Question: What is the ruling on television today?
Answer: There is no doubt that television, today, is Haraam (forbidden). This is since television is like the radio and tape recorder – they are like all the other blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants, as He has stated:
"And if you were to count the blessings of Allaah, you would never be able to count them." [Surah An-Nahl: 18]
Thus, hearing is a blessing and eyesight is a blessing, and so are the lips and the tongue. However, many of these blessings become trials upon their possessors because they do not use them in a way that Allaah loves and wants for them to be used.
Therefore, I consider the radio, television and the tape recorder to be from the blessings of Allaah, but when are they deemed as blessings? When they are used to bring benefit to the ummah. Today, ninety-nine percent of what is on television is evil, licentious, immoral, forbidden, and so on, while one percent of it has some shows presented that are of benefit to some people.
But the consideration is with regard to the majority (and not the minority). So when a true Muslim state exists that can place programs based on knowledge, which would be beneficial for the ummah, at that point I will not say that television is permissible, but rather I will say that it is obligatory.