Is it Permissible To Teach English Literature?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Is it halal for me to study to become an english literature teacher?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
Yes, it is perfectly fine for you to study and teach English Literature.
In fact, scholarship, both classical and contemporary, generally engaged in the study of literature due to the fact that it can be quite beneficial and assists one in their comprehension, ability to express themselves, and can also be deeply wholesome.
Additionally,the study of literature has in the past generally been associated with an educated upbringing, and many Western scholars of Islam, such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Shaykh Nuh Keller, regularly read classical works of English Literature.
Please see also: Does the Shari`ah Permit Reading Non-Islamic Literature?
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Does the Shari`ah Permit Reading Non-Islamic Literature?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I was interested in understanding how non-Islamic literature (fiction novels) is viewed according to the Shariah. I understand certain things are undoubtedly impermissible, such as pornographic literature, but what about novels such as 1984, Harry Potter, Kite Runner, etc. ?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

The general ruling of literature is that it is in itself permitted, and praiseworthy insofar as it improves one’s language, communication, thinking skills, and ability to concentrate (as opposed to things like digital media). Children should be encouraged to read. Parents should, however, nudge them towards wholesome literature–and keep a good mix of Islamic literature for balance and grounding.

There would be a distinction made between literature that is generally wholesome and that is read for good purposes, and that which is to the contrary.

As for fantasy literature, there is fantasy literature that is deeply moral and wholesome (e.g. Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia), and others of rather twisted themes.

And Allah knows best.

Faraz Rabbani