Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
What is the ruling on watching television?
Televisions and its like, such as screens of computers, that display numerous programs are not haram in themselves, but what is haram is showing programs that go against the shari`ah, such as showing women who are dressed and undressed, the drinking of alcohol, relations of love and intimacy that are against the shari`ah, and singing that is accompanied by haram music. Showing all of these things is haram and so is looking at them.
As for programs that don’t contain any of these forbidden things, it is not haram to show them, nor to look at that them, especially if there is religious benefit in it, such as lessons from the sirah and the like. Or even if there is worldly benefit such as programs about culture and thought that have a purpose. It is best for a Muslim to act with wisdom as much as he can to keep his children from being attached to the television, because it is obvious that its evil is widespread and its corruption is far worse than its benefits and that most of it is not free of the haram.
What could be worse for Muslims and their homes than television? For the limits of its evil are not just showing morally depraved pictures, but rather it carries something very dangerous for the youth and others which cultivates blameworthy character and belittles the gravity of disobedience by way of showing things like television series [s. such as sitcoms, soap operas and reality shows] and western and eastern movies. And Allah is the helper and only through Him is success for the best of states, Glorious is He.
[Faraz: some useful links on TV:
Television: Special Issues for Young Children
Children and TV Violence
by way of analogy, consider its effects on morality and values
Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television A Review
– Amjad Rasheed
(Translated by Sr. Shazia Ahmad)