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I was wondering about the Islamic ruling for writing fiction? If the author is talented and has a flair for writing fiction/stories, does Islam consider that as haraam? I would like to have the answer with regards to the following genres:

  1. Suspense thrillers, slashers, detective stories, etc.
  2. Stories that are based on reality like historical incidents.
  3. Stories that are not based on historical incidents, but still teach some (Islamic) moral lesson.

Of course, this question only makes sense (Islamically) to be asked and answered if the stories do not contain indecencies or anything that clearly goes against Islam, like paranormal stuff and so on.

  • I am curious why you think this might be against Islam? I mean, why do you doubt it; is there something specific about it that is giving you pause? – Burhan Khalid Mar 26 '14 at 7:23
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    I would just like to know if this is halaal, since I have heard (but not verified) that writing stories is equivalent to lying. So by that token, even Shakespeare is haraam. – Najeeb Mar 26 '14 at 7:37
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    @Najeeb, Story telling has been a feature in arabia for a long time, thousands of years. While some stories might have been true, some sure were false, I don't recall any event for past 1400 years that says that writing fiction is haram. WrIting stories is not haram, there are countless books written by scholars that are what you may call essentially stories like Stories of Prophets by ibn katheer. – user9301 Mar 13 '16 at 12:06
  • Found something useful here: islamqa.info/en/163469 – Najeeb Oct 26 '16 at 4:47
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https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&nv=1&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ar&sp=nmt4&tl=en&u=https://islamqa.info/ar/answers/174829/

Sorry, I couldn't provide an english reference, so you may find some repeated words in the article (because of translation), but I'll try to summarise the most important points here:

Some say it's haram, because in a fictional story you're telling a lie. But some say that it's not haram, as it's like telling the reader to "imagine if..", and you're not saying that the story is true.

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disclaimer : personal opinion

you can write whatever you want as long as:

1-you don't give the reader some new evil methods in whatever endeavor least he/she may employ it.

2-you don't raise or stimulate some prohibited ideas ,for example: promoting for lust, because this is dishonesty from the writer because the reader may -probably usually- doesn't have the knowledge to counter-think, critic and address these ideas.

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  • @goldPseudo why you deleted the section of my answer about secularism ?, it is an integral part of my answer, it doesn't have anything wrong with it, it describes the situation everyone should be responsible for his opinion/answer and edit privileges should be granted to the answer writer only, otherwise this becomes a scam . moreover editing the question itself by other moderators doesn't add good to it? – ibrahimIssawi Jul 26 at 9:49
  • As I mentioned in my revision edit, we are not a site for preaching against or tearing down other belief systems. Your opinions on secularism have nothing to do with the actual question asked, and their inclusion in this answer only serves to attack the ideology which is against our Code of Conduct. – goldPseudo Jul 26 at 17:50
  • Editing is a privilege granted to all users who have earned sufficient reputation on this site. It is an integral feature of the Stack Exchange model, to ensure that we can continue to build a library of high-quality questions and answers that can meet the needs of current and future visitors. See also islam.stackexchange.com/help/editing – goldPseudo Jul 26 at 17:54
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Generally, so long as fiction upholds the moral and spiritual values of Islam, then it's fine.

For example, you might then describe an evil monster - for example, like Darth Vader in Star Wars only to show how he went wrong - being tempted by the dark side - and then how he attempts to redeem himself.

You might also use a metaphor for Allah or one of the prophets as CS Lewis did with Aslan and Christ, or even earlier; the unknown poet who composed Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and which used the Green Knight as a metaphor for the Divine Mercy/Devotion and a retelling of the story Abraham and his son, Isaac.

Given the esteem that the Prophets are held in Islam I'd suggest against using controversial material like the so-called Satanic Verses (attested by the Islamic historian, al-Tabari) as done by Rushdie. Controversial material, in my opinion, is generally dealt better by prose.

I'd also steer away from stories that deliberately distance themselves away from any moral narrative. For example, like Camus's Outsider where it seems that the sole point of the story is that there is no moral order. It's worth remembering that Camus was an athiest, and he was merely portraying his philosophical world in fiction - one reason why he's applauded by the secular and athiest West - to them, he represents a break with tradition and their past.

I'd also keep in mind your audience - what you can write for children, teenagers and adults will differ given their different capacities to judge and appreciate what they are reading.

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Fiction is fundamentally a lie irrespective of genre and there is a very clear Hadith which prohibits a Muslim to tell a lie even while joking. Joking mostly involves false scenarios and this is what was prohibited. Writing a fiction story , essay or Idea is quantifiably more worse then a joke containing a lie.

Narrated Mu'awiyah ibn Jaydah al-Qushayri: The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) said:

“Woe to him who tells things, speaking falsely, to make people laugh thereby. Woe to him! Woe to him!” (Abu Dawuud, Kitab al Adab, 4972)

A house in Jannah is guaranteed for he who avoids lying even as a joke

Narrated Abu Umamah: The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good.” (Abu Dawud, Kitab al Adab, 4782)

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I don't think there is a problem in writing fiction stories. But there are some points the writer must keep in mind:

  • The writing must not disobey ALLAH's rules in any part of writing
  • Must not face Islamic rules
  • Must not insert some writes that may affect the reader's thinking toward ALLAH or religion.
  • Must be with a moral goal to teach
  • Must not include immoral manners

In general, Islam supports everyone who tries to teach others, maybe by writings or stories or films or whatever...

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    Please provide reference – goto Mar 25 '14 at 12:16

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