Reading fiction that contains a few erotic words for descriptive purposes
Fatwa No: 266299

  • Fatwa Date:17-9-2014 - Thul-Qi'dah 23, 1435
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Question

Assalamu 'Alaikum Shaikh. I have a question about reading Fictions. Not silly,useless type of Fictions. I usually read fictions which are based on real scientific facts. One can learn a large amount of information of specific subject by these type of books. But some books contain a little bit erotic word like 'breast' ,' sexy' etc.Authors use these words to potray their female characters. But these depictions are only about 0.5-1% in respect of the whole book. These books are not about sexual fantasy but authors sometimes use such type of words to depict female character. So my question is, will it be haram to read these books? Will it become haram for little bit of these words or depictions?

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 ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

There is no objection to reading fiction that contains such words as long as it does not contain indecent expressions and is not about a particular woman. Also, it has to be free from any religious violations such as ideas or words involving Shirk (associating partners with Allaah), doctrinal deviations, disrespect of religion or Islamic moral values, promotion of vice and immoralities, and the like.

The Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia reads: "It is permissible to compose love poetry about an indefinite woman as long as one does not say obscene words or say something which identifies the person one is speaking about. This is because the purpose in this case is beautifying the speech and making it elegant, not actualizing what is said. If the poet hints to a specific woman, then this is effectively identifying her in the poem. It should be noted that using the name of an indefinite woman like Layla or Su‘aad - names for females in the Arabic language - is not considered identification. This is based on the Hadeeth about Ka‘b ibn Zuhayr as he recited his famous poem “Baanat Su‘aad,” meaning Su‘aad has departed, before the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

For further information, please refer to Fataawa 83691 and 86533.

Allaah Knows best.

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