The entertainment is the source of providing an activity which can fetch interest to an audience. It can be caused for the delight and satisfaction of the people. There are various genres of entertainment including movies, songs, Tv shows, dramas, dance, storytelling books, novels, poetry, and diverse forms of cultural events. But among the other religious, does Islam allow its followers such kind of entertainment? If it allows then which kind of preferences it permit to the followers to do?
Islam is the religion of moderation that has widely been spread all around the world with the teachings of the Holy Quran. The followers of Islam have also believed that there is only one God who is incomparable. There are some restrictions in Islam that are forbidden by the Muslims such as listening music, watching movies, playing chess, or dance etc. Islam gives the detail of the forbidden things and represents the list of things that not allowed for the Muslims rather than the things that are allowed for the Muslims. It does not promote the ethics of negligence or extremism.
The entertainment that revolves around these forbidden things, are not allowed for the Muslims. Yes, there are some verses and Ahadith that can unveil these prohibited things for the betterment of the Muslims. When we do something for the entertainment or to attain amusement, we reach at its peak and become like extremists. And Islam does not allow the extremism as also forbids its followers as the Holy Prophet (Allah bless Him and grant him peace) has said,
“Entertain [yourselves] and play, for indeed I dislike to see harshness in your religion.” Further said, “Do you have with you any amusement (lahw), for indeed the Ansar love amusement?” The transmitted of this Hadith has done by Ali and Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud in the words as “the heart becomes bored just as the body becomes bored, so search for it paths of wisdom.”
The games like chess and backgammons are not allowed in Islam as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “He who played backgammon is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine.” Al-Qurtubi transmitted it, “This is an allusion to sacrificing and slaughtering it while [it is know that] its slaughter is prohibited (haram).”
The entertainment in the form of music or other like dancing is prohibited in Islam but the melodies that are being produced by birds as well as from the throats of human beings, are allowed and can be heard on some grounds and conditions. Instrumental melodies are forbidden as they have created an environment to stimulate drinking such as kuba, it is an instrument called oblong drum, is caused to create sensual desires and thus prohibited in Islam. As Islam regulates some rules to run the system of entertainment but it does not tolerate any stuff of such kind of entertainment that leads the humans towards harram or negative behavior.
The entertainment is the basic need of human nature and Islam is also known as the religion of Al-Fitrah (Human Nature). The entertainment and having fun is the part of human nature but the only fun which does not give any harm to any other people. As in the Holy Quran, Allah says,
“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”
There are some genres of entertainment that Islam allows;
• Eating together at home or somewhere outside with family members as well as friends.
• Reading books that give you some knowledge and teaches you some ethics or morals.
• Having bath or swimming on the hot days to feel cool is also a Sunnah.
• To feel relax during the anxieties and hectic routine of life, for surely offers the prayers, but besides this also do something for yourself as the Prophet (PBUH) has said, “An hour for your Lord and an hour for yourself.”
• Playing all the games are not harram as if you play them till the time of Fajr then it would be harram for you to play.
• As male and female are two opposite genders and they both attract each other for their physical differences. To accomplish some physical desires and enjoy the relationship of male and female, Islam has formatted some rules and regulations to follow in the Halal way. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) also gave stress on the importance of marriage and told His followers about the significance of marriage. He says that marriage is a relationship of Shariah so everyone should enjoy the married life.
• Obscenity through movies or songs should not be spread. The songs having the only classical or spiritual content should be promoted. As Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan has sung many qawwalis and ghazals during his whole career. The most famous kallam like Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho and Dam Mast Qalandar have been appreciated all across the world not only by the Muslims rather also by the people of other religions.
To sum up the whole discussion into a nutshell, we can say that Islam does not prevent Muslims from entertainment rather it gives the opportunities to realign the physical or spiritual disorders. It is essential to understand the views of Islamic fundamentalists about entertainment and other forms of art, without relying on the specific opinions of the Muslim scholars of the modern era or the previous ones. Although watching movies or video songs that have contained vulgarity or negative aspects, are prohibited in Islam. But the Muslims can derive pleasure and entertainment with Halal means that Islam permits them to do as we all know that the God is also in the favor of human’s pleasure.