Entering Chat Rooms on the Internet for Fun

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I hope you can advise me on the ruling on entering chat rooms and discussion boards. I only go there for fun and to see some of the topics under discussion, and you can well imagine the kind of bad talk that goes on in those places.
Please advise me about this, may Allaah preserve you.
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Praise be to Allah.

One of the things that the Muslim should do is discipline himself and seek to adopt the best of attitudes and etiquette. This requires a great deal of striving against bad inclinations and it needs a lot of patience. The most important thing that can help him to do this is avoiding places of evil and places that could lead to his doom. The scholars of personal development are unanimously agreed that man is inherently weak and inclined towards evil, and that it is the mind (or reason) that controls his attitudes and inclinations, and guides his energies. So if reason does not restrain one’s inclinations towards following whims and desires, then he will soon find no means to turn back to the path of salvation. 

The same applies to gatherings of leisure and entertainment. They have always been – and still are, as they appear on the internet – a waste of energy and talent, where followers of falsehood who have no mission to work or succeed in their lives gather, and they waste their time and their lives which are the most precious things they own, and they spend their days exchanging gossip, and they waste a lot of time and do not achieve anything for their worldly or religious interests.  

When the Muslim has the blessing of free time with which Allah has honoured him, he can do no more than look for the best deeds with which to fill his time, not just any good deed. Hence you see that the Sahabah/Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in many hadeeths (prophetic narrations) about the best actions by means of which they could attain a higher status before Allah, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) answered their questions. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are two blessings which many people do not make the best use of: good health and free time.” Narrated by al-Bukhari (6412). 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said, speaking of regret about time: 

Regret for wasted time should be deep, for time passes quickly and it is difficult to make up what you have missed.  

Time for the worshipper is a time for worship and reciting awrad (portions of Quran and words of remembrance), and for the devoted Muslim it is time for turning to Allah and focusing on Him with all his heart. 

Time is the dearest thing to him and he would feel very sad if time passes without him doing what he is meant to do. If he misses time, he can never make it up, because a second time has its own duties. So if he misses time, there is no way he can bring it back. 

Madarij al-Salikeen (3/49). 

The most important things that will help you make the most of your time is to avoid futile gatherings and refrain from talking too much and keep away from lazy and idle people, and to keep company with those who are striving hard, clever, smart and aware of time, and those who immerse themselves in reading for the purpose of increasing their knowledge. 

The wise man is the one who is guided to fill his time with useful, beneficial and good deeds; thus he will advance and rise in status. So you will find him always seeking knowledge, or writing lessons, or learning a skill, or visiting relatives or a sick person, or advising one who has gone astray, or earning a living so that he can spend on his dependents and save them from having to ask of people.  

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said:  

I would hate to see any one of you idle and not doing anything to help himself in this world or in the Hereafter. 

Quoted by Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qasim ibn Sallam in al-Amthal (48). 

The Muslim has no time to listen to or look at sinful things. You know that these conversations include things that go against sharee’ah (Islamic teachings) such as immoral talk and bad attitudes, so is entering these foul swamps something that will benefit a Muslim, or is it anything that he should seek in his life? 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Strive to do that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allah.” Narrated by Muslim (2664). 

When Allah asks you on the Day of Resurrection about this time that you wasted in idle talk and writing and conversing about things that are of no benefit, rather they will harm you, what will your answer be? It was narrated that Abu Barzah al-Aslami said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A person’s feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about his life and how he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it, his wealth and how he acquired it and spent it, and his body (health) and how he used it.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2417), classed as saheeh (authentic) by al-Shaykh al-Albani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb (126). 

Finally, you should note: 

That these chat rooms have corrupted the morals of many people; they have caused rifts between loved ones, men have divorced their wives because of them, women have lost their honour because of them, and those who are weak in faith and lacking in knowledge have been deceived by the specious arguments and myths in them, and have thus been misled. If the Muslim hears of an environment that is filled with fitnah (temptations) and sin, he should denounce the people involved and strive to set them straight – if he is one of those who are able to do that – otherwise he should keep away from such environments and not be deceived by thinking that his faith is strong or that he knows what they really are, and that he is just having fun. 

Beware of indulging in chat rooms on the internet, and protect yourself from the immorality and evil that is in them, for they are gatherings that bring little benefit but cause a great deal of harm; they are of no benefit in this world and do not bring salvation in the Hereafter. 

If you find that you are getting drawn into fitnah and sin, such as speaking to women unnecessarily and speaking too much to this one and that one, then you should realize that you are in grave danger, and we hope that you will save yourself from it and resist falling into the trap of the shaytan. 

We have discussed the danger of chat rooms in many answers on this site, such as 34841 and 78375

And Allah knows best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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