Question: There is a lot of speech nowadays about what is shown on some media outlets and satellite channels, specifically the show Star Academy on MBC, Fear factor on the Art channel, Hawaa sawaa on MBC, and Big Brother on MBC. The idea of these programs is to gather male and female youth in an art institute, as they call it, for the purpose of learning and presenting their complete daily lives for the duration of twenty-four hours on these satellite channels. In these programs there is free-mixing and affairs that run contrary to chastity and modesty, such as: seclusion with women, kissing, and hugging. Also what is established on these channels in terms of issuing video clips of male and female singers along with displaying obscene images of women in different forms in order to sell some products by way of arousing desires.
So what is the ruling on watching these programs and what resembles them? What is the ruling on spending time in watching these channels in the home or during breaks or other than that? What is the danger caused by these channels to the worldly life and hereafter for the one who spends time watching it? What is the ruling on propagating the likes of these programs and promoting them in the newspapers and other medias? Can you give a speech of guidance for the Muslim Ummah warning against the likes of these means and does the one who places the likes of these channels in his house called a Dayyuth?
Answer: “All praise is due to Allah. What calls for great wonder and surprise is the one who asks about the ruling of these programs and what is included in them of evil, watching them, and propagating them. It is not hidden from the one who has the least amount of wisdom and remnants of intellect, religion, and sound disposition the evil of these programs and the greatness of their harm because they make apparent evils. Whoever makes them permissible is one stubbornly opposing the Legislation and denying it. And by making it permissible, he therefore becomes a disbeliever. So like this I say, watching these programs that include what was mentioned from the types of evils and propagating them and showing them in the houses, places of relaxation, cafes, and other than that and having lines that connect the viewers to these channels on which the programs appear, all of that is unlawful. This is because it is spreading corruption in the Muslim societies and corrupting it, spreading fornication between the male and female youth, and calling them to fahisha. Everyone who spends on this means or earns from this wealth, then it is spending on unlawful and earning what is unlawful.
Allah the Exalted said:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not. [24:19]
Allah the Exalted said:
وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ
come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly [6:151]
And He says:
وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً
And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him) [17:32]
And Allah says:
قُلْ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّواْ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُواْ فُرُوجَهُمْ ذلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاء وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful [24:30-31]
And Allah says:
وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ آلْعِقَابِ
Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.[5:2]
And Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً
O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you. [4:29]
So like this, know that the founders of these channels, those who finance it, prepare these programs, those who establish it and spend on it, all of them are mischief-makers on the earth and offenders to the religion and the dignity of the Ummah and its honor. And all those who participate in these channels and programs have the sins similar to those who watch and are connected. Just as the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
من دعا إلى ضلالة فعليه مثل آثام من تبعه من غير أن ينقص من آثامهم شيئا
if anyone invites others to follow error, the sin, will be equivalent to that of the people who follow him (in sinfulness) without their sins being diminished in any respect”.
So know that those who intend to gather the wealth by this way are presenting themselves to the punishment of Allah in the worldly life and the hereafter. And what they gather will be erased. So it is obligatory for everyone to repent to Allah before its too late as Allah the Exalted said:
وَتُوبُواْ إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful [24:31]
So it is obligatory for the Muslim rulers of the Ummah to prevent the evil from us and close its window. It is obligatory on the Muslim rulers to take these people by their hands and prevent them from what Allah prohibited upon them. For everyone is responsible for what is entrusted of them as the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته
All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards.
[Reported by Bukhari and Muslim from the Hadith of Abdulllah Ibn Umar]
It is not hidden that creating means like this to watch in the house then to keep silent about detesting it and following it is a type of pleasure for obscenity. So let every Muslim fear Allah and warn of the punishment of Allah as Allah advised that in His statement:
وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ آلْعِقَابِ
And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.[5:2]
We ask Allah to rectify the conditions of the Muslims and rectify the Muslim rulers and to deflect the plot of the enemies. Verily He the Exalted is over everything capable. And may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and all his Companions”.
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan