Entertainment is a key factor of our existence, and this was only emphasized during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a global lockdown. As we were unable to leave our houses, we were forced to rely on entertainment like never before to keep ourselves occupied. Books, TV shows, movies, music, and games became more prominent than ever before; however, for some, it wasn’t as simple as just reading, watching, listening to, or playing anything. For instance, in the Islamic faith, there are some restrictions surrounding what Muslims can indulge in.
Although there’s no set rules about what Muslims CAN engage with, there are some clear things that they CAN’T interact with. This is predominantly down to teachings in the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, which is responsible for various religious traditions and practices that are still followed today by modern Muslims. See why here.
One thing that is absolutely prohibited is obscenity in any form. Obscenity can be defined as “an extremely offensive word, expression, or behavior”, referring to swearing, blasphemy, vulgarity, indecency, immorality, or impropriety. There’s no denying that plenty of fiction, music, and dramas can be considered obscene on multiple layers. As a result, these forms of entertainment should be avoided at all costs. With this being said, intent plays a huge role in Islam; therefore, should a Muslim stumble across obscene entertainment mistakenly, this won’t lead to any negative consequences in terms of one’s religious duties.
Consumption of Haram Products
Haram products are those that are forbidden or proscribed by Islamic law. Haram products include any food that is made with L-cysteine, sodium stearoyl-lactylate, diglycerides and monoglycerides from an animal source, animal shortening, rennet, and non-microbial enzyme. Additionally, alcohol and pork products are considered Haram, as well as dishes where blood is used as an ingredient, and meat/poultry that hasn’t been slaughtered under Islamic dietary law. As previously mentioned, intent plays an integral role and, often, there’s no way of knowing what someone is going to consume throughout the course of a movie, nor is there any way of telling how it has been prepared.
Activities That Take Away from the Remembrance of Allah
The key role of Muslims is to ensure they’re doing all they can to consistently act in remembrance of Allah. One of the most important ways in which one brings themselves closer to Allah is by engaging in all the necessary prayers. Therefore, any form of entertainment that brings a Muslim away from their prayers isn’t permitted. Some forms of music are sure to fall under this category; however, this doesn’t apply to all forms of music. For instance, ceremonial, traditional music will actually aid someone in their remembrance of Allah, as it was composed with this connection in mind.
Activities That Aren’t Acceptable to the Shari’ah
The Shari’ah refers to Islamic canonical law that’s based on the teachings of the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. There are many elements to the Shari’ah that prohibit many things from going on, but, in short, lying, stealing, gambling, and deception isn’t permitted under Islamic law. Therefore, any entertainment that showcases these behaviors won’t be regarded as acceptable by law of the Qur’an.
The Qur’an very much stresses the fact that humans weren’t placed on this earth to indulge in their own enjoyment. Instead, their sole purpose is to serve Allah and please him. It’s for this reason that Muslims should refrain from engaging with any entertainment that wouldn’t be deemed acceptable in the Qur’an. If Muslims find themselves bored, they’re expected to engage in activities that aid them in their spiritual journey, rather than hinder them.