Reading literature with incidental mention of sin

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

What is the ruling of reading literature containing incidental mention of sinful matters? What if there is a language benefit in doing so? Weren’t there similar things in pre-Islamic (jahili) poetry and other literature which the scholars paid attention to?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate.




It appears that this is permitted, as affirmed by our teacher, Shaykh Muhammad al-Khatib [a leading Shafii faqih and mufti, in Tarim, Yemen]. The books of grammar and other works of Arabic literature widespread among people and the scholars contain mention of some sins, and the scholars have not condemned such literature.

However, if the reader fears for themselves that they will be harmed by reading such literature, then it would be haram.

Amjad Rasheed

(Translated by Faraz Rabbani)

السؤال : ما حكم قراءة الروايات الأدبية التي قد يكون فيها شيء عارض من ذكر المعاصي ؟ وكيف لو كان فيها نفع من حيث تقوية اللغة ؟ ألم يكن مثل هذا في الشعر الجاهلي وبعض الأدب الذي اهتم به العلماء ؟ الجواب : الظاهر كما قال شيخُنا محمد الخطيب جواز قراءة ذلك ؛ فإن كتب النحو وغيرها من كتب الأدب العربية المتداولة بين العامة والعلماء فيها ذكرُ شيءٍ من المعاصي ولم ينكر ذلك ، نعم إن خشي القارئ على نفسه فتنةً منها فيحرم .