Is it permissible for a film director to direct films regarding the unseen future, for example, regarding the situation on doomsday or gog and magog (yakjuj and makjuj)? Is it sinful or could it falter the faith of a believer?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The matters of the unseen are divided into two. The first one is unseen matters which has been explained by the Prophet PBUH and the other is matters of which are unexplained. If the matters are explained, then there is some room for a narrative portrayal of it. If not, then it is included as unseen matters that are unknown.
In my opinion, it is unreasonable to depict the situation of doomsday for the catastrophe is so great as mentioned in the Quran that it could never be made into a film by any film directors.
The following are our sincere advice and suggestions for film directors with integrity, in order to avoid confusion and shirk (ascribing partners to Allah SWT):
- Do not depict the unseen regarding the punishment of the grave.
- Acting as a disbeliever, denouncer of Islam and shirk (ascribing partner to Allah SWT) is prohibited for a believer, for these actions is considered as the truth even when it is just an act.
- Do not act in any pornographic scenes.
- Choose aurah covering and appropriate clothing in line with modesty and our eastern and Malay culture.
We will close our discussion citing the words of Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi in al-Halal wa al-Haram in order to prevent confusion and superstition. Among his words: “When the Prophet PBUH was sent, he found the Arab society has several groups of dajjal (antichrist), who are known as kahin, which is a magic doctor, or a fortune-teller, shaman, sorcerer, and others who claim that they knew about the unseen, whether it is the past, the future, or through the help of jinn and others.”
Thus, the Prophet PBUH declared war on this superstition, which is unsupported by the correct knowledge. The Prophet PBUH recited the words of Allah SWT:
قُلْ لاَّ يَعْلَمُ مَنْ فِى السَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَالأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلاَّ اللهُ
Say, "None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected."
Surah al-Naml (65)
No one know anything about the unseen, whether it is the angel, jinn or human. Then the Prophet PBUH cited another verse of the Quran:
وَلَوْ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ إِنْ أَنَا إِلا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say, "I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe."
Surah al-A’raf (188)
The Prophet PBUH then further explains regarding the jinn during the time of the Prophet Solomon (Sulaiman) AS:
أَنْ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ الْغَيْبَ مَا لَبِثُوا فِي الْعَذَابِ الْمُهِينِ
“…it became clear to the jinn that if they had known the unseen, they would not have remained in humiliating punishment.”
Surah Saba’ (14)
Whoever claims that he truly knows about the unseen, then surely, he is lying and it is a deception towards Allah SWT, the reality and other people.