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The Third Parent

Muhammad Alshareef

category: Family Life


reads: 4391

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If we don’t know how to recite Qur’an, why aren’t we registering for a tajweed course at a Qur’an institute? If we don’t know the language of the Qur’an and Sunnah, why aren’t we registering for an Arabic program? If we don’t know about the life of RasulAllah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and his companions radi Allahu anhum why aren’t we attending the seerah and fiqh classes in our localities?

Also, with regards to TV, we should remember that Allah tells us in the Qur’an:

"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, Allah is all-aware of what they do." [An-Noor 24/30]

How do reconcile these verses with the television that assaults our eyes with haram almost every second that it is on?

Who hasn’t heard of Cupid? They portray him 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 RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam told us, "Verily the ‘look’ is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of Iblees!"

Shaykh At-Tahhaan once narrated an incident to his students:

It was late at night when Shaykh At-Tahhaan’s phone rang. This Muslimah whispered into the phone, 'Is this Shaykh At-Tahhaan?'

He 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 children’s father bought a TV and video machine two days ago. Tonight I found my young son practicing the haram that he saw on his younger sister! ' Then she collapsed sobbing again.

Everything starts with a look. Big fires start with a little spark.

PART II: Turn Off TV, Turn On Life

After a grueling first year in the Faculty of Shari’ah at the Islamic University in Madinah, I came home to Canada where I spoke to a friend whom I hadn’t 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 Shaafi’ee said…" and "Imam Abu Hanifah said…" It was this ignorance that Shaykh Abdul Muhsin 'Al-Abbaad referred to when he would say "We ask Allah ta’aala to increase us in it’s ignorance."

Some people argue that TV is just a harmless avenue of entertainment and that no one should make a big deal about it. It is interesting however that we see in Shari’ah that what is more deadly than haram is bid’ah. Why you ask? Because when someone does something 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. Bid’ah, 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 a lack of motivation.

Other people say that they have a TV for the news and Islamic or educational programs. But we have to honestly ask ourselves – is there no other avenue to get the news? Is there no other means by which a child can be educated and stimulated to learn?

Didn’t anyone ask why we get all this 'free' TV? What does the TV sell? No it doesn’t sell Coke or Nike or McDonalds burgers; it sells the audience, it sells you to advertising companies! Why do you think they charge $1 million for 30 seconds of advertising in a Superbowl game?

Consider these facts:

Brand loyalty starts at age 2. They can snatch a child into a lifetime of allegiance to their product from that tender age. How old were you when you started loving Coke or Pepsi?

On average, a viewer watches 20,000 commercials each year. If we repeated a page of Qur’an to you that many times, do you think you would memorize it?

This is just regarding the products. But what about the aqeedah that we are being exposed to on TV. A whole stack of beliefs gets fed to us every time our children sit to watch and listen to their third parent. Where are the horrific stats for that?

Go to a lecture where the imam is talking about women’s rights in Islam. Listen to the Muslim males and females debate with the imam. Where do they get their points? Why do they become so hostile towards anything that contradicts the western view of women’s rights? Why is there no hostility towards the western view? Most of it was learned on TV, the rest was learned in the public school curriculum.

If this is the programming, the brain washing of our youth, then how can they be reprogrammed when they prefer the TV over anyone else. It is a fact that more than half of American children would rather watch TV than spend time with their mother or father.

In a survey which asked children what the one thing is which they would sacrifice their favorite TV shows for, many replied that if there was 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 is a list of other things that you can do instead of being shackled to the TV:

  • Play outdoor games and exercise outdoors or at home.
  • Build extra curricular skills, such as martial arts or calligraphy or sewing.
  • Visit the library.
  • Take on a job, which will ensure that you become serious about life and work.
  • Do acts of worship like dhikr, salah, reciting Qur’an, fasting, and reflecting on the signs of Allah and His creation.
  • Adopt an Islamic cause in the place where you live, and take part in it, such as teaching Muslim girls.
  • Support an Islamic magazine by writing and sending articles, statistics and useful information of interest concerning Muslims in the west.
  • Take part in charitable projects to help Muslim orphans, widows, divorcees and the elderly, or join a committee to help organize social programs and celebrations for Muslims on Eid.
  • Find righteous friends to meet with and good neighbors to visit.
  • Read Islamic books in particular and useful stories in general.
  • Take part in da’wah activities and preschool programs in Islamic centers.
  • Listen to tapes and lectures, write summaries of them, and distribute the summaries to anyone who could benefit from them.
  • Cook items to be sold to raise funds for the Islamic center.
  • Take an interest in computers and computer programs. This is a vast field that can fill a lot of time, and the computer can be used to do a lot of good things as well as providing entertainment in the form of permissible games.

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 its place shall be something that we left behind; let that be something good and beneficial.

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