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So watching TV is against Islam?

By Nasiruddin Haider Khan

Saturday 12th July. Big crowed was gathered around Daurala road of Lavad village of Merut city. Every passing vehicle stopped to let their passengers see this tamasha. They tried to understand, what has happened. What is happening…? People of the area are bringing TV, VCD, from their homes and throwing on the road. Someone holding VCD player. Someone has tape recorder in their hands. TV…. tape recorders… VCD players… CDs… They are bringing whatever they have… Each and every article was smashed. To ensure complete destruction they poured kerosene and put the heap of broken electronics on fire. Nothing remained except ashes… ashes to spread in the air!

But why all this tamasha?

“These things (TV, VCDs and tape recorders) are responsible for obscenity, vulgarity and increasing crime in the society. Young blood is getting corrupted. They are not taking their responsibility seriously.” That was what the leader of this “smashing” event had to say about this. But he did not stop here, “All these things are against Islam. Ulema have given fatwa about it. They are learned people. Watching TV, VCD and listening tapes are haraam and Muslims should give up,” he continued. He appealed to all the fellow Muslims, “do not use these ‘evil’ media and if someone is using it, throw it out from home.”

Age before the advent of Islam is known as the age of jahiliyat (ignorance). Society at large was said to be in the Dark Age. It is believed Islam has put restrictions and imposed sanctions against several social evils at that time. Like, Islam has imposed strict sanctions against female infanticide prevalent in the Arab region; Islam has given women the right to inherit, just to name a few. In this respect, this religion never perpetuated status quo and always took steps ahead of its time. There are so many things that we have today, unthinkable 14 hundred years ago. So, the most important question here is what will be the religious directives for using these new inventions?

Are we going to reject or discard all the things which are outcome of the modern world? Then we have to go back to the jungle… and spend the whole life collecting leaves… eating leaves… and hiding behind leaves … sleep on the leaves. Should we accept that clock of Islam has stopped 14 hundred years ago? Then, along with TV and tape recorder, everything which are invented after Islam, would be banned. As far as I know, this is not the teaching of Islam.

The age of jahiliyat has not come to and end after the advent of Islam. We have enough reason to believe this. Just see this example. The darkness of Jahiliyat is still persisting. These types of incidents only give bad name to Islam and Muslims.

It is very simple and clear. No invention in itself is obscene and anti religion. The most important thing is, who is using it and for what purpose. If the channels have typical saas-bahu serials, there is also a channel like QTV, purely religious. If there are ten bad films, there are several good and inspiring too. Huzur, All these media are the tools of information and knowledge. In today’s world, these are as essential as bread and butter. They work as oxygen for human being. They are the basis of democracy.

The fear that the young generation will be corrupted and indulge is a matter of research by social scietists, but by destroying TV, it is most certain that the young and energetic generation and future of Islam will be deprived of unlimited knowledge and information of the world. This is the jahiliyat of the modern world. Now, the big question is how this darkness will vanish?

Nasiruddin Haider Khan is a Lucknow based activist and journalist and can be reached at [email protected], he blogs at http://dhaiakhar.blogspot.com