Gossip, Scandals, and Social Media Wars — We Are Better Than This

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Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

When I first started practicing Islam after my conversion from Christianity, I went straight to the Qur’an for guidance. Sometimes I would listen to nasheeds (songs about Islam) for inspiration, but I never listened to Muslim scholars or imams on YouTube. I was turned off by that idea at first because I knew that if I really wanted to learn about Islam, it must be from the Qur’an itself. I didn’t want to follow religious scholars blindly like I did when I was a Christian.

When I initially started praying salah, I did so because of a video that I came across.  I later found out that I was praying the wrong way, but I didn’t know that at first because I was simply following this video that I saw on YouTube. The person who told me I was praying incorrectly made fun of me and never showed me how to pray properly. This pushed me away from praying altogether.

Two years later, my significant other taught me how to pray properly. (Thank God for him!) That’s when I started practicing Islam more; I was finally praying all my daily prayers and reading Qur’an every day.

After a while, though, I started to get burned out. I needed something that would raise my iman (faith) once again.

One of my friends recommend that we start taking an Arabic class from a certain online program. She also recommended watching the Arabic teacher’s lectures as well, because this might raise my iman, make me feel good about myself, and help me learn more about my religion. So, I began taking the Arabic classes online, but I wasn’t watching his other videos yet. I was worried about following a religious speaker online. I mean, he wasn’t even a scholar.

Muslims bickering, viciously debating, and cursing one another out — the whole experience gave me so much anxiety. I couldn’t help but think, Is the Ummah that I had come to? How upsetting.

I didn’t listen to or watch his videos until after I saw him speak at an MAS-ICNA convention. After I got back from the conference, I started listening to his videos religiously. I even stopped reading Qur’an because I was relying on learning information from this speaker instead. That was a huge mistake.

Then there was the scandal…

It’s so upsetting when you put all your time into something and it goes to waste. It sucks when you’re disappointed. It is even harder when you’re a convert and only ever found one speaker that you really liked listening to.

But the most disappointing part was the Muslim community’s reaction to it all.

I don’t need to give my two cents about this to anyone and everyone who will listen. I understand why people are upset about all of this, but dividing the Ummah by fighting with one another is not the right way to handle it.

Muslims bickering, viciously debating, and cursing one another out — the whole experience gave me so much anxiety. I couldn’t help but think, Is the Ummah that I had come to? How upsetting.

People should stop talking about other people’s lives so much, because it’s none of their business. It doesn’t matter if we agree with their actions or not; it is still backbiting, and it is still a sin to gossip.

Yes, I hope for justice for the victims. It’s just not my business. I don’t need to give my two cents about this to anyone and everyone who will listen. I understand why people are upset about all of this, but dividing the Ummah by fighting with one another is not the right way to handle it. Both “sides” were just drowning each other’s voices out instead of looking for a healthy way to cope with the shock.

I found myself reading countless comments on all the posts about the speaker, and it was so overwhelming that I had to sign off from social media. It’s not the whole reason why I left; to be honest, I left because I just couldn’t handle the drama of this world anymore. I needed a break from it. Especially from the behavior of Muslims. We are better than this.

We cannot blindly follow religious speakers or celebrity imams. Otherwise, we get way too tied up in the drama every time there’s a new rumor spreading.

This is a huge reminder that Islam is perfect but Muslims are not. I knew I had to leave social media because I couldn’t handle all the information and accusations. It was making me upset and depressed. I still haven’t reactivated my Facebook since all of this started, and I’m not sure if I will anytime soon.

We cannot blindly follow religious speakers or celebrity imams. Otherwise, we get way too tied up in the drama every time there’s a new rumor spreading.

This lesson is a reminder that we should only depend on the knowledge of Allah and his messenger, Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him).


Anyone who has questions about Islam or conversion, please message me on my Facebook page and watch my YouTube channel. 

Click here to visit my: InstagramFacebookYouTube, and Blog.

Kaya is a blogger, activist, and freelance writer.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Great article. I was thinking like your post. Yes, when we don’t pray to Allah, we start to do wrong things.

    Thanking you
    Ashikur Rahman Ratul
    @wehostdhaka:disqus
    http://www.wehostdhaka.com

  • Maher B

    Good article. It is totally in sync with the Islamic teaching “it is a sign of good character of a person when they leave what does not concern them” (pardon the rough translation). I actually avoided getting on social media recently just because I knew there would be a lot of chatter about this. I also agree that we need to be careful not to our anyone on pedestals. It seams like the lines have become very blurry between speaker/scholar/activist/ and celebrity.
    Each of us has to mind his/her business and worry about our individual conduct.