SOCIAL MEDIA DOMINANCE
Let’s make our online time productive.
Most people in the world today, when thinking of social media have mostly negative images in their head.
The ‘Selfie’ or the notorious ‘slide into my DM’ lines and other new age vocabulary comes to people’s minds.
Social Media is also known for using profanities and getting away with it, the perfect place to hide your id and your real persona. It is also the ideal place for flirting with the opposite gender, a great time waster/ killer and a place to become a keyboard warrior to vent out your frustrations regarding the world.
So with all these negatives and many more. How could you possibly make use of this tool positively?
Well if you think about it…
Social media can actually become an extremely effective tool for the da’wah.
In this blog I will briefly go through some ideas of how we can make our online time much more effective.
Let me paint you a picture of the current scenario of what practising Muslims on social media are doing:
Making nice posts, with emotional lines and then add a hadith.
Or a picture of nice mountains/ skies. And then a general motivational caption.
Upload on Instagram, on Facebook and then wait for the tonnes of likes.
Perhaps many are thinking that this is the Dawah & are immensely satisfied with their efforts.
Well, these are good reminders.. but have you ever noticed that this is EXACTLY WHAT EVERYONE ELSE is doing?!! I mean I don’t want to delve too much into it because This is different a topic but don’t you think it’s so easy to gain thousands of likes and followers by putting up pictures of the Kaaba or call your page “I love my nabi “? It is very easy. But the question is, is that what’s needed now? Do we need quite likers , hearts and followers or do we need productive engagement? But like I said that’s a different discussion..
For now let’s see what we can do to build upon this.
The sort of content that’s needed in this day and age are generally around themes such as:
-Purpose of life
-How people can get involved in calling to Allah.
-Thought provoking content
-Content that invites discussion and provokes questions/ answers.
So if you’re planning to start a YouTube channel. Then try and follow this formula.
⁃ Short reminders- relevant- quirky- well prepared, write down your notes ( yes pen and paper style! You’ll see the difference. Make it original. I also go for a long walk outdoors, perfect time to get your creative juices going.
⁃ Man life universe, purpose of life, addictions of the current youth, talk about issues that others shy away from. Tawheed. Death, Hellfire, Jannah.
If you’re on twitter, then help the Ummah to counter the anti Islamic narrative. Some will read your tweet and be made to think. For this end you need to research your subject thoroughly. For example if you’d like to get into the whole theism vs atheism debate, then brush up on your views on these subjects. Follow those engaged in active dawah on twitter to gain ideas.
If you’re a heavy Instagram user, then consider live interviews with those influencers that bring value/ benefit for the Ummah. Not those who are looking for fame and followers.
Again if you’re going to make posts then they have to thought provoking. Your post has to make someone who sees the post, stop them doing what they’re doing, make them put down their phone and ponder upon your post. You know those ‘ whoah’ moments.
I have from the onset back in 2011, dedicated my social media for the sake of da’wah. You will rarely see me sharing personal feelings, sadness, what meal am I eating or duck face / pout selfies.
Let me tell you about my journey and insights. I manage groups and pages. I think I’ve been fairly successful in online engagement & connecting with people. Alhumdulillah.
When I post, I post with these objectives:
-Motivate people to engage in da’wah.
-Motivate people to get involved in da’wah training. ( Muslim youth and non Muslims)
⁃ Provoking thought amongst those people not upon Islam.
⁃ Provoke thoughts among non Muslims.
Posts- well thought and post in gaps.
Sometimes ask if running a page: where are you from? Favourite hobbies. Get the discussion going.
If you’re going to post. Post something that will create discussion or provoke deep thinking.
Always try if possible to get people to come forward and give opinions
Have non practising in mind. Non practising or Non Muslims. Post with this in mind.
What are the latest trends and fashions amongst the youth? Create relevant content.
I would invite anyone that reads this blog ( not a shameless plug in) to actually scroll down and have a look at my posts. Yes not a huge following, but I can confidently claim that there’s constant healthy engagement on most posts.
So be it any of the above social media Apps, Don’t worry about likes/ followers/ subscribers. If they come, great if not.. so what. The angels are noting down your intention and your actions.
Allah says to the angels: If my servant intends a bad deed, do not record it unless he does it. If he does it, record it as one bad deed. If he leaves it for my sake, record for him one good deed. If he intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, record for him one good deed. If he does it, record for him ten good deeds like it up to seven-hundred times as much.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī)
Reflect upon this:
Look at and count how many followers you have on Insta. On Twitter, on Tik Tok.
How many friends on FB, snapchat. On WhatsApp.
How many contacts on Reddit, tumblr, we chat.
These are not letters or numbers on your screen! These are humans beings with beating hearts. They are bone and flesh.
The warning is there, in the divine book, if these people, your contacts die upon other than Islam or Muslims who were deeply involved in sins and die and you never invited them to Allah, not interacted with them, then a terrible punishment beckons. Are you just going to share random posters or are you going to do the tedious task of sending them a private message and engaging in a conversation?
Impact their hearts and minds.
You could have an epic typing chat style discussion or arguments. Tire out your fingers. Get frustrated, get misunderstood and misunderstand, because that’s what letters to letters, words upon words do on a screen do. Letters and words do not have a soul or consciousness, they are made up characters on a screen. So these are interacting, but you the persons are not!
For best results, try and meet, if not then video call, if not then an audio call. FB now offers FB messenger audio and video rooms. Making it easier.
Twitter has DM or exch emails, then exchange mediums to have the call.
YT comments, exch emails, and contact details.
Instagram- DM and an option to call!
It is far better to have a call, where words are heard and exchanged verbally, than letters on a screen. Let human minds interact via questions and answers in a language that both are comfortable with than reading coding pixels ( Letters and words on your screen). This is natural, avoids misunderstandings, humbled both and far more impact.
Mix up your posting.
For good engagement mix up your posts. Don’t just share YT link after link, a few times a day.. everyday but upload a short video now and again for better traction.
Then other times Post a profound picture, with a question asking caption.
Then sometimes ask a question, any question, maybe even a poll.
Post with a view to comment and provoke thought.
Always keep an eye on the likes, these are the people who are very shy to talk. So you to draw them-out, thank them for liking but ask them their thoughts about why they liked.
Allah swt has made it so easy for us to gain quick good deeds. Centuries ago, our ancestors had to travel in the heat, in the sweat and physically demanding conditions to call people to Allah swt.. and all we need to do is sit in front of a screen, and use our fingers from the comforts of our beds and home. Ajeeb!
People are waiting for you to initiate the chat! People are waiting online to be contacted. This is the mindset you should have whilst online. Allah swt is waiting for you to reward you, just take that step.
But also remember. Social media could be double edged sword.
If your intention is not on point. If your intention is not doing all this social media Dawah activism for the sake of Allah swt alone, to gain good deeds, then it could become destructive for your nafs. Be careful of the online Fitna that comes with being active. Do not get obsessed with a little thump emoticon or a red square button with the word ‘subscribed’ on it. Don’t get swept away by the followers and subscribers, because this may become a source of destruction.
We need to more and more people to become dawah activists and da’wah ‘popularisers’ . There’s many online who promoting charity work, social justice, promoting courses or organisations. That’s all very well & good, but what about the da’wah? Da’wah to Non Muslims and the non practising people.
There’s a lot of nastiness, filth, and time wasting going on, online. Be they silly celebrity following or arguing over useless news. Let’s counter this narrative!
I pray that after reading this blog, you are now motivated to bring more Dawah related content on your social media and there core gain much more Barakah. Through this divine barakah, you’ll Insha’Allah dominate the social media scene.