Understanding Why Watching ‘Sijjin’ is Considered Haram

An illustration of a concerned individual sitting in a dimly-lit room, looking thoughtfully at a paused horror movie on the screen, with an open book titled Islamic Teachings on their lap, surrounded by soft light emanating from a nearby lamp.

Understanding Why Watching ‘Sijjin’ is Considered Haram

The realm of horror movies has been a divisive topic within various communities around the world, particularly among Muslims. Amidst this genre, Turkish horror films, especially those like ‘Sijjin’, have gained considerable attention. The ‘Sijjin’ series, known for its intense supernatural themes, delves into stories that intertwine human experiences with elements of the unseen world, according to Islamic beliefs. The question of whether watching such films is considered haram (forbidden) in Islam has sparked considerable debate among scholars and the Muslim community. To understand this perspective, it’s essential to delve into Islamic teachings on the consumption of media, the portrayal of the supernatural, and how it impacts a believer’s faith and spiritual state.

The Islamic Stance on Media Consumption

Islam places a strong emphasis on the purity of the heart and mind, advocating for content that encourages good moral and ethical behavior. The primary concern with movies like ‘Sijjin’ revolves around the potential harm they might inflict on one’s spiritual well-being. Islam advises against engaging in activities that instill fear, anxiety, or disturb one’s peace of mind, except where such fear leads to a positive outcome, such as fear of Allah’s displeasure or punishment inspiring a person to do good. Horror films, by their very nature, aim to evoke fear, distress, and sometimes even desensitization towards violence and the supernatural, contrary to the serenity and reflection that Islamic teachings promote.

Portrayal of the Supernatural and the Unseen

Another significant aspect to consider is the portrayal of the supernatural and elements of the unseen (Al-Ghaib) in films like ‘Sijjin’. In Islam, belief in the unseen is a fundamental principle, encompassing belief in Allah, angels, the Day of Judgment, and the existence of Jinn, among others. While Islamic teachings acknowledge the existence of Jinn and their ability to impact the human world, detailed depictions and stories about interactions with these beings are discouraged. This is primarily because such portrayals are often speculative and can lead to misunderstanding and fear rather than a constructive understanding of Islamic theology. The fear stirred by these movies does not align with the type of fear that is encouraged in Islam – fear that leads to greater awareness and devoutness.

The Impact on Faith and Morality

Watching horror movies like ‘Sijjin’, which delve into dark and often morally ambiguous themes, can potentially desensitize individuals to violence and evil, diminishing the seriousness with which evil actions and the supernatural are treated in Islam. Furthermore, the intense focus on the malevolent aspects of the unseen can shift attention away from the benevolent aspects of faith, such as the mercy of Allah, the benevolence of angels, and the beauty of the afterlife for the faithful. Such a shift can lead to a skewed perception of Islamic beliefs, fostering unnecessary fear and superstition rather than understanding and reverence.

FAQs: Understanding Why Watching ‘Sijjin’ is Considered Haram

What is the Islamic perspective on watching horror movies?

In Islam, there is a general caution against watching horror movies, including movies like ‘Sijjin’, not because the genre is explicitly mentioned in religious texts, but due to the principles regarding media consumption. Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of consuming content that is beneficial to one’s spiritual and moral well-being. Horror movies, which often aim to evoke fear, anxiety, and sometimes include inappropriate content, do not align with these principles. They can potentially harm a person’s spiritual state by instilling fear other than the fear of Allah, desensitizing individuals to violence, and presenting harmful portrayals of supernatural elements.

Why is the portrayal of Jinn and the supernatural considered problematic in Islam?

The portrayal of Jinn and supernatural elements in media like ‘Sijjin’ is considered problematic in Islam for several reasons. Firstly, such portrayals often deviate from the Islamic understanding of the unseen and delve into speculative and sensational narratives. Islam acknowledges the existence of Jinn and their ability to influence the human realm, but detailed depictions of these beings and their interactions with humans can lead to misunderstanding and fear. Moreover, these portrayals may trivialize or sensationalize serious Islamic teachings about the unseen, leading to superstitions and a distorted understanding of Islamic beliefs.

Can watching movies like ‘Sijjin’ lead to misunderstandings about Islamic teachings on the unseen?

Yes, watching movies like ‘Sijjin’ can indeed lead to misunderstandings about Islamic teachings on the unseen. These films often present speculative stories that are not grounded in Islamic doctrine, potentially misleading viewers about the nature of Jinn, their abilities, and their interactions with humans. Such speculative portrayals contribute to a culture of fear and superstition rather than a sound understanding of the Islamic perspective on the unseen. They can obscure the rich theological and spiritual discourse in Islam on the unseen, replacing awe and respect with fear and misunderstanding.

Is there any benefit in watching horror films from an Islamic perspective?

While Islamic teachings do not categorically forbid all forms of entertainment, the benefit of watching horror films, particularly those that delve into Islamic concepts of the supernatural, is questionable. The primary concerns are the potential to instill fear, desensitize viewers to violence, and misrepresent Islamic beliefs. However, if horror films are watched with critical engagement and lead to a better understanding of one’s faith or a greater appreciation of the mercy and protection offered by Allah, they might have some indirect benefits. Nonetheless, such outcomes are largely dependent on the individual’s intentions, the content of the film, and the context in which it is watched.

What should Muslims consider before watching a film like ‘Sijjin’?

Muslims should consider several factors before deciding to watch a film like ‘Sijjin’. Firstly, the content of the movie and its alignment with Islamic principles of beneficial and moral media consumption should be assessed. It’s essential to evaluate whether the film promotes values that are harmonious with Islamic teachings or if it contains harmful elements such as gratuitous violence, misrepresentation of the unseen, or content that incites fear for reasons other than a constructive reminder of the afterlife and accountability. Additionally, individuals should consider their personal spiritual state and whether such content might negatively impact their faith and understanding of Islamic teachings. Seeking advice from knowledgeable and trusted sources on the appropriateness of the film can also be a prudent step.

How should Muslims engage with popular culture while adhering to their faith?

Engaging with popular culture while adhering to Islamic faith requires a thoughtful and discerning approach. Muslims are encouraged to assess the content of any form of media, be it films, books, or music, against the core principles of their faith. This includes considering the moral and ethical implications of the content, its impact on one’s spiritual well-being, and its potential to either enhance or detract from one’s understanding and practice of Islam. Engaging in community discussions, seeking guidance from scholars, and cultivating an environment that values constructive critique of media can aid in navigating popular culture. Importantly, Islamic teachings emphasize moderation, wisdom, and the pursuit of knowledge, which are essential tools in discerning how to best engage with popular culture while maintaining one’s faith commitments.

The debate around watching films like ‘Sijjin’ within the Muslim community underscores the broader conversation about how to navigate modern media within the context of Islamic teachings. The key lies in maintaining a balanced approach that prioritizes spiritual well-being and ethical considerations, ensuring that entertainment does not compromise one’s faith and values.

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