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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Ali-F

The Issue with the Chatroom

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Sâlam âlaykum wa rahmâtallahi wâbarakatu.

First of all, I want to direct this message to the mods/admins. Please do not, I repeat, do not lock/delete this thread. Last time I posted a similar issue, and my thread was placed on "trash pit". That was quite weird. I hope this will not repeat itself. We need to discuss this. 

The chatroom, which many brothers and sisters use, is quite problematic, according to our scholars. Let me explain. I was told by a scholar, whom I asked, about joking etc., with the opposite gender (a non-mahram), which was not allowed according to Sayed al-Sistani. If you look at the chatroom, various discussions, talks etc., takes place. However, non-Islamic things do also take place, such as joking/telling funny stories etc., with the opposite gender. I have myself been quite aware of this, and I, which I think we all do, fear to commit haram. I listened to Sayed Sábah al-Shubbar (a famous fïqh scholar), who discussed this (according to Sistani and other scholars), and he speaks about this issue too. 

Personally, we all want to know what is halal and haram. To eat non-halal food is haram. To use bad language against one's parents is haram and so on and so forth. I naturally want to open this discussion, so that we might discuss how we should chat etc., and look into what our scholars say. 

What do you say? Is the chatroom perhaps filled with some types of communication, which are not allowed or is it perhaps halal?

I am still learning - I want to know the rulings. I am not bashing anyone, because I use the chatroom myself. And no, I really do not want the admin (like he did last time) to just lock the thread. The answer is not as simple as such. I was messaged by a brother, who showed me discussions with a scholar he had, which clearly mentioned that it was haram to joke etc.. On the other hand, some might argue that it might be halal.

Let's get into this inshallah.

Labbayka ya Ali. 

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It's definitely not allowed to joke with the opposite gender and this does happen in the chatroom. A simple and immediate solution is to..well...not joke with members of the opposite gender.  One can simply excuse him/herself from such conversation and chat only with members of same gender.

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It’s harram to joke with the opposite gender in general, chatroom or no chatroom. 

And like you mentioned, there are religious discussions and questions that are brought up where many learn more than they know. 

Its simple, it’s your choice whether you participate or how you participate when that level of joking is happening.

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42 minutes ago, Ali-F said:

On the other hand, some might argue that it might be halal.

I've never met anyone who's argued that its halal....

As for the chatroom, many informative and constructive discussions take place. Discussions relating to society, religion and education. If you ever feel uncomfortable just click off.

Imam Ali instructed us to judge ourselves before we judge others. In Islam, intention plays a huge role. For example, simply doing the acts of Salah doesn't mean you'll be rewarded if you don’t have the intention to worship. Otherwise, what differentiates salah from a yoga exercise? Similarly, if one jokes with the opposite gender completely unnecessarily with the intention to satisfy some sort of desire or lust, then one is clearly sinning. A person would also be sinning where he talks to a woman, supposedly completely respectfully, with the intention to also satisfy a lust or desire. It all depends on intention. Surely if a person has a more lighthearted conversation to help calm someone down who is clearly in distress, and with completely innocent intentions, they arent committing as big of a sin? That's not to excuse certain sins. It just puts everything into perspective. If you feel the chatroom feeds some sort of desire or haram intention then simply don't click onto it. I personally, and other members I know, do not intentionally create a haram atmosphere purely designed to feed selfish desires. Most of the time, conversations are interesting. It's interesting to get other people's opinions on topics like the death penalty, abortion, social labels, death etc etc. Its not the same as the forum due to the real time element of it. Getting different opinions and perspectives on issues that affect our daily lives is important and useful. Conversations arent full on joke sessions and more often that not, there is some sort of benefit being had. If you feel you're not benefiting at all, distance yourself, as you have been doing. 

What wouldve been a more thread to have would be a thread concerning general interactions with the opposite gender, and not one limited to the use of the chatroom. Etiquettes must be observed in real life and online, theres not much of a difference when it comes to non mahram interactions online or real life. Perhaps, that's why your thread was locked last time, there doesn't seem to be much of a purpose of it if you're targeting one function, when in reality it applies to all interactions in our lives. 

Edited by 2Timeless

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@2Timeless and @Ruqaya101 

I agree with youse that many informative discussions take place and there's a lot of benefits.

However he's raising awareness for maybe those who might not know. Sometimes we may have little teenage kids who join chat and may be unaware when it comes to all this banter etc. There's nothing wrong if they learn the proper etiquettes of chatroom. This is not targeted towards anyone imo.

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1 minute ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

@2Timeless and @Ruqaya101 

I agree with youse that many informative discussions take place and there's a lot of benefits.

However he's raising awareness for maybe those who might not know. Sometimes we may have little teenage kids who join chat and may be unaware when it comes to all this banter etc. There's nothing wrong if they learn the proper etiquettes of chatroom. This is not targeted towards anyone imo.

LOL they’ll know and they most probably know. It’s individually a choice they make, you can do whatever you can and advise but at the end of the day, they know. 

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2 minutes ago, Ruqaya101 said:

LOL they’ll know and they most probably know. It’s individually a choice they make, you can do whatever you can and advise but at the end of the day, they know. 

Yeah even if they know, there's nothing wrong to bring these discussions up. There's etiquettes to be learnt when interacting online and the more we discuss, it gives us a chance to reflect and improve.

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1 minute ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Yeah even if they know, there's nothing wrong to bring these discussions up. There's etiquettes to be learnt when interacting online and the more we discuss, it gives us a chance to reflect and improve.

Like I said in my previous posts, rulings regarding non mahram interactions online and real life don’t differ much at all. Theres plenty of threads about male/female interactions and the responses on there wouldn't differ much at all to the ones on here.

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3 minutes ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Yeah even if they know, there's nothing wrong to bring these discussions up. There's etiquettes to be learnt when interacting online and the more we discuss, it gives us a chance to reflect and improve.

There’s nothing wrong with it, of course, but it’s discussed fairly a bit on the chat itself, so the awareness is in the place itself anyway. 

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Yeah this applies to all online interactions, and even real-life interactions. I guess this thread could be simply called 'online interactions'.

@AStruggler actually sat down with a well-known qualified scholar and discussed this topic in detail - mainly online interactions (real life ones too).

It's summarised in this word document -----> https://1drv.ms/w/s!AvouU1cZOjoZmiAMfF9ElT1ljDBX

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2
2 hours ago, 2Timeless said:

I've never met anyone who's argued that its halal.... 

Thank you sister for your thoughts. I agree with you.

Sidenote. I have not stopped using the chat because I feel it is haram hehe.. I simply don't have time.

 

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I may be an ignorant or naive person for saying this, but fun talk with some formal etiquette isn't harmful. Humour has many dimensions, it's not just labeling as haram to type "haha" in the chat. The nature of the prohibition relies in the dangers of non-mahram interaction, which is very evident in real life interaction. When it comes to the digital environment, just keep the etiquette and caution you would have in real life, as simple as that. It's not about banning/censoring any casual chit-chat or funny moments, nor find them any dangerous.

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