Ruling on watching movies and television and playing cards during the daytime in Ramadan


Some Muslims spend most of the day in Ramadan watching movies, soap operas, videos, television, and playing cards. What is the ruling on this?


Muslims, whether fasting or not, should fear Allah with regard to what they do or do not do at all times. They should avoid forbidden matters such as watching obscene movies which depict things that Allah has prohibited including naked and semi-naked pictures. These reprehensible programs shown on television go against Allah’s Shar’i (Law) like images, singing, musical instruments, and misleading ideas. Every Muslim, whether fasting or not, should avoid acts like playing cards and other kinds of entertainment that involves witnessing evil and committing sins, for the result will be hardening and impairing the heart, making light of Allah’s Shar’i, neglecting the obligatory acts such as praying in congregation, and committing misdeeds. Allah (Glorified be He) also says: “And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allâh without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allâh, or the Verses of the Qur’ân) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire). And when Our Verses (of the Qur’ân) are recited to such a one, he turns away in pride, as if he heard them not - as if there were deafness in his ear. So announce to him a painful torment.” [Luqman: 6-7]

In Surah Al-Furqan, Allah describes the servants of the Most Merciful: “And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.” [Al-Furqan: 72]

Falsehood includes all types of evil. The phrase “do not bear witness” means that they are absent from places where these things take place. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: “Verily, among my Ummah (nation) there will be people who will deem Zina (premarital sex and/or adultery), silk, Khamr (intoxicant), and musical instruments as lawful.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih as a Hadith Mu’allaq [a Hadith missing link in the chain of narration, reported directly from the Prophet] and in the affirmative form of transmission) 1

Zina includes different kinds of illegal sexual relations and the musical instruments refer to both singing and musical instruments. Allah has forbidden for Muslims all means that lead to prohibited things. Undoubtedly, watching movies showing nudity and other reprehensible television programs are among the ways leading to prohibited things or to tolerating these matters. Allah is the One Whose help is sought.

  1. Narrated by Al-Bukhari, ranking it as Mu’allaq, Book on drinks, Chapter on what has come about someone who considers wine to be lawful and calls it by a different name.