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Bringing to Mind Graphic Blasphemy

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Shaykh Jamir Meah explains the rulings on blasphemous thoughts presented to one in discourse.

Can there ever be a cause that makes the bringing to mind of very graphic blasphemy (insulting images and actions of God that are very grave with sexuality and humiliation) permissible or halal? Like when it is sent to a scholar?

Does the simple fact that you read my question not mean that you imagined what you read – at least the sentences or maybe the entire act – in context?

It is possible to listen to, or read something, and understand the gist of what is being said without vividly imagining it in one’s head, particularly absurdities.  

If an image is inadvertently conceived in the mind, then it does require that it fall under a ruling of “permissibility,” etc., especially if it is discarded afterwards. One is not accountable for thoughts that occur unintentionally or that are presented to one without one seeking them.  

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Allah forgives my nation those [evil inclinations] their souls may whisper or suggest to them, as long as they do not act (on it) or speak.” (Bukhari)

Certain images may be presented to scholars when listening to people’s psychological issues or when studying and refuting erroneous theological beliefs, or for example, therapists when treating patients with various disturbing thoughts. 

In these cases, it is permissible to listen, read, attempt to understand and discuss what is being said, with the intention of confronting the issues people are struggling with and finding a solution, or in order to expose and disprove false beliefs. Indeed, it may be obligatory to do so and rewarded as such. However, even here, one limits oneself to what is necessary to fulfill the need at hand, and not enter into and engage in blameworthy discussions. And Allah knows best.  

Warmest salams,


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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