Using Facebook

Q: I want your guidance on whether using Facebook and other social networking websites is halal or haram. Facebook is a place where the following happens: 1. Male and female interaction through chats, 2. Every sort of pictures (mehram and na-mehram), 3. Videos and music of every type, 4. On special forums and pages people gather to discuss about Islam whetherr they are eligible for it or not. 5. In addition to this in 2010 there was page on Facebook which held a competition of creating picture of our beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and due to this Facebook was banned in Pakistan and few other Muslim counties. Considering these issues is it haram or halal for a Muslim to use Facebook?

A. If Facebook is used to communicate with the opposite sex then this is Haraam. It is not permissible for a man to have ANY contact with a non-Mahram female, or a female to have contact with a non-Mahram male, be it telephonic, via sms, or mixit or facebook messaging, unless the communication is strictly business. To do so is totally Haraam and is Zina of the fingers (typing out messages to a non-Mahram woman or a non-Mahram man) just as it is Zina of the tongue to speak to him or her and Zina of the hands to touch and so forth.

Secondly, Islam teaches that any act that leads to sin or becomes the stepping stone towards sin is also sinful and must be avoided. In fact, most men share crude and rude messages with women over facebook and mixit, but because it is easy to cover their dirty tracks, they lie and say ‘we are just communicating for fun’. This is their idea of fun, but Shari’ah condemns it.

If  these factors are absent then it will be permissible to use facebook as long as the contents of the communication are permissible

There are a few common practices among Facebook users that are also Haraam: spreading rumours about others; making Gheebat; exposing the faults of others; insulting others and hiding behind false names and identities; posting photographs;

If all these evils are avoided and people use it for lawful reasons or for Deeni purposes like Da’wah or answering Islamic questions by qualified Ulema, then the use of Facebook will be permissible.

Allah Ta’aala knows best.

Mufti Siraj Desai