Giving parents advice regarding what they watch on gaming console
Fatwa No: 327880

Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. My father and stepmother had an old gaming console that I had given them. They used it for video entertainment and so on, with a lot of their entertainent being haram (music, unislamic shows, videos with unislamic content, and so on). I was ignorant back then and not pious. I did not have a clue that music and some things that they watched were impermissible, so I therefore did not give any da'wah (proselytization) to them. At present, I am pious, and I have given them da'wah on what they do and have explained to them that what they indulge in for entertainment is haram, but my father shuns it and is very argumentative, so I let it be. Moreover, my father recently complained that the system that I gave them was too slow, so I gave them my recent gaming system that I do not use anymore because the majority of the things that I did on it were haram, but when I gave it to them knowingly realizing that they would just use it to do the same things as on the previous system that I gave them (such as watching movies with music on them and haram things), I started getting worried that I will be responsible for their sins because I knew that they would be using it to do the same things. Nevertheless, when I gave it and set it up for them, I told them that whatever they do on it - and I told them that it is haram - I will not take the blame for it, and also that Allaah is witness to what I say. Nevertheless I am extremely worried and feel like I am going to become depressed because I gave them my gaming system while knowing that they would be doing the same things that they did on my older one even though I told them that I will not be responsible for what they do.

Answer

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

What you mentioned about declaring yourself free from what your father and stepmother do with the device while knowing that they will use it in what is forbidden does not free you from blame, but you are not sinful for what they watch after your repentance and your discontent with what they do, as the one who repents from sin is like the one who has never committed a sin.

Nonetheless, you should continue to advise them to stop watching forbidden programs.

It should also be noted that advising the parents is not like advising any other person; Ibn Muflih said:

(Imaam) Ahmad said about the narration of Yoosuf ibn Moosa, 'One should ordain the parents to do good and forbid them from doing evil.' He said in the narration by Hanbal [one of the students of Ahmad], 'If one sees his father do something that he abhors, then he should teach him without using any violence or abuse, and he should not speak to him harshly, otherwise he should let him be, because a parent is not like a stranger [i.e. a non-relative].'

Allaah knows best.

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