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Sunnah.TV - Fatawa on the Use of Recorded Video Media for Da'wah

Question: In the school of teaching the Glorious Qur'an in Huraymela, we have a small lecture hall that does not have enough room for all the attendees not to mention the students. We give lectures and hold scientific seminars and parties in this hall. We would like to record these lectures by videotape, so they may be watched elsewhere. Respected shaykh, we hope to get your advice with regard to the following: 1. Is it permissible to broadcast these lectures and seminars by videotape? It should be noted that they will be broadcast only and will not be recorded on video tapes. 2. Is it permissible to record these lectures and seminars on video tapes, so that they may be replayed for much benefit?"

Answer: First: If the lectures and scientific seminars are not against the rulings of Islam, it will be permissible to broadcast them by videotape to circulate the benefit and spread knowledge. Second: It is permissible to record the lectures and seminars on video tapes to broadcast them again for more benefit when necessary. Indeed, the legal judgment of permissibility and impermissibility has nothing to do with the set itself, for it may be used to serve lawful or unlawful purposes. Hence, if it is used for a lawful purpose, it will be lawful and vice versa. May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'
Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez ibn Baz
Shaykh 'Abdur-Razzaq 'Afifi

www.alifta.com : Fatwa no.8923 (26/279)
Question: In our city, some people who are not scholars, but who mix with scholars and learn from them, deem the television to be unlawful. They say that by having a television set in the house, the husband, wife and children are as sinful as those who commit Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage), Allah forbid! Is having a television set at home and watching it Haram (prohibited) or not?

Answer: Watching television becomes permissible when a Muslim is watching something lawful, such as Qur'an recitation, religious talks, business reports and political news. It becomes impermissible when watching something unlawful, such as dissolute songs with evil lyrics, when men listen to women singers even if it is while performing decent songs and when watching men sway and dance while singing. In general, having a television set and watching it depends on the ruling on what is watched, whether lawful or unlawful. Furthermore, even permissible shows can be prohibited if the person exceeds the limits in watching them and wastes much time that is better used to benefit the person, their family and their nation. To be on the safe side, a Muslim should better abstain from buying a television set and watching it, for it can be a means to watching and listening to what is unlawful. It can lead to Fitnah (temptation) through watching naked pictures and tempting movements. Moreover, the person who considered having a television set in the house an equal sin to Zina may have been referring to the ear committing Zina by listening to music and the eye committing Zina by watching unlawful pictures. They probably meant to repel you from having a television set and disapprove of those who have. This explanation is true but it needs elaboration to be more convincing. Allah is the One sought for help and is the source of success.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'
Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez ibn Baz
Shaykh 'Abdur-Razzaq 'Afifi
Shaykh 'Abdullah Ghudayyan
Shaykh 'Abdullah Qa'ud

www.alifta.com : The first question of Fatwa no.2133 (26/272)
Question: You have called for making use of mass media for the sake of spreading Da`wah (calling to Islam) and guidance, permitting appearance in media, which include Taswir (photography). However, some Du`ah (callers to Islam) still refrain from appearing in such photography-based media. What is your opinion regarding this matter?

Answer: Undoubtedly, it is one of the greatest duties to employ mass media in calling to Al-Haqq (the Truth), spreading the rulings of Shari`ah (Islamic law), exposing Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) and its means, and warning against everything which Allah has forbidden. In fact, this is one of the most important duties and one of the great blessings which Allah bestows on those who employ these means for the good and in making up for any deficiency in their Iman (Faith). Definitely, some scholars refrain from appearing on television because of the Hadith Sahih (authentic Hadith), which stress the prohibition of Taswir and curse Musawwirs (those who make photographs of living beings). On the other hand, some other scholars believe that there is no objection to appear on television so long as it is for the purpose of calling to Al-Haqq, spreading the rulings of Islam, and refuting the callers to falsehood. This belief is based on the Shari`ah-based principle stating that it is permissible to commit the lesser of two evils to ward off the greater evil; in the case where it is not possible to avoid both evils, as it is permissible to bring about the greater of two interests by sacrificing the least of them, if both of them cannot be brought about. The same applies to the case of there being many evils and interests. If it is not possible to ward off all evils, rulers and scholars must exert themselves to ward off the greatest and most sinful evil. Likewise, they are required to try hard to bring about the greatest interest, if they are unable to bring about all interests. There are a lot of examples and evidences from the Qur'an and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet)... Thus, it is to be known that the ruling on appearing on television for the sake of calling to Allah (Glorified be He) and spreading Al-Haqq differs according to the people's knowledge, deep insight, and their consideration of the consequences of this act. Whoever Allah has opened their heart to this matter and granted them good knowledge and they agree to appear on television for the sake of spreading Al-Haqq and conveying Allah's messages, there is no blame on them and they will be rewarded by Allah (Glorified be He). Whoever feels uncertain about this, we hope that they will be excused because the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: Leave what causes you doubt and turn to what does not cause you doubt. He (peace be upon him) also said: Piety is that which contents the soul and comforts the heart.

There is no doubt that scholars appearing on television is one of the greatest means to spread Islam and refute the callers and followers of falsehood because most people watch television, whether they are males, females, Muslims, or disbelievers. Also, by seeing the picture of a person known for calling to Al-Haqq on television , the followers of Al-Haqq will feel assured and benefit from what they watch. Moreover, this is a means to resisting the followers of falsehood and bearing down on them. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) states: As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah's religion - Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinin (good doers). ... The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: One who guides to something good has a reward similar to that of its doer. The Prophet (may Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him) also says: If anyone calls others to follow right guidance, their reward will be equivalent to those who follow them (in righteousness) without their reward being diminished in any respect, and if anyone invites others to follow error, the sin will be equivalent to that of the people who follow them (in sinfulness) without their sins being diminished in any respect. (Both Hadith are related by Muslim in his Sahih Book of Hadith). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Amir Al-Mu'minin (Commander of the Believers) `Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) when he sent him to call the Jews of Khaybar to Islam: Invite them to Islam and inform them of the rights which Allah has ordained upon them. By Allah! If a single person embraces Islam at your hands (i.e. through you), that will be better for you than (possessing) red camels. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

These Ayahs and Sahih Hadith are all applicable to calling to Allah (Glorified be He) via modern mass media and other means of communication, such as through lectures, compiling books, publishing treatises, calling to Allah through the phone, in addition to other means of conveying Al-Haqq that may be used by whomever Allah has granted sincere intention and useful knowledge and has guided to working in accordance to it. It is authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that he stated: The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what they have intended. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) The Prophet (may Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon him) also says: Verily, Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and deeds. (Related by Muslim in His Sahih Book of Hadith). I ask Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) to guide Muslim scholars and rulers to the best that benefits the people and the country. Indeed, He alone is Able to do so.

Answered by Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez ibn Baz

www.alifta.com : (5/293)