Is it a sin or how appropriate is it to write or read poetry, to be interested in poems?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Decree on Writing Poems and Songs, and Reciting and Singing them:

Writing poems and songs, and reciting and singing them is like speaking. Just as there are good and bad words so too are there good and bad poems and songs. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states the following:

“Poetry is a word; the good one is good and the bad one is bad.” (1)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had poets such as Hassan and Abdullah bin Rawaha. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would listen to those poets in the mosque. Ka’b, who was one of the famous poets, recited his famous poem “Banat Suadu” in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) listened to the poem without saying anything. Although there were many similes and metaphors in the poem in question, and the poet likened the saliva in his lover’s mouth, which he mentioned in the poem, to wine, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not prevent him from reading it. Ruya states the following in his book named Bahr:

Suad, who is mentioned in the poem, was Ka’b’s wife and the daughter of his paternal uncle. When bad things were said to the Prophet (pbuh) about Suad, she was scared and ran away from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh); so Ka’b was separated from Suad for a long time; the reason for writing the poem was this separation.”

There is almost no one among the Companions and the great Islamic scholars who did not write poems.

Therefore, there is no harm in writing and reciting poems and singing songs as long as they are within the boundaries of Islam. All kinds of deeds that exceed those boundaries and do not take them into account are haram.

For example, the religion of Islam forbids alcohol, oppression and immorality. Therefore, poems and songs that praise such things and recommend people to do evil are religiously forbidden. Similarly, poems and songs describing a particular woman and praising an oppressor are also prohibited.

1. Daraqutni. Hakim and Bayhaqi

Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar II. 204

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