By: Samsul Nizar
Professor and Head of STAIN Bengkalis
The classic expression said, “Your mouth is your tiger“. This proverb appears eroded by the digital age phenomenon: “Your fingers are poisonous single-edged knives.” In truth, its existence is more difficult than the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. It depends entirely on the level of civilisation. The “dance of the fingers” can bring virtue and science to the possessor of a lofty civilisation. Meanwhile, the “dance of the fingers” will only deliver the proprietors of low civilisations as parasites to civilisation and human values.
A parasite is an organism that resides on or within a host organism. It continuously absorbs nutrients from its host without providing any other assistance or benefits. Parasites deplete the nutrients required by their host. This parasitic nature will affect the health of the host organism. Worms in the intestine, plasmodium protozoa in the blood, and other parasites are examples of parasites.
Parasites are typically only comprehended in the medical community. Even though they are extremely deadly, they only target a small area. In reality, a pathogen of the modern era poses a greater threat to human civilisation. The scope of the objective is limitless (organisms). The digital parasite is the parasite of interest. Through social media, parasites such as badmouthing and disseminating slander (hoaxes) proliferate. The form may be the creation of false scenarios and deceptive plans or the massive dissemination of false information. Due to the widespread dissemination of news, scepticism grows that the information being disseminated is accurate. This condition is exacerbated when the information recipient has preconceived notions or “swallows raw” without cross-checking the information received.
Simply put, parasites that lead to slander are attempts to mislead and accuse others of wrongdoing. In reality, the accused has not done or is not what he is accused of. The objective is to stigmatise (degrade) an event or another person based on fraudulent facts that have the potential to harm their honour, dignity, or reputation. This results in hatred, resentment towards others, and the severing of friendship.
The figure of the hoax propagator demonstrates a low level of education and superficial thought. Their defamation demonstrates their inability to accomplish or accomplish as much as the slandered individual. This low-cost form of competition is a vile personal choice devoid of civilisation. There is a phenomenon even more remarkable than football athletes. However, all players and spectators shared the same desire and emotion to triumph at the time of the match. However, after the “match”, the participants greeted one another, hugged, and even exchanged jerseys. Outside the arena, the remaining emotions of fellow spectators (supporters) continue to manifest as ongoing grievances. The players and coaches sat smiling and “drinking coffee” while the audience was enraged. Humans with low personalities shielded by noble accessories present a sorrowful sight. For this reason, Allah recalls us through His word: “Dear you who believe, let not a people despise another people (men), for they may be superior to them. And let not one people (women) despise another, lest the despisers be superior to them” (QS. al-Hujurat: 11).
If parasites can be treated with various medications and supplements, then the difficult-to-treat parasite known as fitnah and the “blackness of the heart” requires real repentance. Because slander is an injustice against others, this is the most challenging sin to eradicate. Especially in the digital era, the parasitic space of slander has become a “promising” career choice and is purposefully “nurtured” to attain the desired aspirations and objectives. The Prophet Muhammad SAW stated, “Whoever slanders his brother (with the intent to defame and dishonour him), Allah will hold him on the bridge of Hell until he is cleansed of his sin” (HR. Abu Daud).
In their evolution, parasites in the form of slander can be divided into two distinct periods:
First, parasites of the traditional (manual) era. The influence of social status typically created this era’s pathogens. However, God also demonstrated His ability to uphold the truth in His manner. This is demonstrated by the defamation against the prophet Joseph by Zulaikha, which was resolved by a wise judge, and the slander against Juraij by an adulterous woman, which a talking infant resolved.
The only people who will embrace and hear the presence of justice through the rule of law and the power of God through a talking baby are those who practise righteousness. However, individuals who never do the right thing will never accept and listen to the truth (even if it is God’s word). Therefore, the approval of right and wrong depends on the characteristics of each individual. It is similar to the integrity of the prophet’s teachings. If the quality of Abu Bakr or Abu Jahal is distinct from that of Abu Jahal, then the acceptance will also be different.
Second, the digital age’s parasites. Hundreds of variants of parasites are packaged and distributed via social media. The objective is to cultivate hostility and provoke. The model can be in the form of the first source deliberately spreading it and followed by the next source who is not wise to cross-verify first for the truth. The network is comparable to a “multi-level marketing (MLM) model” in that it constructs a latent and structured social network. Surprisingly, digital parasitic disease has become fashionable. Similar to a medical disease, digital pathogens affect all socioeconomic strata. All as a result of the depletion of religion and etiquette, the chilling of the heart, the loss of common sense, and the extinction of humanity.
Although Allah’s and the Prophet’s words provide guidance, everything is thwarted by the arrogance of dominant interests. As a result, the advisor will appear as antagonistic as the “sunglasses” that obscure the door to the truth. Indeed, the history of human behaviour repeats itself endlessly. The only distinctions are time, perpetrator, subject, and parasite model. However, the parasite’s substance remains unchanged. Surprisingly, the parasitic character’s proprietor is more trusted, protected, and “nurtured.” This character is only liked and associates with other parasites.
The parasitic nature of the digital age must be grasped in at least two (two) ways:
First, bragging (arrogant ) about what one has done, possessed, or accomplished. In this regard, Allah warns people: “Know that your wealth and your children are merely a temptation, and there is a great reward with Allah” (Al-Anfal: 28).
According to Quraish Shihab’s interpretation of al-Misbah, fitnah in the preceding verse means trials. Imam Fakhruddin ar-Razi (d. 606 H) explains that if trials cannot be maintained, it may lead to the advent of betrayal (hypocrisy and hubris). No virtue (action ) remains for the possessor of the arrogant character. Everything is lost, like a traveller carrying a faulty, water-filled pail. However, when he reaches his destination, he discovers that the container is empty. The leaking container has dispersed all the water. This is the case with arrogant-based practices for gaining acclaim. He may receive praise, but never His delight. Allah reminds us of the following: “Dear believers! Do not taint your charity by mentioning it and causing harm to the recipient, as one who spends his wealth to impress others and does not believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement would. He is similar to a smooth stone covered in dust and remains smooth after a torrential rainstorm. They receive no benefit from their actions. And Allah does not counsel the unbelievers” (al-Baqarah:264).
The arrogant parasite can infect anyone, regardless of status or characteristics. Everything is sold and published as content, even in private areas, that should not be accessible to the public. The objective is to be recognised and regarded as outstanding. If this objective is accomplished, the aim is to receive praise and advance to a higher position.
Second, He was attempting to expose and discover the disgrace of others, especially opponents. If the disgrace cannot be located, dramatic scenarios are devised to make it appear or emerge. If the disgrace is genuine, is there a guarantee that those who discover or open it will be clean? In contrast, the Prophet cautioned, “Do not curse at Muslims and do not expose their disgrace. Whoever reveals his brother’s disgrace, Allah will reveal his disgrace, and whoever Allah reveals his disgrace, Allah will reveal it, even if it were concealed in the eye of a needle” (HR. Tirmidzi).
Allah and His Prophet despise backbiting. This is because, when gossiping, people will typically expose their acquaintances’ faults. Moreover, if the subject of the rumour is “held” slander, the self is even more miserable. Because it will undermine all current procedures. Although the scenarios can deceive the earth’s inhabitants, they are incapable of doing so with the inhabitants of the heavens. This is the actual loss that parasitic humans experience. In accordance with the words of the Prophet Muhammad SAW: “Indeed, the insolvent of my Ummah is he who comes on the Day of Judgement with the reward of prayer, fasting, and zakat. However, he also brings with him the vice of injustice. He has insulted so-and-so, falsely accused, consumed so-and-so’s fortune, shed this person’s blood, and assaulted that person. As restitution for his wrongdoing, he gives some of his generosity to this person, that person, and the other person. Once his generosity has run out, it is distributed to those he has wronged. “When not all of his wrongdoing has been redeemed, the guilt of the person he wronged is transferred to him and inflicted upon him, and he is then cast into Hell” (HR Muslim).
Strangely, digital parasites have become a trend to paralyse opponents despite Allah’s and the Prophet’s plain words. Throughout history, parasitism has been a viable occupation and land choice for those seeking sustenance or a position and at the time of Isra’ and Mi’raj, the Prophet Muhammad SAW witnessed this despicable scenario as one example of the depraved behaviour of the inhabitants of hell. They will only devour rotten meat, despite the presence of fresh meat next to it that they refuse to consume.
Traditional era hearsay is limited in scope, and its dissemination takes time. In contrast, the digital era’s gossip area is vast, and its dissemination is instantaneous. The velocity is comparable to Jinn Ifrit moving Queen Bilqis’s palace. Even though the space, community, time, and model of slander or gossip in these two periods are different, it appears that the impact of injustice is always crueller and more heinous.
The proverb states, “It is like treading water in a puddle and splashing yourself in the face.” This proverb must be understood in a wide sense. Three (three) logics are derived when parasitic tendencies are considered, namely:
Firstly, the person who spreads the parasitic virus is the proprietor of the same virus. This reasoning is consistent with the proverb, “The thief yelled thief.” This assumption is supported by several instances where law enforcement has violated the law. If this logic is constructed, then the assumption “starting distrust in trust keepers to establish and maintain trust” exists.
Secondly, the person who spreads the parasitic virus is also infected with the parasite. He does not wish to enter purgatory by himself. For this reason, he attempts to bring other humans to torment with him. Thirdly, Allah’s scenario reveals the disgrace of the parasite whose false attributes have been concealed. There is no assurance that every individual possesses immunity to the parasite virus. Due to the scale of the attack, everyone stands a chance of being affected. Only humans who are wise and civilised remain “healthy” as humans. If wisdom and etiquette are absent, humanity has vanished and become a parasite. Be the proprietor of a wise and civilised civilisation instead of a vicious one that is heartbreaking and destructive. Individuals make decisions based on their character qualities.
Wa Allahua’lam bi al-Shawwab.
Translated by Riska Saputra
Alumni STAIN Bengkalis