Q. In a Muslim home, pictures are not allowed, ie. framed ones. In almost all homes there is a television. This is a picture talking, seeing violence etc. Framed pictures are not allowed but a television is, please explain.
A. With respect to pictures of living objects, the traditions of the Prophet (S.A.) have totally condemned them. Hence, having pictures hanging in the home etc. will not be permissible. Only in cases of necessity one would be allowed to have his/her picture taken out.
As for television, this is not a picture. This difference can be clearly seen when one compares the picture taken out by a camera to that which is televised on a television. In fact, that which is shown on a television is done via radio waves to receivers, and is totally different from photography and still pictures. Hence, there will be a difference in the ruling.
In this regard, many great scholars have stated that the ruling of viewing television is ‘that which is permissible to view by a Muslim will be allowable to view via a television and that which is haraam and unlawful to view by a Muslim will be haraam to view via a television.’
It therefore means that since most of the shows on television are filled with nudity and many other haraam activities, it will be totally haraam to view these. Whatever is free from such unlawful contents, will be allowable. Muslims must therefore be guided by this principle and should not be so carefree as to think that looking at television is permissible in totality.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan