The prohibition of acting and impersonating a person

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ قُلْتُ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَسْبُكَ مِنْ صَفِيَّةَ كَذَا وَكَذَا قَالَ غَيْرُ مُسَدَّدٍ تَعْنِي قَصِيرَةً ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ لَقَدْ قُلْتِ كَلِمَةً لَوْ مُزِجَتْ بِمَاءِ الْبَحْرِ لَمَزَجَتْهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ وَحَكَيْتُ لَهُ إِنْسَانًا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا أُحِبُّ أَنِّي حَكَيْتُ إِنْسَانًا وَأَنَّ لِي كَذَا وَكَذَاعَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ قُلْتُ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَسْبُكَ مِنْ صَفِيَّةَ كَذَا وَكَذَا قَالَ غَيْرُ مُسَدَّدٍ تَعْنِي قَصِيرَةً ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ لَقَدْ قُلْتِ كَلِمَةً لَوْ مُزِجَتْ بِمَاءِ الْبَحْرِ لَمَزَجَتْهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ وَحَكَيْتُ لَهُ إِنْسَانًا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا أُحِبُّ أَنِّي حَكَيْتُ إِنْسَانًا وَأَنَّ لِي كَذَا وَكَذَا

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:

I said to the Prophet (ﷺ): It is enough for you in Safiyyah that she is such and such (the other version than Musaddad’s has:) meaning that she was short-statured. He replied; You have said a word which would change the sea if it were mixed in it. She said: I imitated a man before him (out of disgrace). He said: I do not like that I imitate anyone even if I should get such and such.

[Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 4875]

Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbad hafidhuhallah said:

” She said: I imitated a man before him (out of disgrace). That is, she did what he did or imitating his expression. So he sallahu alayhi wa salam said: He said: I do not like that I imitate anyone even if I should get such and such. (Meaning), that is: that this action is not pleasant. This Hadith proves the prohibition of acting which is based on imitating. It is built upon copying and upon what they say: “impersonating another person”. This person comes with movement and actions which are attributed to the other person. So this Hadith is from the group of Ahaadith, which proof that acting, which many people have been afflicted with in this time, is not permitted. And what also proves it is prohibited is the statement of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam:

يل لمن يكذب ليضحك القوم، ويل له ثم ويل له

Woe to him who tells things, speaking falsely, to make people laugh thereby. Woe to him! Woe to him!.

[Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 4990]

It is well-known that acting is built upon lying”.

[Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 555]

Translated by

Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

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