Is it Unlawful to Subscribe to Streaming Services That Have Unlawful Content?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

Is it unlawful to subscribe to streaming services that have unlawful content? Would I be sinful, and is it considered assisting in sinning?

What if we can not subscribe to them, but we must watch the ads first before watching the content, is this considered helping in sinning too?

Am I responsible for their sins, too, if someone watches something unlawful via the service because I subscribe to that service?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.

Suppose no impermissible elements are involved (which is usually the case in popular modern wrestling shows). In that case, it is lawful to watch within the reasonable limits of Sacred Law, and Allah knows best.

Wrestling

Wrestling as a sport is not unlawful as long as the wrestlers adhere to the limitations of Sacred Law, such as covering their nakedness.

The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) wrestled with Rukana, the most skilled wrestler of his time (may Allah be pleased with him. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) defeated Rukana and pinned him down. [Abu Dawud]

Watching Television

If, as you mentioned, they are fully covered, and there are no other unlawful elements, then watching it is lawful but within reasonable limits. Extramural activities which are lawful could become unlawful if they cause you to neglect your duties with Allah, and Allah knows best.

If you find that what you like to watch is unlawful, then (after turning to Allah for assistance) I would suggest that you find a lawful and healthy hobby or sport (like wrestling) to do as an alternative.

Please see the following relevant answers about watching television:

Can I Watch a Movie Using a Filter That Removes Sexual Scenes?
Is It Permissible to Look at Women Who Don’t Wear Hijab?
Is It Permissible To Watch Movies and Cartoons if I Fast-Forward the Kissing Parts?

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.