Islam Online: Islam and Movies

By  Art & Culture Team

In our series Arts in Islam (Q & A),’s Art & Culture zone will attempt to find answers to many questions that spark controversy about arts in Islam. For example, what kind of arts is permitted? And what kind is not?

On a weekly basis, we will highlight a question from one of our readers along with its answer by Wael Shihab, deputy managing editor of the Shari`ah Department (English) at (IOL).

Shihab graduated from Al-Azhar University and later received his MA in Islamic Studies, with a major in Islamic jurisprudence and its principles. Now a PhD student, he is working on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence at the same university.

IOL: Is watching movies prohibited in Islam? What about tackling them in reports or reviewing them in an article. Can this be considered as publicizing them?

Shihab: Watching or reviewing movies, in my point of view, should be done within the general goals and ethics of Islam. It is OK to watch or review movies that have good content, theme, and objectives. There is no objection in watching or reviewing movies that promote morality, justice, and goodness. Moreover, the five conditions on the permissibility of music and singing should be met when watching or reviewing movies. These five conditions are:

• The work of art does not involve a theme that promotes immorality,
indecency, or evil.

• It is not accompanied with haram practices.

• It does not incite evil desires within oneself.

• It does not waste one’s time.

• It does not lead to neglecting one’s duties.

Thus, it is not acceptable at all to watch or review a movie that promotes evil, immorality, injustice, racism, or indecency. It is not acceptable to watch or review a movie that diverts young Muslims from their duties toward their communities or their Ummah.

Due consideration should be given to movies that we watch or review. We should never market an evil and we should always guide people to what benefits them in this world and in the world to come.

It goes without saying that reviewing a movie will market and promote it. So, it is our duty to be very careful when choosing movies that we will report, review, or watch. Let’s promote and market what is good for people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Source: Islam Online


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