A clip was recently posted on the Internet that shows a woman dying while committing adultery. The whole clip does not show any of her body; just her face while her soul is leaving her body. Is it permissible to watch such videos as lesson and reminder of death? Bear in mind that this clip is on many forums.
What is the ruling on watching similar videos just as a lesson? Such as car accidents, earthquakes, planes explosions, people falling from high places and videos showing when the soul leaves the body, good and bad ends, whether at the same time or recorded?.
It is not permissible to show a woman in video clips and to distribute them to people on the grounds that they are moving. It is well known that the woman is ‘awrah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The woman is ‘awrah.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1173) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
So it is not permissible to look at her – in real life or in a picture – and sharee’ah makes no exceptions except that which is done in cases of necessity, such as looking at the woman to whom one wants to propose marriage, when giving testimony, in the case of medical treatment and so on.
These moving clips, especially those that depict bad situations, such as the one mentioned in the question, or those that show the collapse of a hall in which men and women were dancing and drinking alcohol – it is not permissible to publish or look at any of that, and the one who insists on doing that should erase the images of woman completely.
As for the things that are published about road accidents, explosions, earthquakes and the like, it is permissible for the purpose of teaching lessons and exhortations, so long as they do not include pictures of women or show their ‘awrahs uncovered.
We think that the Muslim should seek reminders and be made to fear Allaah by reading the Qur’aan and saheeh Sunnah. There is nothing wrong with using this story as a reminder in preaching so long as one avoids false stories or those that may lead to provocation of desire.
And Allaah knows best.