Important Points to Consider Regarding Television

tv 2What do the Ulama’-e-kiraam say with regard to the following questions:

1.      If some practice is deemed impermissible in Shari’ah, yet it can serve as a means for people benefitting in Deen and being drawn closer to Islam, can permission be granted for one to adopt such a means? For instance the maulood gatherings take place every year. Through these gatherings many people’s lives have changed and they have become inclined to Islam. Therefore, is it permissible for us to adopt such means for the propagation of Islam?

2.      If the Ulama’ regard the participation in maulood gatherings as permissible, then why did Hazrat Moulana Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) so strongly prevent Hazrat Moulana Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) from attending such gatherings?

3.      If participation in moulood gatherings is impermissible since it includes many bid’ah practises, though in essence there was some leeway for it had it been free of all the evils, on what basis can the TV channels for propagating Deen be then justified? If the participation in maulood gatherings to propagate the Haq is impermissible due to the means itself being impermissible, should not the same apply to the use of the television?

4.      Many Ahaadith severely condemn picture making of all animate objects. The TV is amongst the most prominent tools that have been invented to display and present pictures of animate objects. It all started off on a very “conservative” way. However, now nudity, obscenity and immorality are promoted through the TV. How can such a tool be used for the propagation of the divine Shari’ah of Allah Ta’ala?

5.      Some Ulama’ feel that through the TV we will be able to reach out to the masses around the globe. But, just as we are trying to promote our beliefs and ways, other baatil sects such as shias, qaadiyaanis, barelwis, salafees and others are using the same channels to promote their beliefs and ways. The general public is normally impressed and is influenced by the style of oration and presentation. Most people who own a TV hop from channel to channel and watch anything and everything. Many have watched the programmes of shias, qaadiyaanis, etc. Many watched live debates between some baatil sect and an Aalim of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’h. The layman watching was influenced towards the baatil simply on the basis of the style of oration and the presentation of the Ahle-baatil as opposed to the Ahle-Haq. These are not isolated cases. Thus, the entire exercise was counterproductive. Will the Ulama’ promoting the use of TV not be responsible for this?

6.      Since, some Ulama’ have appeared on TV, the owning and watching of TV is now being regarded as totally permissible (i.e. istihlaal) by many of those people who previously regarded it as sinful. The apparent intention is to watch only “our Ulama’”. But, once the TV is in the home, they start watching all kinds of evil, programmes of baatil sects, nudity, obscenity, etc. By declaring the use of TV permissible the above will certainly happen. How will the Ulama-e-Kiraam prevent this?

7.      When the masses will see the Ulama’ coming on these channels and giving bayaans, they will associate the TV to Deen. It is not farfetched that gradually the TV will be brought into the Masaajid. (As is has already entered certain Masaajid). The severity and gravity of the sin of picture making which was in the hearts of the Muslim Ummah at one time (even those who were far and distant from Deen) will no longer remain and the situation will reach the point of istihlaal and istikhfaaf (i.e. regarding this to be completely halaal and not regarding photography to be a sin at all). Hence what will be the condition of the Imaan of such people who regard picture making to be totally permissible in Islam?

8.      Many people have started watching Ulama’ delivering talks on TV and regard watching such programmes as an act of Deen and reward. Do the Ulama’ who appear on TV also believe that those watching the TV channels are engaged in acts of thawaab, or is it wrong to watch TV but the Ulama’ are only appearing to address those who are sinning and advise them?

9.      It is most likely that the majority of viewers are women. Even if they are not in the majority, a very big number are nevertheless women. Will it be permissible for the women to look at the Aalim delivering the talk on TV? If it is not permissible, how will the women be stopped from looking at the Aalim? Will the Aalim repeatedly announce that it is not permissible for the women to look at him?

10.  There are so many Ahaadith that according to the Muhaditheen reach the level of tawaatur which oppose and condemn picture making. The Hadith of Bukhari Shareef is quite explicit “Those involved in picture-making will be subjected to the worst forms of punishment on the day of Qiyaamat. (Bukhari 2/880, Muslim 2/201)”. What answer will the Ulama’ give to the general masses when they ask regarding the prohibition of picture making established from all these Ahaadith?

11.  If the Ulama’ are of the opinion that there is a difference between digital photography and conventional photography (normal pictures) based on the technical ta’reef (terminology) of how a picture is produced, then how are the general masses to differentiate and discern between both based on these subtle technicalities? As far as the general public is concerned, they do not regard the both to be different. Hence opening the doors and allowing the public to view what is broadcasted on the TV will only lead to them trivialising the severity of picture making and regarding all pictures as permissible.

12.  Those Ulama’ who make a distinction between digital photography (and thus allow the watching of TV) and conventional photography base their argument upon the fact that in the time of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) the prohibition of picture making applied to a picture which had a physical form and remained existent all the time (on a paper, wall or any other object) whereas the images appearing through digital photography do not have any physical form. Hence, the prohibition that came from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) regarding pictures does not apply to this modern day invention. However, confining the prohibition of picture making to this definition is nowhere to be found in the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Thus how can one on the basis of a definition coined long after the era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) be able to exclude the digital picture from the ambit of the prohibition of picture making? On the contrary, in many Ahaadith Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) explained the main factor and cause for picture making being forbidden in Islam, i.e. Resembling Allah Ta’ala in the act of creation. All the Ulama’ of the past accept that this is the underlying factor for the prohibition of picture making, as is clearly established from the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). In a digital picture the same factor is glaringly evident. Every person in the world will agree that what is being viewed on the screen is a picture. How is it that these Ulama’ have ignored the main factor and cause recorded in all these Ahaadith and restricted the prohibition to some definition that is not even found or established in the Qur’an and Hadith? If the masses have to question the Ulama’ regarding all these Ahaadith, what response will be given to them?

13.  Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alayh) once mentioned that despite any movement being initiated with good and pure intentions, if the manner does not conform to the Mubaarak Sunnah and Tareeqah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), such a movement will not gain the divine support and security of Allah Ta’ala. If this is the case with regard to those actions which are of a permissible nature, however it does not conform to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), how can any divine protection or success be hoped for, if such a manner is adopted which contradicts the Shari’ah?

We make Duaa that Allah Ta’ala guide the Ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to the straight path.

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