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This Ramadan, Delete TikTok Before It Deletes You



Here we go. Another out-of-touch loser who doesn’t get progress and technology trying to tell us TikTok is haraam.

Doesn’t he know that TikTok is also being used for so much dawah and helping people with mental health issues deal with things in a way that other platforms simply haven’t?

I suppose he wants us to go back to communicating with carrier pigeons and smoke signals? Well, I’m not going to even bother reading this dumpster fire of an article because nothing is going to make me stop using TikTok.

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Now that we’ve got all those points out of the way, here are a few reasons why you should delete TikTok anyway:

1. To save your mental health

There is increasing evidence that TikTok is not good for your mental health. In my opinion, this is hardly surprising since TikTok is the mental equivalent of having unlimited candy continually shoved in your mouth even as you’re throwing up.

And if you think that mental image is disgusting, what TikTok may be doing to your brain is far, far worse.

Before someone says, “but there are lots of useful mental health accounts on TikTok!”, please be aware that according to one study, 85% of all mental health advice on TikTok is misleading.

Yet another study has shown that TikTok use correlates with higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. As if this wasn’t enough, another study claims that pro-suicide content can be viewed by teens minutes after signing up.


2. To save your physical health

Do you remember that really viral TikTok by someone average looking talking about a balanced meal with normal food?

Neither do I.

They’re mostly sculpted (edited) personalities slapping on a piece of wagyu steak or making an impossibly elaborate dish using enough ingredients to feed a family – with some even dishing out “health advice” promoting a toxic diet culture where actual nutrition experts are overshadowed by nutrition influencers lacking the required expertise.

Balanced diets, balanced looks, and balanced workout routines just don’t get the clicks. The body types being promoted in TikTok video after TikTok video are not just unhealthy, they are often unrealistic to achieve without some form of cosmetic surgery or enhancement. This is why it won’t be surprising to anyone to find out that the TikTok algorithm took just 8 minutes to start promoting plastic surgery content to the account of a 14-year-old.

The fun doesn’t stop there. There are also abominations like GutTok where young people are given medically questionable advice regarding their gut health. But these pale into insignificance when compared with some downright dangerous advice in the BenadrylChallenge or NyquilChicken (among others). In fact, 1 in 3 young people have admitted to getting their health advice from TikTok. God help us.

3. To save your spiritual health 

  Speaking of God, the impact of TikTok on your mental and physical health may be nothing compared to what it does to your soul.

Through TikTok, it is likely that the average user will be exposed to more temptation, more bad behavior, more swearing, more envy, more misinformation, and more hatred in a single sitting than previous generations were exposed to in a year. Or maybe even a lifetime. Day after day, night after night, it nudges you toward the lowest common denominator. Again, there will be many who will make a convincing case for the spiritually uplifting side of TikTok and the ease with which powerful reminders are shared. I accept this point, but feel that it would be naive to believe that you will somehow manage to get solely the good and sidestep the rest.

By the way, even these powerful reminders are stripped of all context and reduced to pure soundbites. The nuance, the depth, and the beauty of our faith is being sacrificed for the punchline.

To think it’s not going to change your connection to your faith would be like a Muslim going to the club, having the music blaring, being surrounded by people dancing in revealing clothes, in a venue drenched with alcohol, and still insisting that they are not going to let any of that affect them because they are here to do da’wah. It is not wishful thinking, it is wilful delusion.

4. To save our unity

Muslims have had a problem with uniting with each other well before social media came into existence. However, the advent of TikTok and its ilk have made an almost impossible job even more impossible somehow.

Ever wondered why we are more polarised than ever? Brothers against sisters, black against white, liberals against conservatives, etc…? Yes, it is because we are a divided community, but that is not the whole story.

The reason why we feel more divided than we have ever felt before is not by chance, but by design. Social media serves to reinforce echo chambers so that we all feel that our faith is constantly under threat by fringe actors from opposite ends of the spectrum to wherever you are. This makes perfectly normal people become deeply entrenched in their positions. I believe that the algorithm will slowly, but surely, push you to become the most extreme version of your view, doubling down on the rhetoric and seeing other views as existential threats that need to be destroyed instead of debated.

Today, Muslim men will find more in common with someone like Jordan Peterson than they will with their sisters in Islam, and vice versa. This is not by accident. This is the matrix winning. Controversy equals clicks. Keeping people in a permanent state of outrage and indignation will get more eyeballs, more reactions, and ultimately more revenue for the parent company. We are being played like sock puppets and we don’t even know it.

5. To save your privacy

According to various outlets, TikTok tracks your personal movements and data more than any other social media App in history. Who it sells this data to or what it uses this data for is unclear. What we do know is that the Pentagon, the British Government, and other institutions have banned it because facial recognition software combined with AI and other technology allows your privacy to be invaded in a way that simply was unimaginable even 5 years ago.

And I know this applies to all social media platforms to some extent, but again, there is bad and then there is deep dystopian nightmarishly bad. If someone wants to make a deep fake of you doing something haraam to discredit you; by keeping these kinds of Apps on your phone, you’re only giving them all the ingredients and hoping that you will never be a target worth taking down.

6. To save your time and energy

All social media is addictive, but some of them are addictive like Coke and others are addictive like Cocaine. In my subjective opinion, TikTok is the latter. It is successful because it has cracked the code of the basest human desires. Give people the lowest common denominator and keep giving it non-stop in extremely short bites.

The average person spends 10 hours a week on TikTok. I think that is a ridiculous underestimate. Thanks to TikTok, a 5 minute Youtube video feels like reading the unabridged works of the Muqaddimah. I’ve started to see something that I’ve never seen before in my life. There are dozens of people scrolling through their social media feeds during a khutbah on Friday because it is now physically impossible for them to concentrate for 20 minutes on what the khateeb is saying.

If you want to destroy a society and prevent them from improving its situation, you couldn’t do a better job than having them constantly entertained by meaningless short video clips that don’t even enlighten or inspire.


All these points can be made for other social media platforms. All these points are essentially my subjective opinion. All these points can be viewed as the most pessimistic and alarmist takes on a platform that can essentially be used for good or bad. However, when you’re done trying to square this particular circle of hell, I hope that you will hear me out.

I know what I am stating is hard to accept, especially if you are on the platform. The chances are most of your friends are on it too. In fact, TikTok may have become the primary way you communicate with people and receive information. It is addictive and leaving it will be hard.

So, alhamdulillah for the fact that we have months like Ramadan that are designed by our Creator to help us leave vices and to replace them with something better. It is the ultimate spiritual holiday away from the rat race and the vices that accumulate over time. It is the spiritual spring clean for the soul where we give ourselves a refresher and refocus on our Creator and our purpose in life. There is no better time to take back control. You can give up food and drink for daylight hours this month and we need them to survive.

If you find it difficult, talk to your friends. Do it as a group. Do it as a family. Do it for each other and do it for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Trust me, you can do this.

This Ramadan, delete TikTok before it deletes you.


 Get Your Phone Ramadan Ready!

 – Podcast: Damage Control With Digital Dinosaurs – On The Fiqh of Social Media | Omar Usman

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter - National Council Member, Muslim Council of Britain | - Lead, National Muslim Covid Response Group | - Council Member, British Islamic Medical Association | - Founder, Charity Week for Orphans and children in need | - Co-Founder, Islamic History Channel | - International Director, FIMA Lifesavers

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joyce

    March 24, 2023 at 1:56 PM

    Thank you. I deleted social media years ago seeing the harm far outweighed the benefit. I was even more horrified when TikTok came out. May Allah protect us.

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