Assalamu Aleikum, I always wondered if it is dangerous to have passions/hobbies? For instance I love movies, I spend a lot of time watching films and learning about cinema, it’s become part of my personnality really, but I never ever felt that it distracts me from my religion. Are passions and hobbies like music, where we are specifically told that it’s haram because of the harm and distraction it causes to our faith?
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
As long as they do not get in the way of your religious practice then they are neutral and can even have a positive value. We know that Prophet Sulayman asked God to give him the world’s greatest kingdom and that he liked fine horses. These interests were worldly interests as far as we can see, but God did not condemn them.
The Quran says:
31. O Children of Adam! Dress finely at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but do not be excessive. He does not love the excessive.
32. Say, “Who forbade God’s finery which He has produced for His servants, and the delights of livelihood?” Say, “They are for those who believe, in this present world, but exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection.” We thus detail the revelations for people who know. (The Quran, verses 7:31-32)
These verses seem to support the idea that it is fine to enjoy the good things in life as long as it is not taken to excess.
A good way to ensure that the things you enjoy do not have a negative influence on you is to dedicate an hour or so of every day to extra worship that involves reading Quran (as I discuss in my essay on tahajjud). If you do this then you will be protected from sinful things and the good things you enjoy in life will not take you away from God.