By Uzma Jawed – Student of the Quran
“And (there will be) Houris (fair females) with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious) like unto preserved pearls.” (Al-Waqiah 22-23)
When we look around us, huge billboards, movie posters, commercials on TV, and ads in magazines and on the Internet are not portraying our Muslim women as icons of modesty and Haya. In fact, indecency has become so common that it endanger our Iman.
I interviewed a number of people from different walks of life and here is what they had to say:
Sabah Yaseen, student of Arabic
When we create such ads, we are publicly defying our Islamic beliefs and values. We should try talking to the people who are involved. For instance, approach their marketing department and voice our opinions directly to them. Boycotting and not buying their products may not help, as the people who don’t believe in the way they are marketing their products are a minority.
Sara Naveed, student of Quran
Ads can be good, without being vulgar and going against our cultural Islamic values. Companies like Juanid Jamshed, Five Star and Icon are highly successful without defying Allah’s (swt) commands.
Tasneem Riaz, mother
I feel angry when I see Muslim women exposed in such a manner. The best way to speak up against this is by visiting their various outlets and informing them that what they are doing is wrong.
There was once a very pious man named Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. On his deathbed, he requested that the man who leads his funeral prayer has the following traits:
- His Tahajjud prayers had never been forsaken.
- He attended every prayer in the Masjid on time.
- He never missed his Asr Salah.
- He never looked at a non-Mahram woman.
Muslim king, Shamsuddin Altamash, reluctantly came forward and announced that he had such traits. He didn’t want to announce his good deeds but he wanted the man to be able to have his funeral as per his request.
While this incident was being related, one friend commented that in those days, there were no billboards with such obscene ads and hence, people could protect themselves from seeing non-Mahrams!
In addition, she quoted the verse of Surah An-Nur: “Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not.” (An-Nur 24:19)
Dr. Zubeidah Channah, a practicing dentist and a teacher of the Quran
She believes that Fahishah can be curtailed by propagating the Quran. It is the ultimate solution. Creating awareness of the ill-effects of Fahishah in educational institutions, Masajid and in the print and visual media could be effective. People need to realize that the repercussions of such billboards are not limited only to one’s dress code – it also impacts one’s speech, character and how we choose to live.
A practical tip she suggests is that people need to be motivated enough to finance means that would be a substitute to the ones propagating it. For example, one can finance billboards that propagate the message of truth. Moreover for the silent bystander, an alternative ‘trend’ which is easily accessible could be the solution.
Muslim Awareness Programme (MAP) is attempting to educate the masses about the Islamic value system through billboards. Learn more about them here: http://www.facebook.com/muslimawarenessprogram and http://www.map.net.pk