The eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, on the issue of watching TV has stated that: “TV, radio, magazines and newspapers are used for many purposes. We cannot qualify them as good or evil, lawful or unlawful. It depends on the way they are used and on the quality of programs and information they present. For instance, a weapon used by a person in fighting in Allah’s Cause can be used by another person to commit crimes. Therefore, it appears that a single tool can be used for various purposes.
This is applied to the case at hand. TV, like radios and newspapers, greatly contributes to mental, spiritual, psychological, ethical and social enhancement but it can also be greatly corrupting. This goes back to the quality of the programs it presents.
In brief, I can say that TV as well as all means of media presents good and evil and what is lawful and unlawful. The Muslim in this case is to judge the situation by himself. He can watch TV when it presents good and Islamically interesting program and put it off when it presents the otherwise. He can watch it to have updated news and follow other cultural, religious educational, and other lawful programs. Kids also can watch cartoon and other benefiting programs.
What is not permissible is to watch corrupting films that are full of obscene scenes, or films that give full vent to the Western idea of boy-girl friendship and extramarital affairs, etc. These films only aim at teaching vices, and they encourage drinking wine and licentious dancing.
That is why many religious people do not allow these devices to enter their homes for they cause greater harm than its benefits and so they are considered unlawful especially that they have great effects on souls, minds and feelings.
There is no doubt that a great caution should be demonstrated regarding these devices. Yet the problem is that these means of media have become indispensable, given the good effects they sometimes have in imparting knowledge. That is why, as I have said, one should be very cautious in using them, i.e., whenever there is good stuff being presented on TV, there is nothing wrong in watching it, but a good Muslim should put it off the moment it presents licentious materials. The same is true for magazines.
Besides, if a person sees that he cannot exercise restraint or apply methods of regulating when and how he makes use of these means of media, then it’s better for him not to have them at home, in a way of blocking channels of evil. That’s my opinion on this issue.
I would like to add that the greatest responsibility falls on the state authorities in general and on those who are in charge of mass media in particular. Allah Almighty would question them as regards all the messages they convey to people and all the programs presented via means of media.