I work in a computer maintenance office and sometimes Muslims bring us computers that contain pornographic films, which are spread widely among the youths. Is it my right to delete these films from their computers? Or is it not my right because I have no authority over them?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered the one who sees an evil to change it physically with his hand if he was able to do so. If he could not, he should change it by his tongue (by advising and/or condemning), and finally by (detesting it with) his heart, and he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, informed that this is the weakest level of faith. [Muslim] Thus, it is obligatory for the one who can change evil with his hand to do so. The rule here depends on the capability of the changing the evil and the weight of benefits vs. harms when he changes such an evil.
Therefore, deleting these pornographic films from people's computers is a part of forbidding evil for which you will be rewarded. However, do not delete them if you know that deleting them will result in an evil greater than that of leaving them there; in such case you should forbid it with your tongue.
Allaah Knows best.
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