Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have a follow-up question to the answer at ‘Looking at Women not wearing hijab’, specifically the portion that discusses television. There are filters available online that can remove or censor scenes of a sexual nature (ex: Clearplay). Would it be permissible to watch movies with these filters? Obviously, there are still women not wearing hijab in the regular scenes, but if one looks away whenever they have lust would this clear one of sin?
Thank you for your follow-up question. The idea that you suggest of looking away every time a woman appears in a movie makes me wonder why one goes to such great lengths to watch it in the first place.
First of all, the idea of filters is a good one. Any believer, even a Christian, would do well to limit that kind of lewdness from their screen and feel a little safer regarding what their eyes ingest in their own home. Imam Ghazali said that eyes and ears are a window to the soul, and what enters them, imprints itself on the heart. For this reason, one should choose what one views, even more carefully.
Looking away from an uncovered woman every time she pops up in a movie, honestly, is a bit tedious, stressful, and makes watching the movie futile.
I highly suggest that one skip the movie, as recommended in the link that you mentioned and stick to Shaykh Farid’s advice. Looking away every time would be nearly impossible, practically speaking. See this link as well:
The ruling in the Shafi’i school is here: “Looking at a woman is permissible for testimony in court, for commercial dealings (O: with a marriageable man, or non-commercial dealings, as when he wishes to marry her), and so forth (O: such as obligatory or recommended learning (def: a4, a6)), in which cases looking is permissible to the degree required. (O: It is not permissible to exceed the degree required, as when looking at part of the face is sufficient, in which case looking at the rest of it is not permissible, as it exceeds the amount required.)“ [The Reliance of the Traveller, m2.11]
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.