Q: Can a person read magazines like Personality, Scope, You, etc. which have nude pictures, aspects of ‘love making’ as well as some good tips like recipes and health guidelines?
A: Almighty Allah Ta’ala has created human beings in pairs, males and females. Every male and female by human nature is attracted to the forms, shapes and colour of the opposite sex. Similarly males and females are attracted to some outstanding feminine and masculine qualities respectively. Attraction to the opposite sex has its positive factors, for example, marriage, procreation etc. as well as negative factors which includes every illicit and licentious relationship of incest, rape, masturbation, adultery, prostitution, etc, etc, etc. Human beings by nature are prone to commit evil, therefore the sensitive instinct of attraction has to be regulated by the perfect Divine Laws of Our Creator, Allah Ta’ala who is all knowing about the nature of mankind. The Quran and the Ahaadith are replete with orders that protect one from becoming a victim of the negative factors of attraction to the opposite sex, hence the institution of Hijaab for females, the prohibition of talking to males with an alluring tone, the prohibition to apply perfume and exit the home, the prohibition for males and females to lower their gazes, etc.
Since human beings are prone to evil, they revolt against such laws that requires them to suppress their desires. In the prime stages of Islam, when Rasulullah (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) began reciting and propagating the Quran, which requires a believer to suppress one’s desires and submit to the Laws of Allah Ta’ala, a mushrik Nadr ibn Haris conspired to import foreign literature to Makkah Mukkaramah having unIslamic contents in them in order to impede the propagation of Islam.Almighty Allah Ta’ala has condemned such literature. He says, ‘And among men are those who purchase lahwal hadeeth (futile talks) which misleads from the path of Allah Ta’ala without knowledge, for them is a painful punishment.’
(Luqman – verse 6).
Even today, disbelievers propagate their culture and practices by publishing such literature and circulating them as widely as possible.
The reason behind the conspiracy is that a human being is stealthy. Just as he is sensitive to the different seasons of the year, so too is he sensitive to people’s character and conduct and can be influenced to assume and imitate other people’s evil character and conduct. Such evil and immoral behaviour then become his principles of life and govern every aspect of his life. Allah Ta’ala has pointed out the consequences of such literature as deviating one from the path of Allah. Such literature has the potential of actually depriving one of his Islamic values and morals (Maariful Quran vol.6). Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Quran – "Verily those people who love to spread evil among the believers, for them is a painful punishment".
The different types of contemporary magazines, You, Personality, Scope etc. promotes the western culture of freedom and are filled with every type of evil, swingers club, pornography, sex over the phone, contact numbers for prostitutes. Such literature also falls in the category of lahwal-hadees (futile talks) which deviates one from the straight path. The negative factors in such magazines outweigh the possible positive factors in them, for example baking tips, etc. Such beneficial information could be made available through other avenues. It not permissible to sell, purchase and read such magazines. The income from selling such books will be haraam.
Mufti Ebrahim Desai