Is It Permitted to Hang around in Social Networks in Islam?

It may not be a great deal for Muslims even to check if hanging around in social networks in Islam is Lawful (Halal) or forbidden (Haram) for them. The question may sound very dogmatic when you hear it at first, and you may reply: “What are you saying? We are living in the 21st century. We live in a world of technology. All our communications and a high percentage of our work depend on social networks.”


Okay! Stop answering me before you let me finish my words. I know that we are living in a world of technology and as you see, I am communicating with you via the internet, using social networks. But what I’m talking about is not about the advantages of social networks. We are all aware of how useful cyberspace is in our daily life. But here I want to invite you to think about your habits and behaviors in the cyberspace. 


In this article I would like to go through the pathology of our use of social networks and to see if we are going astray at some point, then we can bold it out, so we can solve it. 


Why Do We Usually Use Social Networks? 

social networks in Islam

Apart from phone calls and necessary communications that have become easier via social networks, some people run their businesses using these networks. People can sit at home and instead of traveling far distances for work meetings, can stay home and manage their works, or some can even study and graduate via distance learning organizations. 


There are loads and loads of advantages that we can keep counting for social networks, and I am not going to ignore all of them. But I want to make a few points that we may be neglecting in using social networks. 


Social Networks in Islam: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. 


Let me remind you that Islam is a way of life and Muslims and those who convert to Islam believe that it is the best way of life for one who wants to achieve success in this world and the hereafter
Does Islam make any limitations for Muslims’ usage of social networks? 


Believe it or not, YES. Just like any other aspect of life for which Islam tells us how to behave to achieve absolute success, it has recommendations for Muslims’ use of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, etc. it may not be directly mentioned in the Quran or narrations, but since social networks are types of virtual societies, the Islamic lifestyle and its rulings may apply to our behaviors in social networks. 


Being in any gatherings or societies has its own conditions and requires its special behavior. It is important that we can analyze different situations and find out how we should behave according to our Islamic lifestyle. Social networks are also like a society that requires specific etiquette, and we, as Muslims, should discover these etiquettes. There are a few points that are very important to consider from an Islamic viewpoint, while talking about the etiquette of Muslims, hanging around in social networks in Islam:


1. Men Vs. Women Communications in Social Networks in Islam


Islam has specific rulings about the relationship between men and women in society. These rulings are presented to dignify and respect the character of both men and women. These may contain the following: 


-    Etiquette of speech and look.
-    Not joking and praising the opposite sex for personal acts that are not common to be praised in real society.
-    Sending heart or kind stickers that are not common to use in real gatherings.
-    Posting photos of either men or women in different places. Muslim men and women do not keep the images of those who are of unmarriageable kin (non-mahram).


Usually, practicing Muslims try to keep these limits in social networks, just like controlling their manners in real society.  


2. Showing off


Another thing that is known to be abhorrent according to Islam is showing off to others. Islam says that Muslims are like sisters and brothers [1]. And therefore they have to make sure that if one sister or brother doesn’t have the ability to have something or to go somewhere for any reason (financial, health-wise, etc.), you should not make them feel sorry for what they don’t have or cannot have at the moment. 


Therefore, from an Islamic viewpoint sharing your moments of having fun with your friends, or eating at a fancy restaurant, or gaining a great opportunity at work or school, is not recommended. 
Considering the above, you can conclude which of your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, etc. are not liked by God. 



3. Wasting Time


Allah recommends Muslims that when they finish a task, they should start another task [2]. It means that Muslims should not waste any time, and we all have the experience that hanging around on social networks consumes a lot of our time without we even realize it. 


Therefore it might worth that we specify a specific amount of time to our use of social networks per day, and don’t allow the cyberspace to carry us with it wherever it wishes. 



4. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Make it Easy to Commit some Forbidden (Haram) Acts

social networks in Islam


Too much of communication and too much of speech always makes the ground fertile for dangerous words such as wrong judgment of others, the humiliation of other groups or sects or races, insulting people (especially famous people) for no right reason, accusing people of what they haven’t done, etc. These are all forbidden (Haram) according to Islam [3]. But Muslims may sometimes forget to be cautious about these issues in social networks in Islam.


Therefore, I strongly recommend that we specify some time and revise our manner in social networks in Islam. Then, we might realize that much of our use of social networks are useless and is preventing us from attaining our success in this world and the hereafter. Or on the other hand, we may again realize that our use of social networks has no contradictions with Islamic law, and we can keep up the good job!


Let’s be honest guys and not justify the importance of our presence in social networks. If we are wasting time, we need to make a firm decision. And if we don’t live based on an Islamic lifestyle, we shouldn’t expect to be the most successful.


Good Luck


[1] The Quran: Chapter 49, Verse 10

[2] The Quran: Chapter 94, Verse 7

[3] The Quran: Chapter 49, Verse 11-12