Al-Salâm `Alaykum. I am a Muslim girl studying English literature at university. Occasionally, I come across some poems or literary works that do not conform to my Islamic principles, things like denying the divinity of Allah. I really feel bad about them. Is it permissible to study such literature as long as I do not believe in it, or is studying this literature considered a sin ?
the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî
Al-Salâm `Alaykum wa Rahmah Allah wa Barakâtuh.
It is good that you feel bad about such material. You should always feel bad when you come across falsehood.
What is expressly unlawful is to read such literature to enjoy its unlawful elements. A Muslim should never rejoice in sin or in hearing about sin.
However, if the literature has other redeeming qualities, it is lawful to enjoy those aspects which are of merit and in connformity with Islamic standards of decency.
Moreover, if there is another reason to read that material, such as academic study, as part of your degree requirement, or to refute it, then you may do so as long as doing so does not have a negative effect on your faith.
This is especially the case if the degree that you are studying will benefit the Muslim Ummah in the future. However, it would be better for you to choose a school where you could study in an Islamic academic environment where the curriculum would reinforce your faith instead of testing it.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital