Issued on January 22nd, 2008
About a year ago my wife and I decided to stop watching tv for the sake of pleasing Allah (SWT). Instead I bought a satellite decoder that receives channel Islam as well as radio Islam over the radio. A lot of people are saying that with this decoder I can get ITV (an Islamic tv channel), but I am unsure if Islam allows tv at all or not. We had not tuned in this channel as we do not want to anger Allah (SWT).
1) Is it permissible to watch an Islamic channel such as Itv?
In a recent addition of “the Majlis” ( a paper written by a prominent PE Imam), an article was written harshly condemning Islamic radio stations, mainly because some of the programs have female presenters. This article states that these radio stations “prostitute” our Muslim sister’s voices. I know that on channel Islam, Mufti AK Hoosein has a daily q&a program, and Mufti Siraaj Desai took over this program when Mufti AK went for Hajj this year. If the radio station is indeed haraam (these stations are refered to as radio shaitaan by the majlis), whould well known respected Ulama associate themselves with it? Unfortunately many Muslim brothers accuse the editor of “The Majlis” as “over-extreme” in his views, and advise that readers take things with a pinch of salt. This does not sit well with me, and I am confused and do not know where to draw the line, as this paper is distributed by most Masaajid in PE.
2) Can Mufti Saheb advise as to how this publication can be viewed?
3) Is listening to channel Islam and radio Islam Haraam?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
The editor of the Majlis, Hazrath Moulana Ahmad Sadeck Desai Saheb Madda Zilluhu is an Aalim of a very high calibre. He has a deep understanding of Shariah. This is clearly gauged from his innumerable publications. Hazrath Moulana is the Khalifa of Hazrath Maseehullah Khan Saheb rahmatullah alayh. Hazrath has been selflessly dedicated to Amal bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar for the past few decades. Hazrath is also engaged in various other activities. It is surprising how much one person can do. Allah has granted Hazrath great courage and strength. He is a person of high level of taqwa and mujahadah. He does not go after position and fame. If that was the case, Hazrath would not have selflessly and openly condemned many wrongs and evils for the fear of becoming unpopular. Many people throughout the world continue to benefit from Hazrath Moulana’s publications.
Television is haram and we concur with Hazrath’s view on that. It is possible that the different radio stations err in some issues. If Hazrath points that out, it should be accepted and corrected. It is incorrect to brand Hazrath of being over extreme when he is fulfilling his obligation on Nahi Anil Munkar. Those that claim that Hazrath is extreme, what is their measure to claim that? If people violate the laws of Shariah and Hazrath rightfully condemns that, how can that be extremism? What do such people expect Hazrath to do? Keep quiet? What will that be then? Complacence, which is a sin.
It should also be pointed out that differences of opinions among academics is regarded as academic honesty. This is common even among academics in secular qualifications. The different views among the Ulama, based on academics is a mercy upon the ummah and should be tolerated. If other Ulama have differing views from Hazrath’s views and both are based on academic substantiations, then it will be incorrect to brand any one view as being an extreme view. While we concur with Hazrath on the issue of television and open wrongs of television and radio stations, we may differ with him on other issues. However, we will respect his view and tolerate it as Hazrath’s views are generally substantiated by Shariah.
If anyone claims to have an academically different opinion and he does not stand up to the academic challenges made to him, that is academic dishonesty and such an opinion cannot be tolerated as that is regarded as academic dishonesty.
Another issue is the tone and manner of condemning a vice. This is based of hikmah and wisdom. At times, the Quran condemns certain wrongs in certain ways, medium to harsh. This is based on what is best in the interest of that time and matter. An Aalim of Deen is imbued with hikmah. He exercises that hikmah and whatever he honestly feels between him and Allah is the most efficient tone in condemning a wrong, he does that.
The different ways of Ulama condemning wrongs, some with softness and others harshly etc. should be viewed in this light. Concentrate on the actual issue pointed out rather than focus on the style and tone.
When the laws of Shairah are violated and people, especially Ulama, keep quiet, that incurs the wrath of Allah. The silence of Ulama will lead to distortion of Shariah and Deen. Allah condemned the Ulama of theYahood and Nasaara for keeping quiet against open violation of the Shariah. Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “This knowledge of Deen will be carried by just people from pious predecessors. They will refute distortions of extremists, refute baseless claims and wrong interpretations of ignorant people”.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah