Is Acting Haram in Islam?


Movie Set
Photo Courtesy: Kārlis Dambrāns

Movies have been taking a major part in the lives of people; including Muslims. There are movies that project people’s lives, whereas there are other kinds of movies that are intended to make us laugh. And of course, to make a movie, you’ll need actors, maybe voice actors sometimes among several other roles.

But is acting Haram?

We’ll explore in this article when acting is Haram, and when it is not.

Some scholars believe that acting in all sorts of movies or shows is Haram, whereas other scholars believe that the ruling depends on the kind of the movie; for instance, it is not permissible to work as an actor in any movies that include any haram activity or act.

Meanwhile, voice acting is permissible for both men and women on a condition that they don’t imitate animals, or that each sex should not imitate the other sex, and don’t talk about or promote haram subjects.

Table of Contents:

1. Is Acting Haram in Islam?
2. Why is Acting Considered Haram?
3. Is Voice Acting Haram?

Is Acting Haram in Islam?

Actors acting on set
Photo Courtesy: daves_archive_1

There has been a long debate about whether acting is Haram or not. For instance, some Muslim scholars have said that acting is Haram, no matter what kind of movie or show you’re acting in.

Meanwhile, there are other scholars who made exceptions and said that acting is Halal.

Acting is certainly considered haram according to most Islamic scholars if it contains haram acts. For example, if a movie involves fornication scenes or other inappropriate and haram acts, then it certainly considered to be Haram (Source).

In addition to that, if the movie is promoting Kufr (disbelief), gay rights, and other prohibited things, then acting in it is Haram, and its money is also Haram.

Still, that doesn’t make all acting roles Haram. If an actor is working on a movie where they promote good or depict an Islamic story for example like Al Rissala (The Message) then it would be Halal to work in it (Source).

The rationale here is that the actors are acting in order to promote Islamic stories with the goal of educating viewers on Islamic principals and the history of Islam.

Why is Acting Considered Haram?

As mentioned earlier, not all acting is Haram. But, for the case when it is, then acting is Haram for several reasons such as:

  • Promoting Disbelief
  • Promoting Immorality
  • Promoting Wantonness

Furthermore, when women or men fornicate or act in scenes that go against Islamic principals the not only are they disobeying Allah, but they are also professing and revealing their sins to the public; which is one of the Kabaair (Major sins (Source).

Allah says in the Holy Quran

Those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, only [committing] slight ones. Indeed, your Lord is vast in forgiveness. He was most knowing of you when He produced you from the earth and when you were fetuses in the wombs of your mothers. So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him

42-Surah Ash-Shura (Consultation) 37 (Source).

Is Voice Acting Haram?

Working in voice acting is generally permissible for both men and women. However, there are exceptions for both sexes in Islam. For instance, a man can’t do voice-acting jobs that include promoting unlawful or prohibited things. Additionally, a man can’t work as a voice actor and imitate animals or women for example (Source).

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed those men who are effeminate and women who imitate men.

Another narration is: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed men who copy women and cursed women who copy men. [Al-Bukhari] (Source).

As for women, they can also do voice acting under one condition. According to this fatwa (Source), Women shouldn’t speak in a tone that arouses other men, and shouldn’t soften their voice when doing voice acting.

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