Some brothers want to organize a program involving watching an Islamic video in the local mosque in the last ten days of Ramadan.
Firstly, are there much better ways of spending time in the worship of Allah in Laila-tul-Qadr other than learning from an Islamic video?
Another concern that brothers have expressed is that is it okay to watch a video in the mosque? There have been reservations about images of people being shown in the prayer hall, which is the only space that can be provided for a large gathering.
Thank you kindly.
As far as showing an Islamic video, for instance a lecture, is concerned, if one agrees with the opinion previously expressed at ‘Understanding Islam’1 that only the polytheistic images have been prohibited by the Prophet (pbuh), then there is no harm in showing it in the prayer-hall. However, I would request you that if the idea of showing an Islamic video in the mosque is not welcomed by all the regular participants, then it should rather be avoided. There may, indeed, be Muslims who do not agree with the opinion (regarding pictures) given at ‘Understanding Islam’, who may feel that showing or watching recorded lectures is prohibited in Islam, because of the images of the person delivering the lecture. One may try to convince such people of one’s opinion, but one should never try to enforce his opinion on others, especially in a common place like a mosque. After all, even if one ascribes to the opinion that it is not prohibited to show or watch pictures, it only implies that showing/watching pictures is lawful or allowed, not obligatory.
I would, therefore, suggest that unless the participants unanimously agree and allow playing the said Islamic videos, playing such videos should be avoided, to avoid flaming any disputes and differences.
As far as whether or not there are any better ways of spending the last few nights of Ramadhan is concerned, it really depends on the personal inclinations of the individuals involved. One individual may like to spend his nights in prostration to his Lord, another may like to spend his nights reading or memorizing the Qur’an; while yet another may like to read the explanations/commentaries on the Islamic literature of a particular scholar. Due to these variances in the likings of the individuals, I do not like the idea of organizing any collective activities (like showing Islamic videos or even arranging lectures on the Qur’an) during these nights. I would rather suggest that each individual should organize and plan for his own activities. However, if the whole Muslim community of the area is inclined toward organizing to show Islamic videos during these nights and there exists no difference among them as to what sort of videos should be shown, then there would be no harm in doing so.
November 20, 2000
- For details, please refer to a few of my earlier responses titled: ‘Pictures & Photography‘ and ‘If Pictures & Photography are Forbidden Then Why Do Muslims Get Their Pictures Taken?‘. [↩]