BROWNIES…. WITH A SLIGHT DIFFERENCE
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BROWNIES…. WITH A SLIGHT DIFFERENCE.

The entertainment industry can be regarded as one of the most lucrative industries in our times. Entertainment as an industry—in the United States alone—is responsible each year for $150 billion in expenditures and some 120 billion hours of consumed time (Vogel 1998, p. xvii). Entertainment as an economic sector consists of diverse products and services including motion pictures, television, music, broadcasting, print media, toys, gaming, gambling, sports, and fine arts. For those that the above forms of entertainment do not appeal for they have become aware of the ‘filth’ contained therein, another form of entertainment is becoming available in the form of recreational activities in the form of water themed parks etc. mushrooming in many cities across the globe which of course make them seem less evil. And then of course there are many other forms and ways of entertainment for those who do not choose the above. Whilst these could be considered the lesser of evil these too cannot be regarded as totally free form ‘spiritual pollution’.

 

Islam has no reservations and qualms with entertainment for it does realise the human need for such activity. However like every aspect of a Muslims life this too is regulated for the simple reason that anything that threatens the welfare of a Muslim cannot be allowed in his or her life. Any entertainment which casts one into sin or bears the potential of doing so has no place in Islam. In the light of the above. The entertainment available today can be considered impermissible in Islam regardless of how ‘beneficial’ it may appear to be on the surface. A true Muslim will not ignore the subliminal sinister messages that directly and indirectly destroy spiritual growth, that lie in these forms of entertainment.

Every movie today carries some sort of ‘filth’ .YES even those that are meant for ‘children’ cannot be regarded as free from this too. The movie industry has very tactfully and cleverly placed ‘age restrictions for certain movies giving one the impression that they too are concerned about moral and spiritual decadence.  This is nothing but a façade that is created to lure the unwary and naïve.

Ever Advancing Technology has made movies and other forms of entertainment even more easily accessible today to the extent that an entire movie can be watched in the palm of ones hand. So whilst technology in its very many forms have undoubtedly enriched many lives in terms of knowledge, entertainment etc.  we cannot ignore the fact that whilst it may have enriched many lives it has also contaminated many lives. On just looking at statistics on the ill –effects of technology and its ilk this is quite evident and glaring. One just has to look a little closer, that’s all.

Many parents are hard put to explain to their youth why some music, movies, books, and magazines are not acceptable material for them to bring into the home, for their youth to see, or hear. One parent came up with an original idea that was hard to refute and very effectively drove the point home.

He listened to all the reasons his children gave for wanting to see a particular PG-13 movie. It had their favourite actors. Everyone else was seeing it. Even those who were considered righteous had watched it and said it was an amazing movie. It was only rated PG-13 because of the suggestion of sex. They never really showed it. The language was pretty good. They only used the Lord's name in vain three times in the whole movie. The video effects were fabulous and the plot was action packed. Yes, there was the scene where a building and a bunch of people got blown up, but the violence was just the normal stuff. It wasn't very bad considering that these things are seen in other ways and sometimes even in real life. These were their justifications which the father was not convinced at all with.

Even with all these explanations for the rating, the father wouldn't give in. He didn't even give them a satisfying explanation for saying, "No." He just said, "No."  Being children of this generation the straight forward answer of NO did not mean anything to them unless it came with clear explanations and substantiating proofs.

So the father thought deeply of a way that would convince his children that the movie was just not worth watching regardless of what everyone else said and thought about it.

Throughout the day the father thought deep and hard for a convincing way that would convince his children about his stance on not allowing them to watch the movie. And then as if by some sort of divine inspiration, an idea sprung to his head.

That evening, the father asked his teens if they would like some brownies he had prepared. He explained that he had taken the families favourite recipe and added something new which he said would surely improve the taste of the brownies. Excitedly the children asked as to what it was. He calmly replied that he had added dog poo to the other ingredients. He stated that it was only a little bit. All the ingredients were gourmet quality. He had taken great care to bake it at the precise temperature for the exact time. He was sure the brownies would be superb. The children were aghast and could not believe it!

Even with all the explanations of the perfect attributes of the brownies, the teens would not take one.

The father acted surprised. There was only one little element that would have caused them to act so stubbornly. He assured them that they would hardly notice it if at all. They all held firm and would not try the brownies.

He then explained that the movie they wanted to see was just like the brownies. Shaytaan tries to enter our minds and our homes by deceiving us into believing that just a little bit of evil won't matter. With the brownies, just a little bit makes all the difference between a great brownie and a totally unacceptable product. He explained that even though the movie directors would have us believe the movies which are coming out are acceptable for adults and youth's to see they are in reality not. 

Now when these children want to do something or see something they should not, the father merely asks them if they would like some of his special dog poo brownies and they never ask about that item again.

Leisure time has been a determining factor in the seeking of entertainment for almost all of us. The approaching holiday season is that time when most of us will be doing exactly this. For a true and discerning Muslim who values his Imaan the entertainment afforded to us today cannot be an option. Just like the brownies that only look good from the outside but contain ‘harmful’ and ‘distasteful’ substances inside, is the entertainment offered today. The mastermind behind all these is none but Shaytaan and his agents. It is high time we awaken to the reality of this and of course stay clear of all that which would harm us spiritually.

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