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Ruling on one who watches a film in which Islam is reviled or sharee‘ah is belittled

Question: 149104

There is no doubt that watching a video clip or soap opera or music show is haraam, but will you incur the same level of sin as the people in the clip or show, or are you just sinning? For example, if you watch a film in which Islam is reviled, will you be regarded as a kaafir just for watching it, or are you sinning?

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.

The Islamic texts forbid all sins and
close the doors that lead to them; they forbid cooperating in sin and
transgression, and imitating the sinners; and they explain that the one who
loves a people will be gathered with them (on the Day of Resurrection) and the
one who imitates a people is one of them.

Among the things that Islam forbids is
watching those movies, soap operas and music shows, and any kind of
entertainment that includes any kind of sin.

Watching such things implies approval of
what the people in them are doing and of the falsehood they are indulging in.
Anyone who sees an evil and approves of it and accepts it, and does not
denounce it, comes under the same rulings as the one who does it.

Allah, may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning):

“And it has already been revealed to you
in the Book (this Quran) that when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied
and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than
that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like
them”

[an-Nisa’ 4:140].

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

That is, if you sit with them and
approve of what they are doing, then you are equal to them in the sin they are
committing. End quote.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/278

As-Sa‘di (may
Allah have mercy on him) said:

That is, if you sit with them in the
situation mentioned then you are like them, because you have approved of their
disbelief and mockery, and the one who approves of sin is like the one who does
it. The point is that the one who attends a gathering in which Allah is
disobeyed has an individual obligation to denounce them, if he is able to do
so, or to get up and leave, if he not able to denounce it. End quote.

Tafseer as-Sa‘di, p. 210

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allah have
mercy on him) said:

It is not permissible for anyone to
willingly attend gatherings of evil when there is no need to do so, as it says
in the hadeeth: “Whoever believes in Allah and the
Last Day, let him not sit at a table at which alcohol
is drunk.” Some people who had been drinking alcohol were brought to ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd
al-‘Azeez and he ordered that they be flogged. It was
said to him: Among them is one who is fasting. He said: Start with him; have
you not heard that Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And it has
already been revealed to you in the Book (this Quran) that when you hear the
Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they
engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in
that case you would be like them” [an-Nisa’ 4:140]?

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez
(may Allah be pleased with him) explained that Allah regards the one who is
present when evil is being committed as being like the one who does it. Hence
the scholars said: If he is invited to a feast in which evils are present, such
as alcohol and musical instruments, it is not permissible to attend it. That is
because Allah, may He be exalted, has commanded us to denounce evil as much as
possible. So if a person attends willingly and does not denounce it, he has
disobeyed Allah and His Messenger by failing to do what He has commanded him of
denouncing and forbidding evil. As that is the case, if a person willingly
attends gatherings where alcohol is served when there is no need to do so, and
he does not denounce evil as Allah has enjoined, then he is a partner with the
evildoers in the evildoing and he is regarded as one of them. End quote.

Majmoo‘
al-Fataawa, 28/221-222

Muslim (1854) narrated from Umm Salamah, the wife of the Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him), that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
said: “There will be appointed over you rulers (whose good deeds) you approve
of and (whose bad deeds) you object to. Whoever dislikes (their bad deeds) will
be free of blame and whoever objects (to them) will also be safe, but whoever
approves and follows (is blameworthy).”

So whoever sits and listens to such evil
or watches it is a partner in sin with those who do it. If it involves kufr – Allah forbid – such as reviling Islam or casting
aspersions upon the messages or the Messengers, or belittling the rulings and
laws of Islam, or mocking them, such as the beard and niqab
– as many misguided people do nowadays – and he sits and listens to them and
does not get angry for the sake of Allah, and he is pleased with what they are
saying, then he is like them.

Allah, may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning):

“If you ask them (about this), they
declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allah and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs,
revelations, etc.) and His Messenger (SAW) that you were mocking?

Make no excuse; you have disbelieved
after you had believed”

[at-Tawbah 9:65, 66].

Whoever utters a word of kufr, or does an action that implies kufr,
knowing that it is kufr, is a kaafir,
whether he does it in earnest or in jest. And whoever listens to it and does
not denounce it, and approves of what is said or done, is a kaafir
like him. In fact, if he does not approve of that evil and hate it in his
heart, but he did not get up and leave when he was able to do so, he is sinning
just by sitting there. Even if he was safe from kufr,
he was not free of sin; he was not safe from falling into the sin of sitting in
that place.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have
mercy on him) was asked:

I am a religiously-committed young man.
During these blessed nights [of Ramadan] I sit with some young people to relax,
but sometimes someone may come along who smokes cigarettes or shisha. What should I do in that case?

He replied: The Prophet (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you
sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action];
if he cannot, then with his tongue [by
speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart…” So if someone
comes to your gathering and smokes a cigarette, advise him first,
and if he stops that is good for you and for him. But if he does not stop and
you are able to kick him out of the place, then kick him out, because you are
able to change the evil with your hand (by taking action). But if you are not
able to do that, because the place is not yours, then you should leave, because
you are not able to change it with your words or with your actions, so what is
left? The heart cannot denounce something and stay with the one who is doing
it, so you should leave. Some people say that they sit with them whilst hating
it in their hearts. But we say: Subhaan Allah! This
is a contradiction. If you hate it in your heart, then who is forcing you to
stay? There is no compulsion. Anyone who denounces something in his heart has
no choice but to leave the place. If he claims that he hates it in his heart
but he still stays in that place, then he is lying.

Al-Liqa’ ash-Shahri, 3/45

For more information please see the
answer to question no. 1107

To sum up:

If a person watches or listens to that
and approves of it, then he comes under the same rulings as the one who does
it. If he hates it in his heart but he continues to watch and listen, then he
is in grave danger; if he is free from kufr he will
not be safe from falling into sin and disobedience.

And Allah knows best.

Source

Islam Q&A

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