Every Friday we hear the Imam conclude his sermon by reciting the following verse of the Quran:
"Surely God enjoins justice, kindness and the doing of good, to kith and kin; and He forbids all that is shameful, indecent, evil, rebellious and oppressive." InnaAllah Yamuru bil adel, wal ehsane, wa itae zil qurba; wa yanha anil fuhshae, wal munkari walbaghi; yaizukhum lallakum tazakkaroon. (Quran 16:90)
Pornography and the culture of pornography has all the three elements which God has prohibited in the above verse of the Quran: Fuhsha; Munkar, baghi. Here is a bit of terminology before we review the rest of the evidence on the question is watching porn haram.
According to the Al-Mawrid Arabic-English dictionary of Munir Baalbaki, Fuhash is obscenity, vulgarity, indecency, shamelessness and something that is dirty, filthy and foul. Al-Mawrid's English-Arabic dictionary translates pornographic as Fahish. The Hans Wehr Dictionary Of Modern Written Arabic adds monstrosity, abomination, vile deed and fornication to its meaning as well.
Fuhsha, translated as anything shameful, is a Quranic term which in the Quran and Hadith has been used widely for unIslamic sexual behavior. The Quran uses it as in the above verse (Quran 16:90). It is a set of vices that embraces the whole range of evil and shameful deeds. Scholars of the Quran have included every vice which is intrinsically of a highly reprehensible character into this category whether it be fornication, nudity, public foreplay as depicted in films and photos, pornography, hurling abuses and curse words, promiscuous mixing, or dresses designed to expose the body. At the highest level of Fuhsha, Allah has included adultery (Quran 17:32) and same gender sex (Quran 7:80; 27:54).
When asked, is watching porn haram? All scholars agree pornography is included in the term Fuhsha.
Al-Mawrid English - Arabic Dictionarydescribes Munkar as gross, abominable, detestable, atrocious, outrageous, flagrant.
As a major Quranic term it means something which is universally acknowledged as bad and immoral. This category includes all evils which have been unanimously condemned by the human conscience and which have been forbidden by Divine Law in all ages.
People of all faiths abhor watching porn. Even the norms of American society do not allow its propagation in mainstream newspapers and prime time TV, forcing it to hide in dark alleys. Those who are addicted to watching porn try to watch it mostly discreetly. This indicates that it is a universally accepted immoral act which Quran calls al-Munkar.
According to Al-Mawrid English - Arabic dictionary, this term means wrong, injustice, outrage, and transgression.
Al-Baghi in the Quranic terminology means transgression and trespassing into the space and the rights of others, whether those rights be of God or of a fellow human being. Pornography is a transgression towards God as well as towards human beings and animals. The pornographic industry trespasses on the rights of women especially by turning them into sex objects. Pornographic emails trespass the private email boxes of Americans at least four times a day.
God is Against Pornography (Fuhsha) whether Open or Hidden
"Tell them (O Muhammad): 'My Lord has only forbidden indecent acts, whether overt or hidden?"
innama haram rabbial fawahisha ma zahar aminha wma batan.. (Quran 7:33).
Therefore, the question is watching porn haram is answered and other indecent acts in the privacy of the home or on the internet is also forbidden.
Allah Asks Us Not to Even Go Close to It
"Say to them (O Muhammad!) ?do not even draw near to things shameful–be they open or secret;? " (Quran 6:151 partial)
?wa la taqrabul fawahisha ma zahara minha wa ma batan?
Allah has mentioned this instruction along with shirk and murder which means that Allah considered shameful things like watching porn among the major sins.
Allah knows best. He knows His creation. He knows that we are weak. Therefore, He likes us to stay away from shameful things.
Those who Propagate Shameful things among the Believers
"Verily those who love that indecency should spread among the believers deserve a painful chastisement in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah knows, but you do not know." Quran 24:19
Innal lazeena yuhibbuna an tasheeal fahishatu fillazeena amanou lahum azabun aleemun fid dunya wal akhirate, wallahu yalamu wa antum la talamoon.
The words used in the verse (fahishatu) embrace all the various forms that might be used to spread shameful and lewd behavior though any means be it pictures, films, or internet.
Don't follow Satan
At several places in the Quran, God warns us not to follow the steps of Satan: "He will incite you for shameful things (fuhsha) and encourage you to do universally accepted wrong things (al-munkar) Quran 24:21
Restrain Your Gaze & Guard Your Private Parts
"Enjoin believing men to restrain their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do.
And enjoin believing women to restrain their gaze and guard their private parts and additionally not to reveal their adornment except that which is revealed of itself." Quran 24:30-31
Sayings of the Prophet: Hadith
No man or woman should look at the naked body of each other (unless married). Sahih Muslim
By God, I would prefer to be thrown from the skies and spatterred in parts than to look at someone's private parts or let someone look at my private parts. Narrated by Salman. Almabsooth kitabul istehsan.
Don't expose your thigh to anyone and don't look at the thigh of any person even if s/he is dead. Narrated Ali ibn abi Talib. Ibn e Maja, Abi Dawud, Darqutani. Tafseer Kabeer
Once someone's thigh was open in public. The Prophet said don't you know thigh is supposed to be kept covered? Jerhad Aslami. Muatta Imam Malik, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud
Allah has written for Adam's son his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it. Abu Hurairah. Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud.
Other Scholarly Perspectives
"It's absolutely Haram," notes Shaykh Muhammad Nur Abdullah. He is the Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis in Missouri.
"If someone is looking at someone committing Zina (sex outside of marriage) whether it is in movies or pictures or the actual thing, it's all Haram," he adds.
"Pornographic pictures and movies are haram (prohibited). Muslims should not watch, sell or make such movies. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: 'The eyes commit adultery, the tongue commits adultery, the hands commit adultery, the feet commit adultery and then the private parts confirm it or deny it." (Reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
"This means that watching pornographic movies, listening to such songs or singing them, using one's hands and feet for this purpose, all these are sins that are related to Zina and then the final act of Zina takes place through haram intercourse." Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
So, is watching porn by Logging in and browsing pornographic sites is forbidden? Yes, because a Muslim is always commanded to lower his/her gaze, let alone give a loose rein to his/her ? eyes to look at the private parts of others.
May Allah keep us all safe spiritually and physically.
aoa..........highly informative and eye opener article.........u r highly appreciated.very nice work.plz do pray 4 me ,to keep me on the right path.keep on doing such gr8 work......may u live long and b on right path and b happy/.ameen. allah hafiz
By the way i would like to make one correction as for my research that hadeeth mentioned about showing the thighs is a dhaef hadeeth,anyone please correct me if i am wrong.ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST
Alhamdllilah how perfect is that muslim men understand this,fear Allah and prefer the life hereafter rather running back for this matah of duniya ,an temporary enjoyment,may Allah truely guide us on straight path and guide us to acquire taqwa,because in muslim families this act by most of the men is becoming a source of breaking the ties and marriage.
Asalamualykum Wrahmatullah Jazakallah Kayrun for the article it has opened my eyes aswell as others. my Allah reward you please do Du'a for me so i can hold on tite to the 12 steps inshallah.Jazakallah for this articale.
Thanks for the vary informative article. One of man has buisness for making and selling/ exporting the sexy dresses and other adultary things. He was in believe that he is Not doing the unislamic act/ Job. As Job is the Job!I used many verses from this article and hadiths as wellIn last thank you vary muchALLAH Subhan-hu-Tallah will give you revard here and hareafter - AameenTake careAllahafiz
This article has opened my eyes to everything. I myself live in the "Wilderness" of America. There are so many things I have learned from it, and changed me dramatically as a Muslim. This is a great site, Keep up the GREAT WORK!!
Hi , im a muslim , or at least i think i am , im a 16 year old boy , i live in canada , i been here for amost 5 years .my parents r muslims , i pray , i read qu-ra'an , but i drink , and i have my left-nipple pierced .. wat do i do ? i stopped drinking , but wat bout my nipple piercing ? thnx
I myself have had issues with weather or not it was permited to watch porn..thank you for the article.
I came to this site by accident while looking for the meanings and usages of the word OXYMORON, and Allah had this information for me, perhaps as a part of his hidayah. May we all become the followers of His Righteous Guidance, Ameen. JazaakAllah khair, ya Abdul Malik Mujahid.
thank you for the article. i'm a new muslim 3/26/05. i was also married on this day. this past weekend i discovered that my husband spent 6 minutes on the internet (supposedly arabic website- arabic language-- one woman had a burka and her body was nude) looking at nude women and a short video of a couple having sex. i am devastated, degraded, and completely disgusted. i don't know what to do. i discussed this matter with my husb who is a BORN MUSLIM who said that it wasn't a big deal and that it was educational. i haven't known him to do this before. i told him that this is just a beginning point. i asked him if he was disatisfied with me or my body that he had to commit haram by looking at this website. as a new muslim, I am so confused and disgusted with my husband. i don't know what to do. plz help.
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