Q&A: Islamic Radio Stations

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Question:

Currently there are many radio stations in the country that operate as Islamic stations. There is conflicting advice with regards to listening to these stations. Some Ulama have totally condemned them while others actively support them. Yet a third view advises that since there is a mixture of good and evil that emanates from all the radio stations, one should take the good and reject the evil. What is your advice in this regard?

 

 

 

Answer:

Your question raises a very sensitive issue. The discussion of any sensitive issue is very often overshadowed by emotions. It is therefore necessary that the issue on hand be considered objectively and dispassionately so that one’s judgment is not clouded by emotions.

         You have cited different views of the Ulama. You are not sure which view to take therefore you want advice on the matter. From your question it is apparent that you prefer the advice of the Ulama. Thus you will be addressed with this in mind. If you are one who is not truly concerned about taking the guidance of the Ulama, but you take the views of all and sundry and then decide what suits you, this reply is not for you.

FUNDAMENTAL

Nevertheless, as an introduction, the following fundamental aspects must be kept in mind:

¨              We are the creation of Allah Ta’ala. Indeed, we are absolutely His slaves.

¨              As the slaves of Allah Ta’ala we are obliged and duty-bound to follow all His commands. Allah Ta’ala sent Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as a guide for all mankind. Thus we can only truly obey Allah Ta’ala by following the manner and way taught by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

¨              Allah Ta’ala alone is the Protector of His Deen. Merely as the apparent means, and as part of our test on earth, we have been given the responsibility to make an effort to safeguard the Deen of Islam and to spread it.

¨              Allah Ta’ala is not in need of us to violate his commands in order to help His Deen and in order to discharge the above duty.

¨              Our success in our endeavours, and especially our success on the Day of Judgment, will depend upon the extent that we have gained acceptance in the court of Allah Ta’ala. Acceptance in His court will be gained through obedience to Him in every aspect of our life.

¨              When something is done publicly in the name of Islam, it is meant to portray and propagate Deen in its pristine purity. Otherwise many unwary people will dwell under the misconception that the wrong that was done in the name of Islam is not wrong at all. Thus while many Muslims sadly engage in numerous sinful actions which must be rectified, a public expression of any violation of the Shariah in the name of Islam is a far more serious act which needs to be rectified to a much greater extent.

 

Having understood the above, let us briefly consider the radio stations that operate as “Islamic” stations. There are many perspectives from which this issue could be discussed. In this little pamphlet we will only deal with if from one perspective — the perspective of acquiring Deeni knowledge. (The aspects mentioned hereunder apply to the “Islamic” radio stations operating in the country in general, though every aspect may not necessarily be applicable to each station.)

               A variety of programs are broadcast on the “Islamic” airwaves. Some deal with mundane aspects while many are Deeni guidance and advice programs. In short, by and large the knowledge of Deen is disseminated on the airwaves.

 

BEWARE OF WHO YOU LEARN DEEN FROM

The knowledge of Deen is an important and delicate matter. Hazrath Ibn Sireen (R.A.), a great Muhaddith and Tabi’ee (one who had seen the Sahaaba [R.A.]) cautioned the one who seeks knowledge to ensure that he seeks it from the correct sources. He says: “Verily this knowledge (of Qur’an, Hadith and related aspects) is Deen. Therefore beware of who you acquire your Deen from” (Muqaddamah Sahih Muslim). The natural question that follows is: “Who should one take the knowledge of Deen from and who should one follow?” The answer is given by none other than the Glorious Qur’an. Allah Ta’ala declares: “And follow the path of those who have turned unto me” (Sura Luqman). Who are the people who have turned to Allah Ta’ala? They are the ones with regard to whom we beg in every rakaat of our Salaah to be guided to their path. In Sura Faatiha we beseech Allah Ta’ala thus: “Guide us to the Straight Path. The path of those whom you have favoured.” The Qur’an itself describes the people whom Allah Ta’ala has favoured as being the “Prophets, Siddiqs (those who have sacrificed everything for Deen), martyrs and the Saliheen (the pious friends of Allah Ta’ala).” Thus knowledge of Deen is not something to be acquired from all and sundry.

 

VARIOUS VIEWS AND BELIEFS

As far as “Islamic” radio stations are concerned, the presenters and guests are of various persuasions and ideologies, of differing views and convictions and even of diverse beliefs. Each person expresses his views and opinions in the name of Islam. Some present their ideas in a very articulate and convincing manner whereas many of their ideas clearly contradict the Qur’an and Sunnah. The listener who is not well-versed in the Qur’an and Sunnah is sometimes misled by the apparently convincing argument on the radio. In short, in most cases the listener does not know who he or she is acquiring the knowledge of Deen from whereas the great Tab’iee, Ibn Sireen (R.A.) has clearly cautioned us to beware of whom we acquire the knowledge of Deen from. A few examples to illustrate the above are enumerated hereunder:  

          The Qur’an-al-Kareem declares: “Verily the only Deen (acceptable) to Allah Ta’ala is Islam” (S3:V19). The very foundation of our Deen and the kalima of Islam proclaims that there is no deity but Allah. However, an “Islamic” radio presenter stated that “all people (Muslims, Christians, etc.) pray to a God, and it doesn’t matter which God it is!!!” While the presenter may not have meant that there is more than one deity, nevertheless what meaning does the undiscerning listener get from this statement?

           Various Ahadith declare that music and musical instruments are forbidden. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “I have been sent to destroy musical instruments” (Mishkaat). Presenters on some “Islamic” stations have propagated the contrary. Some “Islamic” stations also practice the contrary.

           Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said regarding the beard: “Lengthen the beard and shorten the moustache” (Sahih Muslim). The four great Imaams of the Hanafi, Shaafi, Maliki and Hambali schools of thought are unanimous that it is waajib to keep a beard at least to the extent of one fist. Furthermore, with regard to males lowering their garments below the ankles, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says: “Beware of lowering your garments below your ankles, for verily that is due to pride and Allah does not love pride” (Sahih Muslim). The Hadith also states: “Whatever portion of the foot below the ankles is covered by one’s garments will be in the fire” (Bukhari Shareef). The views on an “Islamic” radio station propagated the contrary with regard to both these aspects.    

 

The Qur’an and Sunnah prohibit intermingling of non-mahram males and females (men and women with whom marriage is not forbidden). The contrary is openly practiced and even promoted by some “Islamic” radio stations.

The Hadith declares the bazaars and market places to be the most detested place on earth. Thus one should go to the market place only out of necessity. Some “Islamic” radio stations establish bazaars as entertainment venues and encourage one and all to throng to them. At these venues in the name of Islam many un-Islamic activities take place.

 

JOKING AND CHUCKLING

Women are cautioned by the Qur’an-al-Kareem and prohibited from even talking in soft tones to strange men (non-mahrams) (S33:V32). On the contrary radio stations operating as Islamic have males and females simultaneously on air, at times joking and chuckling with one another. The message that this behaviour portrays to the undiscerning listener is that such conduct is acceptable, whereas it is certainly not so.

IMAAN ALMOST LOST

Of all the above aspects, the most dangerous aspect is that presenters or guests sometimes express views or utter statements which border on kufr. At times, the un-Islamic statements have been rebutted by others on air. The problem nevertheless is not over. Often a person becomes influenced by the falsehood uttered by somebody. The rebuttal is then given in a very scholarly manner which the influenced person does not manage to fully comprehend due to his ignorance. He thus remains entrapped in the falsehood. It is also possible that he may never have heard the rebuttal. His Imaan is thus left bruised and battered — and at times, due to entertaining beliefs bordering on kufr, his Imaan is almost lost.

Most “Islamic” radio stations pursue an “inclusive” policy. This means that all the various “groups” and people of different views and persuasions must be given an opportunity to air their opinions. As a result one will inevitably be confronted with some very serious baatil (falsehood), which due to the lack of knowledge, one may accept as truth. What then happens to one’s Imaan?

         Consider! Can one dare to risk falling victim to the above? Perhaps you may claim that you are a discerning listener. However, baatil is sometimes communicated very cunningly and convincingly. Without thorough knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah and the related aspects, you could fall victim to the false utterances of others.

      Thus, keeping in mind the principles mentioned at the beginning, and in the light of the situation described above, the safest thing for you to do is to switch off. If you have to listen to something, acquire cassettes of the talks of authentic, Allah-fearing personalities. Spend even a little while listening to such talks with respect and attention. Insha-Allah this will be greatly beneficial to you and you will also be saved from the numerous harms outlined above.

      May Allah Ta’ala guide us to His pleasure and save us from anything that distances us from Him and from the spirit of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) even to the extent of an iota. Aameen.

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