After speaking about technology, the internet, and the obligation of considering the harms and benefits of them in the first khutbah, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh (may Allah preserve him) said the following in his second khutbah:
From the modern kinds of social networks that the people have today is what is known as “Twitter.” This website is actually a new phase of technology that employs short phrases (to communicate). It has reached far and wide, and many people are deceived by it. People with no knowledge, understanding, or specialization speak freely.
Just as a scholar speaks on it, so does an ignoramus! Those with no experience or knowledge go on and write whatever they want, follow whomever they want, criticize whomever they want, support whomever they want, and condemn whomever they want, without contemplating or following any Islamic guidelines. Instead, they (Twitter accounts) are websites where people of no specialization or knowledge speak.
Some people even trust them and believe everything there to be honest reports, without any contemplation, and they are not so! Many of the reports there are based on baseless lies and fabrications! Sick individuals pop up there to stand against the truth so that falsehood and lies spread.
So beware! Beware of believing and getting behind every idea that is spread there, as it is an erroneous medium, wasting (people’s) time, altering their (good) culture and traditions, without any guidelines in place to distinguish between truth and falsehood.
It only encourages people to spread accusations of people, and to circulate lies and (false) conspiracy theories (to cause strife).
Some people use it to gain popularity there and become famous and seen.
It is a medium of negativity for whirling whimsical insults and baseless personal attacks.
These are serious affairs that Muslims are not allowed to be involved in!
It conveys Islamic verdicts at times, deceitfully wrapped in (what appears to be) Islamic knowledge, yet they are lacking true evidence. People take these rulings as Islamically valid verdicts. This may be done as the enemies (of Islam) would do it, twisting words from their proper places, spreading lies and stories that never happened!
A Muslim is required to verify what he hears, without spreading what he has no knowledge of, as it is sufficient to consider a man a liar that he passes on everything he hears.
( O you who believe! When a disobedient person comes to you with some news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and later regret what you have done! ) [Meaning of Quran 49:6]
People who really want to rectify things and offer poignant, constructive criticism have proper channels and means to do that. As for using this medium (Twitter), one that spreads lies, (false) conspiracy theories, all kinds of falsehood and baseless fabrications having no evidence, then this is a truly dangerous matter!
A Muslim must rise above these lowly traits and honor himself by not becoming a source of them, aiding them, nor being pleased with them. Instead, he must fear Allah personally, and protect the honor of the Muslims. He must thank Allah for giving him safety and security from such trials, saying: “Praise is due to Allah, the One who has kept me safe from what so many are being tested with, and He has truly favored me over much of His Creation!”
As for following what is spread on this website (Twitter) and making it a source of our knowledge that we gain, aiding the spread of it (Twitter) and helping to market it, as some people do – every time they sit to talk they say, “I heard such-and-such last night on this website,” speaking about this and that – then what is their source!? And what has caused you to spread their reports and favor their opinions without knowing the reality!? Do you follow such people (blindly)?
Accepting their reports (blindly) and following after them in everything they invent and speak about is extremely dangerous, since it is sufficient for a man to be considered a liar that he passes on everything he hears. What a horrible condition this is!
So let Muslims beware! Let the Muslims fear their Lord, and let them beware of being unknowingly tricked into sinful behavior!
Helpful criticism and good advice has its place and channels, and it has its manners. It is not to be spread about on this medium (Twitter), so that people jump on the bandwagon with lies, fabrications, fraudulence, and personal attacks, casting doubt on many (good) things, calling to confusion, chaos, and every harmful thing.
There are people behind it (Twitter) who are enemies to our Religion. They market this medium, invite to it and make it attractive. Sadly, our youth have occupied themselves with it, while our enemies are busy with what benefits them, gathering what gives them advantages, leaving the negative, harmful things in our hands! O Muslims! We pass on information from it (Twitter) and speak to one another assuming it to be true, as if it is entirely accurate, while it is a lie, a falsehood, and a fabrication! We ask Allah for safety and good health!…
Source: The Muftee’s Friday Khutbah in Riyadh (1433/3/4)
Arabic Transcript: http://www.mufti.af.org.sa/node/2467
Translated by: Moosaa Richardson (1433/3/13)