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The Dilemma of The Dark Knight Rises and Ramadan

Omar Usman



Admittedly, I haven’t seen any of the relevant “Dark Knight” Batman movies, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight. But it’s been an interesting fight nonetheless.

Should Muslims go see The Dark Knight Rises, the final Batman movie of the recent wildly popular trilogy, even though it opens right at the start of Ramadan? Or should they refrain from watching it altogether until after the month ends? Like most impassioned and useless debates, people whose opinions don’t matter have formed very strong arguments on both sides.

On one hand you have people who are huge fans of Batman that can’t envision not seeing it. It’s only a couple of hours, what’s the harm?

On the other hand, you have those urging people not to waste time watching movies. Every second in this 30 days is precious, don’t burn 3 hours at a movie.

As someone who doesn’t fall into either category, I simply want to offer some perspective on this issue.

The larger question is to address the purpose of Ramadan, and what one hopes to get out of the month. Both sides contain a certain level of inconsistency in their advocacy. Those who are in favor of watching it need to acknowledge that at its base level, spending time going to the movies and being in that environment does go against the spirit of Ramadan. And while some will argue over the halal/haram of the issue, the following question is sufficient: Is this the best use of time during this precious month where every second needs to be maximized?

At the same time, I feel there’s an unfair assumption being made. Those against seeing the movie use the time argument above, but without context. Someone can choose to not go see The Dark Knight Rises, but still engage in wasting massive amounts of time. There’s television, Netflix, YouTube, magazines, fiction books, the news (depending on which news you read), and, the big one, sports. What’s worse, watching The Dark Knight Rises, or compulsively checking every few hours for new articles on a daily basis?

And this is where we get back to the central question about Ramadan. Ramadan is not a 30 day vacuum. I don’t see the benefit in someone being “righteous” enough to not watch the movie during Ramadan, but as soon as Ramadan is over they go back to seeing a new movie every weekend. By the same token, I don’t see the validity in chastising someone because they think you shouldn’t see a movie.

Move past the movie question to the more fundamental question of why.  If you’re opposed to seeing it in Ramadan, WHY are you staying away from it?  What does it mean for you and your relationship with Allah? Is the why to maximize our Ramadan time for worship (time management)? Then what that means is that we can use this month as boot camp to cut down on those things outside the month and increase in worship more than last year. Is the why because what you’re watching/listening to/involved in intrinsically evil (sinning)? Then what that means is maybe we shouldn’t be doing that stuff at all, and we can use the month to purge it now and forever.

But if you can’t answer the ‘why’ behind following certain rules, then there’s a bigger problem under the surface.

If we feel that Ramadan is a vacuum and that certain things are somehow allowed only outside of it, what does that do to someone’s understanding and appreciation of the month? If anything, that just turns the supposedly holiest time of the year into a robotic lifestyle change that’s more of a 30 day chore than anything else. With such an understanding, is it any wonder then that we see little change in ourselves during the month?

But, instead, we understand that Ramadan is about a time of reflection for the sake of change, not just full of things that you *can’t* do, but that you DO do (extra worship) and don’t do (eat) in order to become a better servant of God, how much more does that play a role into improving one’s faith?

There’s an important question of why on the other side of this debate as well. Why is it that people get agitated when they’re told not to watch a movie during Ramadan? Why get defensive? If there is some guilt there, then you need to explore why that’s the case. If you’re comfortable with your decision to watch The Dark Knight Rises, then why is there such a need to go to great lengths to justify it to those around you? Instead of labeling others as being out of touch, or pretentious, or self-righteous, have good thoughts for those giving you advice the same way you want them to have good thoughts for you.

During Ramadan we push ourselves to the spiritual limit in 30 days. We do as much as we can, and we hope to maximize the time that we have. We read as much Qur’an as possible, make as much du‘ā’ as possible, and pray as many extra prayers as we can. One of the overlooked goals though, is that of creating sustainable habits during this month.

Let’s reframe the argument. Do you see a difference between: a) Not watching Dark Knight during Ramadan, and then watching it the day after Eid, and b) Not reading the Qur’an all year, but reading it twice during the 30 days and then closing it again?

If I know, for example, that I keep up with too many TV shows, then the point is not to go cold turkey in Ramadan and then go right back. It should be to scale down in such a way that I can keep myself at that level until the following Ramadan. If I know I’m not spending enough time reading Qur’an, then my goal is not necessarily to finish it 10 times and then shut the book. My personal goal would be to create a system of reading regularly such that I can continue it after the month is over.

Don’t confuse this with not being ambitious with your personal ‘ibādah. Do as much as you can, but remember that the change has to continue after the month is over.

Let those who are going to watch it go watch it. Let those who aren’t, leave it. Either way, it’s not something that needs to cause us to look down on other people. Unfortunately, the judgmental comments are plenty from both sides. Self-righteousness manifests itself both in “how dare you watch a movie during Ramadan” and “you extremists don’t understand how to have fun, it’s just a movie.”

Part of Ramadan is also getting back to the basics. Prayer. Qur’an. How about encouraging and helping each other to have a good Ramadan instead of drawing battle lines before the month even begins? If we’re going to do that, at least let it be over something worthwhile like the abhorrent, unsubstantiated, and illegitimate position of using calculations in place of moon-sighting.

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow him on Twitter @ibnabeeomar. Check out his latest project at Fiqh of Social Media.



  1. Avatar

    Mansoor Shah

    July 16, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    This is the problem with American moderate salafis who frequent this site and study/teach at Bayyinah, Maghrib etc. You have lost your concept of halal and haram. Watching Batman movies is haram. Why, you ask? Not because of any extremist interpretation. Simply because of basic Islam. Consider:
    1. All scholars of all persuasions agree that looking at a woman’s hair, arms above wrist, any part of the legs other than the feet is haram as it is her awrah (nakedness) in front of you, the male viewer, as she is a ghayr mahram. And there will be many such actresses in any movie.
    2. There is music in all movies.
    3. What is impermissible to do in real life (violence, murder, mayhem) is impermissible to see or portray on the (big or otherwise) screen.
    Then, there are countless and numerous ways in which watching such a movie would be makruh. I would hope for (at least the practicing Muslim readership) of MM, I would not need to detail them. But, alas, reading the post strongly suggests that the American moderate salafi crowd has lost sense of such as well.
    Dear reader, this Ramadan, and every Ramadan, and every day of your life: Fast and abstain from the haram, and try your best to fast and abstain from the makruh. Ramadan is the best month to start.
    The fact that someone is even considering watching a movie, can post about such a thing, and MM can host such a post, shows that taqwa is far from the horizon.
    And this is the month of la’allakum tattaqoon.
    La Hawla wa La Quwwata illa billah
    May we all remember Ibn Abee Omar and those who share his mentality and frivolity concerning deen in our duas.
    May the moderators have courage to publish this comment and critique, even though it does not come from a politically correct non-Muslim.

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      July 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      LOL watching Batman is haraam… this guy.

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        July 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM

        Finally, someone said the truth, Batman is haram. Superman is the only halal outlet.

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      Abu Abdullah

      July 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM

      Thank you for certain parts of this post, inshallah it has some good things that we need to think about and reflect on. I hope I take benefit from it and learn from it.

      Also, please be careful labeling a large group of people inshallah (especially if the people are trying their best to please Allah and trying to commit time to His cause). If we wouldn’t do something in public crowd (i.e. calling someone an American moderate salafi) then we shouldn’t do it in an internet crowd. May Allah reward you for your good.

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        ibn abee omar

        July 17, 2012 at 1:01 AM

        come to think of it, i don’t think ive ever heard anyone say something ridiculous like “american moderate salafi” in real life.

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      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

      so mass stereotyping, dishonoring thousands of muslim, labeling, harboring suspicion, and accusing people of insincerity in taqwa is ok – but going to the grocery store and seeing a woman’s forearm is the sin that’s threatening the very veracity of our deen in north america? got it.

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        July 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        in public it not a paid view of awrah,but it happen as coincidence.
        here what you are doing,you are ready to pay to watch obscene things.
        so dont compare daily life in public domain with what you choose to do,former you dont choose but it is the environment ,but latter you are knowingly choosing environmnet

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    July 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Good points on something I’ve had a few convos about as well lol! trump cards are: 1~Movies contain awrah. 2~Movies contain music. 3~By watching in cinema you are funding the industry to continue making productions with awrah and music. (those points have convinced me but when trying to convince others I found that many Muslims have no idea what the word awrah means…)
    The wasting time point comes in fourth place because it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much time is wasting time. Though I also feel that anyone serious about becoming the next Umar bin khattab or Abu bakr as-Siddique would never waste their life in frivolity.

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    July 16, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Thank you Mansoor Shah, I think that u have clarified your opinion beautifully. I can take benefit from it, Insha’Allah.

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      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:50 AM

      yes it was a beautiful clarification showing how to slander thousands of muslims in one simple sentence and attribute it to the simplicity of islam

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    Abdul Samad Ali

    July 16, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    “I know ‘Dark Knight Rises’ comes out the Day Ramadhaan Starts, but I will still watch it. 2 Hours is not a big deal ”

    The other group comes and argues “You should make the most of your time
    in Ramadhaan and not waste even 2 hours on a movie. Watch it after
    Ramadhaan instead.”

    – How ironic, both you groups are worried
    about “how you spend those 2 hours”, but have no problem wasting the
    whole day arguing whether to watch the movie or not to watch the

    I can’t believe an article was needed to address this issue. SMH

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      July 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM

      Well first of all it’s an almost 3 hour movie. So let’s get the numbers right. Second of all, people are full of it if they they think they are going to spend every waking moment of their time doing some sort of worship. And why is the quantity of your worship so important, shouldn’t you be focused on quality?

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        Abdul Samad Ali

        July 17, 2012 at 2:52 AM

        Firstly, if you wanna be that precise then it’s 2 hours and 45 minutes long.

        Lastly, I am gonna do just that, work on quality, and gonna start by ignoring you and the rest of this time wasting thread.

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        July 17, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        Well, I think the numbers are still off. There is the actual trip you make to the movie, and then return, and then possibly post analysis of the movie, talk to friends, etc……

        I just don’t understand how does one try to concentrate in salah with garbage getting looped back in the head…

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        July 18, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        NIIIICCCCEEE !!1

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    July 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Good points on something I’ve had a few convos about as well lol! trump cards are: 1~Movies contain awrah. 2~Movies contain music. 3~By watching in cinema you are funding the industry to continue making productions with awrah and music. (those points have convinced me but when trying to convince others I found that many Muslims have no idea what the word awrah means…)
    The wasting time point comes in fourth place because it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much time is wasting time. Though I also feel that anyone serious about becoming the next Umar bin khattab or Abu bakr as-Siddique would never waste hours in frivolity.

    (sorry if I’m posting this twice. I think the first time it was awaiting moderation, or maybe by computer messed up, just making sure)

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      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:53 AM

      halal/haram is taking the issue in a different direction. if you want to advocate this stance, then you need to take it to its full conclusion. is it haram to earn a living if you have to “see awrah”? is it haram to go to the grocery store because you might hear music?

      you may argue these dont apply because they’re “necessities” – but id like clarification on that. is your stance that life in general is absolutely haram, and we’re just given a couple of exceptions here and there? if so, what scholars have advocated as such? and if not, id like a lot more elaboration on where you draw the line as to when “seeing awrah” or “hearing music” become halal.

      you might further argue that in the example of a grocery store no one goes there with the intention of hearing music or seeing awrah. what if i say that people go to see the dark knight for the intention of the story, and that the music/awrah are just collateral damage just like they would be at the grocery store?


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        July 17, 2012 at 1:40 AM

        No, sir. At the grocery store or at work, I have the option to lower my gaze. How many times is a person going to lower his gaze while watching a movie? Besides, one is a necessity, the other useless entertainment. Thank you.

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          Sirajuddin Ahmed

          July 17, 2012 at 3:44 AM

          Very well said. I’ve read the comments and two points stand out. Firstly, many things in a movie are haram, Allah would reward you inshallah for avoiding these things. Secondly, whatever benefit you can get from watching Batman, I am sure you can get even more benefit from reading Quran or hadith.

          We have to understand why we want to watch Batman, the reasons I think are:
          –Your friends will watch it before you and spoil it for you.
          –It is a movie by a famous director and it will be entertaining.

          Someone also said, it is a test from Allah to launch Batman on first of Ramadhan, it could well be, Allah knows best. It definitely is testing me out. I was a huge movie buff until three months ago. First I said, I will watch one movie per month. And Dark knight Rises was the movie for July. Then later, after a relative passed away, i don’t see the point of even that ‘one movie per month.’ Now I am just happy to sacrifice it for Ramadhan. You can also do it.

          Also, the debate is on as it is a matter for some muslims. And I believe, these muslims need to rework their priorities and ‘struggle’ for deen rather than watch movies.

          I am planning to do more picnics and shopping with my family to cover for the time of going to movies.

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          July 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

          Well said tiger,yes if we saw anything obscence we have try not to see it again that the way.I dont know what type interpretation Mr.ibnameer is making.
          we totally accepts seceintific advancement but we have try to avoid sins.
          Dont consider us a stereo type,we work with people of different religion & we respect their religion & culture,but same time we dont invent something new in our islam.we dont like to cross the ambit of islam.
          Mr ibnu ameer my brother you have think & understand much well,please brother dont spoil yourself.

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        July 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        Assalamu alaykum, thanks for your reply.

         Good points, according my (limited) knowledge, when we are unsure to what extent we make exceptions, we refer it back to the Quran and sunnah. Regarding awrah for example, we can make an exception when it comes to studying medicine as this undoubtably an nessecity and Allah has given leeways when it comes to saving lives (line in Quran about haram food becoming halal if it’s by compulsion or fear of death.) I haven’t seen any hadith which makes awrah permissible if the intention is to enjoy a story. In fact if remember correct, I’ve heard a narration (correct me if I’m wrong) that when the prophet sws went out to listen to people tell their tales, Allah decreed a deep sleep to overtake him. This happened on two occasions. The point I’m trying to make is that i can’t sincerely make an exception for awrah for a movie. Grocery store example-let’s refer back to the Sunnah- we know that the first inadvertent look is forgiven so we have to be practical and buy our food. If possible, we should choose times where there are less shoppers to minimise the fitnah.

        You asked about my stance on is everything in life haram, except for a few exceptions. I didn’t say that and I hope I didn’t imply that. I’ve learnt that everything single thing regarding day to day life is permissible except those specifically mentioned as being forbidden, and I’ve given the above reasons and I can give a few more (public sin-the well known Hadith regarding it, if your going as a group the sin is multiplied, line in Quran about not aiding one another in sin and transgression, the themes brought up in the movie-girlfriends, zina, corruption etc) but I feel the awrah and music are silencing arguments.

        I know a couple of well known Muslim American speakers who endorse music, who follow a particular methodology, but after reading the evidences against it, I am convinced it is forbidden and I respectfully and whole heartedly disagree with them. In any case, if one doesn’t agree on the point of music, then they can’t deny the awrah point.

        I do appreciate your article. I liked the point about not having double standards. Something haram inside Ramadan is haram is haram outside. I agree, We shouldn’t let Ramadan become a bubble where we are two completely different people, but rather we should let giving up dark knight be a stepping stone, a catalyst to giving up movies in totality, in sha Allah.

      • Avatar


        July 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        i may think you are totally misunderstood islam, i have habit of watching ,but i dont advocate to watch movie,because its not a good thing to advocate

  6. Avatar

    Adnan Malik

    July 16, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Alhumdulillah. Mashallah, nice article. I hardly make it too the theaters with 3 kids, and know must of my coworkers and friends will seeit, but there’s a sense of pride rising above…;)

    • Avatar

      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      rising above it like the dark knight? i see what you did there

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    July 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Honestly this is a artificial debate that doesn’t even need to be taking place. You’re kidding yourself if you think that you’ll be spending every waking moment of Ramadan doing something overtly religious. The point of Ramadan is not to put your entire life on hold, but to spend more time than you usually would remembering God and performing worship. I don’t understand how somebody watching The Dark Knight Rises will be stopped from remembering God and Islamic teachings. Nearly all of Christopher Nolan’s films have been thought-provoking and profound. His last Batman movie, The Dark Knight, explored important themes of morality and chaos in our contemporary society. If you think these topics are not relevant to Islam, you are completely off base. You are going to be fasting for over 12 hours a day, and you know you’re not going to be praying or reading Qur’an the entire time. If you wait an entire month to watch one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of all time, kudos to you. If you spend 3 hours watching it, you should not be demonized or looked down upon. Simple as that.

    • Avatar

      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:58 AM

      strangely, i find myself wanting to disagree with you but agreeing with you

    • Avatar

      Mehdi Hasan Sheikh

      July 17, 2012 at 8:29 PM

      The point of Ramadaan is not to put your entire life on hold, but the point is to put on hold the things that don’t benefit your deen.

      Even giving up something bad for the sake of Ramadan is an act of worship.

      You shouldn’t be demonized for watching a movie but then again you shouldn’t be demonized for commiting any sin that you regret. The issue is not the actual watching of the movie or similar idle and idiotic things in Ramadan (video games too), but the idea that you think that its okay or better then other evils. Its the nonchalant attitude that is the evil that is taking root in the heart, and in Ramadan one should take care not to allow this sort of attitude ruin his worship.

  8. Avatar


    July 16, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Why is it that people get agitated when they’re told not to watch a movie during Ramadan?” Because where the hell do you get off telling somebody else not to watch a movie during Ramadan? That’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. If you don’t any problem watching movies in any other month, I don’t understand why you shouldn’t do it during Ramadan.

    • Avatar


      July 16, 2012 at 11:00 PM

      If I told someone to delay watching movies until after their medical boards, no one would bat an eyelash….ah well…

    • Avatar


      July 17, 2012 at 1:02 AM

      Your comment is a picture perfect example of the current state of the Ummah. “I don’t understand why you shouldn’t do it during Ramadan” wow really? Maybe because Ramadan isn’t the same as your every other normal month of the year?

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    July 16, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    abhorrent, unsubstantiated, and illegitimate position of using calculations in place of moon-sighting.” Really? You actually wrote a pretty legitimate article up until that point.. way to throw it out of the window

    • Avatar

      Abu Abdullah

      July 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      its possible the author meant that in a tongue-in-cheek manner to be humorous. The fact that the link goes to an article discussing that very issue supports this point. Allahu Alim.

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      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM

      well im glad someone noticed. thanks

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    July 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    If it don’t break my fast…

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      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      it might according to “mansoor shah”s comment

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    Ashraff Ali

    July 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Brilliantly put!!
    Thanks I am a fan of Batman! reallised its haram.. Giving up now! May Allah guide me and all those Muslims

  12. Avatar


    July 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    >Or should they refrain from watching it altogether until after the month ends?

    Yeah, watching it will become halal after Ramadan.

    • Avatar

      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 1:37 AM

      this is good news for a lot of people

      • Avatar


        July 17, 2012 at 3:26 AM

        Good news? First of, you miss the sarcasm. Secondly, how does a sin become halal after Ramadan???

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    July 17, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    The Quran tells us to lower our gaze. I’m assuming lying and backbiting spoils a fast, but it is okay to look at women (in the movie) in Ramadan. Not to mention the music, which is haram.

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      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 12:57 AM

      make sure you don’t leave the house while fasting! also, im pretty sure everyone is seeing the movie at the midnight showing so it won’t be during fasting hours.

      • Avatar


        July 17, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        Lol although Ramadan technically starts at Maghrib on Thursday so people should be praying Taraweeh :)

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    July 17, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    I just can’t see how Ramadan and the Dark Knight rises coinciding on the same day not being a test from Allah to see if we could contain our Nafs’ or not. Ajeeb.

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      July 17, 2012 at 1:18 AM


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        ibn abee omar

        July 17, 2012 at 1:36 AM

        If He didn’t decree it then who did? You should iron out your aqeedah issues before worrying about whether or not batman’s head is covered

        • Avatar


          July 17, 2012 at 2:11 AM

          No one is worried about Batman’s head. And how does aqeedah prove/explain that Allah SWT wanted Batman to coincide with Ramadan?

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            July 17, 2012 at 5:43 AM

            Because it’s our aqeedah that everything happens with the decree or allowance of Allah s.w.t.. If He s.w.t. doesn’t want something to happen, it can NEVER take place.

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            July 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM

            Yeah, why don’t I hack this website and write on the front page – “Muslimmatters Hacked – Decree from Allah SWT –

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            July 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM

            Yup you can do that if Allah s.w.t. allows you to do that – which He s.w.t. can allow and can’t…what He wills (things don’t always go our way, do they? think why!). Oh n just change the ‘decree’ to ‘allowed’. Because He s.w.t. is not commanding you to do such a thing but He is ALLOWING you to do it. He has given us all free will till when He s.w.t. wills, ya know?

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            July 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

            and and and! even if he could but he didnt, its because Allah SWT didn’t decree it… right? right? I hazgood aqeedah!

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          July 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM

          And why didn’t it coincide in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and a number of other countries? Maybe Allah SWT only wants to test idiotic Arab khateebs like you.

    • Avatar


      July 23, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      My point was, and still is, that how do you know if Allah SWT wanted Batman to coincide with Ramadan? He allowed Batman to be released, but who are you to say that he wanted it to coincide with Ramadan?

  15. Avatar


    July 17, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I am surprised this post is coming from a ‘khateeb’. Khateebs these days have lost it. Also, why is your head not covered? Are you indirectly tying to say that it is okay to watch movies, inside or outside of Ramadan? How do you justify looking at women, listening to music, and looking at a video (which is basically pictures – haram in Islam).

    • Avatar

      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 1:19 AM

      batman’s head is covered.

      i’m surprised at your reading comprehension, i didn’t actually justify any of those things or advocate them. if you want to insult or attack me, at least get it right.

      also i didn’t know video was basically pictures and therefore haram. please leave comments on all the youtube islamic lectures you can find to avert people from this evil.

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        July 17, 2012 at 1:38 AM

        All I am asking for is an explanation as to how watching Batman is halal. And may I politely ask why your head is not covered when you are a khateeb. Same question for Yasir Qadhi.

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          ibn abee omar

          July 17, 2012 at 2:03 AM

          you said yourself in another comment that watching it becomes halal after ramadan is over. i’m confused.

          and please don’t tell me you were being sarcastic, because im pretty sure thats just a fancy way of JUSTIFYING that you were lying.

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            July 17, 2012 at 2:09 AM

            That was a sarcastic comment.

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            July 17, 2012 at 2:28 AM

            Seriously? A sin becomes halal after Ramadan? Please use your common sense.

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        July 17, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        whoa dude, are you mandating hijab for Christian Bale. #manhajfail Lol

  16. Avatar

    ibn abee omar

    July 17, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    A good friend posted this in response to this article and I thought it relevant to share here:

    “Why shouldn’t you watch The Dark Knight in Ramadan even if you were to watch it in other times?
    – The Sanctity of the Month: a sin in Ramadan is not like a sin in Sha’ban or Shawwal
    – Jabir ibn Abdullah (radyAllahu ‘anhu): Do not make the days that you are not fasting and the days you are fasting equal.

    Allah chose a season, chose times, chose people, and places as opportunities for us to strive MORE in.”

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      July 17, 2012 at 1:36 AM

      We don’t make then equal because we worship more in Ramadan.

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      July 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      If you are scrambling to worship more during Ramadan your faith is a fake. Sins and good deeds are not like money. You cant save 100 good deeds during Ramadan to make up for your lifestyle the rest of the year. strive more all the time

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        July 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Sry but that is not for you to judge

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        July 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

        last time i checked deeds (especially good ones) were the currency of the afterlife. so that does make them like money.

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      July 19, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Assalaamualaikum.. May Allah reward you for this article. No matter what the commenters say, you made great points and it is very true.

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    July 17, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    The sarcastic and kinda disrespectful comments are sad :/ there’s a way to have an actual intellectual debate or just bash one another. I understand people say very incorrect and infuriating things but please don’t give there comments the attention they doesn’t deserve

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      Bruce Wayne

      July 17, 2012 at 3:43 AM

      In that case I will proceed to ignore half your comments…

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    July 17, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    The writer itself is confuse about his / her own aqidah. Therefore, it further more creates confusion with the ummah.

    Of course watching it during the act of fasting is not advisable, then why not watch it in between after terawih and qiyam?

    If any “smart alex” deemed it to be wrong / haram etc, try to reason out with whatever stated in the Quran.

    • Avatar

      Nihal Khan

      July 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      So now watching Batman has to do with one’s aqeedah? #firstworldsalafiproblems

      • Avatar


        July 17, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        Batman to Aqeedah Controversy…brought to you by MM :)

  19. Avatar

    The other HHP

    July 17, 2012 at 2:59 AM

    We joke about going to see the movie etc but you’re right, what is it that you hope to get out of Ramadaan. The movie will still be around post Ramadaan but Ramadaan won’t. It is merely a matter of perspective and intention. Thank you for this post.

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    July 17, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    I really, truly appreciate this article To me, Ramadan is my month of intensive training, while afterward, I try to stick to a maintenance level, which I attempt to get better with each Ramadan. Every Ramadan, I have discovered something new, tafsirs, lecturers, etc. that have motivated me to study the Quran/Islam with more depth. The reason why I try my best to refrain from entertainment during Ramadan is because, as a type 1 diabetic, I can’t fast. I’m missing out what is perceived as the most fundamental hallmark of Ramadan. Most people my age can keep fasts and I feel awfully left out. Therefore, I try to “fast” from everyday entertainment to instead spend that time doing ibadat. I understand completely that we shouldn’t just go from one extreme and then go back to the next. Ramadan motivates me to go to new levels in my ibadat. I may not maintain these levels every single day afterward, but I do learn a lot and try to implement this. When I do this, I feel more involved in the holy month and it makes me feel less left out because of my medical condition. I sometimes think most people take it for granted almost everybody can fast and those who can’t are excuse-makers, but really, I have begged my mom forever to let me fast until I realized myself what happens to me when I don’t eat for hours. I don’t watch many movies as it is, but during Ramadan, I try to stay away so I can feel more involved at home with the activities that go on-ibadat, sehris/iftars, etc.

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    July 17, 2012 at 4:38 AM


    I read the article and what the comments have to say and I feel Allahu A’lam but people are misunderstanding the sentiment of the author. It isn’t about Dark knight folks. I used to be a person who used to watch a LOT of movies in theatre or computer/TV. But Alhamdullilah I realised this is not something that I want to do and have cut down on it considerably. When a person intends to do that and can use ramadan for that benefit then Alhamdullilah.

    The issue is not about whether you are filling up your time with Ibadah, it is whether you consider movies/TV/entertainment in general a distraction from the real purpose. The action might not be a sin per se or it might be if it includes such material but the point is – are you making an effort to avoid. it?What if the question is put this way – If Allah SWT chose Ramadan as the time for your death, would you rather be in a position like a movie theatre/playing xbox/watching football or in a position where you are avoiding this matter even if you aren’t doing ibadah.

    Just because a person isn’t sinning doesn’t mean he is filling up his life with ibadah.Our life is sadly not an omlette that flip around as you wish.

    For the people who can take this dunya distractions in their stride and yet make akhira their purpose – more power to you and May Allah SWT forgive you and enter you into His Jannah

    For the people who want to avoid distractions and want to spend this ramadan increasing the good characteristics and leaving the bad – more power to you and May Allah SWT forgive you and enter you into His Jannah

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    July 17, 2012 at 4:50 AM

    How is batman going to help you on the Day of Qiyamah when Allah ta ala is going to ask you why did you watch the movie in my sacred month? Just remember, any act you do, whether in Ramadan or not, can either bring you closer to your Creator or take you further away…

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      July 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Salaam guy, technically speaking there are four sacred months. Ramadan is five, and we know that shawwal and shaban are pretty important too that makes 7. Your argument is invalid based on your inability to distinguish a holy, sacred, revered month. I felt you should know lest you are destroyed by your slipping Just admit it, you don’t watch movies. MashaAllah doesn’t mean others will be deprived of paradise because they did. Honestly some Muslims have huge vices, some drink, some commit zina, some go party their booty off. You are not talking to the lowest common denominator. You are chastising the crowd who breathe and drink dhikr, who maintain wudu except for 45 seconds out of their waking day. You my friend are giving bad dawah to the others. May Allah guide us to speech that is pleasing to Him. Ameen. I completely admit on the Day of Judgement you will have wished you spent 3 hours doing something beneficial since we will all feel deceived by the blessings of time and health…the pious and evil amongst will share in that.

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      July 19, 2012 at 7:09 PM


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    July 17, 2012 at 4:57 AM

    i don`t really care what other people do, and no,I am not gasping to see the dark knight rises, I proberbly will watch the dvd which to some is as sacreligious as watching the dark knight in Ramadan is to others. Whatever. I just want to answer the question as to WHY it is that I don`t watch TV in Ramadan, nor youtube videos, tv,music and most of the other mindless activities that I perform outside of Ramadan either. Call me a hypocrite, perhaps I am. After all I am that girl whose bright blue skinny pants and ironed hair is miraculously replaced by an Abaya and scarf. And to do answer the question on my metamorphisis, I will have to narrate a hadeeth mentioned in Bukhari. “When the month of Ramadhan comes, the Gates of Heaven are thrown open and the Gates of hell are shut, and the devils are put behind bars”
    If Shaytaan is locked away, then every single action of mine that may be displeasing to Allah is on me and me alone. It just does not sit comfortably with me knowing that Shaytaans conspiracy to drag me to hell is put on hold while I fail to make the most of it by lets face it, wasting time. Were I citizern of Greenwich or a Cullen I would maybe take Ramadan a little less seriously but living in the real world means I have got to make the most of it. Every single action, good or bad, is magnified and so I try, really try, to amp up my good deeds and tone down on those that are trivial with the hope that even a tiny bit spills over onto the rest of the year. The difference between Ramadan and the rest of the year can, without even looking too hard, be found in many hadeeth and Quraanic Ayat. It is after all the month of self-restraint. Go on, judge me for restraining myself from doing those things that my NAFS usually nags me to do. I don`t care because Ramadan is my absolute favourite month of the year. Granted, the fasts are short but by the end of the first week don`t even feel inclined to watch movies or series ,drift through malls aimlessly, or to drive with 5fm switched on and the spiritual rush is amazing.

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    July 17, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    Like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf the ‘best’ programming is shown in Ramadhaan, why to take us away from our goals. You have one precious life and you choose to waste it in this way.

    If you start Ramadaan like this what else will be ok for the rest of your days…….

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    July 17, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    The whole point of Ramadan is to abstain from things such as Tv and movies. So why are people debating whether to watch the film or not? The answer is NO!

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      July 23, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      Oh I thought the point was to achieve taqwa. Must have missed the ayah about TV and movies… I will watch after Ramadan or wait for Blu-ray.

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    Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    July 17, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    If you do not watch movies, Masha’Allah that is wonderful and this debate does not pertain to you.

    If you do watch movies, and are in Pakistan, Dark Night Rises is on the cinema on Eid Day and not before so this debate does not pertain to you.

    For the rest, it is better to avoid the movie and wait till Ramadan ends. Your time should be spent better in Ramadan than watching Bruce Wayne beat up bad guys and get shot at.

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      July 17, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      although if you were sucked into your summer desires, watching the movie would be a step up from checkin out the club or goin to the beach with the youth in the midday heat when the clothes are barely there. We have to speak in perspective. And I pray people would speak the truth boldly instead of get all wimpy in someone’s face.

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    Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    July 17, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    As the lead moderator on this forum, my team and I have given a very free hand to all for this discussion. However, we request comments should remain civil and similar to what you would make if the other person was face to face with you.

    Aly Balagamwala
    Comment Team Lead

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    July 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I’m going to illegally download it and watch it later… does that make me bad

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      July 19, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      ooh ooh…like setting the nets out on friday and collecting them fishys on sunday???

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    July 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    I will go watch it at the midnight showing- and not because my intention to see awrah (I lower my gaze) – my intentions are judged by Allah. People who say they will dedicate every hour of ramdan to ibdah without sparing 3h are not human- Its impossible. This is just how I choose to spend my wasted 3h. If you are not going because your doing ibadh- I salute you, may Allah bestow bounty of rewards for your sacrfice (no sarcasm intended). Only Allah judges.

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    AnonyMouse Al-Majnoonah

    July 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    …………. and this is a genuine dilemma that folks have. As much as I respect the fact that different people are at different levels in their emaan and practice of Islam, it just staggers me that this is taken as a serious problem.

    Seriously, folks? If you want to watch it and don’t think you’re doing something wrong – then that’s between you and Allah, and you alone are accountable for how you have spent your time (just as every other second/ minute/ hour is spent, watching Batman or not). Just don’t go around announcing it (in which case you can’t complain about the criticism you’ll receive) or trying to convince others to do it too.

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      Mansoor Shah

      July 17, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      Dear readers, and dear author. Please understand: no comment is about the author’s individual decision to watch or not watch the movie. I am sure most or all of us would agree that individual choice and action are, to a reasonable extent, between a person and their Rabb. The stern and strong response is not to the author’s own act. It is to the author’s open, unabashed, and public advocacy of such a thing, even if it is in slightly conditioned words. To do something in private is one thing, and to announce and advocate something publicly is another thing altogether. And the latter should be met with the strongest of condemnation as well as the strongest of duas for “ibn abee omar.” It is sad that he shows not a trace of remorse or regret, let alone tawbah, in any of his many responses to the many comments. I would urge all readers to speak out against his call, and also urge the speakers and lecturers on the bayyinah/maghrib circuit and those who we all know do read these posts, to talk some sense into the poor fellow before ramadan. I am sure with a continued nahy an al-munkar, duas for the boy, and nasiha from those who he believes and holds to be “scholars” we can all insha’Allah see a public retraction here on MM soon.
      Meanwhile, readers should read the beneficial articles here and elsewhere on what one should really be doing in Ramadhan. And yes, almost all of us will not be able to do formal ibadah all the time in this and any other month, but you need to find halal recreation not haram.
      Lastly, if the stereotype offends, I apologize. But when I amass all the varied opinions I find on these sites (and for lack of a better way to identify this new collective trend, so I do call them American moderate salafis, and would be happy to say so in a live public forum), I feel the composite person they generate end up very far from the Sahabah. Consider:
      1. I can eat any meat in America b/c so-and-so speaker said so
      2. I can watch,TVs, movies, CDs, music, upto rated R b/c so-and-so speaker said so.
      3. I can trim my beard, keep a goatee, or shave (i.e. not keep a sunnah fistful length beard, and there is ijma that the beard of the Blessed Prophet was that length) b/c so-and-so speaker said so.
      4. I can shake hands with a woman, as well as look her directly in the face continously at work because she is my colleague b/c so-and-so speaker said so.
      This is the worst type of taqlid, following statements that suit one’s nafs. And the list goes on…
      Add all these up in a single person, and you get a person who your heart will say does not remotely resemble the Sahabah.
      Ibn Abee Omar I sincerely hope and pray that you, and yes the many who sincerely, yet mistakenly, hold positions identical and similar to yours, and ironically still rally around the hue and cry of Qur’an and Sunnah, may realize the error of your ways. And yes, I do hold the speakers that you closely associate for not doing enough nahy an al-munkar.
      “Disco Maulvi”, your indulgence is appreciated.

      • Avatar

        ibn abee omar

        July 17, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        quite possibly the most pretentious thing i’ve ever read on the internet

        • Avatar

          Mansoor Shah

          July 17, 2012 at 3:44 PM

          I am sorry you feel that way, and I will give up outward attempts to change your opinion. Perhaps those who you acknowledge and know personally can be convinced to speak to you. So…I attempt to reach out to them. To Siraaj, Aly Balgamwala, and especially the lecturers and speakers who are affiliated with Please reconsider whether this post should really have been here in the first place. Ibn Abee Omar retains his freedom of speech but perhaps, if he is so bold and insistent on this issue as all his comments and reposting from other sites suggest, then he could have written this on his own blog, if he has one. MM should really not be hosting articles promoting actions that are best very iffy, and indeed likely to lie outside the permissible.
          Even more worrying is the description of his profile. I am worried of a young man and woman coming here, having recently repented from movies, and then reading this and thinking to themselves, hmm., if a “founding member” of and a regular “khateeb” can not only watch movies, but do so openly, unabashedly, and even advocate others to do so DURING ramadan, then why in the world am I being so hard on myself.
          The point is that all of the speakers and moderators on, and you too ibn abee omar, as a khateeb, are public figures. Please ask whomsoever you consider to be your elders in deen, before embarking on such renegade articles. Ask them as well, whether public figures, such as khateebs, should not hold themselves to a higher standard. Personally, I shudder the thoughts of khateebs who watch movies in Ramadan.
          Please do open your hearts to listening and accepting some criticism.

        • Avatar


          July 17, 2012 at 5:45 PM

          really not so pretentious actually. Unfortunately MM is seen as a scholarly blog and has turned into a reference point in and of itself. So even if not all the views are meant to be taken as YQ’s(ha) or YB’s (ha) opinion it is automatically assumed its been given the green light. However in defense of this excellent site, only an unlearned person growing in deen (inshaAllah) would attribute the opinions in the articles to someone(meaning ONE body) who can pass fatwa and run with it.

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    July 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I don’t think the issue is if it becomes halal after ramadan. A waste of time is a waste of time. But, in Ramadan, every moment has baraka in it and it only lasts for 30 days. It will be time better spent doing dhikr or anything else but watching a movie. Also, Ramadan is meant to create habits. So, inshaAllah something that we give up in Ramadan will inshaAllah stick with us…so maybe we’ll watch fewer movies after Ramadan is over as a result of not watching it during Ramadan.

    I am looking forward to this movie and plan on waiting until after Ramadan to see it with a friend; it will more than likely still be in theaters as blockbusters don’t go away that easily. I don’t need to see the movie that badly that I cannot wait another month to see it. Ramadan only comes once a year and I may not live to see it next year (or even this year).

  32. Avatar


    July 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    I agree that this is a debate that does not need to be taking place. A sin is a sin both in and out of Ramadan. Of course it is part of human nature to sin, “Every son of Adam is a sinner and the best of sinners are those who repent” (Tirmidhi). We are bound to slip, even in Ramadan, but then we need to repent as quickly as we can. But slipping and making mistakes is different than planning a sin before hand and doing that sin openly without any remorse or shame.
    As discussed in other comments, there are multiple reasons that make watching this movie sinful. But even if we don’t consider the music or language used in the movie to be sinful, there is no doubt that we are commanded to lower our gaze. This command applies in all situations, even when we go to work or the store. So if we are watching this movie, and have no problem with the music, are we ready to look down and stare at our $20 popcorn and soda?

  33. Avatar


    July 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    several of the hadith in bukhari’s kitab indicate the prophet said that a small gain you can sustain is preferable to a large one that you can’t keep up.

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    July 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I’m more partial to Spiderman than Batman :) Having said that, I haven’t watched a live-action movie in 8 years, including all 3 of the last few spiderman movies (would have loved to have seen it, but alas, as has been mentioned above, too many values conflicts for me to bear).

    For those who want to give them up permanently, Ramadan is a great time to build the habit and then keep it going after.


    • Avatar


      July 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      PS I’m on the “movies are prohibited” opinion, but I’m also on the “I’m responsible for myself” opinion and “it’s up to others to follow scholars they trust and act accordingly” opinion.

      Some people may not think movies are haraam based on who they are following, and while I may share why I think otherwise, I don’t believe my role as a non-scholar goes beyond sharing my limited understanding.

      After that, everyone has their own life to lead, and mine won’t be wasted in unproductive negative energy. Instead, it’s spent on how I can better my relationship with and worship of Allah, better my daily actions and ‘ibaadah, and be a good example to my family and the people who I deal with regulary (neighbors, work, buying groceries, etc).


  35. Avatar

    ibn abee omar

    July 17, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    This comment was left in regards to this article on reddit and i thought it was worth posting here:

    “The article makes some good points. First it starts by mocking this debate the author isn’t actually a part of. The author also brings up good points like Ramadan isn’t a vacuum. If you feel you shouldn’t watch it during Ramadan because its sinful then why even watch it at all. If its a waste of time during Ramadan then its a waste of time after as well.”

  36. Avatar


    July 17, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Sacrifices Must Be Made. YOLO

    • Avatar


      July 17, 2012 at 3:01 PM


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    July 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Once these conversations turn into debates where self-righteousness slips in does one start experiencing a migrane and want to run away from here all together.

    This is one of the better balanced articles I have read and it is encouraging good habits. I think one must read it carefully in order to understand that it’s not meant to say “oh yeah, yeah, go ahead and watch Batman”, rather it is trying to take two extremes of a view and find a right prescription for both. If you are the type of person who “argues” for one side in a way that demonstrates you will completely close your mind to the opposing argument, this unfortunately turns into a debate more so than a conversation. There are several Muslim kids these days who turn away from Islam and the masjid all together because they feel like they’re going to get shunned for every little thing they do. That discourages them from feeling like they are good enough and welcome to becoming better Muslims. That’s not to say that there is a need to become “progressive” and to allow things that are haraam, that is to say that there is a method to maintaining a cut-down of habits that can distract one from one’s worship in a way that’s motivating, understanding and welcoming. It is unfortunate and kind of disturbing how many times I hear kids talk so against maulvi saabs and imaams because they feel like they are haraam policemen-these are same kids who gladly went to Islamic schools years ago. This is not a shift to making the haraam halal or vice versa-it is simply a way to provide proper counseling for kids in a way that says “I know where you are coming from, but let me show you how you can improve yourself”.

    Allah(SWT) knows best.

    • Avatar

      ibn abee omar

      July 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      great comment, jazakallahu khayr

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      July 20, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Completely agree .. in fact I was just thinking like this only while going thru comments…Author mentioned about two extremities(Who follow strictly with belief and those who just started realizing)..and people still argue in that way…This article is too good for layman and not for scholars…

  38. Avatar


    July 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I like of the batman movies and may have watched as soon it came out this year, but as a Muslim I really believe its important for us to prioritize things. The fact that Allah has given us another Ramadan to purify ourselves is a huge blessing, and so this month should be really used to worship Him and ask for forgiveness. Recreation in and of itself is nothing bad, and obviously we all need it, but we need to question our hearts what is more important. That being said, it’s not wise to make a stance on the either of the two extremes, and better staying on the middle path inshallah–doing your best to seek the pleasure of Allah and at the same time trying to achieve a fine balance in life.

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    July 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    I swear the people making comments on MM are getting more idiotic by the day (or perhaps a handful is making all the fuss). Anyways, nice piece ibnabeeomar, it might not be a “dilemma” for some, but Jazakallah Khair for addressing something that is most definitely lingering in the minds of many.

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    July 17, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Lets spare the poor Batman and agree on the fact that movies/Tv-shows are just ways how Shaytan messes up with our minds.
    Irrespective of which month you watch so, a sin remains a sin.

    May Allah help us to fight our addiction to these things.Ameen,

  41. Avatar

    Asif Balouch

    July 17, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    I can’t believe this is a serious blog attempting to address this laughable issue. Did the Sahabah go to the Prophet when Ramadan was just around the corner going like, “Man, Muhammad (p) I know Ramadan is coming up but Achmed the Puppetmaster is doing his puppet show on Day 1. Can we go watch the puppet show?” What a way to start off the month and stay focused on your relationship with Allah and dusting off the Qu’ran.

    I like movies as much as the next guy but for this to be an issue or dilemma is just awful and shows the state of some section of the ummah making this such a big deal.

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    questioning lady

    July 17, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    it seems a bit extreme, quite honestly, that watching a movie is considered haraam……. i am not trying to belittle the rules, but honestly how does that equate to sinning?

    • Avatar

      questioning lady

      July 17, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      I wanted to add that , this is a movie, and if you are persuaded or lead to do “bad” things, then you have no control over yourself and mind. Maybe that is something people should work on instead of giving blame to fictional things.

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    Syed Mujtaba Hussaini Marffan

    July 18, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    its better if u watch QURAN in front of you….inshallah u’ll see yourself in jannah with all the muslim brothers…..we know its ramazan which is coming but the dark knight is releasing at the end of shabaan which is also equally important :)

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    Ayesha khan

    July 18, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Now i will find out the strength of taqwah in me. Good read.

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    July 18, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Wow. i cannot believe that one day i was gonna see a title of some movie next to the holy and blessed Month of Ramadan…and speaking about which to choose to do…

    and they ask why the Muslims are like this…la hawla wala quwata ila billah

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    July 18, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    the fact that you wrote an entire article about the matter gives it more credibility than it deserves…. 90% of us Muslims will spend most of the day sleeping anyways. Btw, Ramadan does not mean the world and everything is put on pause. Let’s all agree to stop telling people what they should do with their time.

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      July 19, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      and… with our amazing attention spans and biryani laden bellies, probably during most of taraweeh too…

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    July 18, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    its really sad that people are wasting time blogging about movies as opposed talking about more important things

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    ibn abee omar

    July 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM

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      July 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      lol :)

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    July 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,- 2:183

    – The purpose of Ramadan is to learn and gain greater control over your desires and wants. Refraining from having to see Dark Knight or any other strong desire or urge is the main lesson of Ramadan.

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      Mamoon Yusaf

      July 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      … Or is refraining from tellong other people what they shoud/nt do the main lesson?

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        July 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        only if you want Shaitan/Devil telling you what to do and leading you astray.

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        July 22, 2012 at 12:42 AM

        i believe its the former.

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    Mohammad Omar

    July 18, 2012 at 1:13 PM


    Awww man, I feel quite sympathetic towards the people who are facing such a dilemma. In India, Ramadan starts from either 21st or 22nd of July. No issues here! But yes, I was quite perturbed by this right from the start of 2012.
    Look what I mailed to all the executives of Warner Bros. and the people associated with the movie in the 1st week of January this year. (Did my best to persuade them. Of course, no one responded.)

    Thankfully, I no longer face this problem (Allahumma-lakal-hamd-walaka-shukr).
    But I do have a question:
    If Ramadan in India also started from July 20 and I had no other option but to watch the movie during this month only…. wouldn’t it be a better option to just watch it and be over with it? Rather than avoiding and thinking about it for the entire month of Ramadan- like “how I would watch it the first thing after Salaat on Eid, just 20 more days left…just 10 days left…just 5 days left for Ramadan to get over” ??
    This I am saying because I am a huge fan of comics, superheroes and Batman, in particular. A big fan of Christopher Nolan movies also. So by avoiding it and at the same time thinking about it also for the entire Ramadan (being a big fan, so this will definitely happen), I think that just finishing the ‘issue’ by watching the movie would be better. Then the full focus would be on Ramadan and I would be able to follow it in true spirit (thats what I think atleast).
    What do you say?

    • Avatar


      July 18, 2012 at 10:23 PM

      Great e-mail. Not going to change their mind about the release date though. Not sure why you started it with Happy New Year – Ramadan in India may very well start on the 20th.

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    nlightme please

    July 18, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    I love this article. The same could be said about more controversial issues. It is really about who really wants to make the best in short month and those who say they have time. Or should I say make best use of this short life.

  52. Avatar


    July 18, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Reading through some of these comments were rather saddening for me. I wish we were of those whom take the best of what other muslims are advising us with, rather than those whom are looking to criticize and justify why “my” opinion is better than “your” opinion.

    -Why are people so reactive and vocal about someone giving them naseeha about a particular topic?
    -How does the feeling of needing to voice our reaction along with the reaction itself relate to our ego/nafs?
    -What is shaytaan’s stake in whispering to us regarding this discussion?

    -What was the MAIN POINT of the article?
    -Does it have ANYTHING to do with batman? (Hint: no)

    If you read the article, please think about these questions.

    If anyone derives benefit from what anyone here has said, Alhamdulillah waAllahu akbar. If I have upset you with something I have said, please forgive me, as it was not my intention to do so.

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      July 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      smartest comment yet. the people making negative remarks in the comments seemingly have not read the article

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      August 8, 2012 at 1:26 AM

      I don’t know which comment you are specifically targeting with this ‘criticism’. I just wanted to point out that anything can be termed criticism if the reader lacks patience. What you did here was the exact thing they are doing. Attacking people’s motives for trying to offer advise.

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    July 18, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    It’s the case of praying for The Dark Knight vs. praying in the dark night.

  54. Avatar

    nlightme please

    July 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Yeah!! It is the most wonderful time of year people are singing, marry bells ringing, people shopping and getting gifts. Those who refrain from the spirit are the part of clan called the grinch. Wait wrong holiday and religion but slowly that is where the holy month is headed with big feasts, long hours spent in shaytan network, and little remembrance of Allah. If ever we were to fix our iman it should be in this upcoming month iA. The month of Allah not month of fake “superhero”. If you are wondering I was raised in the west and I am in my twenties.

    • Avatar


      July 20, 2012 at 2:27 AM

      Its 3 hours. There are 720 hours in this month. I highly doubt that anyone isnt wasting hours doing something else. Quit hating on Batman. Allah is very important. But that doesn’t mean we should hate on cultural icons.

  55. Avatar


    July 19, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    My favorite part of this article, “Like most impassioned and useless debates, people whose opinions don’t matter have formed very strong arguments on both sides.” Lol!

    • Avatar


      July 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      i knw i was like eh? wtf. ruined the effect of the article with that one line!!!!

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  57. Avatar

    Nashwa Mansoor

    July 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Good reading! My story- i live in Saudi Arabia. Period.

  58. Avatar

    Perpetual Speaker Guy

    July 19, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    brothers, why not instead give the money you would otherwise spend oh the movie ticket in sadaqah? The virtues of spending in Allah’s path in Ramadan are many

    • Avatar


      July 20, 2012 at 2:23 AM

      Look I understand your point but there is absolutely no harm in watching a movie! You could donate money no problem and still do something you would enjoy. Ramadan is a time to praise god but that does not mean you shouldn’t be praising him throughout the year. None the less, do things you enjoy in ramadan. Give up sins, not movies.

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      July 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      and sisters… >.<

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    Goolam Dawood

    July 20, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    I watched the movie at the premier last night. And if I have one piece of advice, avoid it at all costs. Gotham is NewYorkCity, and this movie religiously pushes anti Muslim/central Asian philosophy in a post 9/11 world. This movie is against the occupy movement, green technology, the anti-war movement. the main problem being that it is such a good movie. It’s an out and out apologetics for Gitmo, troop crimes in Iraq and is a strong anti-Iranian anti middle east polemic. It recreates the incidents 9/11, gitmo, civilian protests, Irans nuclear ambitions, the green economy…and preaches neo-conservative mantra about all of these issues. What’s shocking is that it’s such a good movie, it’s propaganda value will probably take on religious mythology for many who watch it. I am not kidding.

  60. Avatar


    July 20, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    I did go to see batman with my family, as they are non Muslim I actually found it a wonderful way to embrace them in this day. Now it holds meaning for all of us, and Alhamdulillah my mom will be going with me for jummah tomorrow inshallah. It is not about batman, although I admit I’m a huge fan and would have seen it at somepoint, it is about remembering Allah and being truly thankful for the blessings He has given us.

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    July 20, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    This is not the only reason you should go.

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    July 20, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Watching obscene act in real life & reel life forbidden in islam.
    whether it is on ramdan Or any normal of life ,it is a sin. What is there to doubt.we are not watching documentary about Prophet[pbuh] Or Islamic history.
    Ramdan give greater ability to control human desire[bad] so abstain from obscene movie & waste of time & TRY TO be consistent after Ramdan.
    I dont why there is special selection of Batman,its forbidden all obscene motion are forbidden & sin in islam. We have try to utlilize movie in batter way which benefit to do dawah & for other social purpose.

    we people from my country even dont think about like discussion,even small kids know they have abstain from wrong things like movie ,songs..etc……

  63. Avatar


    July 20, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    in islam there is no extremism, islam itself has given one definition only.
    islam is between extremism & too liberlal.
    if any are extremist Or too liberla i think its not a correct definition of islam
    I dont what this Mr Ibnabeeromar talking about.
    islamis something we cant force that correct,but if any advise another to abstain from movie ,its not extremisam,but good advise to his brother.
    What of interpretation you are making i cant undertand.
    We need better application of movie & other medium & not to follow what nonbelivier lust fillled stuffs like movie.
    Think yourself brother….

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    July 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    SubhanAllah. I guess its not much of a dilemma anymore. I was planning to watch Batman after Ramadhan (sometimes I would lean towards watching it on 20th as we starting fast tomorrow) however last night’s shooting scared the crap out of me. SubhanAllah, what if I was to die in theatre watching a movie than I would have been resurrected with those same people..*shiver*****….
    We plan and Allah plans, HE swt is the best planner. Brothers & Sisters, look at how Allah swt reminds us again and again, indeed death is a great reminder especiall after a tragic event like this one…
    I cant stop thinking about the three month old baby =( Cant get it out of my mind, maybe cuz I m 7 months pregnant, expecting lil one to arrive in October inshaAllah.

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    July 21, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Funny how the picture makes Batman look like a demon, anyways here is a superhero advice for everyone. The main thing every super hero has in common once they get there powers is not just they fight for good, but they don’t settle. They always look for ways to improve their powers, their strengths and as such decrease their weaknesses. Akie we have started or are going to start fasting soon, like the super heroes out their do not settle. Look for ways to improve your imam but just do not settle.
    I know this comment probably has nothing to do with the article but what ever.
    Ramadan Kareem everyone.

  66. Avatar


    July 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    some idiots who are reading this article, they choose and wish to be left in
    dark, in fact ignorant till they die and face later on, Many sound to be not
    believing in God whether it is Christianity, Jewish or Islam. Knowledge is
    power, reading and knowing more is your intelligence, so find out the truth
    rather sit there like a Pig and comment like a Dog or even worst. rule # 1
    never insult a faith no matter what it is, everybody has their free will to

    very good job who ever put this article.
    May Allah bless you.

    By the way Islam is the only religion
    which has proof after proof for almost everything what it says, So please read
    the Book called Quran, or hear few words of Dr.Zakir Nayak on YouTube. only if
    you have some guts or just stay in dark…it’s your free will again..

  67. Avatar


    July 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    It’s not the movies that you see, but the prayers that define you.

  68. Avatar


    July 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I went for a moonsighting attempt with some brothers. We didn’t see it. Prayed Maghrib. Saw The Dark Knight Rises at midnight. So we didn’t have this conflict between Ramadan and the movie, here in Calgary, Canada.

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    July 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    If the movie crosses your mind in Ramadan, and then becomes this painful, moral dilemma, I have news for you….your ‘Imaan’ is already on shaky ground.
    I suggest you observe ‘aitakaf’ in a masjid, where hopefuly, there will be no movie posters beckoning you to evil.

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    July 25, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    Perhaps ramadan saved lives of Muslims. Imagine a muslim dying in cinema in night of ramadan, I would not think that would be good ending for a person..

  72. Avatar


    July 25, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    watching batman can be an act of worship. there are serious themes in the film that deserved to be pondered over.this film has reminded me of my muslim identity, truth, faith and judgement days. “one man’s tool can be another man’s weapon”. if watching nolan’s movie is a waste of time for you, it is really sad. the joy of catching a good film such as this is not in sensual pleasure, but in true contemplation.

  73. Avatar


    August 8, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Shocked at how, both the author and the majority of the comments seem to ignore the Fiqh issue of it. “Let’s put the halaal and haraam aside” lol. Like Islam is some video game that we play based on whims and desires of people. “Who cares what Islam thinks of Movies/Music, let’s spend hours discussing the issue of ‘time'”.

    A Muslim is one who submits. To what ?

    For detailed answer on Islamic perspective:

  74. Avatar


    August 8, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    The movie premiered the day before ramadhan started where I live, haha so I didn’t have to go through this dilemma. Id like to thank the author for posting this.over here it’s funny that during ramadhan concerts are banned but any other time it’s considered okay. Whatever it is We should all try to avoid creating double stds in our conduct. I say ‘try’ because no one is perfect in maintaining the utmost best conduct possible at every waking moment of their lives (except perhaps the prophets). But we should strive our best. May Allah reward us for all our efforts.

  75. Avatar


    December 30, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    WOW!!!!!!!! All this over batman :P ……
    Come on guys grow up, ur all missing something important here.
    Muslims arent meant to argue with each other, were supposed to get along. :)
    i dont want to see muslims getting divided becuz of a fictional character

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#Current Affairs

Sri Lankan Muslims To Fast In Solidarity With Fellow Christians

Raashid Riza



On Sunday morning Sri Lankan Christians went to their local churches for Easter services, as they have done for centuries. Easter is a special occasion for Christian families in ethnically diverse Sri Lanka. A time for families to gather to worship in their churches, and then to enjoy their festivities. Many went to their local church on Sunday morning to be followed by a traditional family breakfast at home or a local restaurant.

It would have been like any other Easter Sunday for prominent mother-daughter television duo, Shanthaa Mayadunne and Nisanga Mayadunne. Except that it wasn’t.

Nisanga Mayadunne posted a family photograph on Facebook at 8.47 AM with the title “Easter breakfast with family” and had tagged the location, the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. Little would she have known that hitting ‘post’ would be among the last things she would do in this earthly abode. Minutes later a bomb exploded at the Shangri-La, killing her and her mother.

In more than a half a dozen coordinated bomb blasts on Sunday, 360 people have been confirmed dead, with the number expected to most likely rise. Among the dead are children who have lost parents and mothers & fathers whose families will never be together again.

Many could not get past the church service. A friend remembers the service is usually so long that the men sometimes go outside to get some fresh air, with women and children remaining inside – painting a vivid and harrowing picture of the children who may have been within the hall.

Perpetrators of these heinous crimes against their own faith, and against humanity have been identified as radicalised Muslim youth, claiming to be part of a hitherto little-known organisation. Community leaders claim with much pain of how authorities were alerted years ago to the criminal intent of these specific youth.

Mainstream Muslims have in fact been at the forefront not just locally, but also internationally in the fight against extremism within Muslim communities. This is why Sri Lankan Muslims are especially shaken by what has taken place when men who have stolen their identity commit acts of terror in their name. Sri Lankan Muslims and Catholics have not been in conflict in the past, adding to a palimpsest of reasons that make this attack all the more puzzling to experts. Many here are bewildered as to what strategic objective these terrorists sought to achieve.

Sri Lankan Muslims Take Lead

Sri Lankan Muslims, a numerical minority, though a well-integrated native community in Sri Lanka’s colourful social fabric, seek to take lead in helping to alleviate the suffering currently plaguing our nation.

Promoting love alone will not foster good sustainable communal relationships – unless it is accompanied by tangible systemic interventions that address communal trigger points that could contribute to ethnic or religious tensions. Terror in all its forms must be tackled in due measure by law enforcement authorities.

However, showing love, empathy and kindness is as good a starting point in a national crisis as any.

Sri Lankan Muslims have called to fast tomorrow (Thursday) in solidarity with their fellow Christian and non-Christian friends who have died or are undergoing unbearable pain, trauma, and suffering.  Terror at its heart seeks to divide, to create phases of grief that ferments to anger, and for this anger to unleash cycles of violence that usurps the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Instead of letting terror take its course, Sri Lankans are aspiring to come together, to not let terror have its way.

Together with my fellow Sri Lankan Muslims, I will be fasting tomorrow from dawn to dusk. I will be foregoing any food and drink during this period.

It occurs to many of us that it is unconscientious to have regular days on these painful days when we know of so many other Sri Lankans who have had their lives obliterated by the despicable atrocities committed by terrorists last Sunday. Fasting is a special act of worship done by Muslims, it is a time and state in which prayers are answered. It is a state in which it is incumbent upon us to be more charitable, with our time, warmth and whatever we could share.

I will be fasting and praying tomorrow, to ease the pain and suffering of those affected.

I will be praying for a peaceful Sri Lanka, where our children – all our children, of all faiths – can walk the streets without fear and have the freedom to worship in peace.

I will be fasting tomorrow for my Sri Lanka. I urge you to do the same.

Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. Surah Maidah

Raashid Riza is a Sri Lankan Muslim, the Politics & Society Editor of The Platform. He blogs here and tweets on @aufidius.


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Are You Prepared for Marriage and Building a Family?

Mona Islam



High School is that time which is ideal for preparing yourself for the rest of your life. There is so much excitement and opportunity. Youth is a time of energy, growth, health, beauty, and adventure. Along with the thrill of being one of the best times of life, there is a definite lack of life experience. In your youth, you end up depending on your own judgments as well as the advice of others who are further along the path. Your own judgments usually come from your own knowledge, assumptions, likes, and dislikes. No matter how wise, mature, or well-intended a youth is compared to his or her peers, the inherent lack of life experience can also mislead that person to go down a path which is not serving them or their loved ones best. A youth may walk into mistakes without knowing, or get themselves into trouble resulting from naivety.

Salma and Yousef: 

Salma and Yousef had grown up in the same community for many years. They had gone to the same masjid and attended youth group together during high school. After going off to college for a few years, both were back in town and found that they would make good prospects for marriage for each other. Yousef was moving along his career path, and Salma looked forward to her new relationship. Yousef was happy to settle down. The first few months after marriage were hectic: getting a new place, organizing, managing new jobs and extended family. After a few months, they began to wonder when things would settle down and be like the vision they had about married life.

Later with valuable life experience, we come to realize that the ideas we had in our youth about marriage and family are far from what are they are in reality. The things that we thought mattered in high school, may not matter as much, and the things that we took for granted really matter a lot more than we realized. In retrospect, we learn that marriage is not simply a door that we walk through which changes our life, but something that each young Muslim and Muslima should be preparing for individually through observation, introspection, and reflection. In order to prepare for marriage, each person must intend to want to be the best person he or she can be in that role. There is a conscious process that they must put themselves through.

This conscious process should begin in youth. Waiting until marriage to start this process is all too late. We must really start preparing for marriage as a conscious part of our growth, self-development, and character building from a young age. The more prepared we are internally, the better off we will be in the process of marriage. The best analogy would be the stronger the structure and foundation of a building, the better that building will be able to serve its purpose and withstand the environment. Another way to think of this process is like planting a seed. We plant a seed long before the harvest, but the more time, care, and attention, the more beautiful and beneficial the fruits will be.


Sarah and Hasan:

Hasan grew up on the East Coast. He had gone to boarding school all through high school, especially since his parents had died in an unfortunate accident. His next of kin was his aunt and uncle, who managed his finances, and cared for him when school was not in session. Hasan was safe and comfortable with his aunt and uncle, but he always felt there was something missing in his life. During his college years, Hasan was introduced to Sarah and eventually they decided to get married.

The first week of his new job, Hasan caught a really bad case of the flu that made it hard for him to get his projects done. Groggy in bed, he sees Sarah appear with a tray of soup and medicine every day until he felt better. Nobody had ever done that for him before. He remembered the “mawaddah and rahmah” that the Quran spoke of.

Knowledge, Skills, and Understanding:

The process of growing into that person who is ready to start a family is that we need to first to be aware of ourselves and be aware of others around us. We have to have knowledge of ourselves and our environment. With time, reflection and life experience, that knowledge activates into understanding and wisdom. This activity the ability to make choices between right and wrong, and predict how our actions will affect others related to us.


This series is made up of several parts which make up a unit about preparation for family life. Some of the topics covered include:

  • The Family Unit In Islam
  • Characteristics of an Individual Needed for Family Life
  • The Nuclear Family
  • The Extended Family

Hamza and Tamika

Tamika and Hamza got married six months ago. Tamika was getting her teacher certification in night school and started her first daytime teaching job at the local elementary school. She was shocked at the amount of energy it took to manage second graders. She thought teaching was about writing on a board and reading books to kids, but found out it had a lot more to do with discipline, speaking loudly, and chasing them around. This week she had state testing for the students and her finals at night school. She was not sure how to balance all this with her new home duties. One day feeling despair, she walked in her kitchen and found a surprise. Hamza had prepared a beautiful delicious dinner for them that would last a few days, and the home looked extra clean too. Tamika was pleasantly surprised and remembered the example of our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

The Family Unit in Islam

We always have to start with the beginning. We have to ask, “What is the family unit in Islam?” To answer this we take a step further back, asking, “What is the world-wide definition of family? Is it the same for all people? Of course not. “Family” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people across the world. As Muslims, what family means to us, is affected by culture and values, as well as our own understanding of Islam.

The world-wide definition of family is a group of people who are related to each other through blood or marriage. Beyond this point, is where there are many differences in views. Some people vary on how distantly related to consider a family. In some cultures, family is assumed to be only the nuclear family, consisting of mom dad and kids only. Other cultures assume family includes an extended family. Another large discrepancy lies in defining family roles and responsibilities. Various cultures promote different behavioral norms for different genders or roles in the family. For example, some cultures promote women staying at home in a life of luxury, while others esteem women joining the workforce while raising their kids on the side. Living styles vary too, where some cultures prefer individual family homes, while in other parts of the world extended families live together in large buildings always interacting with each other.


Layla and Ibrahim   

Layla and Ibrahim met at summer retreat where spirituality was the focus, and scholars were teaching them all day. Neither of them was seriously considering getting married, but one of the retreat teachers thought they might make a good match. It seemed like a fairytale, and the retreat gave them an extra spiritual high. Layla could not imagine anything going wrong. She was half Italian and half Egyptian, and Ibrahim came from a desi family. Soon after the nikah, Layla moved across the country into Ibrahim’s family home, where his parents, three siblings, and grandmother lived.  Come Ramadan, Layla’s mother-in-law, Ruqayya, was buying her new clothes to wear to the masjid. It was out of love, but Sarah had never worn a shalwar kameez in all her life! Ruqayya Aunty started getting upset when Layla was not as excited about the clothes as she was.

As Eid approached, Layla had just picked a cute dress from the department store that she was looking forward to wearing. Yet again, her mother-in-law had other plans for her.

Layla was getting upset inside. It was the night before Eid and the last thing she wanted to do was fight with her new husband. She did not want that stress, especially because they all lived together. At this point, Layla started looking through her Islamic lecture notes. She wanted to know, was this request from her mother-in-law a part of the culture, or was it part of the religion?


The basis of all families, undoubtedly, is the institution of marriage. In the Islamic model, the marriage consists of a husband and a wife. In broad terms, marriage is the commitment of two individuals towards each other and their children to live and work together to meet and support each other’s needs in the way that they see fit. What needs they meet vary as well, from person to person, and family to family. The marriage bond must sustain the weight of fulfilling first their own obligations toward each other. This is the priority. The marriage must also be strong enough to hold the responsibility of raising the kids, and then the extended family.

How are we as Muslims unique and what makes us different from other family models? We are responsible to Allah. The end goals are what makes us different, and the method in which we work. In other family systems, beliefs are different, goals are different, and the motives are different. Methods can especially be different. In the end, it is quite a different system. What makes us better? Not because we say we are better or because we automatically feel better about ourselves due to a misplaced feeling of superiority. But instead it is because we are adhering to the system put in place by the most perfect God, Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds, the One Who knows best what it is we need.

Family Roles:

Each person in the family has a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has meant for them to have, and which ethics and common sense tell us to follow. However, our nafs and ego can easily misguide us to live our family life in the wrong way, which is harmful and keeps us suffering. Suffering can take place in many ways. It can take place in the form of neglect or abuse. In the spectrum of right and wrong, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that we are a nation meant for the middle path. So we should not go to any extreme in neglect or abuse.

What are the consequences of mishandling our family roles? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) calls this type of wrongdoing “transgression” or “oppression”. There are definitely consequences of oppression, abuse, and neglect. There are worldly consequences which we feel in this life, and there are long term consequences in the Akhirah.

Razan and Farhaan

Razan and Farhan had gotten married two years ago. Since they were from different towns, Razan would have to move to Farhaan’s hometown. On top of the change of married life, Razan felt pangs of homesickness and did not know many people in the new town. However, Farhaan did not realize what she was going through. He still had the same friends he grew up with for years. They had a die-hard routine to go to football games on Friday night and play basketball on Saturday at the rec center.

Razan was losing her patience. How could he think it was okay to go out with his friends twice on the weekend? Yet he expected her to keep the home together? Her blood started to boil. What does Islam say about this?

Mawaddah and Rahma

The starting point of a family is a healthy relationship between the husband and wife. Allah SWT prescribed in Surah 25: verse 74, that the marriage relationship is supposed to be built on Mawaddah (compassion) and Rahma (mercy). A loving family environment responds to both the needs of the children and the needs of parents. Good parenting prepares children to become responsible adults.

Aliyaah and Irwan

Aliyaah and Irwan had homeschooled their twin children, Jannah and Omar, for four years. They were cautious about where to admit their children for the next school year. Aliyaah felt that she wanted to homeschool her children for another few years. There were no Islamic Schools in their town. Irwan wanted to let his kids go to public schools. He felt that was nothing wrong with knowing how things in the real world are. However, every conversation they started about this issue ended up into a conflict or fight. This was beginning to affect their relationship.


Two significant roles that adults in a family play are that they are married and they are parents. It is important that parents work to preserve and protect their marital relationship since it is really the pillar which supports the parenting role. Parenting is a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) directly addresses in our religion. We will be asked very thoroughly about this most important role which we will all play in our lives.

There is a hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) reminds us,

“All of you are shepherds and responsible for your wards under you care. The imam is the shepherd of his subjects and is responsible for them, and a man is a shepherd of his family and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and is responsible for it. A servant is the shepherd of his master’s belongings and is responsible for them. A man is the shepherd of his father’s property and is responsible for them”. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam has placed a lot of importance on the family unit. A family is the basic building block of Islam. A strong family can facilitate positive social change within itself and the society as a whole. The Quran asserts that human beings are entrusted by their Creator to be his trustees on Earth, thus they need to be trained and prepared for the task of trusteeship (isthiklaf).

Asa youth, it is important to make a concerted effort to develop our family skills so that we grow into that role smoothly. Proper development will prepare a person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically for marriage and family life.

Mona Islam is a youth worker, community builder, motivational speaker, writer, and author. For the past 25 years, Sr. Mona has been on the forefront of her passion both locally and nationally, which is inculcating character development in youth (tarbiyah).  Sr. Mona has extensive knowledge of Islamic sciences through the privilege of studying under many scholars and traveling worldwide.  An educator by profession, she is a published author, completed her masters in Educational Admin and currently doing her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Sr. Mona is married with five children and lives in Houston, TX.

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#Current Affairs

White Activism Is Crucial In The Wake of Right-Wing Terrorism

Laura El Alam



The vicious terrorist attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15 were a punch to the gut for peace-loving people all over the world.  Only the most heartless of individuals could feel nonchalant about 70 innocent children, women, and men being killed or maimed mercilessly as they prayed. However, even a brief glimpse at comments on social media confirms that among the outpouring of sadness and shock, there are, indeed, numerous sick individuals who glory in Brenton Tarrant’s deliberately evil actions. White supremacy, in all its horrific manifestations, is clearly alive and well.  

In an enlightening article in The Washington Post, R. Joseph Parrott explains,  “Recently, global white supremacy has been making a comeback, attracting adherents by stoking a new unease with changing demographics, using an expanded rhetoric of deluge and cultivating nostalgia for a time when various white governments ruled the world (and local cities). At the fringes, longing for lost white regimes forged a new global iconography of supremacy.”

“Modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders, being exported and globalized like never before,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “The hatred that led to violence in Pittsburgh and Charlottesville is finding new adherents around the world. Indeed, it appears that this attack was not just focused on New Zealand; it was intended to have a global impact.” (link)

Many people want to sweep this terrifying reality under the rug, among them the U.S. President.  Asked by a reporter if he saw an increase globally in the threat of white nationalism, Trump replied, “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

However, experts in his own country disagree.  A March 17 article in NBC News claims that, “The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned in a 2017 intelligence bulletin that white supremacist groups had carried out more attacks in the U.S. than any other domestic extremist group over the past 16 years. And officials believe they are likely to carry out more.”

Although they may be unaware of — or in denial about –the growing influence of white supremacist ideology, the vast majority of white people do not support violent acts of terrorism.  However, many of them are surprisingly, hurtfully silent when acts of terrorism are committed by non-Muslims, with Muslims as the victims.

When a shooter yells “Allahu akbar” before killing innocent people, public furor is obvious and palpable.  “Terror attacks by Muslims receive 375% more press attention,” states a headline in The Guardian, citing a study by the University of Alabama. The perpetrator is often portrayed as a “maniac” and a representative of an inherently violent faith. In the wake of an attack committed by a Muslim, everyone from politicians to religious leaders to news anchors calls on Muslim individuals and organizations to disavow terrorism.  However, when white men kill Muslims en masse, there is significantly less outrage.  People try to make sense of the shooters’ vile actions, looking into their past for trauma, mental illness, or addiction that will somehow explain why they did what they did.  Various news outlets humanized Brenton Tarrant with bold headlines that labeled him an “angelic boy who grew into an evil far-right mass killer,” an “ordinary white man,” “obsessed with video games,” and even “badly picked on as a child because he was chubby.”  Those descriptions, which evoke sympathy rather than revulsion, are reserved for white mass murderers.

The media’s spin on terrorist acts shapes public reaction.  Six days after the Christchurch attacks, millions were not currently taking to the streets to protest right-wing extremism.  World leaders are not linking arms in a dramatic march against white supremacist terrorism.  And no one is demanding that white men, in general, disavow terrorism.

But that would be unreasonable, right? To expect all white men to condemn the vile actions of an individual they don’t even know?  Unreasonable though it may be, such expectations are placed on Muslims all the time.

As a white woman, I am here to argue that white people — and most of all white-led institutions — are exactly the ones who need to speak up now, loudly and clearly condemning right-wing terrorism, disavowing white supremacy, and showing support of Muslims generally.  We need to do this even if we firmly believe we’re not part of the problem. We need to do this even if our first reaction is to feel defensive (“But I’m not a bigot!”), or if discussing race is uncomfortable to us. We need to do it even if we are Muslims who fully comprehend that our beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said,  “There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab. Neither is the white superior over the black, nor is the black superior over the white — except by piety.”

While we might not hold hatred in our hearts individually, we do hold the power, institutionally.  If we truly care about people of color, peace, and justice, we must put our fragile egos aside and avoid “not me-ism.”  The fact is, if we have white skin, we have grown up in a world that favors us in innumerable ways, both big and small. Those of us with privilege, position, and authority are the very ones who have the greatest responsibility to make major changes to society. Sadly, sometimes it takes a white person to make other white people listen and change.

White religious leaders, politicians, and other people with influence and power need to speak up and condemn the New Zealand attacks publically and unequivocally, even if we do not consider ourselves remotely affiliated with right-wing extremists or murderous bigots.  Living our comfortable lives, refusing to discuss or challenge institutionalized racism, xenophobia, and rampant Islamophobia, and accepting the status quo are all a tacit approval of the toxic reality that we live in.  

Institutional power is the backbone of racism.  Throughout history, governments and religious institutions have enforced racist legislation, segregation, xenophobic policies, and the notion that white people are inherently superior to people of color.  These institutions continue to be controlled by white people, and if white leaders and white individuals truly believe in justice for all, we must do much more than “be a nice person.” We must use our influence to change the system and to challenge injustice.  

White ministers need to decry racial violence and anti-immigrant sentiment from their pulpits, making it abundantly clear that their religion does not advocate racism, xenophobia, or Islamophobia. They must condemn Brenton Tarrant’s abhorrent actions in clear terms, in case any member of their flock sees him as some sort of hero.  Politicians and other leaders need to humanize and defend Muslims while expressing zero tolerance for extremists who threaten the lives or peace of their fellow citizens — all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs, immigration status, or ethnicity.  New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is an excellent role model for world leaders; she has handled her nation’s tragedy with beautiful compassion, wisdom, and crystal clear condemnation of the attacker and his motives.  Similarly, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demonstrated superb leadership and a humane, loving response to the victims in Christchurch (and Muslims in general) in his recent address to the House of Commons.  

Indeed, when they put their mind to it, people can make quite an impactful statement against extremist violence.  In January 2015 when Muslim gunmen killed 17 people in Paris, there was an immediate global reaction. The phrase “Je suis Charlie” trended on social media and in fact became one of the most popular hashtags in the history of Twitter.  Approximately 3.4 million people marched in anti-terrorism rallies throughout France, and 40 world leaders — most of whom were white — marched alongside a crowd of over 1 million in Paris.  

While several political and religious leaders have made public statements condemning the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, there is much less activism on the streets and even on social media following this particular atrocity.  Many Muslims who expected words of solidarity, unity, or comfort from non-Muslim family or friends were disappointed by the general lack of interest, even after a mosque was burned in California with a note left in homage to New Zealand.

In a public Facebook post, Shibli Zaman of Texas echoed many Muslims’ feelings when he wrote, “One of the most astonishing things to me that I did not expect — but, in hindsight, realize that I probably should have — is how few of my non-Muslim friends have reached out to me to express condolences and sorrow.” His post concluded, “But I have learned that practically none of my non-Muslim friends care.”

Ladan Rashidi of California posted, simply, “The Silence.  Your silence is deafening. And hurtful.” Although her words were brief and potentially enigmatic, her Muslim Facebook friends instantly understood what she was talking about and commiserated with her.   

Why do words and actions matter so much in the wake of a tragedy?  

Because they have the power to heal and to unite. Muslims feel shattered right now, and the lack of widespread compassion or global activism only heightens the feeling that we are unwanted and “other.”  If 50 innocent Muslims die from terrorism, and the incident does not spark universal outrage, but one Muslim pulls the trigger and the whole world erupts in indignation, then what is that saying about society’s perception of the value of Muslim lives?

To the compassionate non-Muslims who have delivered flowers, supportive messages, and condolences to the Muslim community in New Zealand and elsewhere, I thank you sincerely. You renew our hope in humanity.

To the white people who care enough to acknowledge their privilege and use it to the best of their ability to bring about justice and peace, I salute you.  Please persevere in your noble goals. Please continue to learn about institutionalized racism and attempt to make positive changes. Do not shy away from discussions about race and do not doubt or silence people of color when they explain their feelings.  Our discomfort, our defensiveness, and our professed “colorblindness” should not dominate the conversation every time we hear the word “racism.” We should listen more than speak and put our egos to the side. I am still learning to do this, and while it is not easy, it is crucial to true understanding and transformation.

To the rest of you who have remained silent, for whatever reason:  I ask you to look inside yourself and think about whether you are really satisfied with a system that values some human lives so highly over others.  If you are not a white supremacist, nor a bigot, nor a racist — if you truly oppose these ideologies — then you must do more than remain in your comfortable bubble.  Speak up. Spread love. Fix problems on whatever level you can, to the best of your ability. If you are in a leadership position, the weight on your shoulders is heavy; do not shirk your duty.  To be passive, selfish, apathetic, or lazy is to enable hatred to thrive, and then, whether you intended to or not, you are on the side of the extremists. Which side are you on? Decide and act.

“A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case, he is justly accountable to them for their injury.”  — John Stuart Mill, On Liberty.  

For the past decade, writer Laura El Alam has been a regular contributor to SISTERS Magazine, Al Jumuah, and About Islam.  Her articles frequently tackle issues like Muslim American identity, women’s rights in Islam, support of converts/reverts, and racism.  A graduate of Grinnell College, she currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband and five children. Laura recently started a Facebook page, The Common Sense Convert, to support Muslim women, particularly those who are new to the deen.

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