Question:

Assalaamu ‘alaikum

Respected ‘Ulama

I am a young girl with a great passion for reading. When I was younger, I used to read books under the thriller genre only. However, as I grew older, I got access to books online. I slowly started reading romance novels and lost interest in stories with adventure only. I try my best to ensure that whatever I read does not have any mature content but can’t deny that I have still read a few inappropriate stories. May Allah Ta‘ala forgive me.

Lately, my dearest mother requested me to quit my passion. She told me that by reading books whose authors lack morality and Islamic principles, I could acquire their bad traits too. I find it extremely hard to stop reading since it has been my favourite hobby from my younger days. Can I instead read stories by Islamic authors and stories of halaal romance (after marriage)?

Please advise me what to do, so that I don’t destroy myself in the process of fulfilling my burning desire.

Jazakallah

Answer:

Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Sister

While novels may appear to be ‘innocent’, they have been responsible for indoctrinating various heretical thoughts and ideas and have incited many people towards vices and sins. Refer to this article for more detail.

Besides, the effect of the heart of the author comes into his writing, which thereafter impacts onto the heart of the reader.

Romance novels are extremely harmful. They are among the major contributors towards the breakdown of hayaa and modesty. Some novels have been cited by various people to be the reason for their falling into illicit relationships.

The following comment by a non-Muslim woman is quite thought provoking: “To me, any book that makes us want greater from our spouses than what we currently have, causes people to look elsewhere. Many women have issues with their husband’s viewing pornography but find no harm in reading these books or other romance novels. Are they not the same? Reading these books bring pornography into our brains?”

An example of this is that of a 41-year-old woman who demanded a divorce after her husband refused to re-enact scenes from the infamous and filthy “Fifty Shades” novel with her.

Your mother has given you excellent advice. Totally refrain from ALL romance stories. 

We suggest you start reading purely Islamic books that are written by reliable authors, e.g. Fazaail-e-Aa’maal, Fazaail-e-Sadaqaat, Seeratul Mustafa (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), biographies of the pious personalities, etc.

PS: Insha-Allah you will find the Uswatul Muslimah publications interesting and beneficial. Click here.

May Allah Ta‘ala allow you to channel your hobby of reading to the correct avenues and give you pleasure in reading that which is pleasing to Him.

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama