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Aqeedah and Fiqh

Fiqh of Entertainment | Ismail Kamdar

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Lecture by Abu Mu’awiyah Ismail Kamdar | Transcribed by Sameera

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK-BcGk–hM&feature=autoshare[/youtube]

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The topic I have chosen to discuss today is the issues related to entertainment in Islam.  This topic is one that comes up with many of the young Muslims.  They seem to have this understanding that having fun is not permitted for the believer, and this understanding is something which drives them away from practicing Islam as they begin to find Islam constraining and difficult upon themselves.

What we will be looking at in this short video is some of the proofs as to what is the Islamic position towards entertainment which is ḥalāl, which is ḥarām, and what is recommended.

Attitude of People Towards Entertainment

We need to begin by first examining the attitude of people towards entertainment.  Among those who live a worldly life without any attachment to the religion, their understanding of entertainment is that this is what life is all about.  Many people live their lives for entertainment.  They want to have fun even though they work and earn money.  The money is used to purchase more means of entertainment.  If they have a television, they are working harder to buy a bigger television.  If they have a car with a radio in it, they want to buy a radio with an MP3 player.  If it has an MP3 player, they want to buy a DVD player for the car.  If they have PlayStation 2, they want to buy PlayStation 3.  It is always about more and getting more entertainment and enjoying life more.

This is the attitude of those who are caught up in the dunya among the Muslims and the non-Muslims.  This is a very destructive attitude as it distracts us from the purpose of life.  Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) created us to primarily worship and obey Him.  If we are distracted too many hours by making money and then using that money to have fun, what happens is that we now do not have time to worship Allāh.  You find people who when you tell them to join you for an Islamic project, the first excuse is “we don’t have time.”  They have time to watch 3 hours of movies every day and play four hours of video games every day, but they don’t have one hour to devote to Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla).  This is a very dangerous position to be in.

It is these types of people who Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) speaks about in the Qur’ān in Sūrat’l-Takāthur when He says, “The competition to gather the nice things in this world has distracted you until you visit the graves (meaning until you die).  Then only will you come to know the reality.  Definitely then only will you come to know the reality.”  Allāh continues in the surah and says that these people who spend their entire lives chasing after the dunya when they die “they will see the hellfire with their own eyes, and on that Day, Allāh will ask them about the good things He gave them in this world and what they did with them.”  It is very important for us that while we as humans want to have fun, we should not allow this to distract us from our purpose in life.  We need to prioritize and realize that the purpose why Allāh created us is to worship Him.  This should always be a priority.

The idea of just having fun and enjoying life and making money is not an Islamic understanding of the world.  The Islamic understanding, however, is not the opposite extreme.  There are Muslims who go to the opposite extreme and say that we are here only to worship Allāh so there is no such thing as entertainment and there is no such thing as having fun, but this is a misunderstanding.  This is a wrong understanding of Islam.

The correct attitude of a Muslim is that Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) created us upon the fiṭrah.  He created us with natural inclinations towards good or evil.  There is nothing in this religion which is against our fiṭrah.  Anything that is part of human nature is accommodated for in Islam, and so to the human need for recreation is also accommodated.

We find that Islam allows people to enjoy themselves but in ways that are wholesome, pure and ḥalāl.  If you look at the principles of fiqh, one of the principles of fiqh when it comes to things of this world is that everything is permissible unless you have proof that it is prohibited.  This applies to forms of entertainment as well.  Those forms of entertainment which are clearly prohibited in the Qur’ān or in the Sunnah or by analogy are the prohibited forms, but everything else is permissible as long as they fulfill basic criteria.

There is a narration that some people bring forth, and they say that this narration prohibits all forms of entertainment except three.  There are two versions, and one says three and one says four.  The narration is that all of the recreational things of this world are bāṭil (void) and a waste of time except for three (another narration says four).  The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) described them as archery, horseback riding, and swimming.  In the other narration the fourth one added is wrestling.

Some scholars based on this narration say that these four are the only permissible types of entertainment.  In his Iḥyā’ ‘Ulum’l-Dīn, Imām al-Ghazāli (raḥimahullāh) gives a very good response to this.  Imām al-Ghazāli mentions that, “Just because these few are mentioned in one ḥadīth does not necessarily mean that other forms are all ḥarām because there are many other narrations that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the ṣaḥābah entertained themselves in other ways not mentioned in this ḥadīth.”  The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to race with his wife on foot and used to watch people play with swords in the masjid.  They used to have competitions with watermelon seeds, and they used to do many other things.  Some of the children used to play with toys, and it goes on and on.  There were many other things they used to do.

This ḥadīth is not limiting what is ḥalāl.  Furthermore, the word in the ḥadīth is not ḥarām.  The word in the ḥadīth is “bāṭil,” meaning that there is no reward in it.  If there is no reward in something, it does not make it ḥarām.  It is still ḥalāl unless you have proof for it to be prohibited.  The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is telling us that these forms of entertainment are rewarding.  If you ride a horse, train with archery, or are swimming, these are types [of entertainment] that are rewarding because they keep you physically fit and energized and this is something which is good in Islam.  It does not necessarily mean that others are prohibited.

We need to understand the primary principle is that when it comes to entertainment, everything is permissible unless we have proof for it being prohibited.

Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) tells us in the Qur’ān, “Allāh wants things to be easy for you.  He does not want to make things difficult for you.”  Allāh says, “There is nothing in this religion which is a burden.”

Conditions that Make the ḥalāl ḥarām

From among the other principles which cover the issue of entertainment, besides the rule that everything is ḥalāl unless proven ḥarām, there are certain things if they are found in the aspect of entertainment, they become ḥarām.  These things include:

1.  Including any element of ḥarām.

Something might be ḥalāl in itself, but the minute elements of ḥarām get involved, a person should stay away from it.  For example, playing sports like cricket, football, soccer, or these types of things, in itself is ḥalāl, but if playing is going to make a person vulgar and abusive to his friends, then it is not permissible for such a person to play it even though it is permissible for others.  The first thing is that it should not lead to what is ḥarām.

2.  It should not consume too much of our time.

If one is playing video games for ten hours a day or one is watching two or three movies a day or one is watching cricket for five days in a row for six hours a day, then this can become ḥarām as you allow wasting time.  To waste our time is not permissible in Islam.  We should have entertainment in ways which refresh us without consuming all our time.  Two hours a day or three hours a day is ok if you are spending the rest of the day in what is good in issues of ‘ibādah and work and family time.  To let it consume your time is not permissible.

3.  It should not consume your resources.

Somebody who is spending all of his money on entertainment, this is not permissible.  We are responsible for not only how we earn money but also how we spend it, so again, we need to balance our lifestyle and not be from those whom Allāh calls the musrifūn, those who are wasteful when it comes to spending their money.

These are some of the conditions that could make something which is ḥalāl ḥarām.

Prohibited Forms of Entertainment

There are certain forms of entertainment which are completely prohibited in Islam from the Qur’ān and Sunnah.  Anything involving intoxication, whether it is alcohol or drugs, is prohibited.  Anything involving or leading to zina is prohibited.  Any such a place where people go to entertain themselves which is again of alcohol or zina or drugs or nowadays you get places where you can find all of these things together, such places are prohibited for us to attend.

Likewise, gambling is completely prohibited.  Any form of entertainment which involves shirk is also prohibited.  Many times Muslims don’t realize when they are doing something for fun that it actually involves shirk.  You will hear Muslims playing a game and one Muslim will tell his friend, “My character is omnipresent” or “My character is lives for eternity.”  This is shirk.  Only Allāh has these qualities.  Even to give these qualities to characters in a game is not permissible.

Likewise, any form of entertainment which involves fortune telling is not permissible.  There are various other things.  For example, when it comes to the issue of joking and comedy, there are many rules which regulate this in Islam.  Islam is not against joking in itself, but the content needs to be clean and free from shirk and must not be mocking Islam or the Muslims.  Anything which is part of Islam cannot be mocked.  If there is something that Muslims do which is not Islamic and you are mocking them to show them that this is not Islamic, that is ok.  But when you are mocking Islam, this is kufr.  It is very important for those Muslims involved in the field of entertainment known as comedy to be very careful what they say and to study deeper the fiqh of joking and to use this fiqh accordingly and to make the jokes accordingly so that they do not step onto this dangerous territory.

Recommended Forms of Entertainment

There are other forms of entertainment which are recommended, as we mentioned in the ḥadīth: swimming, archery, horse riding and wrestling and other forms of physical martial arts.  These types of things are recommended because they help keep the body fit.  Likewise, spending time with your wife and your children is all recommended in Islam and in fact it sometimes even becomes obligatory on a person to spend at least a minimal amount of time with their family members.  Having fun together with your children and with your wife are things which Islam recommends.  Take them out.  Go to a park.  Go and eat out together.  These things are very much recommended as it helps to strengthen the unity of the family.

Likewise, dealing with nature brings you closer to Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla), so if you enjoy visiting zoos and parks and places where there is a lot of nature and animals, alḥamdulillāh this is something which is good.  Islamic songs are also something which is recommended according to some and permissible according to others.  In my view, it is something good which will take people away from the prohibited forms of music.  Likewise there are many other things when you study the Qur’ān and Sunnah.  You will find in the sīrah of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) many ways in which he and his companions used to have fun which are completely ḥalāl.  If the Prophet (peace be upon him) recommended it, then it becomes something which is recommended as well.

When it comes to the issues of entertainment, there are two main areas where we have a lot of questions.  The first is in the issue of animations and drawings and the second is the issue of music and musical instruments.  I want to focus primarily on these two topics for the remainder of the session.

Animation and Drawings

When it comes to animation, there are various opinions from the scholars.  As ‘Ā’ishah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha) narrates a ḥadīth, the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited the drawing of living creatures. ‘Ā’ishah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha) herself also narrates that she used to play with dolls in the presence of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).  One of these dolls was a horse with wings, and the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not see anything wrong with her playing with these dolls.

So the scholars have differed on this issue.  Some scholars looking only at the first ḥadīth have said that the drawing of living creatures is completely prohibited.  Other scholars, trying to reconcile between both ḥadīths, have come to various opinions.  The two most common opinions are that either drawings are permissible unless they lead to glorification or shirk or the more common, and the stronger opinion, is that drawings are prohibited unless they are for entertainment and education of children.  Any form of drawing or depiction of living creatures which is for the entertainment of children or for the educational purposes, many of the scholars have ruled that these are permissible.  So children’s toys, animated movies, and these sorts of things based on this will be permissible.

Obviously then the issue comes about content.  When it comes to animation, even these days many of the animated movies produced by non-Muslims have content which is questionable for Muslims to watch, so parents need to screen the type of animation they allow their children to watch, something they themselves have gone through first to make sure that there is nothing in it which will take the children away from Islam and that the content is clean and then allow them to watch it.

While this is going on, it is very important for Muslims who have access to making media and producing videos, such Muslims should focus on making animated movies for Muslim children, which have Islamic content.  Alḥamdulillāh this is something which is happening nowadays and it is something where there is a lot of room for growth and expansion.  This will become an alternative for the children so that they do not get involved in the types of movies and entertainment which are prohibited.

Some people might say that television in itself is prohibited, but this is not the correct opinion.  The correct opinion is that it depends on the content.  If somebody is watching this video, there is absolutely nothing wrong with watching such a video as the content is Islamic.  If somebody is watching a video that has ḥarām elements in it, then that is not permissible.  One has to look at the content of the specific video to declare if it is permissible or not.  The television and videos are in themselves tools, and the tools are ḥalāl.  What they are used for and what is viewed on them is what makes them ḥalāl or ḥarām.  The same ruling applies to animated movies.

From the ḥadīth of ‘Ā’ishah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anha), scholars have deduced that children’s toys are permissible, animated movies for children are permissible, animated books for children are permissible.  This is one of opinion of scholars.  Some scholars do disagree with this, there is no doubt about it.  This is the opinion that I follow, and Allāh knows best.

Music and Musical Instruments

The other issue which crops up most often when it comes to entertainment is the issue of music.  We have one group of Muslims who are saying that music is completely prohibited and there is no two ways about it.  We have another group of Muslims saying that music is completely permissible and those who are saying it is prohibited are extremists.  Both of these groups have not understood the nature of fiqh when it comes to the issue of music.  Imām al-Shakwāni (raḥimahullāh) has written a very good book on this topic called Ibṭālu Da‘wa’l-ijmā‘ ‘Ala Taḥrīm Muṭluq’l-Samā‘.  This book is available in Arabic and has not been translated into English yet.  In this book, Imām al-Shawkāni mentions something very interesting and a very different approach to this debate that many of us have today.

He says, “I have never listened to music in my life.  I believe that musical instruments are prohibited, but I am writing this book and showing all the different viewpoints with their arguments so people can understand that there is difference of opinion on this issue and so that we can tolerate each others’ opinions and not accuse our Muslim brother of kufr and deviation.”

This is a very important point when it comes to this issue.  There is a difference of opinion here, and if somebody is convinced of a different opinion than you, it does not make them a disbeliever and it does not make them a deviant, rather this is an issue of fiqh which the scholars have differed over.

If you look at the madh-habs, the Ḥanafi madh-hab ruled that all musical instruments are prohibited.  Even the tapping of your finger on the table or the desk to make noise is prohibited according to the Ḥanafi madh-hab.  The Ḥanbali madh-hab is of the view that the hand drum, the duff, is permissible.  They differ over whether it is only permissible for women and only for special occasions and whether it is permissible for everyone.  The Māliki madh-hab, if you study it carefully, is of the view that drums are permissible.  In the Māliki book of fiqh which I have read, whenever it talks about the prohibition of music, it only mentions wind instruments, and from there scholars have mentioned that drums are permissible according to that madh-hab.  The opinion of the Ẓāhiri madh-hab, the madh-hab of Ibn Ḥazm (raḥimahullāh), is that all musical instruments are permissible.

These views all exist among the madh-habs, and nobody can deny that they have existed among the madh-habs.  It is for the scholars to study the different evidences and to follow that which their study has led them to believe is the most correct conclusion.  If that conclusion is different from yours or mine, we must tolerate it and accept it as a difference of opinion.

Nonetheless, for the average Muslim who does not have knowledge of fiqh and the principles of fiqh and the ability to decide between the madh-habs, in these issues it is always better to stay on the safe side and to follow the majority opinion and to follow the strongest opinion.  When it comes to the prohibition of musical instruments, the majority of madh-habs agree that wind instruments are prohibited even though Ibn Ḥazm and Imām Ghazāli and a few others disagreed with them.  The majority said that it is prohibited.  To be on the safe side, the average Muslim who has not been able to research this issue should stay away from such instruments and songs which include such instruments for their own safety as this is now a grey area.

The other issue of the drums and the duff is something where there is a lot more difference of opinions among the scholars.  There is a much bigger difference of opinion amongst them.  As a result, on such issues there is a lot more room for differences.  This is an area of difference of opinion amongst the scholars – musical instruments and whether they are prohibited or permissible – and accordingly every scholar and those who follow a specific scholar have the right to follow what their ijtihād has led them to even if it is a different conclusion from you or me.

Linking this to the issue of animation and movies:  Somebody will ask, “I believe and follow the opinion that musical instruments are prohibited, but the animated movies and other movies have a lot of background music in them.  Can I watch these movies while ignoring the music?”  We go back to a fatwa of Shaykh’l-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah who mentioned that just like hearing the Qur’ān is not rewarding (you have to listen to the Qur’ān to receive the reward), similarly hearing music is not sinful and you have to listen to the music for it to be sinful.  If you are in a place where there is music being played in the background and you are not paying attention to it, you are not sinful for it.  Likewise, if you are watching a program on television where there is music in the background and you are not paying attention to the music, then – and Allāh knows best – that would be in my opinion permissible.

For those Muslims who are involved in media and in producing animated movies or documentaries or any other type of Islamic media, my recommendation to you is that even if you are of the opinion that instruments are permissible, you should not include them in your videos.  The reason for this is that you are trying to reach out to the Muslims.  When you include music in your videos, the majority of Muslims or at least 50% of the Muslims are not going to watch that video because there is music in it, so you are now alienating a portion of the ummah from receiving your message.  If your purpose of making the video was as many Muslims as possible watch and benefit from it, it will be better to avoid those instruments which most Muslims regard as prohibited even if your personal opinion is that it is permissible.  For the sake of benefiting the ummah in general, it is better even for those who view it as permissible to stay away from it.

These are some of the issues of entertainment which crop up.  The issues of music and animation are perhaps two of the more common areas in which we have questions.

Games

Another area where there are a lot of questions is when it comes to games and two types of games:  board games and video games.  The ruling for both is the same.  The ruling for both is that the content would make it permissible or prohibited.  Those board games which are generally for gambling will not be permissible.  If you are playing those same games without any gambling involved, then too the scholars have ruled it to be makrūh (disliked) as it is one of those things that leads to gambling, so it is better to stay away from such games.

One of the games that crops up often is playing the game of chess.  Many scholars have ruled chess to be ḥarām while others have ruled it to be permissible.  From my study of the evidences and arguments used, I honestly believe that the playing of chess is permissible with the conditions I mentioned earlier that it does not constitute too much of your time and it does not lead to other prohibited things, etc. and whatever I mentioned earlier as being the conditions for a form of entertainment to be permissible.  In my view, this applies to chess as well.  In itself, it seems to be a harmless game to me.  The evidences I have seen against it are either weak or mistranslated or even at times misunderstood.

For example, in one of the books of fiqh, one of the scholars of the madh-habs said, “There is no good in chess,” so some scholars took this as a prohibition of chess.  The wording of this statement is not saying it is ḥarām, but it is just saying that there is no reward in it.  It doesn’t necessarily make it ḥarām, it is just saying there is no reward and no good in it.  Allāh knows best.  My opinion is that the game of chess is permissible.

When it comes to video games, again the content is what matters.  It should not be addictive and should not consume too much of your time or too much of your wealth and resources or lead you to do anything ḥarām.  All of this needs to apply.  Such a video game which fulfills these conditions, and again which has clean content and you yourself do not play too much of so that it does not consume your time and you are not spending too much of your money on it, then Allāh knows best, but such games would be permissible with these conditions.  And Allāh knows best.

Advice

I would like to conclude this short discussion by mentioning that the times we are living in entertainment is everywhere, and we as Muslims if we want our children and the young Muslims to be safe from the various forms of vulgar and sexually provocative entertainment that is out there, then we need to start producing alternatives for them.  We need to start producing Islamic media.  We need more Islamic songs, Islamic movies, Islamic animations, Islamic games.  All of this needs to be produced as a wholesome alternative for the young Muslims, so that they do not have to turn to other people and other resources when they want to have fun.  They have good and wholesome fun available to them.

Likewise, the masjids need to open up for youngsters to have fun at the masjids and build sports centers at the masjid or in the sisters section allowing room where they can sit and talk about things which are permissible and have some fun.  Maybe build a swimming pool.  Whatever is within the budget of the masjid.  Create these recreational facilities for the Muslims because if we don’t provide alternatives, they by their nature, especially those who are young, want to have fun.  If the alternatives are not there, then people will turn to the ḥarām sources for fun.

It is very, very important that we as an ummah start working towards producing these ḥalāl forms of entertainment.  It is very important that we make this a priority to produce alternative ḥalāl media for the Muslim youth and ḥalāl forms of recreation for them.  I ask Allāh to make it easy for us to practice our religion, to understand our religion correctly, and to enjoy what Allāh has made ḥalāl in this world in a way that does not cause us to forget Him and to forget our purpose in life.

Anything I said that is wrong is from my own self and from Shayṭān.  Everything I said which is correct is from Allāh.  I ask Allāh to make this an addition to our scale of good deeds on the Last Day.

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Ismail Kamdar, a.k.a Abu Muawiyah, is the Head Tutorial Assistant of the Islamic Online University, and the host of Living Islam on Radio Al-Ansaar. He began his study of Islam at the age of thirteen, and has completed both the Alim course and a BA in Islamic Studies. He is the author of multiple books including Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam, Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management and Best of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence.

65 Comments

65 Comments

  1. Ahmed Shaikh

    November 11, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Question: I would imagine there has to be some distinction in the original between entertainment and physical activity? In the United States we would not regard swimming as entertainment unless we were spectators. There may be an error there somewhere.

    Also, I note the following ”  When you include music in your videos, the majority of Muslims or at least 50% of the Muslims are not going to watch that video because there is music in it, so you are now alienating a portion of the ummah from receiving your message.”- I don’t know where this number comes from. Is there any place in the Muslim world where this could true?

    I am dissappointed by how vague a lot of this is, “wasting time”, “too much time”, I cannot see how these terms would be helpful without any examples, basis of some sort? Thank you.

    • Ismail Kamdar

      November 11, 2011 at 3:03 AM

      Wa Alaikum Salaam Wa Rahmatullah

      Jazakallah Khair for your questions

      Regarding counting swimming as entertainment, in this lecture I used entertainment in the broader sense meaning anything done for fun or recreation, and not the restricted modern meaning of electronic entertainment.

      As for the numbers as to how many practicing Muslims will not watch a video which has music in it, it was an estimation, not a figure, and is based on the fact that most practicing Muslims are either Hanafi, Shaafi’ee, Hambali, Maliki or Salafi and most people from these five ways regard music as prohibited so would avoid it if they are religious.

      As for terms like “wasting time” being vague, this is because there is no set definition for these terms and they really differ on an individual basis. For example, a child could play for five or six hours without it seeming like he is wasting time, while an adult might be wasting time if they spend three hours in a row engulfed in entertainment, while a student of knowledge might feel he is wasting time after just one hour. So really it is left up to the consciousness of the individual to realize when they are involved too much in entertainment.

      Allah knows best

    • Ahmed Brown

      November 11, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      When you include music in your videos, the majority of Muslims or at least 50% of the Muslims are not going to watch that video because there is music in it

      I too was puzzled by this figure. At least in the United States this certainly doesn’t seem to be the case and from what I’ve heard it doesn’t sound like it’s the case elsewhere in the Muslim world. It’s good to assume the best in people but it’s good to be realistic too! I’ve met plenty of Muslims—especially amongst the youth—who pray five times a day, attend jum`uah and halaqahs, etc. and listen to music. Personally I’d like to see more Muslim videos produce music sans music but I think that represents a minority of the general Muslim population (even though the vast majority of scholars prohibited many forms of music).

      Anyways, the above was just one nitpick on an otherwise terrific lecture/article. JazaakAllahu khairaa Sh. Ismail.

      Two items that helped convince me music is haraam were Kamal el-Mekki’s talk “The End of Music” (from MuslimMatters no less! Download link for lecture at bottom of article) and Khalid Baig’s book Slippery Stone. Both approach the topic in a manner which I think appeals to the youth (after all, they convinced me!) and both bring solid evidences to the table. Baig does an especially good job at providing a historical perspective of music and singing from both a non-Muslim and Muslim standpoint. For example, my immediate family hailed from a Christian background prior to converting to Islam alhamdulillah; I’d been to church as a kid and it’s generally well-known that music is a focal point of worship in many churches. I was surprised to learn that music was not to be found in churches amongst the Early Christians and that many of the most influential Christian thinkers like Zwingli and Calvin denounced it! Anyways, both el-Mekki’s talk and Baig’s book also bring an armada of ahadith and tafsir; I think it’s these that ultimately did it for me and leave virtually no doubt in my mind that the majority of music is indeed haraam. They also address many of the modern-day arguments, especially those who use the opinion of ibn Hazm and/or arguments like “speech is music, the songs of birds are music, these are OK, thus music is halaal”, etc. Perhaps you will find these helpful when engaging a crowd of youth on this topic!

  2. Umm Zahra

    November 11, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    ASA

    Question: My son plays games that involve the use of dice such as Monopoly. I have been told that’s impermissible. Is that correct? Also, what about chess and playing cards (such as Uno) but it does not involve money? For some reason, in indo-pak community these are considered a sin. I am not sure where they got this from. May be it has some historical context to it. Can you shed some light here, please?

    • Ismail Kamdar

      November 11, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      Wa Alaikum Salaam

      Jazakallah Khair for your question, hopefully the following quotation will help you:

      The opinion of many scholars including Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafi’ee and Ibn Qayyim has been that chess is Haraam. Imam Malik was of the view that it is Makruh. Yahya said that he heard Malik say, “There is no good in chess, and he disapproved of it.” Yahya said, “I heard him disapprove of playing it and other worthless games.”

      However an analysis of the hadeeth used as proof for this point show that most Hadeeth used as proof of the prohibition of chess are not authentic, it is for this reason that scholars like Ibn Hazm took the stance that chess is not prohibited, especially since there is benefit in playing this game.

      In his well-known book, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:

      “Chess is a very popular game, and the opinion of jurists concerning it varies. Some scholars consider it halaal (permissible), others consider it makruh (reprehensible), and still others consider it haraam (unlawful). Those who consider it haraam cite some hadeeths in support of their view, but researchers have proved that chess did not appear until after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Thus all such hadeeths must have been fabricated.
      The Companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them all) themselves held different views about playing chess. Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said that it is worse than backgammon and `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) regarded it as gambling (perhaps meaning when it is played for money), while some others merely expressed disapproval of it.

      However, some Companions and some of the second generation of scholars allowed it. Among those were Ibn `Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Sirin, Hisham bin `Umrah and Sa`id Ibn Al-Musayyib. We agree with those great jurists, since the original principle is the permissibility of acts and no text is to be found prohibiting it.

      Moreover, in addition to being a game and a recreation, chess is also a mental exercise which requires thought and planning. In this respect, it is the opposite of backgammon, for while backgammon is a game of chance and therefore comparable to divining with arrows, chess is a game of skill and strategy, which may be compared to archery.

      However, playing chess is permissible only if the following conditions are met:

      1. One should not get so absorbed in it that he delays his prayer; chess is well-known to be a stealer of time.
      2. There should be no gambling involved.

      3. The players should not utter obscenities or vulgarities.

      If any of these conditions are not met it should be considered as haraam.”

      It should also be noted that the following Hadeeth, “He who played chess is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine,” is a mistranslation as the word mentioned in this Hadeeth is Nard which means backgammon, the Arabic word for chess is Shatranj.

      However games that are played with dice are generally ruled as Makruh (disliked), because of they involve an element of chance and will be regarded as Haraam if played as a means of gambling because of the following Hadeeth as has been previously mentioned and explained in detail in the chapter on gambling:

      “Whoever plays games of dice has disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.”

      (Having fun the Halal Way, Ismail Kamdar, IIPH, 2011, pp. 60-62)

      So I am of the opinion that these games are permissible and Allah knows best

      • Ayesha

        November 25, 2011 at 6:39 AM

        is the above your opinion or a scholars?

        • Ayesha

          November 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM

          I mean the this part :

          However, playing chess is permissible only if the following conditions are met:

          1. One should not get so absorbed in it that he delays his prayer; chess is well-known to be a stealer of time.
          2. There should be no gambling involved.

          3. The players should not utter obscenities or vulgarities.

          If any of these conditions are not met it should be considered as haraam

  3. MR

    November 11, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    They key is moderation and understanding our obligation.

  4. MuslimYouth

    November 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu! jazakAllah khairan for sharing alhamdulillah this video was beneficial!

  5. Al-ash'ath

    November 11, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Sheikh Usmani on “Sports & Entertainment in Islam”. Nice scholarly analysis.
    http://bit.ly/rLntnb

  6. Yusha

    November 11, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Some scholars find an excuse to justify animate pictures so that they can make their videos.

    Photography (tasweer) means the taking of pictures of living, animate moving beings, like people, animals, birds, etc. The ruling is that it is forbidden on the basis of a number of reports, such as the following:

    ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Those who will be most severely punished by Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, see al-Fath, 10/382).

    Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah, may He be exalted, says: ‘Who does more wrong than the one who tries to create something like My creation? Let him create a grain of wheat or a kernel of corn.'” (Reported by al-Bukhari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/385).

    ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Shall I not send you on the same mission as the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave any built-up tomb without leveling it, and do not leave any picture in any house without erasing it.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i; this is the version narrated by al-Nisaa’i).

    Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Every image-maker will be in the Fire, and for every image that he made a soul will be created for him, which will be punished in the Fire.” Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “If you must do that, make pictures of trees and other inanimate objects.” (Reported by Muslim, 3/1871)

    These Hadith indicate that pictures of animate beings are haram, whether they are humans or other creatures, whether they are three-dimensional or two-dimensional, whether they are printed, drawn, etched, engraved, carved, cast in moulds, etc. These Hadith include all of these types of pictures.

    The Muslim should submit to the teachings of Islam and not argue with them by saying, “But I am not worshipping them or prostrating to them!” If we think about just one aspect of the evil caused by the previewence of photographs and pictures in our times, we will understand something of the wisdom behind this prohibition: that aspect is the great corruption caused by the provoking of physical desires and subsequent spread of immorality caused by these pictures.

    The Muslim should not keep any pictures of animate beings in his house, because they will prevent the angels from entering. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, see al-Fath, 10/380).

    But nowadays, unfortunately, one can even find in some Muslim homes statues of gods worshipped by the kuffar (such as Buddha etc.) which they keep on the basis that they are antiques or decorative pieces. These things are more strictly prohibited than others, just as pictures which are hung up are worse than pictures which are not hung up, for how easily they can lead to glorification, and cause grief or be a source of boasting! We cannot say that these pictures are kept for memory’s sake, because true memories of a Muslim relative or friend reside in the heart, and we remember them by praying for mercy and forgiveness for them.

    Taking pictures with a camera involves human actions such as focusing, pressing the shutter, developing, printing, and so on. We cannot call it anything other than “picture-making” or tasweer, which is the statement used by all Arabic-speakers to describe this action.

    In the book Al-I’laam bi naqd kittab al-halaal wa’l-haram, the author says: “Photography is even more of an imitation of the creation of Allah than pictures which are engraved or drawn, so it is even more deserving of being prohibited… There is nothing that could exclude photography from the general meaning of the reports.” (p. 42, see also Fatawa Islamiyyah, 4/355).

    Among the scholars who have discussed the issue of photography is Sheikh Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani, who said: “Some of them differentiate between hand-drawn pictures and photographic images by claiming that the latter are not products of human effort, and that no more is involved than the mere capturing of the image. This is what they claim. The tremendous energy invested the one who invented this machine that can do in few seconds what otherwise could not be done in hours does not count as human effort, according to these people! Pointing the camera, focusing it, and taking the picture, preceded by installation of the film and followed by developing and whatever else that I may not know about… none of this is the result of human effort, according to them!

    Some of them explain how this photography is done, and summarize that no less than eleven different actions are involved in the making of a picture. In spite of all this, they say that this picture is not the result of human action! Can it be permissible to hang up a picture of a man, for example, if it is produced by photography, but not if it is drawn by hand?

    Those who say that photography is permitted have “frozen” the meaning of the word “tasweer,” restricting it only to the meaning known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and not adding the meaning of photography, which is “tasweer” or “picture-making” in every sense – linguistic, legal, and in its harmful effects, and as is clear from the definition mentioned above. Years ago, I said to one of them, By the same token, you could allow idols which have not been carved but have been made by pressing a button on some machine that turns out idols by the dozen. What do you say to that?”
    (Aadaab al-Zafaaf by al-Albaani, p. 38)

    It is also worth quoting the opinion of some contemporary scholars who allow the taking of photographs but say that the pictures should not be kept: “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures.” (See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 2/198).

    There are many bad things involved in the making of pictures. Besides the element of imitating the creation of Allah – which is an accusation denied by many of those who make pictures – reality bears witness to the great extent of immorality and provocation of desires caused by the previewence of pictures and picture-making nowadays. We must remove or blot out every picture, except when it is too difficult to do so, like the pictures which are overwhelmingly previewent in food packaging, or pictures used in encyclopedias and reference books. We should remove what we can, and be careful about any provocative pictures that may be found.

    “So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can…” [al-Taghaabun 64:16 – interpretation of the meaning]

    • June

      November 16, 2011 at 10:43 PM

      Waalaykum assalamu,

      Very informative. I have also read, however, that in the case of identification and for educational purposes picture making is permitted. As far as I know the majority of scholars agree on this. For example in the medical profession, in order to learn anatomy and how to treat your patients, pictures are needed. Criminals need to be identified and passports are needed for traveling (especially if one is traveling for hajj or dawah purposes) While it is up to Allah whether making videos for dawah is an acceptable concession or not, it can’t be denied that their message can reach a wider audience by this medium.

    • Ismail Kamdar

      November 24, 2011 at 3:28 AM

      Some scholars find an excuse to justify animate pictures so that they can make their videos.

      This is a very judgmental statement to make about all the contemporary scholars who hold to the opinion that video is permissible, and they are many.

      Why don’t we leave the judging of intentions to Allah?

      • ibrah Kijux

        October 16, 2015 at 3:13 AM

        If its for teaching or passport or daawa, I don’t think its haraam or Makruh, I think it depends ur intension of that pictures or videos, Allah knows the best.

    • Lonecoordinator

      February 26, 2012 at 7:48 AM

      The sheer number of ulema who allow video and unprinted pictures to be taken warrants that we all look at “both” opinions very closely. While Shaykh Albani was a great scholar he is not always right. He often takes a strong stance with his opinions, but we do not let eloquent speech fool us. We “must” ask other scholars why they havr their views.

  7. Yasmin

    November 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Mashallah, this is a much needed post!

  8. sara

    November 11, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Assalamua alaikum,

    This was one of the better articles I have read with good analysis of fiqh and respect for differing legitimate opinions. Let me add something. Video games are often maligned when parents don’t supervise and buy them for children who are not old enough to play them. I have found them to be extremely helpful when I am careful what we buy and how often they are played. My teenaged and young adult sons live with us in a small town. They attend the mosque, pray, read quran, but do not have any Muslims their age to hang around with. So the family has amazing video game tournaments, etc., especially between the children. They have astounding hand-eye coordination and have never spent an evening out with their non-Muslim friends. Alhumdulillah.

    Additionally, you can turn down the music!

    Sister Sara

    • Ismail Kamdar

      November 24, 2011 at 3:22 AM

      I have to agree with this, my siblings and I all grew up playing video games and it really helped us grow in intellect and reflexes plus it kept us away from bad company.

      If the content is controlled (no Grand Theft Auto), it is not played in excess and moderation is upheld, video games can be very beneficial.

      Particularly educational video games are amazing, my mother had purchased many such games when we were children and these games always kept us ahead of our grades as we learned Maths, Science and History, etc through playing these games.

      It would be really brilliant if many Islamic educational computer games could be developed for the next generation.

  9. Abu Ibrahim

    November 11, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa jazakallahu kheir,

    Thanks for taking your time to do this and for trying to rectify the affairs of the Muslims. However, when speaking of halal and haraam, you should provide the evidence. This will certainly enhance your article/speech. I understand this will take more time, but at least one piece of evidence from the Qur’an, Sunnah, or the Salaf should be used to support your opinion. Honestly, if it’s not Allah, the Prophet, or one of his Companions, then I don’t really care what their opinions are. Rather, what concerns me most, is the evidence upon which they built their opinion. Barakallahu feek.

    • Ayesha

      November 25, 2011 at 6:36 AM

      agreed

  10. asha

    November 12, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    This article has a very cautious tone against being entertained which seems to contradict its stated objective of trying to move away from the extreme of not enjoying any sort of entertainment. Much of the “fiqh of entertainment” summarized here needs to be cast aside or severely changed and a question comes to mind whether there was any fiqh of entertainment to begin with.

    There are people these days who make a living out of entertainment and just don’t simply partake in entertaining activities. I doubt that this fiqh would be relevant to them. They have to work on their skills and personalities to be successful. Poets, performance artists, actors and actresses, musicians and comedians have a history of not just entertaining people but moving people towards the social good as well…in all cultures modern and pre-modern.

    Besides, one can’t have fun whilst trying to keep in mind all the cautionary restrictions stated in this article. Fun just happens! Enjoy!

    • shiney

      November 12, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      Much of the “fiqh of entertainment” summarized here needs to be cast aside or severely changed and a question comes to mind whether there was any fiqh of entertainment to begin with.

      Whoa, slow down sis and hold it right there. The speaker is not making up these restrictions. As you can see, they are backed up by the Qur’an and Sunnah. You cannot just CHANGE guidelines put down by Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). And “Fiqh of Entertainment” is not something scholars have invented. The guidelines are established by the scholars based on the Ahadith quoted above.

      There are people these days who make a living out of entertainment and just don’t simply partake in entertaining activities. I doubt that this fiqh would be relevant to them. They have to work on their skills and personalities to be successful. Poets, performance artists, actors and actresses, musicians and comedians have a history of not just entertaining people but moving people towards the social good as well…in all cultures modern and pre-modern.

      This fiqh would be MORE than relevant to the types of people you’re talking about. In Iskam, you are NOT ALLOWED to have a career as a musician, etc. And since when have entertainers and musicians “moved people to social good?” They have limited good in them, if any. People have been led astray through entertainment more than they have been guided. The Book of Allah guides people to social good.

      I apologize if I offended you but you need to think about this from another perspective. I strongly recommend you to listen to the lecture “The End of Music” by Shaykh Kamal al-Mekki. It not only talks about music but also about the psychology behind it. Please listen to it, i humbly request you.
      Jazakallah khair :)

      • asha

        November 12, 2011 at 3:37 PM

        I am quite sure that one can come up with an alternative fiqh of entertainment based on quran and sunnah as compared to what is written here.

        “And since when have entertainers and musicians “moved people to social good?” They have limited good in them, if any. People have been led astray through entertainment more than they have been guided.”

        You should read about the hip-hop movement here and about south-asian drama, theatre, poetry and music – I’m not talking about the commercialized versions, but on the ground culture, :”entertainment” produced out of celebrating certain moments of national or ethnic history, social justice issues, etc. Clearly you have a one-sided perspective on entertainment borne out of the junk produced by hollywood, mtv and others. You should broaden your perspective.

        • FEzz

          November 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM

          You cant have the ‘ground culture’ without the mass commericialsed ‘trash culture’ which will inevitably spawn from it, so unfortunately whatever good is there will also associated with a more substantial harm.

          • asha

            November 12, 2011 at 7:21 PM

            There’s a lot to unpack in that statement but what is more harmful than the other is a judgment call and a blanket statement on the arts being in effect harmful is just bizarre logic. Let people make that judgment call.

  11. Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    November 12, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    Jazak’Allah Khairin Abu Mu’awiyah for this talk. May Allah (SWT) reward you. In one of your comments you quote from “(Having fun the Halal Way, Ismail Kamdar, IIPH, 2011)”. Where would it be possible to get this publication?

    -Aly

    • Ismail Kamdar

      November 12, 2011 at 8:27 AM

      Alhamdulillah, this is my first book and it is published by IIPH, however it has not been released yet. You can preview it at their website here. Inshaa Allah, they will release it before the year ends and it should be available at any bookstore that stocks IIPH books.

      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        November 12, 2011 at 8:32 AM

        Jazak’Allah Khairin

      • Fezz

        November 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        Hmm… a summary of the table of contents doesnt really count as a preview!

  12. shiney

    November 12, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this awesome lecture and may Allah reward the transcriber! Ameen. I was really glad someone addressed this issue of entertainment-sometimes it seems to me as if Muslims “need” more entertainment than non-Muslims, it’s as if they’ve become slaves to music, movies, games, etc. Regarding the issue of music, I used to believe that there was legitimate Ikhtilaaf on it, but after hearing Shaykh Kamal al-Mekki’s The End of Music lecture, I was fully convinced (and on my path to endorsing) that music is haram. Period. Can you please explain which authentic, upon-the-Sunnah-Scholars say that it may be permissible?
    And didn’t the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) say that sin is that which wavers in the heart even after people have given you their opinions regarding its permissibility? So in Shaykh Kamal’s lecture, one of the things he mentions is that deep, down inside, every Muslim knows music is wrong and they feel guilty for listening to it. And of course, I don’t have to mention the other proofs that show it’s haram because as a student of knowledge, you may know them yourself.

    Anyhow, the whole lecture was greatly beneficial and a must-watch for everyone. I pray that Allah guides us all to that which is Halal and that which pleases Him and protects us from Haram forms of entertainment. Ameen.

  13. Umm Sulaim

    November 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    I’m glad I made time, amidst a hectic schedule, to read this article before posting a comment.

    It is a valuable refresher and quick reminder for everyone who WISHES TO HAVE FUN THE HALAL WAY.

    Swimming has been on my list for too long without being fulfilled; getting the swimming pool and a female instructor is the trick.

    Horse and/ or camel riding is another one; some sort of mammal is required for that, which I do not possess.

    Enough with home entertainment, I shall ask around for the possibility of renting a horse/ camel.

    And part of my plan two years ago when I moved into my apartment was to do some hiking/ exploration in the mountainous area near my neighbourhood. Instead, I have spent the time fighting battles! No more! A unilateral truce begins.

    Umm Sulaim

  14. Draz

    November 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Kindly make the mp3 available for download as well.

  15. NAS

    November 13, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Did it bother anyone that parts of this article were written with just men in mind…

    • Ismail Kamdar

      November 13, 2011 at 2:56 AM

      How so? That was not my intention.

    • umm abdullah

      November 13, 2011 at 6:47 AM

      I am a sister and I dint see this article only addressing men.
      Sisters also swim, ride horse and even learn archery…if that is the part which you meant..

      Also men are the ones who mostly play video games…so it was important to mention about that.

      And if you read carefully, the article is not for any particular gender.

      May AllahSWT guide us all to best and blessed akhlaq.

    • mw_m

      November 13, 2011 at 8:15 AM

      …..yeah, sorry, don’t see where you think it’s addressing just men

  16. Umm Sulaim

    November 13, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    I’m just back from a 45-minute sightseeing trek around uninhabited areas near my neighbourhood and took some lovely pictures.

    It was risky, but I’m glad I did it.

    Next time, I’ll wear some protective footwear against the thorny, dry bushes. OUCH! My poor feet!

    Umm Sulaim

  17. Sumaya

    November 23, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    As salaamu alaikum.
    A very beneficial and enlightening article.
    I am disappointed to note that people who post comments on articles on this particular website are often very nitpicky and negative. They give very little encouragement to the writer.
    I thought this kind of attitude was confined to conservative Indo-Pak communities, but it appears I was wrong, if the comments on this site are anything to go by.
    Shaykh Ismail is likely to be a lot younger than many of these nitpickers yet he has achieved a lot which is particularly impressive considering that he operates in one of the most intolerant Muslim communities in the West (South Africa). Give him some credit, and if you have some constructive criticism go for it. But the nitpicking is really a sign of ingratitude (in my opinion) and can be very discouraging for upcoming writers who are actually not writing for themselves, but are writing for us!
    So really, grow up and cool it with the criticism. If you think you know so much more, then why don’t you write yourself?
    wassalaam

    • Lonecoordinator

      February 26, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      I think the issue is that everyone is opposing other views, stating their evidence, and then leaving out the evidence the other opinions have. This is why we leave fiqh to the careful scholars and not to just people who are just muqallideen. An in depth analysis of all opinions is necessary first. And that deserves a true faqeeh.

  18. Abu Hurairah

    November 23, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    As salaamu alykum
    Hows will you classify nasheeds with percussion instruments – allowed or not?

    jazakAllah’khair

    • Ismail Kamdar

      November 24, 2011 at 3:11 AM

      Wa Alaykum Salaam

      The math’habs differ regarding musical instruments, more so with regards to percussion instruments. The opinion I hold to is that wind and string instruments are prohibited but basic percussion is permissible, so such Nasheeds will be permissible, and Allah knows best.

      • Lamyaislam

        May 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        Assalamu alaikum
        JazakAllah Khair for such a timely & needed video. The problem is that we face so much haraam entertainment & so little halal ones that it is very difficult, not impossible though.
        I also feel that the 4 physical activities that you mentioned are either suitable for men or has other issues, for example I am from Bangladesh & we dont have horses, nor does anyone play archery, wrestling is for men & swimming pools are only available in clubs which has expensive membership rules. so what do we females do for physical activity?  I am a grownup & everyday  I feel for an hour of refreshment & turning on the tv has either the Islamic channels or all haraam entertainment ( movies & songs). I love the Islamic channels but they dont really have much entertainment. 
        Sorry if I sound too complaining but I was trying to say that its difficult but not impossible to get halal entertainment.
        Lastly I have a question, is taking pictures allowed?

        • Lamyaislam

          May 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM

          To answer my own question, walking can be a physical  activity for a female.

          • Lamyaislam

            May 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

            Is Karate permissible?

  19. Aasiya Maryam

    July 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    When I came across this article.. I had this satanic whispers saying “He’s just gona give you the list all the things you want to do but you cant do”, but Alhumdulillah I still was able to give it a try and read it!! And I totally loved it! A very informative article, mashaAllah!!

    My Conclusion: Have fun.. but the halal way! ;) Alhumdulillah! :)

    JazakAllahu Khair!! :)

  20. sarawar

    February 24, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    what about movies, today’s most of the film content something good message and also something that surely cause zina for your eyes and your ear
    what should we do????

  21. Moneeb

    August 17, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Salam. I saw a fatwa from IslamQA about prohibited things in video games like http://islamqa.info/en/2898 And the types of video games or games that are halal is very limited. I watch anime too but it isnt easy to find a halal type that doesnt contain these prohibitions. Even certain genres of games and anime I like are hard to come by because they either contain shirk, magic, etc… What can I do if I am alone at night(or day) with nothing to do? I mean like after a day’s long of worship, what can I do to entertain myself with only me? I know bring people over but what if I am just alone? Plz help me. Also, what if a game or an anime contain some haram or shirk but mostly halal, like the haram elements arent a major part of them, just a minor, is it alright to play or watch them?

    • YW

      March 31, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      Assalam alaykum,
      Recently I have been faced with d same thing. I really like anime but I think I should give it up. Bleach and Death Note have ALOTTT of shirk. Code Geass has a lot of inappropriate animation. Maybe stuff like Naruto and Rurouni Kenshin that are mostly about sword fights n stuff? I don’t know.
      Also I live in a place where most of the halal entertainment mentioned (archery, horse riding, swimming) is not available for girls or is too expensive to afford. (srsly not joking)
      I hope the sheikh replies and helps us InShaAllah.

      • Moneeb

        March 31, 2015 at 12:18 PM

        WaAlaikum As-Salam
        I decided to ask this to my local Imam who is the shaykh of the masjid. He told me, “Don’t ask.” as in do not ask unnessary questions that might leave hardship on you.
        He told me avoid the stuff with inappropiate women and a anime or game that establishes a religion. Please don’t take his fatwa as he is giving it depending on the situation around the area I live in.
        I reccommend everyone to go to your own local scholar who is aware of the situation around the place you live in and ask him. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi said to do that because they know the situation better than a foreign shaykh giving a fatwa based on the foreign country he is living in.

  22. ElvenInk

    March 13, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Jazak Allah Khair for the balanced, in-depth article. I particularly liked the section with the three conditions. I think, though, in this day and age movies and how to determine the right ones probably should have warranted its own section rather than, for example, chess. I would love to see a future article on movies and focusing on movies, tv shows, and video-based entertainment.

  23. awez

    March 31, 2014 at 2:46 AM

    Assalamu alaikum.
    i had a question.
    am a boy and i dance only on instrumental music only and my form of dancing is waving,popping and stunts,etc and it does not contain any vulgar and obscene dance moves and it is just simple movement of hands and legs and i am a solo dancer so there is no mingling of sexes involved in it.my question is

    (1)if i earn through dancing, will ALL of my earning be considered haram?

    (2)if i give zakah and go hajj with that earning, will my zakah and hajj be accepted by allah?

    please please answer me.jazakallah khair.

    is there any other way to contact you sir to ask question.

  24. Pingback: Fiqh of Entertainment | Every Moment Is Another Chance

    • muhammed

      December 11, 2014 at 5:22 AM

      slmz ismail kamdar

      please email me your book:
      “Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam”

  25. Afia Shakir

    April 7, 2015 at 4:10 AM

    Assalm o alaikum!.I have concerns regarding cartoon making in Islam.I make cartoons giving messages regarding social issues.I have no aspirations to create like ALLAH(naoozubillah).I want a pet answer weather i continue it or not.Help me out

  26. Red Spinner

    April 16, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    Please correct this article to include Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam following the initial mentioning of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam)’s name.

    JazahkAllaah Khairun.

    :)

  27. Sameer

    August 8, 2015 at 12:20 AM

    I wan to know if watching Hollywood or Bollywood movies haram .

  28. basil dawood

    November 26, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

    I don’t know if you are still taking questions. I think this was a descent article.

    My question is, if a movie or music is deemed “halal” is it then permissible to play in the musallah at the masjid? Like is it okay to set up a projecter and play that film on the qibla have?

  29. Noman Mahmood

    March 19, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    “Prophet used to watch people play with swords in the masjid”.
    Ill be really thankful if you can provide references plus supporting references for this statement that you made in your article.

  30. Tamanna

    April 8, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    Assalamualaikum,
    I am still not sure that is playing poker without money & without wasting time (such as playing for 2 – 3 hours per week or once in a month )is permissible or not? As here, where I live in all my Muslim friends use to play only this game once a week or a month. I really need to know this issue.

    Zazhakaallahu khairan

  31. Mohammed Irfan

    April 24, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    i wanted to open playing videogame shop, is it halal or haram?

  32. Struggle

    June 21, 2016 at 6:01 AM

    Assalam aalaikum wa rahmat Allah. Im a born sunni Muslim raised in America. I have a question about entertainment as it regards to comedy. I have listened and watched comedy from people like Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor and the like for my entire life, as it is a way of expressing the hardships of life in a way that can make people laugh and escape from the pain. Is this haram if it doesn’t keep me any from my prayers? Thanks

  33. Ahmad

    July 17, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Assalamu alaikum.
    My question is it haram to upload anime pictures on social media or keep them as profile pictures on social network?
    I keep them as my profile pictures because I like them a lot and my sole intention is only that I like them. Nothing else. But recently one of my friends told me that it is haram to upload as it is haram to draw someone. I agree with the drawing but all I am doing is just uploading. I am not drawing anything. And besides everything is judged by your intentions right? If my intention is nothing bad, then I believe it is alright.
    So please justify this question for me.

  34. Aisha Backar

    October 13, 2016 at 1:35 AM

    Assalamu Alaykum Sh. Ismail and all brothers and sisters
    I have a particular question concerning animation movies. I am an Arab adult that watches English animation movies like the ones produced by Disney, pixar and the like for the sake of improving my English because they are at my level- I understand them much easier than documentaries and TV shows. I do my best to avoid scenes containing songs and sexual content and I never watch real movies or drama. Is this permissible or not and Jazaak Allahu khairaa Sh. Ismail.

  35. GA

    April 3, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

    I was wondering if you would be able to let me know whether painting/sketching/drawing/arts and crafts/sewing or anything of the like is permissible as a form of entertainment? Would using paint/markers/glue/thread (anything used to be crafty) be considered an extravagance?
    (keeping in mind that we don’t draw animate beings or spend too much time on it)

    Also, what about reading novels and poetry?

    May Allah Ta’ala reward you for your efforts.

  36. Maggie

    April 4, 2017 at 7:16 PM

    Salamalekum,
    This article was very informative and well written. I am an American who recently converted to Islam, and my husband and I were having a discussion on playing cards and how it may be haram or makrooh, so I was doing research on why, when I came across this article. It is often hard for me to find answers to my questions on Islamic issues, because there are so many different views on certain issues. There are certain things that are most definitely halal and haram, and I can understand those, but the things that are up for interpretation are much harder for me to determine what is actually right or wrong. But you helped me to understand that a lot of it has to do with your intentions and trusting Allah, because he knows best. Your article included all the facts I had already found and presented them in a way I could understand clearly. I hope to read more by you and I am ordering your book on Having Fun the Halal Way as we speak! Mashallah!

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