Among the many useless and detrimental things, which have taken quite a firm place in our homes today, one very common is the television. As Muslims, if we have the slightest knowledge of Islam and even if we possess a meager Iman, we have to admit that the TV’s effect in a Muslim life is extremely adverse. The uncontrollable flow of various programs through this device has nothing to improve our Iman (Faith) and Aamal (Good Deeds). Its major appeal covers only worldly affairs that have no single relation with our well-being – neither in this world nor in the afterlife.
What are the major programs in TV? News, documentaries, educational programs, advertisements, forums, talk-shows, cinema, cultural shows, sports and cartoons. What do these mainly comprise? No doubt, a large portion comprises crime reports, open discussions and comments, music, fictions, romance and violence. Major parts cover shameless acts that directly spoil human-morality which are represented under the hood of various entertainment programs; these are nothing but the appeal and act of shaytan. Even cartoons, which are meant for children, contain highly offensive contents today which inputs unrealistic and vulgar thoughts into the soft child brains allowing to build up a nonsense foundation of understanding life’s objective and aim. Even if a documentary or educational program is completely free from outward destructive issues, it is not at all free from the inward malice. Except a few, most knowledge and value such programs inject into us do not qualify to be beneficial. Islam does not permit a Muslim to accept the views and beliefs which oppose the Creator’s existence and doings. Documentaries and educational programs mostly oppose Allah سبحانه و تعالى to be the Creator, the Doer, the Sustainer and all in all. There is largely the representation of science and nature and the final appreciation is either attributed to some human being or the so-called mother nature – Allah سبحانه و تعالى is fully ignored. How can a Muslim say that such programs are still beneficial? If the lessons and conclusions of any discussion and program have nothing to do with connecting us to Allah سبحانه و تعالى even indirectly, rather playing a pivotal role to connect us with nature, science and worldly matters intensely, what good or benefit can they fetch in for us? Another common TV broadcast is the sports. Sports have largely attached many shameless things to it. Free mixing of men and women, the use of musical instruments, wasting the valuable time watching sports for long hours can never be considered positive. These are all directly opposite the teachings of Islam. Commercials and advertisements bear a great amount of haraam. Women are directly exposed as the means to attract products and services through these. Obscene, vulgarity and shamelessness all flock together in most of the TV ads.
The two major points which any “Muslim common-sense” would dictate regarding this box to be a supplier of evil-doings are: 1. distorting the righteous values and knowledge 2. wasting off the invaluable time in completely unworthy matters.
The first point directly relates to our Iman, the most precious possession of a Muslim. If we distort our values and knowledge we sacrifice our sacred belief and faith (based on the Holy Qur’an and Hadith) in return of completely wrong understanding and misconcepts. The second point directly relates to the Muslim life’s ultimate goal of life – worshipping Allah سبحانه و تعالى. When we engage ourselves on things which have nothing to do with obeying Allahسبحانه و تعالى, there is no form of worship present, we are definitely wasting our time.
Muslims who may be very strict and selective regarding TV programs are very very few in number. Even they cannot declare complete cleanliness of a TV’s use. For instance, ask someone who is exclusively viewing an Islamic channel, how much Islam has s/he learnt through the TV? How much has s/he been successful to keep himself/herself safe from seeing sinful things? When evil threats are high, the positives should not be accepted; there is every chance that the negatives will overpower our nafs (lower self).
A Muslim’s whole life encompasses the remembrance (Zikr) of Allah سبحانه و تعالى. Starting from all personal acts, interest, hobbies, household works, family and social issues, up to business, services and amusements whatsoever, are incorporated into a Muslim’s life under the condition of halal, “permissible acts” decreed by Allahسبحانه و تعالى. Undertaking the halal in all these worldly activities by forgoing the haram (forbidden) is also a form of remembrance (Zikr) of Allahسبحانه و تعالى. What form of remembrance (Zikr) of Allah سبحانه و تعالى does the TV give us which comprises programs encapsulated with music, cinemas, violence and fictitious programs? Islam always regard these as filth and opposing to morality, above all our Iman.
One of the major problems of the Ummah today is, we come up with excuses and logical explanations derived on the premise of our own perception, knowledge and experience. Most of us cannot easily “make a way out” from the habit and wrongdoing we are into. Therefore, whenever there is some ruling or commandment from the Holy Qur’an and AHadith announced or reminded, which is contrary to our regular habit, we just cannot accept it easily! We come up with our logic and arguments. May Allah سبحانه و تعالى Taala save us from being so debased and disgraced. Aameen.
One point is, not to abide by a ruling or commandment and another point is, besides not abiding by a ruling or commandment, taking a firm stance against it. The state of the second point will definitely take one out of the fold of Islam! Bearing the name of a Muslim and introducing oneself as a Muslim is just a ridicule in that case. If one does not abide by a ruling, s/he will not become kafir (disbeliever). However, if one does not admit that Allahسبحانه و تعالى’s command is supreme in all regard and if s/he denies any of His commands, this will make him/herkafir! May Allah سبحانه و تعالى save every of us from such a state that snatches away the invalualbe Iman! Aameen.