Fatwa ID: 02587
Answered by: Maulana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia
Assalamulaikum, my question is regarding the debate about fiction writing in Islam. I think it is important to discuss due to the rise of YA fantasy/sci-fi literature and the amount of aspiring Muslim fiction writers. It is important to know what boundaries there should be in writing.
The question of fantasy/magic fiction writing has been answered before, but some of it I think isn't really accurate reasoning. For example – fiction writing is lies. Fiction is called Fiction because it is contrived by the imagination and not based on truth. It is in the name itself that there is no deception of the truth occurring.
My primary concern is regarding fantasy adventure/sci-fi literature, which employs the use of the supernatural and alternate worlds as plot devices. Is the writing of this impermissible in your understanding?
-For example before coming to find this debate I was writing a novel about characters from a "Narnia" like land who can wield elements. The overall message of the story was the characters in this world discover their reality is temporary and wish to reach a higher plane of existence, and the use of their special abilities is also connected with their deeds. Without directly connecting religion there are religious concepts in this story, but at the same time, it employs the supernatural. Is this okay?
Also regarding the writing of romantic fiction, is it permissible if characters are shown not to pursue their desires before marriage, and to place very strong emphasis on the importance of this? Could it be useful for young people to see a representation of relationships that only connect after marriage in popular genre fiction since it is not represented at all at this time?
Jazak Allah Khairun for your time
You can find the answer to your query on our website. For the purpose of information, I have copied and pasted the answer of my Blessed Teacher Mufti Tosir.
It is permissible to write fiction books if the following conditions are met:
- The content of the stories should be within the boundaries of the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah SallallahuAlayhiWasalam i.e. the storylines should not be about immodesty, immorality and violence.
- If it is written for a purpose of deriving a moral or a lesson.
Furthermore, below is the similar view of Mufti Faraz Rabbani.
There is a difference between (a) reading stories in which there is an incidental presence of unlawful matters and (b) writing such stories.
1. There is nothing in of itself wrong by coming up with imaginary worlds.
2. Description of bloodshed is permitted if it is restrained and within the limits of decency and the dignity every human (and, in fact, living) soul deserves.
3. Characters can be described, but within the limits of restraint befitting the description of others (e.g. can’t describe the specifics of the `awra or beauty of others, though general mention of them being beautiful, etc, in restrained and dignified ways would be permitted).
4. It is not permitted to write about unlawful situations in specifics.
May Allah give us the correct understanding. Ameen
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham