RIYADH (Web Desk) – An Islamic preacher has warned fellow Muslims not to use certain emojis on messaging apps, terming them “blasphemous”.
Saudi-based preacher Wajdi Akkari, 36, said it was ‘haram’ – or forbidden – for Muslims to use the angel, ‘anything devilish’ or even the prayer symbol.
In a video shared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Akkari told his audience: “You have to be selective in these emojis. Not everything is halal [permissible] to share.”
In the video posted by MailOnline, he said the angel with a halo was a Christian interpretation of the entity and therefore ‘haram’. “When someone wants to share their innocence or say, ‘I’m a good boy’, they send that yellow smiley face with a halo. No!
“Do we believe that angels in Islam are like the angels in Christianity… Absolutely not.”
The Lebanon-born preacher moved to the United States and joined a rap group when he was 18. He later relocated his wife and children to Saudi Arabia where he teaches Arabic, delivers Friday prayers and holds lectures in some hospitals.
Akkari, who has a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies, claimed using any ‘devilish’ emojis are also out of bounds for Muslims.
“We don’t know what Satan and the devil look like. Therefore, we are not allowed to draw him.
“These emojis that are devilish in their nature are not allowed, even if you are trying to say that ‘you are being a bad boy or a bad girl’.”
He then invited his audience to fact check what he was telling them on Google, saying it was ‘halal’ to do.
Finally, he introduced the ‘devil hands’ hand gesture once used by revellers at heavy metal concerts.
He demonstrated the gesture and asked: “Do you know this one? This is also a symbol of the devil. These are the two horns of Satan.
“This is one of the hand symbols on WhatsApp. People don’t know what it means. They just send it. You cannot send this one.”
In 2011, Akkari extraordinarily claimed that saying ‘Merry Christmas’ was worse than ‘killing someone’, ‘fornication’ and ‘drinking alcohol’.
He said in the YouTube video: “It is the concept that God was born on the 25th of December. That’s as polytheistic and heretic as you can get.”
On his website, ‘One way to paradise’, Akkari credits Islam for saving him from a life of self destruction and ‘humiliation’.