Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

What kind of entertainment does Islam allow?

What form of entertainment is allowed in Islam? What should a person do in his free time other than ibadat? For instance, I have heard many people saying that we are not allowed to watch television, movies or listen to music – to the extent that playing chess is not preferred for a Muslim. So, again, what form of entertainment does Islam permit us?


Islam doesn’t give a detailed list of the entertainments that are allowed. It gives a list of items that are not allowed. In other words, all entertainment is allowed except the one that falls in the forbidden category. What is that list? I can mention a few things that come to my mind. May Allah Almighty forgive me if I forget some part of it.

  • Obscenity. All forms of obscenity are disallowed. Some movies, dramas, music, fiction etc are certainly obscene and need to be avoided.
  • Consuming products that are haram, i.e. alcohol, pork etc.
  • Indulging in activities that draw you away from the remembrance of the Almighty, especially prayers. Some forms of music would most certainly fall into this category, but other forms of music won’t fall into that category.
  • Any other activity that is otherwise not acceptable to the shari’ah. For instance, deceiving others, gambling, stealing, telling lies etc.

Everything else is allowed in Islam for the purposes of entertainment, although Islam would caution you that you haven’t come in this world primarily to enjoy. However, if you get bored, or in order to keep your spirits alive, you feel like doing something different, you can get involved in any entertainment of your choice that are not disallowed in the Quran.