Current Legal Issues

Entertainment, Music and Leisure

(Q.65) An artificial female organ when used by some men, they derive some enjoyment from it. If it is used without the intent of ejaculation, is it permissible? Is there a difference in the ruling between a married man and a bachelor?

Avoiding its use is recommended as a matter of ihtiyat luzumi, irrespective of whether ejaculation was intended. There is no difference in the ruling between a married man and a bachelor. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.66) Is it permissible for a Muslim to attend gatherings where alcoholic drink is served?

Eating and drinking in such gatherings is haraam. As for attending per se, its being haraam is based on ihtiyat luzumi. However, there is no harm in attending with the aim of forbidding evil, if it is possible.

(Q.67) Is it permissible for a male Muslim to use public swimming pools where men and women mix, without malice? It is to be noted, however, that women who frequent these places have shrugged off the attire of virtue and are not likely to give up the habit if they were given a word of advice?

Looking without malice and pursuit of enjoyment at women, who wear revealing clothes and who do not heed the advice on wearing proper clothes, is permissible. However, going to such places is not at all permissible, as a matter of ihtiyat.

(Q.68) Is it permissible for a Muslim woman to uncover her head before a non-Muslim woman?

It is permissible, though makrooh, (undesirable) for there could be a strong possibility that the non-Muslim woman would describe the Muslim woman to her husband.

(Q.69) Is it permissible for a Muslim to send his son to a music institute to learn music as an art, provided that he does not use his artistic skills in haraam matters?

There is no harm in children learning halal music as such. However, when sending children to music schools, there must be the guarantee that this would not adversely affect their upbringing. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.70) Some schools in Western countries compel pupils to learn dancing. Such dancing is not accompanied by singing and it is not for pastime, rather a component of the curriculum. Is it haraam for the parents to permit their children to attend such classes?

Yes, if it contravenes religious upbringing, rather in general, as a matter of ihtiyat. That is, with the assumption that the student be adult. The exception to this is that the mukallaf has a valid reason permitting his learning, such as following in taqleed (The following, by a lay person, of a learned scholar "mujtahid" in matters of religious practice). Such a mujtahid may have ruled on the permissibility of this act; there will, therefore, be no objection to him attending such a study.

(Q.71) If the yardstick is the amusement or delectation, it is a grey area, for tastes and opinions vary and differ. So, when can one draw the line between halal and haraam music?

The crucial line is in it [music] being commensurate with the gatherings of entertainment and moral depravity.

(Q.72) Insofar as the melody is concerned, what is the standard of it being haraam?
Is it because it is used in singing perpetrated by the people of moral depravity, indeed? also, is it sufficient to judge it by the circumstance and the occasion? Is there any difference between, for example, using music in Hussaini commemoration gatherings or processions, Islamic songs, and other occasions?

The crucial factor, too, is the occasion of such gatherings. However, its use in a commemoration or other occasion does not lift its being haraam mutlaqan (absolutely or under any circumstances), as a matter of ihtiyat.

(Q.73) What is the ruling on playing chess using the commonly known equipment? Is the ruling different if the play is conducted on a computer, using symbols?

Playing chess is haraam mutlaqan (absolutely or under any circumstances), even though betting is not used. There is no difference between the two methods of play.

(Q.74) What is the criterion of [chess] being haraam as a gambling tool? Is it the preparation with the intent of gambling or through use of urf (generally accepted practice, custom, or usage)? Also, is there any difference between an urf of a particular society and an international one?

The criterion is that it be set up for gambling and used for it, in such a manner that it is readily known as a gambling tool. It suffices to describe it accordingly in a particular society.