Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Can we handle the truth?

In the Name of Allah,

All praise is due to Allah, the creator the sustainer.

I received an email from a very active brother, who is very sincere in his intentions, but he mentioned that he was using Jadoo TV, and he advised me to get it as well. I politely replied to him that Jadoo TV is haram as it provides a way for people to steal programming from channels that don't allow distribution. Surprisingly, he defended the use of this illegal service.

He claimed to follow the truth, but when I explained the reason why it is Haram for Muslims to use stolen services, he could not handle it. If we claim to teach truth, we should be able to handle the truth, even if it is unpleasant. Reminds me of the famous line from a movie "You can't handle the truth!"

Then, I mentioned this to another young brother, and he was surprised to hear that. Then, he mentioned to another brother in the Masjid, and he got a strong response to this, in defense of Jadoo TV. So, he called me and asked me if I researched and have proof of what I say. Only Allah knows if it is true, but following is what I told him.

Jadoo TV does not provide channels, but provide a box that amplifies a video stream from internet to the TV. It is completely legal. Then, they provide a user forum which allows anyone to upload a live stream, which is also legal, because there are many channels that stream for free on the internet.

Now, most of the channels that are being hosted there are ilelgally streamed. For example, Geo TV, Fox News, Sky News are a few to name. These channels (Muslim and Non-Muslim) do not allow to stream their programming over the internet let alone distribute to homes. People who are buying these boxes are not buying for the legal channels, but for those premium channels that are available through satelite with a cost.

I called them at 619-523-6688 and asked them how can they allow illegal streaming. Their answer was very clever. They said that we don't control the forum, so if users post ilelgal content, it is up to them. They also have the following on their legal disclaimer page.

They know that the reason people are joining in is to watch premium channels for free, but they hide behind a disclaimer. Also, they make it impossible to report it by refusing to accept reports unless you own that channel. I am not able to confirm this, but Geo TV is already taking legal actions against them.

Improtant thing to note is that they may or may not be protected by their lawyers, but we are commiting haram act, rergardless, if we watch these channels knowingly that we are not paying the monthly subscription.

Let us prove this calim now that to use this service is haram from three different Sharia point of views.

1) It is illegal to stream, distribute, and watch these channels in this fashion, according to law of the land, and Islam prohibit us from breaking the law of the land.

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “It is necessary upon a Muslim to listen to and obey the ruler, as long as one is not ordered to carry out a sin. If he is commanded to commit a sin, then there is no adherence and obedience.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2796 & Sunan Tirmidhi)

2) These programming are property of those channels, and if we watch them without their permission, we are utilizing their property without their consent. Think of breaking into your neighbours car, and take it for a spin. Distrusting someone's property is prohibited in Islam.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time, he is doing it, and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery. (Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 655)

3) By people switching to this service versus purchasing the subscription from DishNetwork, they are hurting them financially. As you know, hurting another human (except for three allowable reasons) in Sharia is prohibited.

، أيها الناس إن دماءكم وأموالكم عليكم حرام إلى أن تلقوا ربكم كحرمة يومكم هذا ، وكحرمة شهركم هذا ، وإنكم ستلقون ربكم فيسألكم عن أعمالكم وقد بلغت ، فمن كان عنده أمانة فليؤدها إلى من ائتمنه عليها ، وإن كل ربا موضوع ولكن لكم رءوس أموالكم لا تظلمون ولا تظلمون

“O People! just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every one as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds." (Last Sermon Prophet (PBUH) Mutwatir hadith)

When Prophet (PBUH) was leaving this earth, he had a final chance to teach us the most important thing we needed to know. There were thousands of Muslims standing listening to his words. He knew that whatever he said in that occassion will echo in the world till the last day. So, the above is his opening statement. He chose to give us the ultimate order from Allah, which is not to pray salat, or fast, or zikr of Allah, or fight the kuffar.

He ordered us to respect the life and property of every Human (muslim or kuffar) as we respect Kaba. He ordered us to hurt no Human (Muslim or Kafir) (physically or ecomomically.
He used the arabic word "An'Nas" which means mankind, not "Muslimeen" or "Mu'mineen". So, don't be decieved by Satan in thinking he was talking about only Muslims.

After we have established that it is haram to use this service, it is always our choice to use haram, and give haram to our kids and spouses, but defending it to be halal is whole another level of sin.

Personally, I have done this also by watching cricket match on the internet, and I ask Allah's forgiveness for that, and I am trying to avoid this. Someone close to me does this on a daily basis from youtube, and last night I explained this to them as well.

We all make mistakes, no one should ask anyone to be perfect, but we should accept the truth when it is presented to us, and not defend the falsehood, because that doubles down on our sins.

I ask you brothers and sisters. What would you do if you see someone disrespecting Kaba. Would you stop him or her? Would you look the other way? Would you give him a chance to change his or her mind? No, ofcourse not.

So, why is that when we see someone stealing someones property or hurting someone, physically, verbally, or ecomomically, we are not stopping them with our hands, or our tongues, or atleast accept that it is a sin?

There are people among us, Muslims, who are killing innocents humans, and fellow Muslims, and we read it in the nespaper, and move on to our daily routine. Of course there are Non-Muslims who are killing Muslims as well, but they don't have Islam or the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as we do. If we return tit for tat, who would establish Islam, who would follow this order from Prophet (PBUH)?

Then, there are among us, who hurt people by deceiving humans into buying faulty products. They will not explain in their stores, the defects in the products. They should know better.

Then, there are among us who buy illegal cable boxes to avoid paying monthly subscriptions. And, on top of that they will consider it halal. It is stealing to stream content of channels that don't allow streaming. Jadoo TV is facilitating streaming of Geo TV, Fox News, CNN, etc which are the property of someone, and we are not suppose to use them without their permissions. It hurts them financially. It creates a society of thieves in our homes.

Then, there are among us who would follow the people from airport and rob them on gun point. This is so common in Pakistan, that I don't even need to explain it.

Then, there are among us who use their connections to get jobs for their relatives, and hurt more qualified candidates. May Allah destroy this trend.

Then, there are among us who use their political influence to get goverment lands or contracts, and hurt the process where others rights are opressed.

Then, there are among us who cut people off on the road. Is this the character of the one we follow? Do we only follow him in long beard and traditional clothing?

Then, there are among us who park their car blocking the path without any regards for other traffic. In the Taraweeh? let alone somewhere else. Always think twice, if our action will hurt someone.

Wallah! The list is too long. The list is too long. The list is too long.

In the Name of my Lord, these may be small for us, but they accumulate over time, and Allah has promised to account for everything as small as atom weight.

Let us promise ourselves to stop taking life or property of another Human, and stop hurting other innocent humans (Muslims or NonMuslims). Ameen!

JazakAllah Khairin
A struggling Muslim


  1. ASA,
    I stubmbled on this 6 year old post today. I was considering getting Jadoo TV and my research brought me here. I thank Allah for it. And you brother AbuArman. I had my reservations about Jadoo TV and needless to say I will not be getting It.
    Sometimes someone has to hold a mirror to us to make us realize the truth.
    We make it sound so harmless to use these devices to save some money. We think of ourselves as so clever but Satan is the clever one. He makes us sin while suppressing our sense of morality.
    We boast to each other in gatherings "Look I am getting all channels for free" but it is stealing as You said. It is the same as saying hey guys I am a thief. If we think of it, in the grand scheme of things these programs are not that important anyway.

    I absolutely agree with all other points you made which stem from the same mindset but escalate quickly into horrific actions.

    Thank you for posting. May Allah give you ajar.

  2. Jadoo also carries many free-to-air channels as well, which are not available in other parts of the world at all. Since the channel is already free, this is the only case where Jadoo makes sense.