Religious scholars at Jamia Binoria Town have issued a fatwa categorically declaring the usage of TikTok as haram (forbidden) and are calling for a ban on the popular video-sharing app. The fatwa highlights concerns about financial exploitation through the dissemination of inappropriate content, emphasizing TikTok’s predominant use for engaging in illicit activities.
Specifically, the fatwa underscores the dissemination of indecent content and the promotion of inappropriate humor on TikTok, pointing to common violations on the platform. The religious scholars express concerns about individuals, including youth and the elderly, engaging in activities for financial gain that may conflict with moral values. They stress the need to consider potential negative impacts on behavior and ethical values due to TikTok use.
TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, reported over 39 million downloads in Pakistan in 2022, according to Sensor Tower data. The fatwa comes amid recurring calls for TikTok bans in various parts of the world, including Pakistan. Earlier this year, a petition in Lahore High Court sought a ban on TikTok, citing detrimental effects on the youth. In 2021, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had banned TikTok for five months, lifting the ban after assurances to control indecent or immoral content.
The fatwa reflects the religious perspective on TikTok usage, with a particular focus on financial gain through the proliferation of inappropriate content and engaging in illicit activities. It adds to the ongoing concerns about the platform’s impact on societal values and moral conduct.