Q; What is the ruling on Facebook?
A; All-Praise is due to Allah,
Facebook is one of the most popular modern communicational internet based sites around today. Due to its popularity a large amount of the Muslim community use this site to comunicate with their family and friends in their city and around the world. But the question lies is this site a permissible tool to use as a Muslim. This topic has been discussed amongst many of our modern day Daa'eies (Callers to Allah 'Sheikh's') and some view that it is permissible and some view that it is totally Haram, in general it has caused more damage to our community then it has done good.
We have some reports of it damaging relationships of our brother and sisters and has caused a big fitnah amongst our youth from issues of zina to violence, People meeting others socializing seeking desire and pleasure from one another and also using it to organize youth gang fights and bad gatherings that involve violent behavior.
It is also a platform that misguides Muslims seeking knowledge from unreliable sources that have no Scholarly background or are deviants of a misguided sects calling people to their misguided ways..
This does not mean that I view Facebook as being completely Haram, but there are certain conditions that one should follow as a Muslim in order to protect themselves from Fitnah, and they are as follows-
1-If one is going to use Facebook to socialize with the opposite sex then I suggest you either delete these people off your account or if you can not avoid this then it is better you not have a Facebook account. Baring in mind that speaking with the opposite sex for Islamic Sharia' issues is permissible so long as they are Sheikhs or students of knowledge then this is fine insha-Allah, because the Companions of the Prophet (May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) used to confront Aa'iesha (May Allah be pleased with her) for religious matters.
2-It is preferred that one does not show their picture or pictures, and this is where allot of the Fitnah starts. As a general rule photo's are Haram except in certain circumstances such as government security where one is obliged to have a photo ID, and this is a common customary law that is practiced in every country around the world which makes it inevitably impossible for one to avoid.
As for the ruling of photos it was stated in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 1/456-457:
The basic principle concerning making pictures of any animate being, whether it is a human or any animal, is that it is haraam, whether the pictures are three-dimensional or are drawn on paper, cloth or walls, etc., or are photographs (taken with a camera), because of the reports in the saheeh ahaadeeth which state that that is not allowed, and threaten the one who does that with a painful torment, and because they may lead to shirk in the form of standing respectfully before them, humbling oneself before them, drawing close to them and venerating them in a manner that is only befitting for Allaah. They are also forbidden because this is a kind of trying to match the creation of Allaah, and because of the temptation inherent in some of them, such as pictures of actresses and naked women, and so-called beauty queens.
Among the ahaadeeth which state that this is haraam and that it is a major sin is the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said, “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Whoever makes an image in this world will be told to breathe the soul into it on the Day of Resurrection, and he will never be able to do that.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim). He [Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him)] also narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every image-maker will be in the Fire, and every image that he made will be made to appear to him and will torment him in Hell.” Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “If you must do that, then make trees and things that have no soul.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim). The general meaning of the ahaadeeth is that it is absolutely forbidden to make images of anything that has a soul. (End of quote)
3-That Facebook does not make one lazy of their obligations to their Lord. For example one must not allow there Prayer to laps on it prescribed time allowing one to enter into sin, Allah The-Exalted said, (in a translation close to the meaning) So woe to those who pray,[But] who are heedless of their prayer (Who delay their Salat from their stated fixed times.) (107/4-5)
Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir about these two verses, They are those people who pray and adhere to the prayer, yet they are mindless of it. This may either be referring to its act entirely, as Ibn `Abbas said, or it may be referring to performing it in its stipulated time that has been legislated Islamically. This means that the person prays it completely outside of its time.End of quote- (Tafsir Ibn Kathir Surat Al-Maa'oun)
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: With regard to the person who deliberately delays the prayer until after the time for it is over, or who sets his alarm clock late so that he will not get up on time, he is deliberately not praying, and he has committed a great evil according to all the scholars, but is this kufr [disbelief] or not?
Here there is a difference of opinion among the scholars:
If he does not deny that prayer is obligatory, then the majority of scholars say that he is not committing major kufr in this case.
Some of the scholars were of the view that this is major kufr which puts him beyond the pale of Islam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Between a man and shirk [associating others with Allaah] and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” Narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh, 82.
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The covenant that stands between us and them is prayer; whoever gives up prayer is a kaafir [disbeliever].” Narrated by Imam Ahmad and the four authors of al-Sunan with a saheeh isnaad [sound chain of narrators]. And there is other evidence to support this.
It was also narrated from the Sahaabah [companions of the Prophet – may Allaah be pleased with them all].
The great Taabi’i ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Shaqeeq al-‘Aqeeli said: “The Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not think that omitting anything constituted kufr apart from prayer.”
With regard to delaying prayer, this may refer to two things:
1 – Delaying prayer until the time for that prayer is over. We have explained the ruling on this above.
2 – Delaying the prayer until the end of the time for that prayer. (end of quote)
See al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 10/6
Also it must not come in the way of other obligations that Allah has prescribed for the believers such as sending time with one family or reading the Quran etc...
4-That it is not a place for one to gather Islamic knowledge from: this does not mean that all the stuff is untrustworthy information, there are two Facebook pages that come in mind that are very reliable sources for Islamic knowledge and they are as follow-
If any of the things that I have mentioned above can not be applied then I suggest one is better off without a Facebook account to be on the safe side as Abu Muhammad, Hasan bin Aliq the grandson of The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his beloved one, he said, I memorized (the advice) from The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), Turn away (avoid) from some doubtful matters and turn to something that is not doubtulf (obvious) (An-Nasai and At-Turmudzi; At-Turmudzi)
And Allah knows best...