The following is a draft translation from Arabic.
Question: Is it allowed to go to the cinema and watch ordinary films? Is it allowed to watch sexy licentious films, knowing that it is watching pictures and not real bodies? What is our duty towards the Muslim who watches such films: do we order and forbid him, or leave him to do what he wants?
Answer: It is allowed to go to the cinema to watch serious beneficial films, on condition that the rows of women in the hall should be separated from those of the men. This would be similar to attending a lecture or a seminar, it is allowed to do that, on condition of separating the rows of men from those of women.
But this -which is allowed- with the mentioned conditions, is better to be abandoned, so that the eye would not fall upon the private parts of some women who are present in the hall, and so that the ear would not hear un-correct voices from the audience in the hall. Watching sexy dissolute films is not allowed, even if they were pictures and not real bodies, because the Shariah principle -in this subject- is that الوسيلة إلى الحرام حرام “the means to Haram is Haram”, it is not a condition for the means to lead necessarily to what is Haram, but to be probable is enough.
These films generally lead those who watch them to what is Haram, so the principle applies to such films. That is why it is not allowed to watch or buy them.
As for how should the Shabab behave towards the Muslims who watch such films; most of those who watch such films are low people who do not listen to orders or demands, except for a few who have the mercy of Allah. Yet, if the Shabab could find a strong, preventive and rational method, let them use it. Maybe the person who asked the question means some of his relatives, for whom he feels sad to be in this sick behavior, then he should drive them away from such a behavior -if this is the case- he must order and forbid them, and choose the correct method, hoping that Allah will guide them to the correct path, and he will be rewarded for that, by the will of Allah.
Today, the Muslims are surrounded by miseries from all sides, because of the absence of the Khilafah, a Muslim should not have time for the allowed amusement, so how is it if he spends his time in what is not allowed, Allah forbids? Oh brothers, it is your duty to direct the Muslims strongly but wisely, in order to fill their time by doing good things, by working and persevering to re-establish the Khilafah, and rescue the Ummah from these miseries .
By Sheikh Ata ibn Khaleel Abu al-Rashta