[Question:] Is it true what I have read in the book of fatāwā that was issued by the Department of Iftāʾ in Dubai regarding the unlawfulness of watching disgraceful films, after which one must repent? Sometimes, however, while watching social programmes, snapshots show actresses revealing their charms in a disgraceful manner, such as scenes in which they are dancing, or sometimes it is just the actresses themselves, as they appear in programmes without being properly covered. Thus, what should a believing man do?
[Answer (Sheikh Ramaḍān Al-Būṭī):] There is no doubt about the unlawfulness of deliberately watching pornographic films. As for the male viewer who comes across transient disgraceful scenes in normal programmes and films, what is required of him is to turn away and not look at them. If the nafs has taken control and one cannot avoid watching, then repentance is the treatment and seeking forgiveness from the heart is what will rectify one’s state and wipe out sin.