The Third Parent
The Danger of Television
By Muhammad ash-Shareef
Verily! Hearing, Sight, and the heart, all will be questioned (by Allâh).
And as Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, on the Day of Repayment, no one will move until they are asked about three things, one of them being ... "his youth - what did he exhaust it with?"
A close friend of mine told me his experience when leaving Canada to go overseas and study Islam. He said that he went to a person's house to say Salaam to the family and as he left he noticed the son - who was 7 years old at the time - slacked out on his stomach, chin locked in his two hands, staring deathly at the TV. He says, when he returned after a full 4 years, he entered the same house and found the same boy slacked out on his stomach, chin locked in his two hands, staring deathly at the TV - only now he was 4 years older.
Today - insha'Allah - we would like to speak about TV and it's dark side. It is not our intention to make you race home to throw the TV off the balcony - although that would be nice. It is our hope that you will leave today insha Allah with a better understanding of the destructive nature the TV has on a persons life and hereafter, not only his own, but also his family and children.
In Qawaa'id Fiqhiyyaah there is a principle that says, Al Waasaail takhudhu Hukm al-Ghaayaat that The means takes the same ruling as the intention of what is trying to be attained. A television set, with the wires, screen, box, and plug is nothing more than a means. It is what is trying to be attained by that box that makes it Haram or Halal. Similar to a gun, something that can be used for noble purposes, such as defending ones land from aggression, or can be a means of considerable harm - especially when given to a child.
In an Arab ESL class, the teacher - as his opening class - would ask the students what English words were taken from the Arabic. A few hands would jerk up and say things like, Chemistry from Keemiyaa, Algebra from AlGebr, Physics from Feesiyaa, etc. Then he would interestingly ask them what Arabic words were taken from the English, the answers come quick, Raadiyo from Radio, Dosh from Satellite Dish, and of course Tilfaaz from TV.
What did the west take from us, and what did we take from them?
Hence Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Fataawa 3/227:
"With regard to television, it is a dangerous device and its harmful effects are very great, like those of the cinema, or even worse.
We know from the research that has been written about it and from the words of experts in Arab countries and elsewhere enough to indicate that it is dangerous and very harmful to Islamic beliefs (aqeedah), morals and the state of society.
This is because it includes the presentation of bad morals, tempting scenes, immoral pictures, semi-nakedness, destructive speech, and Kufr.
It encourages imitation of their conduct and ways of dressing, respect for their leaders, neglect of Islamic conduct and ways of dressing, and looking down on the scholars and heroes of Islam. It damages their image by portraying them in an off-putting manner that makes people despise them and ignore them.
It shows people how to cheat, steal, hatch plots and commit acts of violence against others.
Without doubt, anything that produces so many bad results should be stopped and shunned, and we have to close all the doors that could lead to it. If some of our brothers denounce it and speak out against it, we cannot blame them, because this is a part of sincerity towards Allaah and towards other people."
In Sahih Al-Bukhaari, when Guraayj was praying and his mother called him, he said to himself, O Allah, my Salah or my mother? He did not know whether to continue his prayer or discontinue it and reply the wishes of his Mother. She cursed him. And her curse was one that we may inadvertently be doing to our children the day we sanctioned the introduction of the third parent called TV. She said, May you see a prostitute! She did not say, may there be any relationship between you and a prostitute, no she just said may you see one. HOW many times has the main theme of prime time TV revolved around prostitutes? HOW MANY TIMES have our children witnessed it? How many times have they been cursed to be in such a situation?
Abdullaah ibn Umar - radi Allahu anhu - once passed by some people killing time by playing chess. He became shocked at what was happening and angrily said to them - quoting the verse of Quran, What are these IDOLS that you are standing in vigilance over? What would he think if he saw the Ummah and its welcomed hug in most Muslim homes?
When a Muslim nation watches their country play in the world cup, over 3 million Muslims from that one country tune in. Times that by the duration of the match, 3 hours, and youll have 9 million hours of the Ummahs time wasted on a football game. In one sweeping night. If Karl Marx said in 1844 that Religion is the opium of the masses, then what about TV?
Dear brothers and sisters, Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, The person shall be (on the day of Judgement) with those that they love. Tell that to a Muslim child, that on the Day of judgement, if they love Michael Jordan sooo much theyll get to be with him on that horrific day. Its sad, but most Muslim children would get happy and excited about the prospect - isnt that enough to strike fear into our hearts? Who are the Muslim children really going to be with on the Day of Repayment? Most of them cannot tell you the names, just the names, of those people that we hope them to be with!
Lets ask ourselves, if we gave a chance for our sons or daughters to put up a poster of their hero, the one whom they think is the coolest - would it be their father or mother? Would it be the Prophet or his Companions? OR would it be a basketball player that he saw on TV? Or an actor (even cartoon) that he saw on TV? Or a model that she saw on TV? Or a musician that he/she saw on TV? Who would it be?
Ok, the TV is monitered in the house by the parent, correct? (95% of parents with children eight years old and up dont monitor). Now what happens if the parent dies on the way to work one day and the children inherit the TV? Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, There is not a single shepherd (Ameer) that Allah entrusted with a flock - who dies and in a state where he cheated them - except that Allah shall forbid him from entering paradise! The Ulumaa would quote this hadith in light of the father in a Muslim country that would allow a Satellite Dish to enter his family which Allah entrusted him with.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are not here on earth to entertain ourselves to death. We are an Ummah with a Risaalah! When Ribee ibn Aamir - radi Allahu anhu - stood in the hands of the king of Persia, he announced the message as clear and as proud as every Muslim should,
Allah sent us to rescue humanity from slavery to slaves - to the slavery of the Lord of all slaves; And to rescue them from the choke of the material life to the expanse of this life and the next, and from the corruption of the cults to the justice of Islam!
If we dont know how to read Quran, why arent we registering for the Quran institute here at Al-Huda. If we dont know the language of the Quran and Sunnah, why arent we registering for the Arabic institute? If we dont know about the life of Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - and his companions - radi Allahu anhum - why arent we coming to the Seerah and Fiqh classes on Fridays and Saturdays?
Doesnt Allah taala tell us in the Quran:
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do.
How do reconcile those verses with the television that assaults our eyes with Haram almost every second that it is on? How do we reconcile it?
Have you heard of Cupid? Of course we have. They portray Cupid in cartoons and comedies as a chubby child with wings who is supposed to be the Angel of Love, shooting arrows of love when the male looks at the female. Rather dear brothers and sisters, it is Iblees! For Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - told us, "Verily the look is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of Iblees!
Shaykh At-Tahhaan once told his students, It was late at night when our phone rang one day. This Muslimah whispered into the phone, Is this Shaykh At-Tahhaan? I said, Yes it is me. She kept saying is it really you? And he said, Yes, what is wrong? At that she just started sobbing and sobbing into the phone. After some time, she explained, The childrens father bought a TV and video 2 days ago. Tonight I found my young son practicing the Haraam that he saw on his younger sister! Then she collapsed sobbing again.
Everything starts with a look / and big fires start from a little spark
Turn OFF TV, Turn ON Life
After a grueling first year in the Faculty of Shariah, I came home to Canada where I spoke to a friend whom I hadnt spoken to for over a year. In the conversation he said, Last night on TV Seinfeld said... I was puzzled and realized that for an entire year I had not heard anything other than Imam Shaafiee said, and Imam Abu Hanifa said. It was an ignorance that as Shaykh Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbaad would say that "we ask Allah taala to increase us in its ignorance."
Some people argue that TV is just a harmless avenue of entertainment and that there should not be a big deal made about it. It is interesting however that we see in Shariah that what is more deadly than Haram is Bidah. Why you ask? Because when someone does Haram like eating pork, he knows it is Haram and that one day it is hoped that knowledge will lead him to fear Allah and refrain. Bidah - on the other hand - is something a person does with the hope of reward from Allah, something that the person considers to be harmless. It is deadlier because the chances of this person correcting the situation are less due to the ignorance which causes lack of motivation.
Other people will say that we have a TV for the news and Islamic or educational programs? Dear brothers and sisters, is there no other avenue to get the news? Is there no other means by which a child can be educated and stimulated to learning?
Didnt anyone ask why we get all this FREE TV? What does the TV sell? No it doesnt sell Coke or Nike or McDonalds burgers, it sells the AUDIENCE to ADVERTISING COMPANIES! Why do you think they charge $1 million for 30 seconds of advertising in a Superbowl game?
Consider these facts:
This is just for the products, what about the Aqeedah that they are being taught, a whole stack of beliefs that gets fed to them every time they sit to listen to their third parent. Where are the horrific stats for that?
To give just a simple example that we all know, go to a lecture where the Imam is talking about womens rights in Islam. Listen to the Muslim males and females debate with the Imam. Where did they get their points? Where did they become so hostile to anything that contradicts the Western view of womens rights? Why is there no hostility to the Western view?
Most of it was learnt on TV, the rest was learnt in the public school curriculum.
If this is the programming, the brain washing of our youth, then where shall they be reprogrammed when they prefer the TV over anyone else? Dear brothers and sisters, it is a fact that more than half of American children would rather watch TV than spend time with their mother or father.
After surveying a lot of young children and asking them what is the one thing that they would sacrifice their favorite TV shows for, many replied that if there were some sort of outside activity they would give preference to that. Meaning, if someone took them by the hand and organized some after school activities they would embrace the idea.
Here are some other things that you can do instead of being shackled to the TV. The option is yours:
In conclusion dear brothers and sisters, today is the beginning of a new day. Allah gave us this day to use as we will. We can waste it or use it for something good and beneficial.
But let us know that what we do today is important because we are exchanging a day of our life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; and in it's place shall be something that we left behind ... lets let it be something good and something beneficial.