Salim I. Hassan (Salimullah)
It is extremely disappointing the way some people invest their time totally in all kinds of funs, hobbies and entertainment. In Islam Hobbies and leisure must not be observed excessively. Even if it is permissible it should occupy anything below 2% of your total free time per day. And when such hobbies go contrary to Islamic norms and values it is then totally forbidden. I was at a place yesterday adjacent to a CD MAX shop where I beheld a lot muslim youths trooping like Hitler’s armies just to buy CD Plate movies. I was astonished to see some coming out with 5, 10, and more CD plates, just to finish them in few days. I asked one of them how he spend his leisure. He told me all in either watching movies, football or wrestling matches. I just sought to kid him saying how would I waste my leisure time in doing what will not benefit me with anything. He replied: ‘Kai! Entertainment is good for your health. It is a natural medication against stress and fatigue after work. I just laughed and said: yes of course agreed. But it will be better for you to cut off your leisure time and in invest in God-remembrance, supporting my point with quoting of Surah Al-Asr “ Indeed man is in waste (of time). I further expounded that any form of entertainment (good or bad) is a waste of time. His replied was also positive and said: Eh wallahi haka ne. But I was obsessed with this habit. Kawai dai Allah ya shiryemu.
So, obviously I liked the way he interacted with me. As a result I never wish to indict him with any grievous wrong-doing. According to Sura Al-asr, anything that is not an act of belief, worship of sort of righteous deeds is a waste of time even if it lawful. And when you are obsessed with it the end result is a loss (Khusr). Unlike as some have a misconception that having fun or entertainment is Haraam. Fun or entertainment is part of human nature and Islam is the religion that satisfies that nature, Al-Fitrah. Sadly enough, despite the fact that many forms of entertainment are Halal, most Muslims opt to indulge in the Haraam forms of entertainment instead.
To be specific, I refer to in here our excessiveness and extravagance in watching movies, football or wrestling matches and playing other games. Many of us have been carried away by one of these obsessions, and many more not mentioned here. When it comes to movies and football matches most of us are in the grip of infatuation that they are powerless to resist. Watching movies, football or wrestling matches have become the hard core habit and manner of many Muslim youths (male & female). Not all movies are Haram; but their majorities are. Although, as usual as I know, some would argue and even claim that this is just entertainment and a way of passing time as pointed above by a strange friend. But one clear-cut truth is that entertainment is not permitted in Islam if it is haraam. The contents, messages and beliefs behind many movies run contrary to Islam. Football matches detach a large number of its audience from observing their act of worship properly.
It is not a most to watch movies to entertain one’s own self. For those who find it difficult to avoid let them watch something Islamic or something beneficial and keep away from movies which have shameless scenes and teach bad things.
I will close this chapter with quote from Al-munajjid who writes: “Watching movies includes looking at things that are haraam, such as seeing ‘awrahs, following immoral actions, or listening to things that are haraam such as music and obscene talk. Undoubtedly it is haraam to watch them in this case.
If the movies are free of such things, then there is nothing wrong with watching them, so long as that does not distract one from remembering Allaah or keep one from doing something that is obligatory.
No distinction is made between documentaries and other kinds of movies.
Watching movies has a bad effect on the individual and on the ummah. These include the following:
1- Provocation of desires
2- Propagation of immorality which is made attractive and easily accessible
3- Teaching and justification of crime, and making it familiar to young and old
4- Corruption of married life, by making the wife seem ugly to the husband and vice versa, by showing images of attractive girls and men
5- Spreading corrupt beliefs which are based on kaafir theories, such as the theory of evolution, or attributing the powers of creation and destruction to researchers and inventors, or propagating magic, soothsaying and claims to know the unseen, or making fun of religion and religious people, and other things which appear in movies that are shown to young and old.
6- Wasting time and draining away energy, living with illusions far removed from reality.
May Allah guide us and protect us from this evil Fitna of modern time.