Is It Islamically Permissible to Write Fiction?

Answered by SeekersHub Answers Service

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I’ve always been drawn to stories. Is it permissible to write fiction in Islam?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

American Muslims need not be content with just adopting good cultural norms; it is often better to adapt them imaginatively in order to produce results that are more beautiful and more beneficial than what existed before. In this regard, noteworthy achievements have already been made in areas like music, poetry, comedy, journalism, fiction, non-fiction, fashion, and interior design.

Please see: What Role Does Culture Play in Islam?

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.

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

And Allah alone gives success.


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Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Hidden One’s – A Debut Novel by Novid Shaid

They pass us on the street; they serve us in shops; they go to our schools, but their profound realities are hidden… They are the hidden ones and the light that protects them ensures that they will remain hidden until the end of time. Layla, Khadim and Rose live in an average town in the UK. Each of them is haunted by a darkness which threatens to consume them and those around them. An assassin has been dispatched; a child-snatcher is on the prowl and a ruthless gang is closing in. Unique, alienated and vulnerable, the hidden ones must confront these darknesses with their hidden lights.
No fear is upon them; nor shall they grieve.
This debut novel by Novid Shaid weaves together the genres of supernatural, mystery and Sufi mysticism. Fast-paced, haunting and moving, this tale was written as a consequence of the author’s travels and meetings with remarkable people around the world. Inspiration was also drawn from an eclectic range of works including Stephen King’s “The Green Mile”, Ibn Al Arabi’s “Sufis of Andalucia” and Yann Martell’s “The Life of Pi”.

Law & Love, A Short Story by Novid Shaid, 2014

“We have three reliable witnesses,” explained Mullah Ameer, “who are ready to testify that Azmat Khan consumed whisky and consorted with an unknown courtesan during his nephew’s wedding.” And with that, he gazed across the bare room, where Mullah Ghazi sat against the wall, resting against a cushion. The latter looked worried, like his heart was aching.
“So, he will face the judges and he will feel the penalty. This district will see how serious we are; they will see the law of Allah ruling over them.”
After some silence, Mullah Ghazi looked up at Mullah Ameer and sighed. His large, deep eyes swelled with remorse:
“You know that he is sorry and you know that this has not become public knowledge yet.”
Mullah Ameer sat up from his diwan, which he had been resting against, “what are you saying Ghazi Khan?”
“I am saying that the man has repented, his sin is a secret and he is not proud of what he has done.”
Mullah Ameer’s voice hardened, “how can you be so sure?”
“Because he came to see me personally; he shed tears, he knows it was a mistake.”
“So you think this is good enough.”
“Do you think what he has done for us is good enough?”
Mullah Ameer shook with anger: “don’t speak to me like this Ghazi Khan. I know Azmat Khan’s generosity to the poor is without comparison, but why have you become so soft all of a sudden? Even Nabi Mohammad peace be upon him said if his own daughter were to steal then he would be the first to present her hands. The justice of Allah is swift… and it will be better for him to serve his punishment there…Why am I even telling you this? You know all of this yourself.” He stopped and regarded Ghazi Khan, who had stood and listened to him with a mournful look in his eye.
“Ghazi Khan, spit it out. What troubles you?”
Mullah Ameer noticed that tears shimmered and glistened in Ghazi’s eyes. And for the first time for many years, Ameer, who had seen Ghazi fight off a whole troop of occupying soldiers single-handedly, felt like his old friend was suddenly losing his resolution, like a withering flame.
“I had a dream and I saw a vision.”
Mullah Ameer laughed out briefly: “You saw a dream…And what did you see?” Incredulity was creeping into his voice.
Ghazi Khan spoke vividly: “I saw Nabi Mohammad, Allah bless him and grant him; I saw him as clearly as the full moon in the clear night sky. His beauty took my breath away. I have not stopped weeping ever since. And there was a look in his eye…It penetrated my core, so much, and that I saw something which makes me cry even more.”
Unimpressed, Ameer responded: “And what was that?”
“I saw my ignorance and I saw the hardness of my heart…” Suddenly Ghazi’s haunted expression transformed into an undeniable intensity:  “My brother, the sharia is the very reason that I breathe, but let me tell you clearly, you are wrong to pursue this case. For I have learned that mercy is the fountain from which our Prophet drinks. And you show no mercy by punishing Azmat Khan,” Ghazi stopped momentarily, noticing Ameer’s growing fury clouding over his face, but he was unperturbed: “and it does not stop with Azmat Khan…We have no right to wield the sword of justice unless we have been fully drenched in Mustafa’s bottomless ocean of mercy.”
Ameer could not hold himself back: “Ghazi Khan! Stop your blabbering like a two penny dervish and come back to reality!”
“No, Ameer Khan, you look at what is within you and look into the heart of the Prophet, then evaluate what we really are.”
Novid Shaid is an English teacher from the UK who shares short stories and poetry on his website: He has written a play called “The War, the Lift and the Separatists,” which explores the separatist mentality and he is also writing a novel based around three hidden saints and their trials and tribulations in modern-day Britain.