Is Film Acting Permissible in Islâm?

Ash-Shaykh Sâlih Al-Fauzân – may Allâh preserve him - was asked regarding what is called 'Islamic films' and he answered thus:

I see (film) acting as impermissible due to the following reasons:

One: Acting is deceiving the audience. The audience look at the movements of the actors and laugh. The goal of acting is entertainment and deceiving of the audience. That is one.

Two: People the actors mimic could be reputable personalities in Islâm; in fact, they could be Companions. Mimicking them is belittling their honour whether you are aware or not. A person mimics a scholar of Islam or a companion (of the Messenger of Allaah - salaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam -)! This is not permissible because it reduces their Islamic worth especially when a sinful actor (or otherwise) mimics them.

If a person comes and mimics you by walking and talking the way you do, will you be pleased or see that as reducing your worth even if the actor has the best of intention? People do not like anybody reducing their worth.

Three: This third point is the most significant. This is when some actors play the roles of unbelievers such as Abu Jahl, Pharaoh, etc. such that they repeat words of unbelief those evil people used to say, with the intention of refuting their unbelief. The Messenger of Allaah - salaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam - indeed warned Muslims against emulating the polytheists and unbelievers in any manner – negative or positive.

Another point worthy of mention is the fact that this methodology of acting that is used as a means of calling people to Islam is not from the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah - salaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam - nor is it from the practice of our pious predecessors, it is neither from the practice (of the righteous) Muslims. Acting is alien to Islam; it came from the Kuffaar and crept into our midst in the name of Da'wah. To consider it among the means of making Da'wah is not correct. Means of calling people to Islam is Tauqeefiyyah (evidence-based) and it is ghaniyyatun (independent) from this methodology (of acting). The Islamic Da'wah has been successful over the centuries without acting. When acting came (into the Islamic Da'wah), it increased people in no piety neither did it have any good effect on them. It is an entertainment therefore, it has no benefit for the Muslims rather harm.

Someone might say 'but angels assume human forms; isn't that a form of acting?' We will reply by saying yes angels assume human forms because human beings cannot see the angels in their normal forms. This is what is better for human beings. If angels were to appear to human beings in their actual forms, none will stay to engage them in talks or look at them. When angels assume human forms, it is not for the same reasons as those of film actors. Angels take human forms for the benefit of human beings because angels have their own forms which are not like human forms.

But what make men change from one form to another? For what purpose?

End of quote.

Source: Al-Ajwibah Al-Mufeedah (pp. 58-63) as quoted in Waqafaat Ma'a Tandheem Al-Ikhawaani al-Muslimeen pp.141-143.

Ash-Shaykh Hamood bn Abdillaah At-Tuwayjiree – may Allaah bestow mercy on him – also said:

'Introduction of acting into the fold of the Islamic Da'wah is not from the practice of the Messenger of Allaah - salaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam - nor his rightly guided successors rather it is among the innovations (in the Deen) of our time. The Prophet - salaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam - indeed warned us regarding innovations (in the Deen); he told us it is evil and misguidance … whoever therefore arrogantly thinks that acting is traceable to the Prophet - salaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam - that he included it among the means of doing Da'wah, then such should bring the proofs evincing that. Will he be able to do that? '

End of quote.

Source: Al-Hujaj al-Qawiyyah 'Alaa Anna Wasaailad-Da'wah Tauqeefiyyah, pp.65-67.

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