Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Is reading something or looking at an animated picture, where one doesn’t do it for sexual arousal or anything, but in the end, he gets sexual urges or is aroused? Is such a person sinful?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
Any visuals or literature that leads you to sexual urges or arousal should be avoided, and Allah knows best.
If viewing such images or reading erotic literature causes you to imagine having relations with anyone other than your spouse, this would not be permissible as it constitutes intentional reflection upon the unlawful.
While one is not accountable for unintentional thoughts, intentional reflection on unlawful thoughts is impermissible, and Allah knows best.
Voluntary and Involuntary Thoughts
Passing thoughts which does not settle in one’s mind are overlooked by the agreement of the scholars (ijmaʿ). One has no control over involuntary thoughts, and there is no way for one to avoid them altogether. [Nawawi, Adhkar]
Allah says: “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” [Qur’an 2:286]
Accordingly, thoughts that are entertained or intentionally brought to mind will not be overlooked, and one would be held accountable for that, and Allah knows best.
I pray this is of benefit.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.