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What is the ruling on listening to profanity and blasphemous statements?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.ca


All around the world, a Muslim cannot escape bad things especially in the west, things such as profanity, bad words and blasphemous phrases being normalized in everyday life, in television, entertainment, internet, commerce, advertising, literature and even in homes and school. It is like there is no escape from it and that it is maybe inevitable to hear it or listen to it.

Words that are straight up profanity like ‘f***’ or ‘b**ch’, or more lax slangs like ‘crap’ that is actually intended to be a replacement for a bad word, some slangs are outright blasphemous in nature, like ‘holy ****’ are prevalent. Muslims are not likely to avoid this, as it can be heard everywhere, my question is, is it a sin on the Muslim if he hears or listens to this stuff? Such as in the movies, if one hears blasphemous or bad words in it is he obligated to just feel disapproval of it and continue watching, or if you have friends and family that does this things that you just cannot avoid, or when watching entertainment, reading a book, or any other activity, will it be a sin if a muslim hears or listens to it, or will it only be a sin if he agrees with the blasphemy?

For example, if a muslim is watching some comedy, and in it some blasphemous things has been said like ‘holy ****’, had the muslim acquired a sin for hearing it, or is it allowed for him to continue watching it if he feels disapproval of the specific bad phrase, is it sinful for him to still laugh at the comedy even if there is no more blasphemy or profanity after it?



In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Your question is regarding listening to blasphemy and cursing. First, one should understand the weight of saying such things. If words of kufr are said voluntarily even while the person retains belief in their heart, he will have left Islam. It is then necessary for him to immediately say the kalimah to re-enter Islam and seek Allah’s forgiveness.[1] Likewise, we should avoid any language resembling kufr such as disrespect to any aspect of deen. Cursing is unbecoming of a Muslim. It is a trait of the hypocrites. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever has one of [the traits of hypocrisy] has one trait of hypocrisy until he leaves it… [Among them is] when he argues, he is foul in language.”[2] Cursing doesn’t make a person a munāfiq (hypocrite), but he will become a fāsiq (sinner).[3] In a Muslim country, a person may even be punished by the State for cursing another Muslim.[4]

The way of a Believer is to be good in speech and avoid useless language. Allah ta`āla praised the Believers saying:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١﴾ الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ ﴿٢﴾ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ (23:3)

Indeed, the Believers are successful. Those who are humble in their prayers, and those who turn away from useless speech.

The first course of action is for a Believer to eliminate these traits from themselves if they have them.[5] Next, if they are in a gathering in which such words are being used and they can stop them in a gentle and beneficial way, they should do so.[6] If they are unable to, they should leave until it is no longer being said.[7] If we find ourselves in a situation which is unavoidable, such as when going out to fulfill a need, then, in shā Allāh, Allah ta`āla will not hold us accountable for what is out of our control.[8]


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi (S1)


[1]كتاب الفتاوى الهندية، دار الفكر الطبعة: الثانية، ج2، ص 283

 رَجُلٌ كَفَرَ بِلِسَانِهِ طَائِعًا، وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالْإِيمَانِ يَكُونُ كَافِرًا وَلَا يَكُونُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مُؤْمِنًا كَذَا فِي فَتَاوَى قَاضِي خَانْ.

[2] عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: “‏أَرْبَعٌ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ كَانَ مُنَافِقًا خَالِصًا، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ فِيهِ خَصْلَةٌ مِنْهُنَّ كَانَتْ فِيهِ خَصْلَةٌ مِنَ النِّفَاقِ حَتَّى يَدَعَهَا إِذَا اؤْتُمِنَ خَانَ وَإِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ وَإِذَا عَاهَدَ غَدَرَ، وَإِذَا خَاصَمَ فَجَرَ‏” صحيح البخاري 34

[3] امداد الفتاوى ج4، ص365

[4] أحسن الفتاوى ج5، ص506

[5] وَذَرُوا ظَاهِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَبَاطِنَهُ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْسِبُونَ الْإِثْمَ سَيُجْزَوْنَ بِمَا كَانُوا يَقْتَرِفُونَ (الأنعام:120)

[6]” مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ”‏.‏ صحيح لمسلم 49

[7] وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ يُكْفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِّثْلُهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا ﴿النساء: ١٤٠﴾

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ وَإِمَّا يُنسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿الأنعام: ٦٨﴾

[8] لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا (البقرة: 283)

This answer was collected from Fatwa.ca, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada. 

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