Friday Khutbah: Muslim Identity – His Aqheedah

Friday Khutbah: Muslim Identity – His Aqheedah

Brothers and Sisters in Islam: Firstly, I welcome you all to a new academic year especially the new comers and the ones who are starting their university life as of this year. The official Islamic society welcomes you and we pray to Allah (swt) that your studies at City University will be a cause of your success in this life and hereafter.

Secondly, I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah, the way He should be feared. And truly the ones who have taqwa of the Allah (swt) have acquired a great treasure from Allah and live under the pleasure of Allah (swt). It is only through Allahâ??s (swt) fear that one may attains salvation. The true success in this life and Hereafter. Allah (SWT) Says:

Know that indeed the Auliaya of Allah no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve.

Those who believed (in Allah and Islamic Monotheism) and used to fear Allah much.

For them are glad tidings in the life the present world and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme success. (Yunus, 62-64)

Brothers and Sisters: The most important issue in the life of every individual and every society is its identity. It is only the identity that characterises the value and status of a person and a nation as a whole. And at this time and place there lies many confusions around the realities of the affairs. One may not be able to find the true identity and the truth of many things easily, because the truth is been concealed or covered with falsehood and the falsehood is been beatified. One may even feel confused about his own identity.

The news provides us with an insight into the world around us. A world, where the Straight Path is called â??Islamic extremismâ??, and where all Muslims are â??terroristsâ??, and the Arabs are â??women beatersâ?? and Islam is a â??barbaric religionâ??. So we are told by writers, thinkers and intellectuals around this country and the Globe.

And hearing these slogans of falsehood over time, it creates a feeling of shame if constantly the word Muslim is used synonymously with everything bad in the world. When a Muslim no longer feels pride in Islam, and the Muslim is isolated and looked down upon by the rest of the society.

And the poor confused young Muslim who has probably started university may feel he has to blend into the society and take an apologetic approach for his faith which constitutes the essence of his soul and body. He/she would sometimes compromise his deen for his friends that he hangs out with, because feeling like you do not fit in with the majority can make a person feel very lonely. So, to combat this loneliness, the brother or sister sometimes can end up doing things we normally do not do and sometimes, even things we know we should not – just to help to fit in a little. After all who wants to be alone and isolated?

Have you ever wanted to just â??fit inâ?? or just go with the flow? There is so much social pressure on you to fit in, especially in the university where the day-to day life is about who has a boyfriend or girlfriend and who did what at so and soâ??s party and pub discussions.

It is never easy to be the one who stands out in a crowd all the time. But I say to you and myself stand out of the crowd. Be different. Be unique. Be the one who is identified as being a Pious, Righteous, Honest, Truthful, practising Muslim unlike many. Be a good student. Be the best in all that you do. Because you have been given the light of Iman, that most of humanity are deprived of. And you deserve to be the best even though the protectors of Devil may hate that.

Allah (SWT) Says:

â??Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (By knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men – like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair-seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.â?? (Al- Anam, 122)

And know that the true Glory can never be achieved in the absence of true faith, Islamic Monotheism and high moral values. And all other faiths and beliefs are nothing but a mirage and a fantasy with no true and pure identity.

Allah (SWT) Says:

â??Then as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks while that which is good for mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables for the truth and falsehoodâ?? (Ar-Rad 17)

And whatever is identified as unislamic and goes against the natural state of being -Fitrah, Islamic Monotheism – will surely be destroyed for the falsehood is created to be banished.

â??Say: Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely falsehood is ever bound to vanish.â??

Brothers and Sisters! What is Islamic Identity that we have to strive to acquire and maintain? Is it just a Muslim name that you may have or you wear the Hijab or keep a beard?

The Islamic Identity is taken to mean the Aqeedah of a Muslim that manifests itself in the way a Muslim lives his life – an all-encompassing set of beliefs, and actions as derived from the Qurâ??an and the example of Muhammad (s.a.w). The Islamic identity is that which separates us from the Non Muslims.

â??He named you Muslims before (in former scriptures) and in this (revelation) that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish the prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector and excellent is the Protector, and excellent is the Helper.â?? A-Hajj

Brothers and Sisters: Creed or aqeedah is what forms the identity of a Muslim or a believer and an Islamic society as a whole. This belief is the basis of life for a believer. Tawhid is what a Muslim lives for and dies for. Because the correct belief in Allah will liberate the Muslimâ??s mind and his heart from confusions and diseases. And if this Aqeedah be spread in the society it will establish the rule of Allah upon the earth and the blessings of Allah from the skies and the earth is showered upon them.

Allah (SWT) Says:

â??And if the people of the town had believed (meaning in At-Tawhid) and Taqwa (piety), certainly We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied the Messengers. So We took them for what they used to earnâ?? (Al-Araf, 96)

The call and Dawah of all the Prophets and that of the Muhammad (SAW) was to Allah alone and to His worship with no partners. And this is what the prophets and the followers were identified as. Pious believers who called to Allah. And this is what differentiates the Muslims from non-Muslims. The followers of the prophets from their opponents. And finally the people of paradise from the people of Hell.

Allah (SWT) Says:

â??Say (O Muhammad) this is my way, I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whoever follows me. And Glorified and Exalted is Allah. And I am not of the polytheistsâ? (Yousuf, 108)

Ibadallah! Know that the path to the paradise is one and one only. And only one type of identifications will be accepted by Allah (swt). And this identification is nothing but the Kalimatu taqhwa, Kalimatu Taieabh, Kalimatun Baqhiah, Kalimatu Tawhid nad this And this is what the civilisation of ours is founded upon. Islam

Allah (SWT) says:

â??And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Herafter, will be among the losers.â?? Al Imran 85

The noblest civilization the human history has ever known is that of Islam. The greatest quality of this religion is its pure Islamic monotheism aqheedah that encourages knowledge, recognises reason, takes care of man and aims at benefiting mankind and save them from harm. It also protects manâ??s fundamental rights, preserves his religion, honours and nurtures his mind and positively elevates his soul.

A religion that encompasses all the benefits to mankind. In its acts of worship, laws of transaction, legal punishment and disciplinary laws lies what purifies the individual as well as the community, and protects the society from anarchy and disturbance and prevents people from committing sins and heinous crimes and evils acts. This is how the Islamic civilisation is identified.

And know that all of this is achieved because Islam is from Allah (SWT) and it is based upon the creed of Monotheism and Oneness of Allah.

And a member of this civilization i.e. Muslim is identified as the one who makes his worship only to Allah and that includes that all supplications, sacrifice, vows, seeking aid, utmost fear, love, hope and all other acts of worship which must be solely done to Allah. He does this under the guidance of The Messenger of Mercy (saw)

Allah (SWT) Says:

â??Say (O Muhammad) truly, my Lord has guided me to a Straight Path a right religion of Ibrahim Hanifa and he was not of the Polytheists.

Say indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslimsâ??

Unfortunately, some Muslims think that they have a perfect and complete identifications i.e. the aqeedah because they simply utter La ilah illa Allah or that they have read an article or a booklet in Aqeedah or that they have read an Aqheedah book in ten minutes. But, the reality is that correct and comprehensive Aqeedah is not attainable in ten minutes reading or uttering something which you do not even know in detail and have not grasped its contents.

Brothers and Sisters! First and Foremost issue that a Muslim should understand is to find out from where he takes his Aqheedah from. The belief must be taken from the correct source and firmly grounded into the hearts of the people and put into practice.

So, Where do the codes of belief or Aqheedah come from? Where should the Muslim take his creed from? What book is the best for the issues of Aqheedah?

Now Inshallah, I will try to explain to you the source that the correct Aqeedah should be taken from and studied and put into practice. The source of such knowledge is of utmost importance because it forms the identity and the basis on which the Islamic nation is existent upon.

Know, brothers and sisters that first and foremost import point of reference is Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (SAW).

Allah (SWT) says regarding the Quran:

â??Indeed, this Quran guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers who work deed of righteousness, that they shall have a great rewardâ?? (Al-Estra 9)

Allah (SWT) says:

â??This is a book which We have revealed unto you in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness into light by their Lordâ??s Leave to the Path of the All-Mighty, the Owner of all Praiseâ??(Ibrahim 1)

Allah (SWT) says:

â??A Book whereof the Verses are explained in detail – a Quran in Arabic for people who knowâ?? (Fusselat 3)

Allah (SWT) says regarding the high status of Prophet (saw) and the fact we must follow his way:

â??There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example to be followed for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who)remembers Allah oftenâ?? Al Ahzab 21

â??And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you abstain from itâ?? (Al-Hashr, 7)

Allah (SWT) says:

â??And he (Muhammad SAW) does not speak of his own desires. It is only a revelation revealed.â?? (An-Najm 3,4)

The second source is the tool for understanding the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). And it cannot be anything except the understudying of the Salaf or the first three blessed generation of Muslims. For they understand the religion better than any other one person or group. They were the ones who witnessed its revelation and understood its meanings, practiced it, taught it and lived by it and died for it.

Allah (SWT) says:

â??And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the path of the believersâ?? We shall keep him in the path he has chosen and burn him in the Hell – what an evil destinationâ?? (Al-Nisa, 115)

Imam Al-Awzaaee saidâ?? So make yourself patient upon the Sunnah, and stop where the people (Salaf) stopped and say what they said and refrain from what they refrained from. Travel upon the path of your righteous salaf for verily sufficient is what was sufficient for them.â?? (Al Hujjah)

Sheikh Abdulghadir Al-Jeelani (rh) was once asked â??Has there ever been a Wali of Allah upon a creed (aqheedah) other than that of Ahmad ibn Hanbal? He said â??No, there has never been and there will never be.â??

The Third and final source Brother and Sisters, for the acquisition of Aqeedah is the Ijma of the Ummah. And by Ijma we mean the consensus of the companions of the Prophet (SAW). Some may say that the consensus is only for the issues of fiqh and not Aqeedah but the reality is that their consensus in both matters of fiqh and belief. And its proof is the verse we recited earlier.

These are the three main sources that Muslim must refer to for his Aqeedah and should believe it inwardly and outwardly.

Indeed this is the great guidance from Allah (swt) that has been sent to save the humanity from filth of ignorance and disobedience to the knowledge and obedience built upon pure monotheism.

Allah (SWT) says:

â??Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My Guidance he shall neither go astray, nor shall be distressed.

But whosoever turns away from My Reminder indeed, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.

He will say O my Lord Why have you raised my up blind, while I had sight before.

Allah will say Like this Our signs came unto you but you disregarded them so this Day you will be neglected.â?? (Ta-Ha, 123-126)

So there is a lot more to being Muslim than a having a Muslim name. It is something you were born with, a natural state of your being. Nothing will ever change that except you. And to preserve that you would have to strive hard especially at your young age and in this society.

From the fruits of having the right Muslim identity or correct belief in Allah (SWT) and soundness of oneâ??s Tawhid is that it purifies the intention and the worship for Allah alone, since He is the Creator who has no partner. And He (SWT) is the only deity that deserves worship. A Sincere believer in Allah (swt), frees his heart from superstitious beliefs and fortune tellers

A Muslim with a true Muslim identity would put his complete trust and reliance in the One who can be totally and completely relied upon meaning Allah (swt). Because it Allah (swt) who has full knowledge and ability for everything therefore you put your complete reliance upon Him.

A true Muslim will fight despair and feeling of uncertainly. True belief and Iman, gives a believer certainty, confidence and power to persevere. If he is in bliss and happiness, he will not be arrogant, but will rather praise his Lord and thank Him and if he is afflicted with calamity, he will not despair, but will rather have patience and be satisfied with that which was decreed for him. He believes in Ghadha wa Qhadar and knows that all the things that he does is from the decree of Allah and that his actions would cause him to go to Paradise or to Hell. So nothing will then be able to divert him from his faith and his seeking for the pleasure of his Lord. He will rather increase in purity, sincerity, truthfulness, patience and firmness.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said,

â??The affair of a believer is wonderful; all his affairs are good for him and that is for none except the believer. When he gets happiness he thanks Allah for that, and that is good for him and when a calamity befalls him, he is patient and that is also good for him.â?? (Muslim)

On the contrary a slave with doubtful faith or a faith built upon ignorance and not knowledge is a weak creation. In this weakness, when he is inflicted with harm, he gives up in despair. If he receives good, he becomes stingy. In both situations, he is worried and fearful.

True belief in Allah will cause determination and seriousness in affairs, meaning that no opportunity will arise to do a righteous deed, except that the believer undertakes it, hoping in Allahâ??s reward. He would do his utmost to be empowered by acquiring knowledge first and foremost about his deen and the knowledge he would need to live an honourable life. He will enlighten his heart by being righteous and pious.

The Prophet (SAW) said:

â??A strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, but in both there is goodness. Persist in what brings benefit to you, seek Allahâ??s aid, and do not weaken. If ant calamity befalls you, do not say: â??If only I had done such and suchâ?? but say: â??Allah decrees whatever He willsâ??. For indeed â??ifâ?? is an opening for the devils actions. (Muslim)

And as Sheikh ul Islam Ibn Taymiah said in his famous saying:

â??What can my enemies do to harm me? If they imprison me it is privacy and solitude, and if they kill, then I am a martyr, (Shaheed), and if they expel me, then it is travelling for the sake of Allahâ??

Belief in the Allahâ??s decree causes mental relief and tranquillity of the heart No one has a healthier life, or a stress-free soul, or a greater sense of tranquillity, than a person who truly believes in the Divine Decree. The soul experiences no anxiety and the mind is free form confusion. So the person is pleased with Allah as his Lord and Maintainer, and his Judge and Legislator. Hence his heart is at peace and his breast opens up to Islam. And he would not exchange his state for anything else in this universe. Allah (SWT) says:

â??Those who believed (i.e. Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, verily in the remembrance of Allah hearts find restâ?? (Ar-Rad, 28)

Allah (swt) only required you respect yourself by choosing to practice your religion, and for doing that, He offers you Ever lasting peace and happiness. You see, He has already fit you into the â??inâ?? crowd by making you a Muslim, so respect that by respecting yourself and never, ever sell out for less than Paradise.

Brother and Sisters, if one perfects his true Muslim identity through fulfilling the conditions of La ila illa Allah, He will Attain true happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. Some people, who are deluded and deceived, try to find happiness through something that has no reality to it, nothing but an imagination. The rich amongst them, thinks that happiness is, his health and his wealth. And the poor of them, thinks, that it is in gaining more money, garments and wealth. And the politician of them thinks that it is, achieving his goals and the smartness of making injustice appear like justice. And, the one in love thinks that, happiness is the reunion with his beloved one, and fascinations through illusions. The truth is O Servants of Allah, that such people are ignorant, and deceivers. They all live their lives with fear, uncertainty, humiliation and misery while having no true identity or individuality. But true believer, O Servants of Allah, is the one who sees the reality of happiness, the eternal happiness.

A true Muslim is identified as the one who fears of Allah so that he does not feel safe from the punishment of Allah, therefore he keeps his duties towards his Lord. He also has deep love for Allah (saw) as well as the people of Allah. He also puts his Hope in Allah so that Allah (swt) would forgive him and admit him to the paradise.

A true Muslim is content with whatever he has and he is patient, believing in Allahâ??s (swt) Divine Decree. Even if the Decree goes against his wishes, as Allahâ??s Decree can never be averted. Gratification lies in receiving the decree of Allah with contentment whilst acknowledging that all things come from Allah and that He has the ultimate command and absolute power over His creatures.

A true Muslim gives Thanks to Allah (swt) and shows his gratitude to his Lord.

A Muslim with true Muslim identity shows humility to Allah (swt) even after you acquires status, wealth etc because this mercy is from Allah (swt), his Lord.

A Muslim with true Muslim identity would give dawah to all in his community and where he studies i.e. university especially his classmates. He knows that the best speech is inviting people to Allah (swt), with wisdom and best manners. He also knows that the best dawah can be his own deed. So he perfect his own self first and foremost. Allah (swt) says:

â??And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says: â??I am of the Muslimsâ?? Al Fussilat 33

A true believer is Courageous salve of Allah (swt), because the believer knows that his death is already written and it will not miss him.

A true believer is charitable and he helps the needy from his fellow human beings. And he only wishes Allahâ??s pleasure in his action, nothing else, not even a thanks.

Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism) is the only belief capable of salvaging mankind from its misery and despair it is the only guarantor of its happiness. As it was experienced by one of the pious people of the past who said â??If the people of paradise live like I am right now, then indeed they live in a kind life, and a happy lifeâ?.

The faith that the Prophet (SAW) established its pillars is the source of all good and felicity for those who follow its guidance. This faith is the pure tree with ripe and everlasting fruits. Allah (SWT) says,

â??See you not how Allah set forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (reach) to the sky. Giving its fruits at all times by the leave of its Lordâ?¦â? (Ibraahiem: 24).

A nation that is established upon the correct Islamic creed and its life is controlled by the realities of faith is a powerful nation in itself; a completely independent nation that has natural immunity that enables it – with permission of Allah – to overcome all hardships and trials. A nation that calamities and trials only increases it in good, reform and constructive life. And this Aqeedah nurtures the best rules of conducts and moral values to the nation. This Aqeedah teaches every individual the best of Akhlaq and the best ways to deal with people and to be just even to the sworn enemies of the nation.

Allah (SWT) says:

â??O you who believe, Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses, and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just, that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you doâ?? (Al-Maidah, 8)

It is a nation that has been promised a clear victory as mentioned in Surah An-Noor Verse 55 on the condition that the believers must keep their identity fully which is to worship Allah without any associating any partners with Him. And if they maintain this condition it also is the cause of peace and security in this life and hereafter

Allah (SWT) says:

â??It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm, for them only there is security and they are the guidedâ??

And Prophet (SAW) explained that Zulm is to be â??shirk or ascribing others beside Allahâ??

And finally brothers and sisters, the correct belief in Allah is the cause of your saviour on the day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail except the one who brings to Allah a clean heart (clean from shirk and Nifaq hypocrisy), and the example for this clean heart, is that of Ibrahim (AS) the leader of Muahedeen.

â??When he came to his Lord with a pure heartâ?? (Saffat, 84)

Friday Khutbah: The Third Parent

Friday Khutbah: The Third Parent

by Muhammad Alshareef

A close friend of mine went overseas to study Islam, and before he left he visited a family he knew. He said that as he left, he noticed the son â?? who was seven years old at the time â?? slacked out on his stomach, chin locked in his two hands, staring deathly at the TV. When he returned after four full years, he visited the same family 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 four years older.

This khutbah looks at the dark side of television. It is not intended to make you throw your television set off the balcony â?? although that would be nice. It is hoped that this khutbah will give you a better understanding of the destructive nature TV has on a personâ??s life, in this world and in the hereafter, not only on his own life, but also the lives of his family members.

In Qawaaâ??id Fiqhiyyaah there is a principle which states, “Al Waasaaâ??il taâ??khudhu Hukm al-Ghaayaat,” meaning, “The means takes the same ruling as the intention of what is trying to be attained.” A television set, with its 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 halaal. Another example is that of a gun; it can be used for noble purposes, such as defending oneâ??s land from aggression, or it can serve as a means of considerable harm, especially when given to a child.

In an Arab ESL class, the teacher, in his opening lesson asked the students what English words were taken from the Arabic language. A few hands went up and students said things like, “Chemistry from keemiyaa,” “Algebra from al-gebr,” “Physics from feesiyaa,” etc. Then he asked them what Arabic words were taken from the English language and answers came quickly. “Raadiyo from radio, ” “Dosh from satellite dish, “and of course “Tilfaaz from television.”

What did the West take from us, and what did we take from them?

With regards to television, Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Al-Fataawa (3/227):

“â?¦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 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 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.”

He continued, “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 Allah and towards other people.”

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, 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 to his mother. Because he did not reply to this motherâ??s call, she cursed him. She said, “May you see a prostitute!” She did not say, “May there be a relationship between you and a prostitute.” She just said, “May you see[one].” And her curse is one that we may inadvertently be inflicting on our children the day we sanctioned the introduction of the third parent called TV. 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?

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radi Allahu anhu once passed by some people killing time by playing chess. He was shocked at this and angrily said to them, quoting the verse of the Qurâ??an:

What are these IDOLS that you are standing in vigilance over?

What would he think if he saw the television set and the welcoming hug it receives in most Muslim homes? When a Muslim nation plays in the World Cup, over three million Muslims from that one country tune in to television to watch the game. Multiply that by the duration of the match, and you have almost five million hours of the ummahâ??s time wasted on a football game, in one sweeping night. If Karl Marx said in 1844 that “Religion is the opium of people,” then what about TV?

RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“The person shall be (on the day of Judgment) with those that he loves.”

Tell a Muslim child that if he loves Michael Jackson so much, then on the Day of Judgment he will get to be with him. Itâ??s sad, but most Muslim children would get happy and excited about the prospect. Isnâ??t 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, even just the names, of those people that we hope them to be with!

Letâ??s ask ourselves, if we allowed our sons or daughters to put up a poster of their hero, the one whom they think is the ‘coolest,’ would their hero 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 a cartoon character) 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?

Some argue that TV time is monitored in the house by the parent. However, 95% of parents with children aged 8 and over donâ??t monitor the viewing material. Besides, what happens if the parent dies on the way to work one day and the children inherit the TV? RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“There is not a single shepherd (Ameer) that Allah entrusted with a flock â?? who if he dies in a state where he cheated them â?? Allah shall forbid him from entering paradise!”

The ‘ulama would quote this hadith in regard to the father in a Muslim country that would allow a satellite dish to enter into the home of 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 (message)! When Ribâ??ee ibn ‘Aamir radi Allahu anhu stood at the hands of the king of Persia, he announced the message as proudly and as clearly 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!”

Allah subhaanahu wa ta â??aala states in the Qurâ??an:

Verily! Hearing, sight, and the heart, all will be questioned (by Allah) (Al-Israa 17/36).

And RasulAllah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam informed us that on the Day of Repayment, no one will move until they are asked about three things, one of which will be their youth and how they spent it.

How are we spending our time? Why do we waste it watching TV? What do our eyes see, what do our ears hear on TV and how is our heart affected by this?

If we donâ??t know how to recite Qurâ??an, why arenâ??t we registering for a tajweed course at a Qurâ??an institute? If we donâ??t know the language of the Qurâ??an and Sunnah, why arenâ??t we registering for an Arabic program? If we donâ??t know about the life of RasulAllah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and his companions radi Allahu anhum why arenâ??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 Qurâ??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 hasnâ??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 â??lookâ?? 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-Tahhaanâ??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 childrenâ??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 Shariâ??ah at the Islamic University in Madinah, I came home to Canada where I spoke to a friend whom I hadnâ??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 Shaafiâ??ee saidâ?¦” and “Imam Abu Hanifah saidâ?¦” It was this ignorance that Shaykh Abdul Muhsin ‘Al-Abbaad referred to when he would say “We ask Allah taâ??aala to increase us in itâ??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 Shariâ??ah that what is more deadly than haram is bidâ??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. Bidâ??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 â?? 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?

Didnâ??t anyone ask why we get all this ‘free’ TV? What does the TV sell? No it doesnâ??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 Qurâ??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 womenâ??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 womenâ??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 Qurâ??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 daâ??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.