Ruling on watching Arabic and foreign movies and soap operas, and the ruling on listening to music
Allaah has enjoined the Muslim to protect his physical faculties from doing haraam actions. This guarding the physical faculties comes under the heading of gratitude for the great blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon His slaves. Allaah has warned of a stern punishment for using these blessings in sinful actions. Among the most important of these physical faculties are hearing and sight. They are the two ways to ruin the heart (spiritually), do immoral actions and commit major sins that may doom one to Hell. Allaah has told us that He will ask us about that on the Day when we meet Him. He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allaah)”
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The seven physical faculties are the eye, ear, mouth, private part, hand and foot, which may be the cause of doom or the cause of salvation. The one who neglects them and does not protect them will be doomed, and the one who protects them and takes care of them will be saved. So guarding them is the basis of all good, and neglecting them is the basis of all evil. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts)”
Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (1/80).
The fact that the aayah mentions lowering the gaze and protecting the private part together indicates that lowering the gaze is a means of protecting the private part (or guarding one’s chastity), and that letting the gaze wander freely is a cause of falling into immoral actions.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The zina of the eye is looking, the zina of the tongue is speaking; the soul longs and wishes, and the private part confirms that or denies it.”
According to a version narrated by Muslim: “The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the ears is listening, the zina of the tongue is speaking, the zina of the hands is touching, and the zina of the foot is walking. The heart longs and wishes, and the private part confirms that or denies it.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6243) and Muslim (2657).
Shaykh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Our evidence here is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “The zina of the eye is looking.” The fact that the name zina is given to the looking of the eye at that which is not permissible clearly indicates that it is haraam, and is a warning against it. The ahaadeeth which say something similar are many and well known.
It is well known that looking is the cause of zina, because the one who looks a great deal at the beauty of a woman – for example – may develop a strong love for her in his heart as a result of that, which may be the cause of his doom – Allaah forbid – for the gaze is the route to zina.
Adwa’ al-Bayaan (5/510)
What is seen in soap operas, movies and plays of the blatant and wanton display of women (tabarruj), and their soft voices, enticing walks, dancing and singing – all of these are things that are forbidden in the religion of Allaah, and they are among the easiest means that enable the shaytaan to enter and settle in the heart of the viewer, when he can take the reins and direct the person and his physical faculties in ways that incur the wrath of the Lord, may He be exalted.
The hadeeth quoted above, “The zina of the eyes is looking, and the zina of the ear is hearing” undoubtedly applies to these shows.
No one should dispute the bad effects that these soap operas and movies have on societies in general, and on young men and women in particular. An actor may charm a married woman so that she becomes infatuated with him, and she destroys her family by her actions. And young men may become infatuated with beautiful actresses and for that reason they forego halaal marriage in pursuit of haraam pleasure. In addition to that there is the effect that these shows may have of diluting Islamic beliefs, teaching violence, making crime look attractive, making people dare to drink alcohol, keep company with non-mahram women and other bad effects.
What we said about haraam viewing may also be said about haraam listening. The songs and music with which the world is filled, with their evil content and promotion of immorality, such as infatuation with non-mahram women and setting up dates with them and feeling sorry when one is away from them, are undoubtedly haraam.
For the prohibition on listening to music, please see the answer to question no. 5000.
From the above it may be known that the ruling on listening to music, and watching movies and soap operas, which are shown on public and private channels, is that it is undoubtedly haraam to broadcast them and it is haraam to watch them or listen to them.
We ask Allaah to set the Muslims’ affairs straight.
And Allaah knows best.