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By Eloiza Jimenez
CCC Journalism Program

A local religious director explained the limits and guidelines of socializing according to Muslim culture to 20 attendees April 9 at Camden County College.

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Mufti Niaz Hannan speaks on conflicts of social media and Muslim faith. By Eloiza Jimenez, CCC Journalism Program

“Social media has the potential to affect Muslim faith,” said Mufti Niaz Hannan, Muslim chaplain of Drexel University, religious director of the Islamic Center of South Jersey and imam. “As Muslims as men and women it is very important that we talk about how social media affects our spirituality.”

The gathering of the Muslim Student Club at which Hannan spoke emphasized the importance of balance and boundaries in using social media in accordance with the Muslim faith.

“Socializing is not something we should be looking down on as it is part of who we are,” Hannan stated. “Three things to focus on when it comes to social media are what to say and what not to say, when to say and when not to say something, and who to speak to and who not to speak to. All of these things affect our spirituality. Saying the wrong thing in the wrong way and at the wrong can be a very great source of harm and our religion goes into detail about that.”

The laws of this religion are intended to make people’s lives easier, Hannan said.

“Our religion has explained to us that we can enjoy benefits, blessings and treasures in this world; however, the true reward is becoming successful in the afterlife. That’s what’s important,” Hannan stated. “The first thing that a Muslim should do is stop what they are doing that’s wrong and correct it. You must want this open-heartedly, rather than to just do it because someone told you to do so. You have to feel a regret for what you have done and make the intention of not falling into this mistake again and also asking others for forgiveness.”

As for advice for appropriate socialization, Hannan suggested that good company and Muslims will help clarify difficulties in life.

“As a young person you are in control of what you do, who your friends are and who you spend your free time with,” Hannan stated.

Fathema Begum, student mentee for the Muslim Student Club, said Hannan’s presentation was very inspirational.

“Brother Hannan explained things really well. He spoke more than expected and I really liked how he introduced the topics and how he ended the session,” Begum said. “I learned a lot from his lecture and his words inspired me a lot.”

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