Nowadays, being surrounded by different types of media products, one may be bewildered if all these movies and animations are lawful (Halal) or not. We might found many of them to have some contradictions with Islamic rules.
The fact is that many issues did not exist 1400 years ago, and therefore, there is no direct mention of them in the Quran or narrations of the Prophet (PBUH&HP).
However, Islam is not a contextual religion that was only suitable for people of its own time. Instead, it is a universal religion that can be a guideline for all human beings, anywhere and anytime. Thus, we should be able to find out the Islamic viewpoint about watching movies and animations; which, indeed, have a central role in most of our lives these days.
Although there is no direct mention of movies in the Quran, Islam has provided us with some fundamental frameworks that describe the freedoms and redlines of the religion. Those are the Islamic laws that are extracted from the Quran and narrations. Having those fundamental frameworks in mind, we can always have a criterion to distinguish the lawfulness or forbiddance of any new issue that may arise in our individual or social life.
Now, let’s revise some of these fundamental frameworks to find out if watching movies and animations are forbidden in Islam or not.
There is a verse in the Quran that says: “Say: Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of [His] provision?’ Say, ‘These are for the faithful in the life of this world, and exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.’ Thus do We elaborate the signs for a people who have knowledge.” (7: 32)
The verse shows that there have been people who prevented themselves from even lawful adornments of this world. Therefore, Allah, by using the imperative word “say,” tells his Prophet to ask people ‘based on what religion they are forbidding the blessings of Allah to themselves.’
Based on this verse, the blessings in this world have been created for faithful people, while the unbelievers can also use them. Byte they are merely for goof believers in heaven.
By reading rule number 1, some may think that Allah is not taking it too harshly, and therefore, everything is lawful for us. But since Allah knows better how we may misuse His words, He quickly continues with the following verse:
“Say, ‘My Lord has only forbidden indecencies, the outward among them and the inward ones, and sin and undue aggression, and that you should ascribe to Allah partners for which He has not sent down any authority, and that you should attribute to Allah what you do not know.’” (7: 33)
Therefore, any indecencies and wrongdoing that may in any way cause harm to an individual or the society are forbidden in Islam.
There are so many other verses that can help us find our answer in terms of watching movies. However, the two above verses can be the criteria to help us distinguish any Lawful (Halal) and unlawful in Islam.
Let’s choose a movie in mind and use the following questions as our criterion to distinguish if they are Lawful (Halal) or not.
1- It teaches me a lot.
2- It motivates me to be a better person and find better behavior and habits in life.
3- It gives me peace of mind.
4- It contains bad words that may remain in my mind.
5- It contains violence that is not motivating in the right way, but will wake my aggression.
6- It contains sexual scenes.
7- It gives me a nihilistic feeling.
Numbers 1, 2, and 3 are the manifestation of adornments and blessings of Allah, while numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 are indecencies and wrongdoing.
The above were only some examples, but if you have more criteria based on the Quranic teachings in mind, you may find it easier to distinguish between right and wrong.
Watching movies and animations are not forbidden (Haram) in Islam if they don’t contain any prohibited elements. Muslims are allowed to watch, enjoy, and learn from movies that contain no indecencies and has no harm for any individual or society.
However, being a Muslim means that one has the aim of improving to the highest levels of faith. Thus, one should keep in mind the verse of the Quran that says: “The life of the world is nothing but play and diversion, and the abode of the Hereafter is surely better for those who are Godwary. Do you not exercise your reason?” (6: 32)
Therefore, even if the movies and animation are lawful (halal) to watch, we should make sure not to waste our time watching too much of them and neglect our main tasks in life.
“… and eat and drink, but do not waste; indeed, He does not like the wasteful.” (7: 31)
- The Quran, Chapter 7, verses 32-33
- The Quran, Chapter 6, verses 32
- The Quran, Chapter 7, verses 31
The month of Ramadan is one of the essential occasions in the Islamic calendar. It’s the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), it’s the month in which the most important nights of the Islamic year, the Qadr nights, or the nights of ordainment, are. It’s the month in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) used to pray a lot. It’s the month in which practicing Muslims fast, keeping themselves from sins, evil acts, and their worldly desires. But why this month has a significant role in the Islamic calendar, and how does it play a role in the life of Muslims? Here, we are going to discuss this matter.
Fasting is not a thing just belonging to Islam. It’s been in the former religions, and it’s been referred to in other holy books. The Quran refers to the time when Allah ordered Mary not to speak to anyone, as a form of fast:
Eat, drink, and be comforted. Then if you see any human, say, ‘‘Indeed I have vowed a fast to the All-beneficent, so I will not speak to any human today. (19:26)
“Muslims are asked to be fasting in the month of Ramadan: O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting as it was prescribed for those who were before you, so that you may be God-wary.” (2:183)
Also, Allah promises a great reward for both men and women who fast:
“Indeed, the Muslim men and the Muslim women, the faithful men and the faithful women… the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, the men who remember Allah greatly and the women who remember [Allah greatly]—Allah holds in store for them forgiveness and a great reward.”(33:35)
As a result, the month of Ramadan is when Muslims begin to have a close relation with Allah and practice preserving themselves from evil acts, temptations, human passions, etc. In response, Allah promises to reward those who do so, with the best rewards.
As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said, “The Month of Ramadan starts with mercy, goes on with forgiveness and ends with redemption.”  Therefore, this month is a chance for Muslims to ponder on their deeds, find where they have gone wrong, and ask Allah’s help and forgiveness to fix those mistakes and become a better version of themselves. Allah’s mercy includes everyone, at any time and anywhere. Yet, the month of Ramadan is when He pours down His blessings upon His creatures more than ever and is an excellent opportunity for the ones who are willing to benefit from it.
Qadr Night or the Night of Ordainment is highly sacred in Islam. On 19th, 21st, 23rd or 27th of Ramadan, Allah inspired the holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and it refers to this fact:
Indeed We sent it down on the Night of Ordainment. And what will show you what is the Night of Ordainment? The Night of Ordainment is better than a thousand months. In it, the angels and the Spirit descend, by the leave of their Lord, with every command. It is peaceful until the rising of the dawn. (97:1-5)
So, one of the significances of this night is the inspiration of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).
The other significance of this night, according to the Imams (AS), is being known as the night of destiny. Imam Sadiq (AS) calls it the heart of Ramadan . He also says that in the night of ordainment, everything, from death to life, is predestined. So Muslims usually stay awake during that night, praying to Allah to excuse their sins, and they pray for their earthly and unearthly wishes. That is the night in which Allah has said He does listen to the prayers of His servants. That is the night when one can change his/her fate for better, praying and asking Allah to do so.
The month of Ramadan is a chance for anyone who wants to be closer to Allah, a better person, and a guided human being. There are many divine purposes for this holy month, and especially the ritual of fasting, which will be discussed in another article.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, p.342.
- Bihar al Anvaar, vol 58, p 376.
Once Mu’aviah, the first Umayyad Caliph, ordered Sa’d ibn Abi-Waqass -a famous companion of the Prophet (PBUH & HP)- to insult Imam Ali (AS). Mu’aviah was the enemy of Imam Ali (AS) and would order people to say bad things about him in public. But Sa’d refused to do that.Mu’aviah said: why don’t you insult “Aba-Turab” (Imam Ali)? Sa’d replied: I won’t insult Aba-Turab because I remember him in three events that if those had happened to me it would be better for me than having so many red camels (symbol of richness) Sa’d narrated three stories about Imam Ali (AS) but, here, we mention the third one:
… Once this verse was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH&HP):
فَمَنْ حَاجَّكَ فِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وَأَنفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٦١﴾
Should anyone argue with you concerning him (Jesus), after the knowledge that has come to you, say, ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly, and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars.’ (61) (The Holy Quran, 3:61)
The Prophet (PBUH & HP) called Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussain and then said: “O God! These are my family” (1)
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) sent messages to the kings around the world and invited them to Islam, he also wrote a letter to the bishop of Najran’s church (a city in Arabia).
They sent a group of priests and Christian scholars to talk with the Prophet (PBUH & HP) and discuss with him on the Message of Islam. They discussed on the question: Is Jesus the son of God or not?
Each side insisted on their beliefs and the Christians wouldn’t accept that their belief is wrong. Then this verse was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH & HP):
Indeed the case of Jesus with Allah is like the case of Adam: He created him (Adam) from dust, then said to him, ‘Be,’ and he was. (59) This is the truth from your Lord, so do not be among the skeptics. (60) Should anyone argue with you concerning him (Jesus), after the knowledge that has come to you, say, ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly, and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars.’ (61) (The Holy Quran, 3:59-61)
So Allah said to the Prophet (PBUH & HP) that the only way to clarify which side is telling the truth is Mubahala.
When two groups of people have an argument with each other, after so many discussions with no results, they come to a place and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars. They pray that Allah punishes the ones who tell lies right in the time. This is called Mubahala.
So, both sides agreed and promised to be present on a specific day (Du al-Hijjah the 24th) in the desert for Mubahala. In the morning of Mubahala day, the Messenger of Allah came to Imam Ali’s house and took Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain’s hands. The Prophet, Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain went to the desert.
When the Christians saw them, asked: who are those people with Muhammad?
They were answered: that man is his cousin and son in law. He loves Ali the most. Those children are his grandsons and that woman is his lovely daughter.
The Christians said: Muhammad is sitting there like the real Prophets. If he wasn’t right, he wouldn’t bring the closest ones with him for Mubahala. He must be so sure about his message. If we participate in this Mubahala, there will be no Christian left in Najran till next year.
So they refused to participate in the Mubahala and went back to Najran.
• Hakim an-Neisaboori, one of the most prominent Sunni scholars, says:
“There are so many historical records concerning this event that the Messenger (PBUH & HP) brought Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussain in the Mubahala day and then said: “these are our sons and our souls and our women so you (Christians) bring your sons and souls and women for Mubahala so that we call down Allah’s curse on the liars” (2)
• Ibn Kathir, another great Sunni scholar also admits that this verse is about Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain. He says that Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari (one of the most important companions of the Prophet) said:
“By ‘our souls’ Allah means the Prophet (PBUH & HP) and Imam Ali (AS)” (3)
Here soul, in Arabic culture, means that Imam Ali (AS) is so close to the Prophet (PBUH & HP) that there is no difference between him and the Prophet; it’s like they are one soul in two bodies. Obviously, the only difference is that Imam Ali is not a prophet but on the other levels Imam Ali and the Prophet are the same.
Sheik Mufid, one of the greatest Shiite scholars, narrates a dialogue between Imam Reza (AS) and Ma’moon (an Abbasid Caliph):
Once, Ma’moon asked Imam Reza (AS) about the best privilege of Imam Ali (AS) that the Quran has mentioned.
Imam Reza (AS) said: it is the event of Mubahala. In that day when the verse was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH&HP), he called Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain, who were his sons, Lady Fatimah, who was the woman mentioned in the Quran, and finally Imam Ali which was the soul mentioned in the Book.
Imam Reza (AS) also said: clearly the Prophet (PBUH & HP) is the most supreme person in the world. So it is obvious that his soul which is Imam Ali is also the most supreme creature.
Ma’moon said: why don’t you think that here soul means the Prophet himself and no one else?
Imam Reza (AS) said: because it doesn’t make sense to call yourself and bring yourself for Mubahala. When you call somebody or order somebody to come with you, it is obvious that the person is not yourself. And we all know that the Prophet brought no one except Imam Ali; so undoubtedly, Imam Ali is his soul.
Ma’moon said: with this answer, there is no question left! (4)
- Sahih Muslim, vol.4, Pg.1871
- Ma’rifah al-Olum al-Hadith, Hakim an-Neisaboori, vol.1, Pg.50
- Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim, Ibn Kathir, published by dar al-Kotob al-Elmiyah, vol.2, Pg.47
- Al-Fosul al-Mukhtarah, Sheik Mufid, vol.1, Pg.38