The Destructive Phase of the Television

Television has become the most common way of entertainment and amusement today. It has replaced many physical activities, like sports and reading, which were previously utilized by people to spend their free time. However, television is not the correct substitute for the activities, which besides entertaining also enhance skills and talents.
Researches performed on the impact of television undoubtedly prove its ill effects upon its viewers! Moreover, most part of the entertainment programs displayed on television transgress Islaamic bounds…

The Messenger of Allaah said: “Everything with which a man amuses himself is Baatil (baseless, null and impermissible) - except three, his practicing with bow (and arrow); his training the horse and his playing with his family” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]. This Hadeeth encourages the Muslims to choose amusements that benefit him, either by improving skills or strengthening family ties. Television, on the other hand, severs family bonds. Television programs dealing with family and personal matters suggest a lifestyle far from reality; single parent families, children out of wedlock, continuous disputes and problems are publicized as normal way of life and divorce is portrayed as the easiest way out! Islaam does not allow any amusement, which make people negligent of Allaah. Television does not only make one negligent of Allaah's remembrance, but it also makes people negligent of their obligatory duties, especially the Salaah (prayer). Television transmits fictitious stories, which greatly attract the viewers, as it takes one away from the reality into the world of desires and fantasy. Islaam is in strong opposition to such illusions, because illusions make man negligent of death and Hereafter. The Prophet said: “Make mention of the destroyer of desires (i.e. death) very often” [(Hasan) at-Tirmidhee no: 2049, and Ibn Majah no: 4258].

Destruction of Aqeedah

Television also destroys the Muslim's Aqeedah, Character, Health, Wealth, and it has also become a cause of wasting time, as we shall see in the following: Television displays images and stories of Shirk, un-Islaamic cultures and rituals that inevitably influence the viewer's belief. Many Muslims have been lead to believe in the false ideas and beliefs presented on the television - the proof for this is the increasing number of un-Islaamic beliefs that are rampant in the Muslim society, like spirit possession, belief in good luck charms and amulets, belief in auspiciousness and inauspiciousness of particular days and numbers, belief in fortune telling and astrology, etc.

Sometimes, television propagates false ideas and beliefs in such subtle way that the viewer learns them unknowingly, especially in children programs, where 'super heroes', like superman, etc. are often portrayed as the saviors of the Universe and its inhabitants, who reach anywhere and everywhere to help people and protect them from dangers!! Such ideas corrupt the basic beliefs of Islaam that Allaah Alone is the Ruler and Savior of mankind and He alone can protect the people from all harm.

So, television can gradually destroy our and subsequently ruin our Hereafter, because is the foundation of Islaam. It is necessary that the be free from all un-Islaamic influences, in order to escape the Hell-Fire. This requires that we avoid all chances and means that cause danger to our - one of which is watching television!

One should not only be concerned about his beliefs and actions, but he should also take precautions to safeguard the of his family members, since on the Day of Judgment, everybody will be accounted for his actions and the actions of those under his guardianship. Allaah says in the Qur'aan: “Oh you who believe, save yourselves and your families from the fire which is fueled by men and stones. Over it are Angels who are stern, and strong, who do not disobey Allaah's orders and they do what He orders” [Soorah at-Tahrim (66): 6] The Messenger of Allaah said: “Every one of you is a protector and a guardian of his immediate charge and is responsible for the actions of those people who are committed to his charge. A man is a guardian in respect to the family members of his house. A woman is a guardian in respect to her husband's house and his children.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim] Aqeedah

Destruction of Islaamic Morals

Immoral behavior, violence, crime, music, singing, use of tobacco, alcohol and cigarette are some of the many un-Islaamic behaviors taught by the Television. Especially children, television teaches them to lie, cheat and steal from early ages!

Music is an integral part of television - Allaah's Messenger said: “Verily, I forbid two voices, which are imbecilic and sinfully shameless; one, a voice (of singing) accompanied by musical instruments and Shaytaan's wind instrument…” [al-Hakim] Scholars mention many wisdom behind the prohibition of music, like music sprouts hypocrisy, prevents the heart from Allaah's remembrance, excites sinful desires, etc. but the fact that Allaah's Messenger called it the voice of Shaytaan should be enough for the believer to understand the great harm and
danger associated with music!

Advertisements on television fully exploit female voice and use semi-nude female pictures to promote and sell their products. Whereas, Islaam has even prohibited the women to speak in soft voice with the strangers, Allaah says: “…be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in a honorable manner.” “…come not near to . Verily, it is (immoral sin) and an evil way.” [Soorah al-Ahzab (33): 32]

Immodesty, nudity and free mixing of men and women are the most apparent evil spread by the television. Islaam teaches that modesty is a part of and prohibits the mixing of sexes. But television puts great emphasis on
immorality and fornication (zina) regarding which Allaah says in the Qur'aan, “…come not
near to . Verily, it is (immoral sin) and an evil way.” [Soorah al-Isra (17): 32]

Islaam does not only consider the actual act of fornication to be zina, but Allaah's Messenger said: “The zina of the eyes is the gaze (at which is unlawful, e.g. Nudity); the zina of the ears is to listen (to the unlawful, e.g. talks of nudity which excite illicit desires, music, etc.); the zina of the tongue is to speak (what is evil); the zina of the hand is to touch (the female who is unlawful to you); the zina of the feet is to walk (towards unlawful); the zina of the heart is to desire (what is unlawful) and it is the private parts which either commit or shuns the actual act of fornication.” [Saheeh Muslim]

So, watching nudity and evils displayed on television is of the eyes, listening to them is of the ears, and the illicit desires aroused by them means of the heart. Allaah says: “Verily! Hearing, Sight, and the heart, all will be questioned (by Allah).” [Soorah al-Isra (17): 36]

Imaam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) writes, 'the person will be asked about them (all parts of the body) on the Day of Resurrection, and they (all parts of his body) will be asked about him and what did he do with them?' Repeatedly watching the evil displayed on television so adversely influence the viewer's mind that he considers them to be the acceptable mode of behavior, he gradually looses his Haya (modesty, shame and shyness) and imitates the evil. Allaah's Messenger said:“… If you do not have , then do whatever you want.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

Imaam an-Nawawi (rahimahullah) said in the commentary of this Hadeeth, “When he looses his Haya, he will freely indulge in what Allaah has prohibited. This is similar to the Hadeeth, “…Let him take his seat in Hell-Fire.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim] meaning he will take his seat in the Fire… what prevents a person from indulging in sin is al-Haya that he has. When he abandons al-Haya, he will be like the one whose character and habits order him to indulge in every type of evil.” Researches testify to the fact that many people actually enact the crime and violence displayed on television!

Destruction of Wealth

Wealth is a trial from Allah, and the believers are expected to earn it from lawful means and also spend it in the lawful needs, otherwise, wealth can become a source of misery in the Hereafter.

Allaaah says in the Qur'aan: “And among mankind are those who purchase Lahwal-Hadis (idle talk) so as to lead astray (others) from the Path of Allaah. And they make a mockery of the laws of Allah. To them, there is a graceful punishment… Give them the news of a painful punishment.” [Soorah Luqman (31): 6-7] Ibn
Mas'oud commented about the verse saying this (Lahwal-Hadis) refers to singing. Ibn Jarir (rahimahullah) said about this verse that it (Lahwal-Hadis) means all speech that hinder people from seeing the signs of Allaah and
following His Path. Other scholars explain that this verse was revealed to prohibit music and stories imported from
Persia, since they divert man's attention from the remembrance of Allaah and take him into the realm of imagination. -- Television consist all these evil -- Therefore, purchasing television is purchasing Lahwal-Hadis , which is spending wealth in the unlawful and thus destruction of wealth.

Allaah's Messenger said: “The servant of Allaah will remain standing on the Day of Judgment until he is questioned about… his wealth, from where he acquired it and in what way he spent it…" [At-Tirmidhee]

Destruction of Time & Health

People spend hours watching television, which is damaging to the physical and mental health. It also increases obesity, which is the root cause of many treacherous diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Television causes laziness and inefficiency in people. Students spend more time watching television and neglect studies and learning.

We should realize that time and health are two great blessings of Allaah for which Allaah will account us on the Day of Resurrection. The Messenger of Allaah said: “The servant of Allaah will remain standing on the Day of
Judgment until he is questioned about his life, how he spent it” [at-Tirmidhee] It is therefore necessary that we make good use of our time and health and perform those acts, which will benefit us in the Hereafter. Allaah's
Messenger has warned us against spending time and health foolishly, he said: “There
are two blessings that many people lose, health and free time.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee] and: “Lose no time to do good work before you are caught up by one of the seven calamities… A starvation which may ruin your wisdom, or a prosperity which may mislead you, or an ailment which may damage your health, or an old age which may harm your senses, or a sudden death or the appearance of Dajjal. All these are bad events which may be awaited; or the Doomsday, but this Day is indeed very hard and bitter.” [At-Tirmidhee (2408)]

The Only Solution: Turn Off the Television

The only solution to escape the enormous dangers of television is to completely abandon it. Islaam not only forbid violating the laws of Allaah, but also condemns all means that may lead to it. For example, Allaah says about zina (fornication or adultery): "And come not near zina to . Verily, it is Fahishah (immoral sin) and an evil way.” [Soorah al-Isra (17): 32] Scholars say in the explanation of this verse, do not even tread the paths or acquire the means, which may lead to the evil act of committing zina or any other sin. Thus, television, which is the stepping-stone towards zina and a number of other evils, should be thrown out of the Muslim houses, or at least the amount of time spent in viewing the television should be limited.

Shaikh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah) said in al-Fatawa (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 Islaamic 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 Islaamic conduct and ways of dressing, and looking down on the scholars and heroes of Islaam. 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, and 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...”

Alternatives for Television

When the television is turned off, you will find plenty of time for other activities. Develop the habit to properly manage your time, and engage in beneficial activities. Always remember the Hadeeth of Allaah's
Messenger , “Lose no time to do good work before you are caught up by one of the seven calamities… A starvation which may ruin your wisdom, or a prosperity which may mislead you, or an ailment which may damage your health, or an old age which may harm your senses, or a sudden death or the appearance of Dajjal. All these are bad events which may be awaited; or the Doomsday, but this Day is indeed very hard and bitter.” [At-Tirmidhee (2408)].

The following is a list of creative activities, which will Insha'Allaah, help you and your family make beneficial use of the time that you save by not watching the television:

(a) Outdoor Activities: Encourage outdoor activities like, swimming, horse riding, archery, etc. Allaah's Messenger always encouraged outdoor activities, it is reported in Saheeh al-Bukharee (4/120) that Allaah's Messenger arranged for horse race, also once he passed by some people from the tribe of Aslam practicing archery and said, “O children of Ishmael! Throw (arrows), for your father was an archer. I am on the side Bani of so-and-so,” meaning one of the two teams. The other team stopped throwing arrows, whereupon the Prophet said, “What has happened to them?” They replied, “How shall we throw while you are with Bani so-and-so?” He said, “Throw for I am with all of you" [Bukharee]

(b) Family time: Islaam encourages maintaining close family ties . The Messenger of Allaah said: “Whoever severs the bond of kinship will not enter Paradise.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee] Spend ample of time with your family, communicate and know each other's needs, and help them out. This is the best way to develop meaningful relationship with your spouse and children. Aa'ishah narrates that it was the practice of Allaah's
Messenger that after finishing the Asr prayer, he would visit his wives and stay with one of them at that time. [Saheeh al-Bukharee] This is also the best time to teach your children discipline, respect and Islaamic etiquettes. You can
also read to them stories of the Prophets, give them short Du'aa (supplication) to memorize, recite Qur'aan, etc.

(c) Community Living: Brotherhood and mutual consent among the Muslims is the basis of a strong and powerful Islamic society. Allaah's Messenger first established brotherhood and love among the believer even before he initiated the Muslim society in al-Medina, Abdullaah Ibn Salaam said: “When the Prophet arrived in Medina... The first thing he said was, 'Extend peace greetings among yourselves, provide food to the needy, maintain upright relations, observe prayer at night while people are asleep, then you will peacefully enter the Gardens (Paradise).' [Tirmidhee, Mishkat (1/168)] So, part of our community living is to strengthen the bond of brotherhood with other Muslims. Allaah's Messenger said: “Believers in mutual love, are like the human body where, when the eye is in agony, the entire body feels pain, when the head aches, all the body will suffer.” [Muslim] There are a number of ways to build mutual relationship, like, knowing the needs of other Muslims and helping them out. Allaah's Messenger said: “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim; he neither oppresses him not does he fail him. Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allaah will remove from him one grief of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allaah will shield him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Bukharee] and, "Allaah helps His slaves as long as he helps his brother.” [Saheeh Muslim] Also, visit the sick people, share their pain, encourage patience, give them hope in Allaah's Mercy, etc. all these acts create closer relationship and are from Sunnah of Allaah's Messenger , he said: “Feed the hungry, visit the sick and free the captives." [Bukharee]

(d) Other Activities:

  1. Enroll in Classes of interests, like, gardening, sewing, cooking, computers, swimming, etc.
  2. Read Islamic books in particular and also other informative books.
  3. Listen to tapes, lectures by Islamic scholars.
  4. Perform acts of worship, like Dhikr, voluntary prayers, reading Qur'aan, etc...

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