Your Questions Answered

Your Questions Answered


Acting as a Profession

Question: What opinion does Islam have on "acting" as a profession?

Answer: In principle all segments of fine arts – including acting and impersonation – are not forbidden by Islam per se if they are adopted as a profession. It is their nature and use which may be objectionable in the eyes of Islam. Thus for example if they do not take into account the gender-interaction norms prescribed by Islam, contaminate the eye and the soul, promote vulgarity or immorality, attack or make fun of the tenets and ideals set by Islam, no decent person can be part of them. However, if such things are taken care of, why would Islam proscribe them?

It may also be pertinent to note that Islam's real message is tazkiyah (spiritual purification) and a believer must always keep this ideal in mind. Things which are conducive to tazkiyah should be sought, relished and adhered to and things which are adverse to tazkiyah should be avoided, shunned and disregarded as much as possible.


Why Memorize the Qur'an

Question: My question is: what is the need and significance of memorizing the Qur'an these days? I ask this question because these days, the Qur'an has been saved in its best form. It is saved on computers, CDs, hard disks and papers. There is no chance of any amendment or forgery now, so is there a need to memorize the Qur'an now? The second part of my question is: why should 6-8 year old kids be forced to memorize the Qur'an by taking them out of their schools for a few years and then making them rejoin the schools after losing 2-3 years? After all, they are not able to decide what to choose. Parents make this choice for them.

Answer: May I dare say that even after the invention of the sources you have referred to, memorization still remains the primary tool for preservation and transmission of the Qur'an since every CD, hard disk, codex etc needs the stamp of a memorizer to certify if the Qur'an has been correctly recorded in these mediums. Moreover, memorization of the Qur'an establishes a living relationship of a memorizer with the Qur'an if he knows what he has memorized. This relationship of course cements his faith and augments his ability to practice Islam.

The intense regard Muslims have for the Qur'an and the importance it occupies in their lives on the one hand and the easy-to-memorize text of the Qur'an on the other induces automatically the yearning in a person to commit it to his memory.

Regarding the second part of your question, I think that this memorization process should be adjusted to schooling by spreading it over the entire 4-6 years of high school and college period. Taking children out from their mainstream education and sending them to religious seminaries for this purpose not only at times badly damages their psyche but is also detrimental for their education. It is advisable that children should not be taken out of their schools for this purpose. Moreover, if this process is begun at the age of 12, the child itself is in a position by this age to choose for himself if he wants to memorize the Qur'an or not.


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