I wanted to know about the permissibility of writing Fictional stories in Islam and whether earnings made from them are halal or not.
I have conflicting fatwas, some saying it is permitted while the others are condemning it.
Those who say it is permitted say it because:
It is permissible to write fiction books if the following conditions are met:
1) Content of the stories should be within the boundaries of the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasalam i.e. the storylines should not be about immodesty, immorality and violence.
2) If it is written for a purpose of deriving a moral or a lesson
Those who say it is forbidden do so because according to them:
It is based on a lie.
What i don’t understand is that every reader knows that the book is a Fictional work i.e. it is from author’s imagination and the events have no realexistence and is not based on a true story. How can this be classified as a lie?
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakuhu,
Since there is no clear verse in the Quran or any narration from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) on the issue of writing fictional tales, there will be differences of opinion amongst scholars.
According to our teachers, writing fictional tales is permissible if it is for eductional purposes or to drive home a moral and lesson. However, there are conditions, boundaries and guidelines which one should adhere to:
1) There should not be anything which contradicts the Shari‘ah and Islamic religion.
2) The content should not promote false ideologies, obscenity, immorality, violence or anything else prohibited in Islam.
3) There should be no pictures of animate objects included.
4) The reader should be made aware that he/she is reading something which is fictional. They should know that this is entirely from the authors imagination.
5) There should be no attempt to distort any real incident or historical event.
6) There should be no disrespect to any religion, race, gender etc.
7) The author should try his/her level best to give some benefit to the reader; whether it is through the moral of the story, educational content, or even by enhancing the readers linguistic skills.
If the above is kept in mind at the time of writing, then there is no reason for it to be impermissible to write anything fictional, which is beneficial. The earnings derived from inventing and transcribing such material will be Halal and pure.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .