How Do We Regulate the Use of Social Media?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul Sami‘ al-Yakti


How do we regulate the use of social media?


All praise is due to Allah, and may blessings and peace be upon our Master, the Messenger of Allah, upon his family, his Companions, and those who follow him.

There are a set of necessary rules and regulations that help in controlling the use of social media platforms. Among the most important of these regulations are:

  • Paying attention to time, priorities, and responsibilities
  • Considering the need for communication and its purpose
  • Adhering to Islamic principles and guidelines
  • Selecting appropriate sites to follow and interact with
  • Discerning what is suitable for posting and sharing and what is not
  • Protecting secrets and personal information
  • Avoiding communication or interaction with strangers or dubious sites
  • Ensuring parental supervision
  • And finally, managing privacy settings and controlling what appears, among other technical matters.

And Allah knows best.

Details and Explanation:

In this day and age, we are all familiar with the nature of social media platforms, their benefits, and their harms. Thus, I will not delve into explaining that. It suffices us to know that they are a great blessing if used properly and a severe curse if misused. Hence, they are subject to the five Islamic legal rulings.

The Five Categories of Rulings as They Apply to Social Media

– It may be obligatory if fulfilling an obligation depends on it. This may include maintaining kinship ties that cannot be achieved except therewith, learning and teaching necessary knowledge, or undertaking an obligatory act to earn a lawful living.

– It may be recommended or preferable if it leads to something recommended, like learning certain sciences and skills, maintaining communication with family and friends, and staying informed about the conditions of Muslims.

– It may be permissible if used in what is lawful, like leisure activities within the bounds of Sacred Law, buying necessities, and so on.

– It may be disliked or prohibited, depending on the prohibited matter, like if used in what Allah has forbidden, disobeying the rules of the religion, corrupting morals, wasting time and energy, squandering money, promoting lies, rumors, indecencies, and other known harmful things.

Regulations and Rules for Controlling Social Media Use

To control the use of these platforms and sites, it is necessary to rely on a set of necessary regulations and important rules from various aspects, the most important of which are briefly mentioned:

Avoiding Excess and Neglect

Regarding the consideration of time, priorities, duties, and responsibilities, one should not indulge excessively to the point of addiction, neglecting obligations, failing in responsibilities, or disregarding the hierarchy of priorities. “Each of you is a shepherd, and each of you is responsible for his flock,” [Bukhari, Muslim] and “Verily, your Lord has a right over you, your soul has a right over you, and your family has a right over you; so give each their due right.” [Bukhari]

Remembering the Purpose of Social Media

Considering the need for communication and its purpose: work, knowledge, gaining specific experience or skills, connecting with family and friends, keeping up with news and events, and lawful entertainment within the bounds of Islamic Law. These should be engaged in accordance with the need for them.

Adhering to General Islamic Principles

Observing the most important Islamic principles and guidelines, such as:

1- Avoiding blind following, superstitions, and speaking and acting upon them. Allah (Most High) says: “Do not follow what you have no ˹sure˺ knowledge of. Indeed, all will be called to account for ˹their˺ hearing, sight, and intellect.” [Quran, 17:36].

2- Being aware of Allah’s observation and accountability: “Allah ˹even˺ knows the sly glances of the eyes and whatever the hearts conceal.” [Quran, 40:19] Also, as mentioned regarding excellence, it is “To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not see Him, then indeed He sees you.” [Muslim]

3- Avoiding prohibitions and doubtful matters: as the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The lawful is clear, and the unlawful is clear, and between them are doubtful matters that many people do not know… He who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful….” [Bukhari, Muslim]

4- Not engaging in matters that do not concern you and focusing only on one’s personal concerns: as in the hadith, “From the perfection of a person’s Islam is leaving what does not concern him.” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja]

5- Taking caution from following the devil‘s trail: This involves thinking twice before clicking on any link and questioning why to click on it and where it will lead. Jabir narrates: We were sitting with the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and he drew a line in front of him and said: “Indeed, that is My Path—perfectly straight. So follow it and do not follow other ways, for they will lead you away from His Way. This is what He has commanded you, so perhaps you will be conscious ˹of Allah˺.” [Quran, 6: 153] [Ahmad, Ibn Maja]

6- Adhering to general manners and ethics online, just as in the real world. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Beware of sitting on the roads!” They said, “Messenger of Allah, we have no choice but to sit in our meeting places where we talk.” He said, “If you refuse but to sit, then give the road its rights.” They asked, “What are the rights of the road, Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Lowering your gaze, refraining from harming others, responding to the greeting, commanding the good, and forbidding the evil” [Bukhari, Muslim] Imam Nawawi commented on this hadith in his explanation of Sahih Muslim, “This hadith is of great benefit and is considered comprehensive. Its rulings are apparent, and it is advisable to avoid sitting in the pathways because of this hadith. Avoiding harm includes refraining from backbiting, suspecting others, looking down on passersby, narrowing the pathway…”

7- Avoiding situations and sites of destruction or harm to oneself, wealth, religion, morals, intellect, or time: Allah (Most High) says: “Do not let your own hands throw you into destruction.” [Quran, 2:195] Also in the hadith: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.”

Filtering Consumption

In terms of selecting channels and sites to follow, subscribe to, like, and interact with, they must be trustworthy, moderate, well-known, and beneficial. Abu Hurayra narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and send him peace) said, ”There will be deceivers and liars in the last days who will bring you reports that neither you nor your forefathers heard, so beware of them lest they misguide you and cause you fitna.” [Muslim[

Selective Sharing

Regarding publishing, promoting, and sharing posts: “It is sufficient for a man to be considered a liar if he narrates everything he hears.” [Muslim]

Not everything circulated and shared is accurate and reliable, and not everyone who conveys and publishes is truthful, knowledgeable, or trustworthy. It is said, “Not everything heard should be spoken, and not everything spoken should be heard.” And I say: “Not everything shared through these means should be spread, and not everything spread should be shared.” This is a responsibility, and we will be questioned about it on the Day of Judgment, so be very cautious.

Personal Privacy

Regarding personal secrets and daily private matters, it is not appropriate to publish private family photos, for example, trips, or meals, except where there is a need and benefit. This ensures safety from harm and showing off, and avoids breaking the hearts of the poor, learning from the story of Qarun.

Allah (Most High) says: “Then he came out before his people in all his glamour. Those who desired the life of this world wished, “If only we could have something like what Korah has been given. He is truly a man of great fortune!” (79) But those gifted with knowledge said, “Shame on you! Allah’s reward is far better for those who believe and do good. But none will attain this except the steadfast.” (80) Then We caused the earth to swallow him up, along with his home. There was no one to help him against Allah, nor could he even help himself.” [Quran, 28:79-81]

Vigilant Parental Supervision

Parental supervision of children and young teenagers is a duty. The Prophet (Allah bless him and send him peace) said, “Indeed, Allah will ask every caretaker about the people under his care, whether he preserved or wasted them until He asks a man about his household.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban]

Adjusting Settings Appropriately

In terms of technical aspects:

– Preserving personal information privacy by activating stricter privacy settings, not sharing location or information with strangers, not communicating with them, and being selective in choosing friends.

– Controlling what you want to see and what appears to you through settings.

– Adjusting safe search features and filtering results.

– As well as other matters known to specialists and recommended by them.


Know that these social networks are essentially nets of capture; either you capture what benefits you, or you will be captured.

Regarding capturing what benefits you, it was said, “Knowledge is prey, and writing is its snare, so bind your prey with the strong ropes. Hence, ”Be keen on what benefits you,” as the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said. [Muslim]

And beware of becoming the victim or the prey, being exposed to hacking, spying, extortion, theft of personal information and data, and more. The bait might be a word, a picture, a scene, a signal, or an advertisement. Some people get caught in gaming networks, others in movie networks, sports networks, live streams, following certain apps, browsing specific sites, music networks, and other nets they become addicted to and cannot detach from.

Therefore, be diligent in adhering to the rules and guidelines mentioned above, and Allah (Most High) will guide you.

[Shaykh] Abdul Sami‘ al-Yakti

Shaykh Abdul Sami‘ al-Yaqti is a Syrian scholar born in Aleppo in 1977. He obtained his degree in Shari‘a from the Shari‘a Faculty of Damascus University, a Diploma in Educational Qualification from the Faculty of Education at Aleppo University, and a Diploma in Shari‘a and a Master’s in Shari‘a from the Faculty of Sharia, and Law at Omdurman University in Sudan. He is currently writing his doctoral thesis.

He studied under esteemed scholars such as Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghouri, Shaykh Mustafa al-Turkmani, and Shaykh Dr. Nur al-Din Itr, among others. Shaykh al-Yakti has worked in teaching and cultural guidance in orphanages and high schools in Aleppo. He served as an Imam, Khatib, and reciter at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and as a certified trainer for Khatibs in Abu Dhabi’s Khatib Qualification Program.

He is involved in developing and teaching a youth education program at Seekers Arabic for Islamic Sciences.

Among Shaykh al-Yaqti’s significant works are “Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni: Bayna Ilm al-Kalam Wa Usul al-Fiqh” and the program “The Messenger of Allah Among Us (Allah bless him and give him peace).”