Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I watch Anime, and there are many female characters. I don’t feel anything wrong when I watch those characters because they are not real.
Is it permissible for me to watch them?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.
Watching animated television, if the content is lawful, is permissible.
What are its Contents?
If the Anime promotes unlawful content in Islam, then watching it would be impermissible. i.e., Using foul language, etc. The rulings about viewing members of the opposite sex are restricted to human beings. It is permissible for a man to look at a woman’s cartoon image, provided he does so without desire. According to the Shafi’i School, looking at any object with desire, even a stone, is impermissible, and Allah knows best.
Regardless of its permissibility, it is not something that Sacred Law recommends due to it not having intrinsic benefit. Watching Anime for relaxation is understood, but it should not become something that constantly takes away from one’s time.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “There are two blessings in which many people incur a loss. They are health and free time” [Bukhari]
Also, “The feet of the son of Adam shall not move from before his Lord on the Day of Judgement, until he is asked about five things: about his life and what he did with it, about his youth and what he wore it out in, about his wealth and how he earned it and spent it upon, and what he did with what he knew.” [Tirmidhi]
Imam Ghazali mentions: Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel because it is irreplaceable; there is no return for it once it is gone. So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease. [Ghazali, Bidayat al-Hidaya]
Using what is permitted in the sacred law as a means of relaxation is good. However, it should only be limited to that and not become a custom or habit that distracts us from our life’s purpose; Getting to know and worship our creator, and Allah alone 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.