Very sadly and disturbingly, there are some contemporary Ulama who not only spread the idea that it is perfectly fine to use a TV for Deen, but they regularly and eagerly come on it themselves. The same TV which had left many Muslim homes due to the continuous efforts of our great and pious Ulama spanning more than half a century, warning about the myriad of sins and dangers that were part and parcel of a TV, was now making a triumphant come back in those very same homes, due to 'some Ulama' claiming its permissibility. And those who continued to watch it and didn't throw it out, but used to do so with a guilty conscience, at least to some extent, now began to view it without any qualms and misgivings, content that what they were doing, far from being a sin, was now acceptable in Islam, and in some cases, even 'rewardable.' The third category, those who watched the TV without any guilt, now (in this new 'fatwa') found a weapon with which they could lash out with fury at any pious soul who dared to advise them to repent from this sin.
Although this permissibility is said (by the Ulama responsible for it) to be only for 'Deeni TV' or 'Islamic TV' (what a disturbing oxymoron), all are aware that cable network packages don't ever come with just one channel. Thus accompanying the 'Islamic TV' there will be a vast array of various other channels designed to steal the Iman of a Muslim which will exercise their magnetic pull to ensure they don't go unwatched. As a result, this 'fatwa' became a tacit approval for every TV channel imaginable. This is assuming that the 'Islamic TV Channel' is itself permissible, or that something like Islamic TV can actually exist, as is contended by those who were bold enough to throw water over the sacrifices of their pious predecessors. In reality, such channels are haraam, and TV can never become Islamic, in much the same way that we can't have 'Islamic pork.' For ages people have always been listening to bayans, not watching them, and they fared much better than us in their spiritual levels. They benefited tremendously by just listening to talks, and no one felt that hidayat was dependent on watching the gestures and facial expressions of the speaker. Then why suddenly the desperation for visual stimulation in talks of Deen? The truth, which may be shocking for some, is that these TV bayans and video bayans are all part of the carefully woven plot of Dajjal to paralyse us spiritually without us even realising it. They are designed to turn Islam into an entertainment show and give us a shallow and superficial version of Deen to bolster the feeling that we are making great strides forward, while leaving us hollow and empty on the inside. The stark reality that we are facing, and which I have been wanting to point out, is that the fitnah of Dajjal has reached a new level of severity - it is now using the very same weapon of mass destruction (TV) to wreak the same havoc it used to before (if not more), all in the name of Deen, to ensure that no one ever makes taubah, labouring under the false notion that they have achieved lofty ranks of wilayat (sainthood.)
Allamah Yusuf Binnori Ra, the great and illustrious student of Allamah Kashmiri Ra and the founder of Binnori Town in Karachi, Pakistan, was once requested to deliver a lecture on TV, and he refused to do so. At this same time, the question of whether the TV and videos can be used for Deeni and Tableeghi purposes or not was discussed. What Allamah Yusuf Binnori Ra had to say about this is something worthy of being written in golden ink, an eye-opening discourse filled with incredible wisdom, insight, and foresight, in which he beautifully expounded upon the salient and timeless principles of the propagation of Deen. Hereunder I am relating his words which I have translated into English -
"With regards to this, I want to explain a matter of principle - that we have not been made responsible for this from the side of Allah that in whichever way possible, we must make each and every person a pious Muslim. Yes, we are responsible for exerting our full effort by employing every possible permissible means in our control for the propagation of Deen. Whenever Islam has given us the command of propagating Deen, it has also taught us the dignified etiquette and methods of how to go about doing it, and we are responsible for the propagation of Deen within the limits of these methods and etiquette. If within these limits, using only permissible means, we are granted success in our efforts of propagation, then that is an excellent result. However on the other hand, if we do not achieve complete success using the permissible means available to us, then we are not responsible for adopting impermissible means in inviting people towards Deen and throwing the manners and etiquette of propagation behind our backs, making an effort to bring people into our ranks using every permissible and impermissible method. If through permissible means, and with observing the required etiquette of propagation we make one person follow Deen in totality, then our Tableegh is a success, and if, by using impermissible means, we make a hundred people join our group, then such a 'success' has no value in front of Allah (in fact it can't even be termed a success, in reality it is a failure.) The reason for this is that the Tableegh (propagation) in which the commands of Deen are destroyed isn't the propagation of Deen, it is the propagation of something else. TV and video in itself is against the commands of Islam (even if it is deceptively flaunted as 'Islamic'), thus we have not been made responsible for using it in Tableegh. If anyone is ready to accept our invitation towards Deen in which only permissible and dignified methods have been used, then our eyes and heart are spread out for him as a carpet to walk on. However, that person who is not ready to listen to the talk of Deen without seeing a video-filmed bayan (as has become the case today), then we are excused from inviting him using video/TV. If we are not going to stand firmly on this position of ours, then today we will start using video/TV for Tableegh, in consideration for the temperament and likes of the masses, tomorrow we will start using uncovered women for this same objective, and we will hold functions and gatherings of music and singing to try and call people towards Deen. In this way, in the name of Tableegh, we will become guilty of destroying one by one the commands of the very same Deen which we claim to propagate."Subhanallah, what in depth wisdom and far reaching foresight is found in these words! What he has mentioned isn't just to do with using TV/video, but with using every such method which is in conflict with Shariah. As a result of his sincere advice going unheeded, we are sadly and painfully seeing his last two sentences above unfolding in front of our eyes today. Everywhere the commands of Allah are being flagrantly broken in the name of Tableegh. How many times haven't we heard about people going to haraam functions, where video filming, music, intermingling of sexes, and many other violations of Shariah are found, and justifying their going with the same rhetoric that has become a blanket permission for anything and everything - 'we are going so that we can bring the people closer to Deen.' Allahu akbar! We expect to bring others closer to Deen by disobeying Allah? When are we going to remove ourselves from this satanic deception of Dajjal? When are we going to open the eyes of our hearts and comprehend the grave reality found in the golden words of Allamah Yusuf Binnori Ra above? When are we going to understand that propagating Deen through impermissible methods, whether TV/video, or something else, isn't furthering the cause of Deen and Islam, but on the contrary is actually abetting and helping the spread of the fitnah of Dajjal? May Allah grant us the ability to open our eyes before it is too late, before we are brought in the court of Allah on the Day of Qiyamah and held responsible for championing the cause of falsehood. Aameen.