Is Anime Haram Under Islam? Here is what Quran Says About it

Fundamentalists Look into If Anime Is Haram or Not

This is an old research article that I decided to republish under the new website (with some extensive grammar corrections). We are going to explore the Quran and Bukhari regarding whether is it Haram (حَرَام) or Halal to Watch Anime (this broad context can be expanded into Manga as well) there are many parts in these books that give us clues about the actual question, but we won’t tackle absolutely every single point since there are just fundamentally so many.

Obviously, this is a lot more fundamental way to look into Islamic teachings and may not reflect the legislation of many Islamic countries. Whatever your parents, Muslim community, imam or the country you live in say about anime is irrelevant on this subject since this will be mainly focused on Islamic books and fundamental depiction of the laws.

I won’t be listing everything that is considered Haram under Islam, but if certain media contains these things it’s considered haram in a fundamentalist sense. Here is a good list of things that are haram in the Islamic religion.

I also want to emphasize that there is Makruh which are things that are considered “disliked” but not strictly haram under Islam rule, there is nuance between these terms.

is manga haram

Rules about Drawings & Pictures

First, we are going dig into whatever pictures are considered haram or halal in the Islamic religion, since its directly related to the matter of Manga, which is then obviously adapted into full-length anime that consists of multiple pictures basically.

And the people of Moses made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf (for worship). It had a sound (as if it was mooing). Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to the way? They took it for worship and they were Dthalimun (wrong-doers). [Noble Quran 7:148]

This quote from Quran pretty much state it’s forbidden to pray/worship false images, this is rather a loose term, and it’s up to each individual what to think of this.

Narrated Said bin Abu Al-Hasan: While I was with Ibn ‘Abbas a man came and said, “O father of ‘Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures.” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “I will tell you only what I heard from Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him). I heard him saying, ‘Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.’ “Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn ‘Abbas said to him, “What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects.” [Bukhari 3:428]

This specific quote is rather important to the argument about whether pictures are haram or not. This clearly states it’s forbidden to draw people or animals, which would forbid all types of anime from the gecko. Things that are allowed are unanimated objects which would probably be trees, mountains, ground, or buildings. 

Narrated ‘A’ishah: I stuffed for the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) a pillow decorated with pictures (of animals) which looked like a Namruqah (i.e. a small cushion). He came and stood among the people with excitement apparent on his face. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is wrong?” He said, “What is this pillow?” I said, “I have prepared this pillow for you, so that you may recline on it.” He said, “Don’t you know that angels do not enter a house wherein there are pictures; and whoever makes a picture will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked to give life to (what he has created)?” [Bukhari 4:47]

This part is about severe punishment regarding that angels do not enter a house where there are pictures, which would expand to things like anime/manga posters on the wall. Also expands the idea that drawing is just not forbidden on paper but expands to different mediums. 

Narrated Abu Talhah: I heard Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) saying; “Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).” [Bukhari 4:448]

The same thing as in the previous quote dogs and pictures are not allowed on the house since angels won’t enter otherwise. Dogs especially have a very bad reputation among Muslims. I think it’s important to clarify that drawing living creatures is wrong, but taking photographs of people is not wrong since you are capturing Allah’s creation.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: Abu Talhah, a companion of Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) and one of those who fought at Badr together with Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) told me that Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) said. “Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture.” He meant the images of creatures that have souls. [Bukhari 5:338]

Pretty much the same quote as the two above, but it mentions images that have “souls”, so it makes me think that this is only about humans and animals, but does this to apply fantasy creatures as well? 

Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib: Abul Hayyaj al-Asadi told that Ali ibn Abu Talib said to him: Should I not send you on the same mission as Allah’s Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) sent me? Do not leave an image without obliterating it, or a high grave without leveling it. This Hadith has been reported by Habib with the same chain of transmitters and he said: (do not leave) a picture without obliterating it. [Muslim]

This is a very interesting quote to me since if technically Anime would air on TV or on a stream and there wouldn’t be a DVD copy of it would mean it’s permissible, however, this is not the case, since copies always exist. 

Narrated ‘A’ishah: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him), and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fatih-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13) [Bukhari 8:151]

So this quote precisely prohibits playing with pictures so I think that includes “Watching anime” In this scenario, it was permitted for Aisha, but does this apply to every individual or just her? If it does apply to everyone, does this mean just little children? If you have reached puberty you can no longer play with dolls or watch anime. 

Narrated A’ishah: When the Prophet became ill, some of his wives talked about a church which they had seen in Ethiopia and it was called Maria. Um Salma and Um Habibah had been to Ethiopia, and both of them narrated its (the Church’s) beauty and the pictures it contained. The Prophet raised his head and said, “Those are the people who, whenever a pious man dies amongst them, make a place of worship at his grave and then they make those pictures in it. Those are the worst creatures in the Sight of Allah.” [Sahih Bukhari 2.425]

Once again another quote that condemns pictures and people who have them are considered the worst creatures in the sight of Allah…

“On the Day of Resurrection a neck will stretch forth from Hell; it will have two eyes to see, two ears to hear, and a tongue to speak. It will say, “I have been appointed to take care of three types of people: every arrogant tyrant, every person who called on some deity other than Allah and those who made pictures” [At-Tirmidthi stated that this Hadith was Sahih – At-Takhwif Min An-Nar, p.179]

Once again Mangaka’s are going to get dragged into hell for drawing pictures apparently on the day of Resurrection. That’s pretty much all quotes that are about pictures or drawings. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) entered upon me while there was a curtain having pictures (of animals) in the house. His face got red with anger, and then he got hold of the curtain and tore it into pieces. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Such people as paint these pictures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection .” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 6109]

Another one that is quite similar to what we had before this time about curtains and not pictures. This also includes clothing to my understanding or at least that is what I read.

haram anime music

Music & Wasting Time

Every anime I know of have some type of music in them, which is a very controversial subject in Islam what is the status of it – some argue that long as it’s useful and you don’t “waste your time” it’s not haram, but that is very open interpretation what that actually means.

And there are among men, those that purchase idle talk, to mislead (men) from the path of Allah and throw ridicule. For such there will be a humiliating punishment. [Quran 31:6]

According to Abdullah ibn Masud “idle talk” refers to music, this seems very far-fetched in my point of view.

Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari: that he heard the Prophet saying, “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 5590]

This clearly states musical instruments but doesn’t outright ban singing without musical instruments, so my conclusion singing without background music is halal not haram.

Technology & What Content is Viewed Halal

So according to what I’ve read the technology of TV, blockchain, Computer, or Phones themselves are not HARAM the machine themselves are definitely halal (permissible) however what truly matters is the content inside these platforms. Obviously, there are all types of content inside Anime and we gonna look into a few quotes here regarding that.

… and let those among you who have not yet come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before the morning prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the late-night prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending (helping) each other. [Ayah an-Nur 24:58]

When it comes to female characters inside anime that are not wearing veils it’s pretty much haram, unless they are very young children. This is almost impossible to avoid in most modern-day anime. 

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters, and the believing women, to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies. That will be better that they should be known (as respectable woman) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Ahzab:59 Qur’an]

Pretty much the same thing that I said above same meaning but a different quote.

Allah does not like the public mention of evil except by one who has been wronged. And ever is Allah Hearing and Knowing.  [4:148 Qu’ran]

This is a quote regarding profanity, so if an individual swears a lot in the anime or says very offensive things, this is considered haram.

haram anime girl committing a crime

Shameful Behavior in Islam

This subject is mostly on Hentai, Ecchi & 3D Porn which are sub-categories of Anime. Is it haram to view or create these? Well let’s look into what the Islamic books have to say.

When they do aught that is shameful, they say: “We found our fathers doing so”; and “Allah commanded us thus”: Say: “Nay, Allah never commands what is shameful: do ye say of Allah what ye know not?” [Quran 7:28]

In Islamic society, porn is considered to be immoral and a very shameful practice. This obviously expands to hentai and ecchi. Indecent or shameful acts are haram to watch or perform.

And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, – for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. [Qur’an 23:5-7]

If you ever fapped Lucy from Fairy Tail or another character from anime this is definitely haram. Masturbation is considered haram by the majority of the Islamic community, however, there are people who see it permissible. 

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts)” [al-Noor 24:30-31]

Men are not supposed to watch women who are not veiled and they shouldn’t think of immoral sexual things I guess and also applies to women too apparently. 

Is Anime Haram Truly? The Verdict

Obviously, I could have listed a trillion other things that are haram which is displayed in everyday anime such as; Theft, Gambling, Murder, Tattoos, Homosexuality, eating non-halal food, dancing, poetry, and so on…. The fundamental conclusion is that Anime is haram from many fundamentalist perspectives that we demonstrated here with actual facts & evidence from multiple Islamic holy books, however, it doesn’t matter that much if your Islamic community, your country, your parents, or your imam won’t stop you from watching Anime.

So this won’t change your daily life that much, except that you’re a sinful Muslim and you may burn in hell. But hey… you can always leave this religion if its an issue to you and to your lifestyle!