Is Television destroying you?

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 leisure time. However, television is not
the correct substitute for those activities, which besides entertaining also enhance
skills and talents. Research performed on the impact of television undoubtedly
prove its ill effects upon the viewers! Moreover, most part of the entertainment
programs displayed on television transgress Islamic bounds…

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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; singleparent
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!

Islam does not allow any amusement, which make people negligent of Allah.
Television does not only make one negligent of Allah’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. Islam is in strong
opposition to such illusions, because illusions make man negligent of death and
Hereafter. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Make mention of the
destroyer of desires (i.e. death) very often.” [(Hasan) at-Tirmidhee no: 2049, and
Ibn Majah no: 4258]

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:

Destruction of Aqeedah:

Television displays images and stories of Shirk, un-Islamic 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-Islamic 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 any kind of dangers!! Such ideas corrupt the basic beliefs of Islam that
Allah Alone is the Ruler and Savior of mankind and He alone can protect the people
from all harm.

So, television can gradually destroy our Aqeedah and subsequently ruin our
Hereafter, because Aqeedah is the foundation of Islam. It is necessary that the
Aqeedah be free from all un-Islamic influences, in order to escape the Hell-Fire.
This requires that we avoid all chances and means that cause danger to our
Aqeedah – 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 Aqeedah 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. Allah 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 Allah’s orders and they
do what He orders” [Soorah at-Tahrim (66): 6]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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]

Destruction of Islamic Morals:

Immoral behavior, violence, crime, music, singing, use of tobacco, alcohol and
cigarette are some of the many un-Islamic 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 – Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
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 wisdoms behind
the prohibition of music, like music sprouts hypocrisy, prevents the heart from
Allah’s remembrance, excites sinful desires, etc. but the fact that Allah’s Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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, Islam has even prohibited the
women to speak in soft voice with the strangers, Allah 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.” [Soorah al-
Ahzab (33): 32]

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

Islam does not only consider the actual act of fornication to be zina, but Allah’s
Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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 (that 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 zina of the eyes, listening to
them is zina of the ears, and the illicit desires aroused by them means zina of the
heart. Allah 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.

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “…If you do not have Haya,
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 Allah 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.

Allah 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 Allah. And they make
a mockery of the laws of Allah. To them, there is a disgraceful punishment… Give
them the news of a painful punishment.” [Soorah Luqman (31): 6-7]
Ibn Mas’oud (radhi allahu anhu) 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 Allah 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
Allah 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.

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The servant of Allah 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 and 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 Allah for which
Allah will account us on the Day of Resurrection. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) said: “The servant of Allah 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. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) has warned us against spending time and health foolishly, he
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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. Islam not only forbids violating the laws of Allah, but also condemns all
means that may lead to it. For example, Allah says about zina (fornication or
adultery): “And come not near to zina. 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

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 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. It damages their image by portraying them in an offputting
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 Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam),
“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)]

On the following page is a list of creative activities, which will Insha’Allah, help you
and your family make beneficial use of the time that you save by not watching the

Alternatives for Television

(a) Outdoor Activities: Encourage outdoor activities like, swimming, horse riding,
archery, etc. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) always encouraged
outdoor activities, it is reported in Saheeh al-Bukharee (4/120) that Allah’s
Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) arranged for horse race, also once he
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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 of Bani 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 soand-
so?” He said, “Throw for I am with all of you.” [Bukharee]

(b) Family time: Islam encourages maintaining close family ties. The Messenger of
Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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 (radhi
allahu anha) narrates that it was the practice of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) that after finishing the Asr prayer, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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 Islamic 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. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) first established brotherhood and love among the believer even before
he initiated the Muslim society in al-Medina, Abdullah Ibn Salaam (radhi allahu
anhu) said: “When the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) arrived in Medina…The
first thing he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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. Allah’s Messenger(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) 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.” [Saheeh Muslim]

There are a number of ways to build mutual relationship, like, knowing the needs of
other Muslims and helping them out. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)
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, Allah will remove from
him one grief of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield
him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]

and, “Allah 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
Allah’s Mercy, etc. all these acts create closer relationship and are from Sunnah of
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
“Feed the hungry, visit thesick and free the captives.” [Saheeh al-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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