Is Social Media Considered Spying?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I understand that spying is prohibited in Islam. However, I would like to inquire about examining someone’s private or public Instagram account (please note that I am following their page), such as checking their followers or followings. Is this also considered as spying? For instance, if the purpose is related to business or seeking motivation.

Please, Sheikh, I am seeking guidance to overcome this issue. I am uncertain about what is happening to me. I am questioning whether this is permissible and if I am on the right path. As time goes by, I find myself struggling with Islam. However, I acknowledge that Allah makes it easy. Nevertheless, I have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and face numerous challenges in living my life.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

This is not the type of spying regarded as unlawful. What you described is part of the structures and objectives of social media. You should direct all of your focus on overcoming waswasa as it will destroy you, not the laws of Islam, and Allah knows best. [Ibn Hajar, al-Kaba’ir]

For details regarding the unlawful spying, please consult this answer.

It is essential to build a strong connection with Allah, seek His forgiveness, and maintain a positive mindset. Remember that Allah is Most Merciful and understands His servants’ struggles. Embrace the teachings of Islam gradually, and do not burden yourself unnecessarily. Seek support from knowledgeable individuals, and consider consulting with a local scholar or counselor who can provide personalized guidance based on your situation.

May Allah grant you tranquillity, ease your struggles, and guide you on righteousness. Ameen.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.