The Influence of Television
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
One of the many Sunnahs of the Ambiya (‘alayhimus salam) is that of Haya – shame and modesty: a quality which is sorely missing in the lives of the majority of Muslims today and which should otherwise be an outstanding characteristic and feature of all Muslims, whether married or unmarried.
Television is such an evil that if our society only understood its reality, they would find no excuse to watch. Its spiritual harm is that it takes away the Haya and shame of our men, women and children.
Most television programmes contain nothing but immodesty and indecency, which invites nothing but immodesty and indecency into our homes, lives and the lives of our children.
However, this truth and reality seem to pass over the understanding of even those Muslims who have some link with Deen. Many are regular with Salah; they are seen in the Musjid and wear the garb of the pious, yet they will be the ones to present flimsy and feeble excuses to view television programmes.
Let us consider this situation of sin from the following view – which, Alhamdulillah, has been a means of many getting rid of the television.
- If a person has to knock on your door and tell you: ‘I would like to use your lounge to commit adultery.'
- Or a group of friends have to request you: ‘We would like to use your home to gamble and enjoy our liquor.'
- Or a group of youngsters have to tell you: ‘We have chosen your home as a venue for our partying, dancing, drug-taking and fornicating.'
- Or a Christian family has to request you: ‘We would like to use your home as a venue for our church ceremony: The marriage of our daughter as well as the baptism of our grandchild. We have already obtained the consent of one of our priests.'
- Or some idol-worshippers have to suggest: ‘We would like to carry out some of our religious rites in your home. We would like to bring our idols also. You are more than welcome to observe or participate in our rites.'
On hearing such requests, many Muslims will get very angry; will express disgust – if not swear and curse such suggestions.
However, these very same Muslims who will even resort to swearing and cursing such proposals invite into their homes all of the above by the switch of the television, by hiring English and Hindi films and DVDs, and watching porn and other movies on the Internet. There is so much adultery, partying, and other filth that we seem to welcome into our homes – least realizing the consequences.
To give you one example and this is but the tip of the iceberg – and it is said with the intention of removing the blindfold that most parents wear:
A father of four children mentioned to me that he had gotten rid of his television, and he thereafter explained why.
He said that he heard strange noises from his children's room late one night. On opening the door of their room, he found their television switched on. [This is our concept of modesty: parents must have their own television to view all kinds of filthy programmes in their privacy, and children must have their own television to view all kinds of indecency in their privacy (Na-‘uzu Billah)].
The father mentioned that there were dirty and obscene scenes of naked people on the television screen. He mentioned that it was filthy and that it shocked him, but what had him even more shaken was that his children were all undressed, engaging in the same kind of indecent acts. They were imitating the pornography they were viewing. He said himself that until then, he had not considered the harm of television. It took this kind of incident to wake him up. This is just one example of so many. Do we wish to face something similar?
Do we even care to know what our sons and daughters are doing in the secrecy of their rooms? The fact that many demand that no one ‘invade' their space and privacy to the extent of having ‘No Entry' signs on their doors should have parents a little more than worried, especially if they are viewing television and are surfing the net or have free access with cell phones.
Many have written that after watching certain films or programmes, the desire came strongly into their hearts to take drugs, drink liquor, murder their parents, indulge in homosexuality, engage in adulterous relationships, commit suicide, rape, and so much else – and many of them do so.
Moreover, with sins like television and lustful glancing, Allah Ta'ala removes the love between husband and wife, and even one's children become disobedient.
Many husbands entertain thoughts of and fantasize about other women while with their wives. And they will when they watch different actresses and television presenters. Many wives are guilty of the same infidelity, having seen or socialized with Ghair-Maharim. Many women are so infatuated and obsessed with some soccer player or cricket player that they become dissatisfied with their husbands and spend their time fantasizing.
Had the person not viewed all those Ghair-Maharim on the television and computer screen and lowered his gaze in real-life situations, he would not have desired that which he cannot have, and there would not have been dissatisfaction with his (or her) spouse.
Moreover, we complain:
- There is no Barakah in our homes.
- There is no Barakah in our wealth.
- There is no Barakah in our time.
- Our children are rebellious.
- The husband is having an extra-marital relationship.
- The daughter has accepted Christianity.
- The son is on drugs, and the complaints do not end.
Then who is to blame except the one who brought all of this Haram into the home by purchasing the television and exposing the family to so much sin?
Great ‘Ulama became Bay'at at the hands of Maulana Hakim Fakhrudin (rahmatullah' alayh). He mentioned that there was a time that with the rising and setting of the sun, he saw nothing but noor in Surat (a city in India). The atmosphere was one of noor. The day commenced with Salah, Tilawat, Zikrullah…
After the cinemas, television, and videos flooded Surat, there was nothing but ‘Zulmat' – darkness. With the distraction of such entertainment, Ibadah becomes a forgotten duty.
On visiting a home, one Wali of Allah Ta'ala mentioned that he perceived the sin of Zina (adultery) from the walls of that home. He was able to recognize this due to the purity of his heart. The residents of that home were not indulging in adultery, but they were watching the sin on television.
When fire burns against a white wall, it blackens the wall. The Ahle-Dil, with their purified hearts, see the fire of sins which has burnt and blackened the white hearts of the Muslims.
With that, we take a lesson and take measures to protect ourselves and our children.