What Does Islam Say about Watching Movies and Animations?

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.

 

watching movies


The Fundamental Frameworks Regarding Watching Movies


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.


Rule number 1


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.


Rule number 2


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. 

 

watching movies
 

Analysis


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. 


Conclusion


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)

 


References


[1] The Quran, Chapter 7, verses 32-33
[2] The Quran, Chapter 6, verses 32
[3] The Quran, Chapter 7, verses 31