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Fasting in Islam is a powerful spiritual discipline. Its primary objective is to train the faithful spiritually and morally. Therefore, in order for us to reap true benefits of fasting, we must not only abstain from food and drink and sexual relations from dawn to dusk but also must shun all activities and behavior that erode or weaken the spirit of fasting. Proper fasting involves guarding our eyes, ears, hands, feet, as well as our minds against sins.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever does not shun foul words and acting accordingly, there is no need for him to deprive himself of food and drink." (Reported by Bukhari on the authority of Abu Hurayrah). He also said, "Fasting is a shield (against sins or vices); so if one of you is fasting, let him not engage in wrangling or foul or idle talks or deeds. If anyone scolds or ridicules him, let him not retaliate; rather he should simply say, I am fasting, I am fasting." (Reported by Muslim on the authority of Abu Huraryah)

Watching televisions is mostly accompanied with listening to music and watching movies. Most movies and programs on the televisions and satellites mostly consist of actors and actresses who are semi-nude in their dress code and mostly engage in acts such as kissing and hugging of another. Looking at such things even in seasons other than Ramadan is considered unlawful and while one is fasting may fall under the categories of either sins or idle deeds or behavior. According to Aishah, the beloved wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him), as well esteemed Imams such as Awzai and a number of scholars of the pious generations, activities such as backbiting, engaging in gossip, idle chats and activities will render one's fast null and void. Therefore, in their view, those who are guilty of such behavior must make up their fasts. Although the majority of scholars do not share the same view as far as breaking the fast is concerned, nevertheless, they also concur the fact that such activities do take away true rewards and blessings of fast.

It is therefore sincerely advised that one should shun watching such television programs that may expose one to deeds likely to deprived him/her of the spiritual bliss and reward of the fast, more especially in the blessed days of Ramadan, even if such programs are devoid of the above mentioned sins, it is considered a waste of one’s time.

Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, hence, one should exert much effort to make judicious use of his/her time in learning and studying the Glorious Qur’an, listening and pondering over its interpretations from learned scholars in Qur’anic interpretation circles if any, and also teaching it to his family.

Whilst we advise this, it is actually worth mentioning that, there is no blame on one to watch such television programs that is meant to educate Muslims and to give them insight on the essence of Ramadan. From Allah we seek pardon and aid, and His special salutations and benedictions be upon the prophet Muhammad, his family and all companions.


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