Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Is following models and actors on social media platforms like Instagram haram?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your important question, for this is an all too common phenomenon.
My first question is why would someone want to follow a famous Hollywood actor or model on Instagram? What possible benefit could it bring, and how can it not have elements of haram in it, when they are posting inappropriate pictures of themselves? In addition to this, why would a Muslim want to follow someone who fills their lives with haram and who makes money off of the shapes of their bodies, faces, and hair? And why would a Muslim want to follow someone who doesn’t believe in Allah and His Messenger and thinks that this world is more important than the next? It seems to me that the minions of the Devil are all over social media, and one needs to choose whom one follows in the same way that one would choose their own friends in real life.
Strive for Benefit
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us this very important hadith, and Muslims must live by it, “The stronger believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to seek that which will benefit you and do not feel helpless. If something overwhelms you, then say, ‘QaddarAllah, wa ma sha’a fa’al (It is the decree of Allah and what He wills He does). And beware of (saying) ‘If only,’ for ‘If only’ opens the door to Satan.” [Ibn Maja]
In this vein of a believer having a mission to seek only what benefits one, please see this answer:
Is It Haram to Play Video Games?
I cannot emphasize enough that social media, its most-followed influencers, its perception of the world, and its materialistic influence can be detrimental to all Muslims alike. I pray that Muslims can gain sacred knowledge and read the Quran with the meaning to let light overspread that darkness, and know that these words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) are true, “Lo! Indeed the world is cursed. What is in it is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allah, what is conducive to that, the teacher and the student.“ [Tirmidhi]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also told us, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” [Bayhaqi] My advice is to unfollow anyone on social media that doesn’t help you take your relationship with Allah to the next level.
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.