place if it is used with wisdom and the correct intentions.
Ummaland stands out head and shoulders above the rest, with the ability to keep in touch with your existing non-muslim Facebook friends, and not have to use Facebook. It has a clean design, and plenty of innovative features which should keep it ahead of the pack for some time to come. Why don’t you check out Ummaland at www.ummaland.com
By Aida Idrees