Facebook or Flauntbook?

By Jennah Heydari

Lips pursed, one eye closed, shoulder up, mouth slightly open. Is it just me or does that fit just about every young woman’s profile on Facebook? Now wait, it’s not just the women: Brutish-look, shirtless, staring off into the distance, deep breath in and hold the muscle-lock. Yup, the men do it too.

Do you think I’m speaking only about non-Muslims here? No I have seen the same photos from young hijabi women and men.

Facebook’s intention has always been to create a virtual social network. Although It’s not just for the young. We use it to keep in touch with family and long forgotten friends.  It’s a great method for staying in touch with those you love.

However, there’s this side to Facebook that brings out the narcissus in people. Narcissus (from Greek Mythology) was a young man who fell in love with his own reflection.  When people upload their profile photo it’s natural they would want to put up a nice photo of themselves.  There’s a difference between a nice photo someone took of you and a photo where by you posed for hours in the bathroom mirror with your mobile at the ready for that model shot.

“Ohhh, but I look good”… I can imagine they must say, out loud, as they remark at their own reflection.

To be a little self-absorbed, as a youth, is quite normal but Facebook seems to emphasize this behaviour. It’s a platform that allows you to place a new profile photo of yourself as often as you want.  It’s an ego boost to hear the compliments posted by your friends or even strangers you’ve allowed on your friends list.  Every ‘like’ that is tallied is like winning a small award.  The flattery is fuel to their pompous engine. Ahh but the pride builds, self adulation bursts to the surface and before you know it you’re comparing yourself to your peers.  A feeling of superiority creeps in and Shaytan has found an open doorway.

Who do you think whispers back at you in the mirror? “I look so good today, look at me”, “Wow, my arms look amazing”, “I seriously have a beautiful face”. Have you heard those comments before? Do you think it’s just you? Just you, alone, by yourself gazing affectionately in the mirror? If this is what you believe you’re truly mistaken.  Shaytan whispers to you not only when he wants you to commit a sin but when he wants to instil a type of behaviour that he knows will bring you closer to him.

You may be Muslim or Christian, Jewish,  Buddhist  or even Atheist all these belief systems know (even without their believing that Shaytan further enhances their ego) that this prideful behaviour develops a warped personality that will create an individual that most will come to despise.

Why do we despise those who have so much pride in them selves? This type of individual will think only of them selves, they will be in love with the material world and they will be less forgiving and certainly not easy to please. They will be distant from Allah(swt). This is the personality type of someone that has become too prideful.

It is ok to want to better yourself, In fact it is what Allah (swt) wants of us. We should seek to better our selves, through knowledge, through our environment and even to improve our health and appearance. You should be content with your progress not prideful of your accomplishments.   Do not carry an exaggerated opinion of yourself it will surely degrade your soul and take you further from Allah (swt).

[7:146] I will turn away from My communications those who are unjustly proud in the earth; and if they see every sign they will not believe in It; and if they see the way of rectitude they do not take It for a way, and if they see the way of error. They take it for a way; this is because they rejected Our communications and were heedless of them.