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Navigating the Online world : As we benefit others how do we protect our own sincerity

A world of likes and shares. A world where numbers equal success. In a world curated for Business and the selling of an Image, we have found a beautiful way of creating a space to share our Islamic connections that are so imperative for our souls. Daily Duas are at our fingertips, Daily Reminders , Ahadith , inspirational posts and lectures. I have often scrolled by a Hadith and found myself reconnecting to that Hadith or sharing it because it illicited a reaction deep within my heart. The Beauty of Sharing Islamic Knowledge in a world where people are hungry to consume,is in itself extremely rewarding. There are innumerable benefits and as the world becomes more digital it is also a means of allowing us to learn and connect with Deen and people of Deen in a way that we previously could only dream of. For me the most gratifying part of it all is building a simple means of Sadaqah jaariyah. Words that you might have written , said or shared and all act as a means of inspiration for people long after you have moved on.

However the flip side of this immense khair comes with the challenges of navigating a space that is designed on the principles of selling your wares. The online world is geared to sell products , ideas and experiences. How do we share our Deen in these spaces without being affected by the very formula that is in contradiction our islamic ethos?

Recently i shared a Course online which was shared by a sister with many followers, this resulted in thousands of views that i did not recieve on all the previous videos. Then a few weeks later i shared a post that was my absolute favourite to write- i had poured my soul into it and it was hardly viewed at all. These High- highs and Low-lows all can affect our sincerity when sharing. It can become addicting to share religious sentiments to drum views or likes. It becomes so easy to befriend people online for the benefit they can give you. So many famous people speak about people befriending them simply to benefit and those friendships dissapear once benefit is achieved.

The question is how do we keep our sincerity when success is judged on the very things that removes our sincerity?

1. Firstly we have to understand the concept of ISTIKHLAAS - Ikhlas is Sincerity But istikhlaas is the acknowledgement that we are a work in Progress. The acceptance that yes a part of my lower-self does become affected by the likes and views. The acknowledgement that we have to constantly work on our hearts. Just this acknowledgement is the beginning of the Journey. Sincerity is HARD. It is never Constant. It is an ongoing Challenge. As you read this ask yourself with ruthless honesty- Do i get affected by the views? Do I feed dissapointed when a post does'nt do as well as I had expected? In making muhaasaba, taking yourself into account you are able to find your atuthentic voice. Umar (ra) would often take a stick and hit his feet in the darkenss of night saying: "What have you done today?" Other Companions would constantly ask themselves: "Why did you say such a thing?" Istikhlaas takes into account that our sincerity is static and is constantly a wrok in progress.

2. In Sharing yor posts never post about things that you feel others are weak in and need a reminder. Look inwards. Find the message that you want to tell yourself first. Often times when we post to tell others or to preach we fall into the exact same sin. When we realise that we all struggle then our advise will be geared to our own souls firsts with genuine worry and Insh'allah thereafter it will create benefit to others.

3. Before sharing make a dua for that piece of advice or islamic information to affect you first and the make a sincere dua for those who will read it. When sharing Deen we have to remember that each and every one of us are sinners traversing a part of Deen. We are all finding our own taqwa as we journey through life. when sharing something online, remember that you the actual focus.Don't share a post because you feel others are in need of the Information. Sincerity comes from the heart , share and like because you genuinely like something.

4. Do good with no expectation of any reward or reciprocated shares or views. Focus your intention on Sadaqah Jaariyah - Beyond the likes of views or followers that Little post can have a massive impact on your scale of good deeds.

5. Ask Allah for acceptance afteh every Single post, share , video etc. The reality is that without acceptance in the court of Allah our actions have no value. The endpoint should always be asking Allah to accept it.

May Allah bless us with the ability to share our voices and our Islamic Identites to become a benefit to others whilst holding firmly to our sincerity.

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