Reading books that have indecent scenes
Fatwa No: 316822

  • Fatwa Date:9-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 30, 1437
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Question

I know that reading books in which kissing and intimate relations take place are forbidden. But what about if you read the book but skip the parts where this takes place? Would it then be permissible to read the book? I mostly talk about books for young adults.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

It is impermissible for the Muslim to read such books or magazines that contain obscenity and immorality, such as scenes of kissing or intimate relations, because this corrupts the heart and leads to temptation, especially for young people. It is known that the Islamic sharee'ah enjoins the elimination of means that lead to evil results. This is why Islam deems all that leads to zina (adultery/fornication) prohibited. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “Verily, Allaah has decreed upon the son of Aadam (Adam) his share of zina that he will inevitably commit. The zina of the eye is the lustful look, and the zina of the tongue is the licentious speech, the heart desires and yearns, and the private parts confirm that or deny it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] This wording was cited by Imaam Muslim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him.

Shaykh Ibn ʻUthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked about the religious ruling on reading magazines and newspapers. He answered, “If such magazines and newspapers promote evils, as is the case if they display indecent images or are known for propagating corrupt ideas, then, in this case, it is prohibited to read them.

For more benefit, please refer to fataawa 86046 and 87235.  

If the reader is able to skip these indecent scenes, then there is no harm in reading. However, it is better and worthier of the Muslim to avoid reading such books or magazines. A wise person would devote his time and effort to what benefits him in the worldly life and the Hereafter. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 86533.

Allaah knows best.

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