Is it permissible to buy and sell likes on social media?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
There are two main problems with buying likes on social media: selling something that is worthless and misleading others.
The first issue is that when we buy or sell, we have to buy something that is worth something and is not pathetic. Allah Most High has said, “And do not consume one another’s property in falsehood.” [Qur’an 2: 188]
For example, you cannot sell a speck of dust floating through the air because it is not worth anything, even if someone wanted to pay for it. Similarly, you could not buy a lion just for you to seem cool and dangerous when it stands on your front lawn. [Kanz al-Raghibin, Nawawi] Yes, it is worth something but that purpose is pathetic. So are likes considered to have intrinsic market value? And if so, are they considered pathetic and vain? Both of these are possibilities.
Secondly—and this is the biggest issue—there is clear deception in asking people who do not like one’s post to like it, and this deception is on both sides: those who like the post and those who ask for the likes. Paying for deception is sinful, and asking for money for it is also sinful. It completely undermines the point of seeing other people’s feedback and comments. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whosoever deceives us is not of us.” [Muslim]
In view of all of the above, it is not permitted to pay for likes on social media.
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.