Clerics: Posting pictures on FB,Twitter

India's two prominent Islamic helplines are discouraging young callers,especially women

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: August 12, 2013 2:55 am

India’s two prominent Islamic helplines are discouraging young callers,especially women,from creating profiles and posting pictures on social networking websites Facebook and Twitter on the ground that it is un-Islamic.

The heads of the two Lucknow-based helplines,for Shia and Sunni Muslims,have been flooded with calls asking if virtual profiles are Islamic.

“You can’t see someone’s face on Facebook and decide that you want to be friends. Look for ‘pyar aur mohabbat’ (love) in real life. Virtual relationships are not ‘faydaymand’ (profitable),” Sunni Mufti Abul Irfan Naimul Halim Firagni Mahli said.

The Mufti wants youngsters to bond in the real and not the virtual world. Of the 1,000 calls that the Mufti fields in a month on his helpline,more than half are about Internet usage. “If one is on Facebook for business purposes or for constructive purposes,then the account is justifiable,” he said.

However,the Mufti is not pleased about women makinf friends on Facebook and is against them uploading pictures on the site. “Women should not post pictures on the Internet. This is un-Islamic.”

A Maulana from the minority Shia sect too endorsed the Mufti’s views. “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. “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,” Naqvi contended.

“Islam has prescribed hijab for women,so how can this be allowed on the Internet” We have seen so many relationships that blossomed on the Internet going sour in the real world.” said the Mufti.

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