Entertainment today

In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the All Compassionate~

The society we live in is centered around having fun. The whole purpose of life seems to be just that. Everything is supposed to be "Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment". All our energies are spent gaining the "pleasures" of this life. And although, seeking pleasure in a Halal way is absolutely allowed, yet that is NOT the purpose of our creation.

Rather, to worship Allah while enjoying the blessings He gave us in ways that are pleasing to Him.
“And I (Allah) created not the jin and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”[al-Dhaariyaat: 56]

Nowadays, although the ummah needs to increase the love between its individual members and to relieve itself of boredom, we have gone too far with regard to relaxation, laughter and jokes. This has become a habit which fills our gatherings and wastes our time, so that our lives are wasted and our days are gone.

Our newspapers are filled with jokes and trivia, and there is no mention of the life to come. Our evenings are spent in front of the TV, watching senseless shows and comedies, full of all sorts of haraam. And that too, with our families! Subhanallah! And what a waste of time all that is! And we do all this to entertain and relax ourselves! With what? With what Allah has declared as Haram??

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.”

In Fath al-Baari it says: “What is meant by knowledge here has to do with the Might of Allaah and His vengeance upon those who disobey Him, and the terrors that occur at death, in the grave and on the Day of Resurrection.

Our youth constantly want to be entertained all the time. They spend literally hours at a stretch, playing video games, chatting on the computer, talking on the phone, watching movies or TV or even sleeping or else they get BORED ! In Islam, there is no such thing as getting bored !

The Prophet said: "Grab five things before five others: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your wealth before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death." (Al-Hakim)
This Hadith is a direct call on all Muslims to invest their time as early as possible when conditions are favorable, i.e , youth, health, wealth and time before being handicapped by hurdles, such as old age, sickness, poverty or preoccupation.

The Righteous Salaf were extremely careful about occupying their time with useful deeds, and they hated laziness and lethargy. Umar Ibn-Al-Khattab said, "I hate to see any of you unoccupied, doing nothing for this world or the Hereafter."

Yet, our sisters or brothers spend way too much time in the malls, on the phone, in the beauty salons, decorating their homes (excessively), too much time in cooking, or if nothing else, just window shopping. Oh sisters or brothers! Allah will ask us how we spent our time in this world!
"On the Day of Resurrection the feet of the son of Adam will not move away till he is questioned about four matters: how he spent his lifetime, how he spent his youth; from where he acquired his wealth and how he spent it, and what he did with his knowledge." (Tirmidhi)

Now, I am not saying that we should forsake the world and go into a jungle to worship Allah or turn ourselves into hermits! That is NOT ISLAM either. We need to find that perfect balance in our lives that governed the lives of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Sahabah. They would earn a livelihood during the day, laugh and relax with each other, but only to a degree that would be pleasing to Allah. Never would they let the Dunya distract them from praying, doing righteous deeds or forgetting the Akhirah. And NEVER would they waste time.

Bilal ibn Sad said: “I saw them [the Sahaabah] jokingly pretending to fight over some goods, and laughing with one another, but when night came they were like monks(i.e., devoted worshippers) .”
Ibn Umar was asked, “Did the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) laugh?” He said, “Yes, and the faith in their hearts was like mountains.”

Some people justify their waste of time occupied with the Dunya saying that we are supposed to ask for Dunya and quote the following verse to validate their various forms of entertainments.
“But there are others who say: Lord, give us goodness in this world and goodness in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the Fire’.” (al-Baqarah: 201)

No doubt that we are supposed to ask of the goodness of this world, but we are ALSO supposed to ask for the goodness of the Hereafter, each in its own correct perspective. And the example of the Prophet (pbuh) is the perfect example for anyone who calls himself Muslim.

We need to ask ourselves…
How did the Prophet (pbuh) apply this verse? How much of the Dunya did he ask for? And how much of the Akhirah did he strive for? What was the proportion of the Dunya in his life as compared to the Akhirah ? Was his life all fun and games and being entertained all the time ?

We need to follow the example of such people, who were knights by day and devoted worshippers by night. We need to choose righteous and serious friends in our lives, who will help us to make the right choices, appropriate use of our time and strive for the sake of Allah with seriousness and steadfastness.

Yusuf Al-Qordhawi says, "Leisure time will never remain unoccupied. It will be occupied with good or evil. If one does not occupy himself with truth, that self will make him occupied with falsehood. Successful is he who fills his time with what is good and righteous, and woe to him who fills it with evil and corruption.”



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