Grand Mufti Shawki Allam ruled that buying “Likes” on Facebook to falsely build up followers was “immoral” and “a fraud” — and hence prohibited under Islam, reported The Washington Post This week. (See story here.)
Allam published his ruling on the Facebook page of Dar al-Ifta, the Sunni Muslim institution that is responsible for religious decisions that are primarily based on the Koran and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, said the report.
Allam said boosting content to promote an account, product or Facebook page is permitted under Islam as long as it’s done in a way that reflects reality.
But boosting social media interaction through fake “Likes” or “comments” on a promotion is a clear violation of honesty, he said.
“If likes are fake, or electronically generated, and do not resemble real individuals, then that would be considered impermissible given that it’s a form of fraud,” the post on Dar al-Ifta’s Facebook page read.
This is not the first time this year that Allam has ruled on the way technology is influencing lives, the Post reported.
Earlier this year, he issued a fatwa declaring that the buying and selling of Bitcoin and any other cryptocurrency was equivalent to gambling, and prohibited under Islam.
He said that the digital currency was directly responsible for the financial ruin of people.