DEBATE: Does Social Media Help Or Hinder Muslims? Shaykh Ahmed Abdo

Is it Permissible to use Text-Based Emoticons? 

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


Recently, people my age have been using texts like the LMAO abbreviation (Laughing My A** Off) on the internet. It tells the recipient that you are laughing at their post. Would using LMAO in the text be permissible? I think this must be addressed because everyone is using these types of things nowadays.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

While we have moved away from using brackets, colons, etc., to express our emotions on social media and moved onto graphical images, no doubt we still use text-based emotions, like the one you mention. Any type of emoticon or textual portrayal of any form using punctuation or letters will be impermissible if they express any obscenity, vulgarity, or rudeness of any kind.

This will come under using vulgar language and indecent words, which is most clearly prohibited in the Quran and hadith. See the links below.

Do Not Ridicule, Insult, or Mock

Allah Most High says, “O you who have faith, let not people ridicule other people; perhaps they are better than them. Neither let women ridicule other women; perhaps they are better than them. Do not insult each other, nor mock each other with nicknames. Wretched is the accusation of wickedness after faith, and whoever does not repent has done wrong.” [Quran, 49:11]

A Believer Does Not Taunt, Use Profanity, or Curse

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The believer does not taunt others, he does not curse others, he does not use profanity, and he does not abuse others.” [Tirmidhi]

Check these links:
swearing Archives – SeekersGuidance
(1) 102 – Taqwa of the Tongue – Birgivi’s The Path of Muhammad Explained – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani – YouTube

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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey.

He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His personal interest is the love of books and gardening.