Ruling on spreading a program that enables the user to receive hundreds of channels

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I am a supervisor in a forum. The forum contains many subjects, religious, cultural, lingual, and programs, etc. one of the forum members has put a program that enables who downloads it to view more than 1500 different channels from all over the world. Another member objected to this and asked to remove this program because it makes haram easy and reachable, and that many members may use it for viewing haram channels. While other members asked to keep it on the forum because it can be used in a halal way, and that whoever uses it for viewing haram channels will be asked about his own sins only. Please provide a detailed answer for this argument.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
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Answer:
Praise be to Allaah.

If what this program is mostly used for is watching haraam things on those channels, then it is not permissible to spread it or tell others of it, because that is helping in sin and transgression, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“… but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”

[al-Maa’idah 5:2]

The basic principle with regard to this is that if a thing may be used for good or evil purposes, for permissible or sinful things, it is permissible to sell it or give it to one who it is known or thought most likely that he will use it for permissible purposes, and it is haraam to sell it or give it to one who it is known or thought most likely that he will use if for haraam purposes. 

If it is usually the case that it is used for haraam purposes, it is not permissible to sell it or give it to one whose state is unknown. Rather it should only be given to the first category of people who one thinks most likely will use it for permissible purposes. 

The above is what we stated with regard to selling televisions, video equipment and Play Stations, and selling women’s clothes to those who will use them for the purpose of tabarruj (wanton display). See the answer to question no. 39744 and 75007, in which we have quoted the views of scholars on these issues. 

An example of that is what it says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (13/109): Everything that will be used in haraam ways or that one thinks are most likely to be used in such ways, it is haraam to make it, import it, sell it and distribute it among the Muslims. End quote. 

What is known is that most of these channels are used for haraam things, both audio and video. Hence it is not permissible to give this equipment and programs to anyone except one who it is thought most likely will use it for permissible purposes. 

The one who advised you to remove these programs did well, and you have to remove them. The sin in that case is borne by the one who watches it and by the one who told him of it or helped him. 

And Allaah knows best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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