Watching shows or reading novels that contain Shirk
Fatwa No: 359560

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Is it permissible to read novels/stories or watch shows that contain Shirk (polytheism) or parts that are contrary to the basics of ‘Aqeedah (creed) while skipping these parts? So shows that sometimes mention "gods" or have characters nicknamed as "the god of death, of destruction, etc"? I know that reading or watching this while not believing in it means that there is no Kufr (disbelief), but would it be permissible to still read/watch these stories/shows while trying to avoid reading/watching these bad parts containing Shirk (by skipping them)? If that is ok, then is there any sin on the person if they try to avoid these parts but saw them by mistake (i.e. one was reading quickly and read a bad part before managing to avoid it)? May Allah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is not permissible to read novels or watch shows that contain what is forbidden and Shirk, unless one wants to refute what is in it, provided they are qualified to do that. So it is not permissible for a layman to do so, lest the misconception of the people of falsehood affects his heart.

It is more appropriate to refrain from reading the whole story or watching the whole show; instead you may read the stories of the Prophets and the biographies of the Companions and the Salaf (righteous predecessors), because the scholars forbade reading the books of the People of the Book because they contain a mixture of truth and falsehood.

Al-Buhooti said in Kash-shaaf al-Qinaa’, "It is not permissible to read the books of the People of the Book..."

The fatwa of the Standing Committee reads, "The previous heavenly Books have been subject to many distortions, additions, and alterations, as Allah mentioned, so it is not permissible for a Muslim to read them unless he is well-grounded in Islamic knowledge and wants to clarify the distortions and contradictions which they contain."

Allah knows best.

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