Ruling on bringing in satellite channels

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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 had an argument with my wife about bringing a satellite dish into the house, because she wants to watch these channels but I am worried that they will contain haraam things. What is your opinion?.
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Praise be to Allaah.

The one who hears and reads and sees what is presented in these channels, will have no hesitation in regarding it as haraam to bring this equipment into the home, because of the great damage that it does to religious commitment and morals, especially when there are children in the house and there is a lack of spiritual awareness and religious commitment. 

That can be avoided by bringing in Islamic channels such as al-Majd. As for indecent channels, the situation is obviously clear. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) warned against bringing this equipment into the home in one of his khutbahs, where he said: 

We spoke about the [satellite] dish two weeks ago and we explained the danger that it poses to a person during his life and after his death. Many people were surprised that the warning was so stern. But we will pose some questions, by answering which we will reach a conclusion. We should ask about the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There is no person whom Allaah appoints in charge of people’s affairs and he dies neglecting them, but Allaah will forbid Paradise to him.” Is this hadeeth saheeh? Yes, it is saheeh and is proven in Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Saheeh Muslim and elsewhere. 


Is a man the shepherd of his family or not? The answer is yes, he is the shepherd of his family. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) appointed him as such when he said: “The man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock.” This may also be understood from the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones”

[al-Tahreem 66:6]. 

The second question is: If a man installs a dish for his family and sees the great evils and things that go against sound morals, is he neglecting them or being sincere towards them? 

I believe that we would all respond by saying that he is undoubtedly neglecting them, because this is going against the words of Allaah, “ you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire…”, and because watching the things that we hear of is a cause of moral decline. And if morals decline, religious commitment and belief (‘aqeedah) will decline too. Nations rise and fall according to their degree of morality, and as this is the case, if he dies with this dish in his house, he will be counted as neglecting the flock in charge of whom Allah appointed him by the words of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). So there is no way out other than removing this dish from the home altogether. In our previous khutbah we explained that it is not permissible to sell it, because if it is sold it will be used for disobedience towards Allaah, so that will come under the heading of helping others to disobey Allaah. In that case there is no better way to discharge one's duty than breaking it, and Allaah will compensate him for that. Do you not see that the Prophet of Allaah Sulaymaan (peace be upon him) had “ displayed before him, in the afternoon, well trained horses of the highest breed” [Saad 38:36], and they distracted him from remembering Allaah until the sun had set. Then he called for them and began to strike their necks and feet, because they had distracted him from the remembrance of Allaah. So he killed them lest they distract him again, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was given a fine, printed garment (khameesah) and he put it on, but whilst he was praying he looked at it once, and when he said the salaam he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Take this khameesah of mine and give it to Abu Jahm, and bring me his plain garment.” Abu Jahm was the one who had given it to him, and he did not want to hurt his feelings, so he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, explaining why he was doing that: “It distracted me from my prayer just now.” This indicates that if a man sees something in his possessions that will distract him from remembrance of Allaah or cause him to disobey Allaah, he should get rid of it altogether.  

I repeat once again: some people understood from what I said before that if a person dies with a dish in his house, that he will be one of the people of Hell, but this is a misunderstanding, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only said: “Allaah will deprive him of Paradise”. This is a warning which is to be understood in the light of what it says in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, that if a man commits a sin but he has faith in his heart, then he will not abide in Hell forever, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills”

[al-Nisa’ 4:48]

But I was pleased that one of the people who heard my previous khutbah – may Allaah bless him and reward him with good – went and broke the dish that he had and destroyed it completely. He will find the joy of that in his heart, because this is a sign of complete faith. When a woman came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wearing two heavy bracelets of gold on her arm, he said: “Do you pay zakaah on these?” She said: No. He said: “Would you like Allaah to give you two bracelets of fire instead of them?” She took them off and gave them to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: They are for Allaah and His Messenger. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw a man with a gold ring on his finger, he said: “Would one of you go to a burning ember and put it in his hand – or on his finger?” Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took the ring and threw it aside. Then it was said to the man, after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had gone away: Take your ring and benefit from it (by selling it). He said: By Allaah, I will not pick up a ring that the Prophet SAW threw away. Think about how the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were and how they hastened to give up that which was forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger. Hence they were the most perfect of this ummah in faith, and they were the best of generations, as it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of people are my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them. I say it once again: I fear for the one who brings this equipment that destroys morals and leads people astray. If he is truly wise he will break it so that his home will be free of these haraam things, and so that he will die being sincere towards his family, in sha Allaah. So fear Allaah and fulfil the trust. O Allaah, help us to fulfil the trust and to do that which You love and are pleased with, O Lord of the Worlds. O Allaah,  guide us and guide (our families) for us, and guide by means of us, O Lord of the Worlds. End quote from the shaykh’s website:

These words are sufficient, in sha Allaah, to explain the ruling on this dish and its dangers. 

We ask Allaah to protect the Muslims from fitnah, both apparent and hidden. 

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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