In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Al-Allaamah Ahmad Bin Yahyah An-Najmee [may Allaah have mercy upon him]. All praise and thanks belong to Allaah and may peace be upon Allaah’s Messenger, the Messenger’s family and companions. To proceed: Firstly, what is clear to me is that it is unlawful because it is based on the following forbidden affairs:
[a] Lying: That is because acting is not based except on lying, it is not built except on it, and it is not ended without it (i.e. because the person is not in reality the one who performed those actions initially). Lying is unlawful and a Muslim has no doubt regarding its unlawfulness. Indeed, Allaah – in His Mighty Book – dispraised lying and the one who commits the deed, rather He [The Exalted] cursed them. [ثُمَّ نَبۡتَہِلۡ فَنَجۡعَل لَّعۡنَتَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلۡڪَـٰذِبِينَ- – then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the Curse of Allah upon those who lie]. [Surah Aal Imran. Verse 61]
In a hadeeth reported from the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], he said, “Verily, lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to the fire”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari 6049 and Saheeh Muslim 2607]
[b] Forgery and falsehood: In an authentic hadeeth reported from the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], he said, “He who made a claim of anything, which (in fact) did not belong to him (or he does not possess), is not from us…” [Saheeh Muslim. Number 61]
[c] The actor pretends to cry, or laugh, or sadness, or joy, or anger, or satisfaction, whilst he is lying.
[d] Assuming the personality of someone else: A Muslim may assume the personality of a disbeliever, or a disbeliever or an immoral person may assume the personality of a believer among the most senior personalities in Islam- either a companion of the Prophet, or a noble scholar, or a just king. This is a great offence.
[e] The actors make lawful these forbidden deeds whilst knowing that a person imitating another person in his appearance, his gait, or his speech by way of a narrative is tantamount to backbiting (i.e. speaking about them behind in their absence), and backbiting is forbidden. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “I do not love that I imitate anyone even if I should get such and such”. [Sunan Abu Dawud 4875. Silsilah As-Saheehah 901]
[f] It teaches deception and immorality: The corrupt affairs that occurred due to the viewing of these corrupt plays (or dramas) has either gained the upper hand or belied the claim to rectification.
[g] The actors who ascribe to Islam do a great service to the orientalists – the enemies of Islam. That is because they take narratives that are fabricated about the leaders and (distinguished) men of Islam, and the intent behind it is to degrade their status, so these actors take these narrations and spread them, whilst either being beware of them or become amazed by them, either not knowing or thinking that that they are sound. And by way of this, they definitely give service to the orientalists and injure the dignity of Islaam and its (distinguished) men. This is the height of offensive behaviour against Islaam and the people of Islam; rather it might lead the doer to disbelief.
[h] The Prophet’s companions and those who came before them were influenced through listening to the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and admonitions, and they were not in need of plays (or dramas).
[An Excerpt from Al-Fataawaa Al-Jaliyyah Anil Manaahij Ad-Da’wiyyah Vol 1. Pages 55-57. Publisher: Daarul Minhaaj. 1st Edition 1425AH (2004)]