Q&A: Is it Haram to Write Non-Fiction (and get paid for it)?

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Dear Readers: I often receive queries regarding whether it is permissible for Muslims to write fiction. But writers of non-fiction also experience doubts. Let’s discuss these important issues below. Leave a comment with your opinions and insights.

As-salamu Alaykum,

Could you advise me? I have just started to pen my first book based on personal experiences on separation, losing my father to cancer and my journey raising three boys on my own. I wanted to share this with other people to inspire them.

I was told by many people that it is haram to write non-fiction and receive money for this. I really cannot see the problem as I always, when mentioning Allah, talk in a positive way; never in a negative way.

I have checked on the internet on what are the haram and halal rulings on Muslim writers writing about personal situations. But there is no clear advice. It really does vary.

Also I would never reveal the identities of people I have mentioned in the book. They names would be changed. Is that permissible?

I am a third in to writing this book and am starting to feel discouraged. Writing about my separation is healing me. I am able to cope better with separation. Allah has given me focus and direction.

1) Is it haram to write non fiction?

2) Is it haram to be paid for published work?

3) Am I doing wrong by writing about my pain and sadness?

Jazakallah for any advice you can give me.



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Amel is an experienced freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator. She started the Muslim Writers Club as a means of sharing useful information about the art (and business) of writing.
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1 Comment

  1. Salaam N

    I share your sentiments on this.  I was also like you, slightly dubious as to whether I should write about my adversity.  I took to writing poetry as my ‘alternative therapy’ if you like, I also penned a short story the moment I am given the dreaded news of my adversity (due for publishing in February 2018).  I sought guidance from Allah alone, so far things are on track.  Like you I too to want to use writing as a platform to get the message out there and help people to connect to my narrative.  We need more narratives whether they are told on a fictional basis or not by BME people for BME people and the wider audience. I pray your writing venture manifests into reality!

    Best wishes

    Sheena Hussain

    Feel feel to connect via Instagram :poetrybysheena

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