Selling and renting videos

Reference: Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., – Volume 13, Page 47, Question 1 of Fatwa No.8162

Question: I would like to open up a video store to sell and rent only tapes which are permitted by the Ministry of Information [in Saudi Arabia], whilst adhering to the teachings [of Islaam] and not opposing anything in the Sharee’ah. So is this or the sustenance I earn from this haraam?

Knowing that I do not want to do anything that will earn the anger of Allaah?

And the business of [dealing in] videos has become the only trade in which there is little initial investment, not requiring major funds. [So] I require your advice regarding this subject, because I am uncertain about it.

Response: It is not to be said that videos, radios, televisions and their like from media equipment are in themselves halaal nor haraam, because they are [merely] machines. Rather, that which the ruling is based on is whatever it is used for. So if it is used for completely or mostly haraam purposes, then it is haraam, otherwise it is halaal. And based upon this, if you are going to use the video only for good [purposes] as you state, then it is good, otherwise it is bad.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet ﷺ and his family and his companions.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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