Compiled by Umm Ibrahim – Freelance writer
The world of entertainment is indeed unlimited – it is so easy to get lost amidst the myriad of movies, music, gossip, celebrities and so on and on! Facebook pages have made one’s interaction with all-things entertainment extremely easy.
In order to better understand the arenas of entertainment today, and hunt down the solutions, Hiba Magazine got in touch with the following individuals:
1) Mr. Tayyab Abid – CEO of Little Deeds; COO of Role Model Institute, and CEO of Tayyab Enterprises,
2) Imam Jawad Ahmed – O’Level Islamiyat teacher at Generations school, Karachi and Head of Dawah Hotline in USA, called Why Islam (www.whyislam.org).
3) Dr. Humaira Iqbal – Administration, Fajr Academy and Project Manager for MAP (Muslim Awareness Programme),
4) Mr. Samir Feroze – CEO, yello.pk.
Following are some of the questions that we asked them, along with their response.
How can Muslims relax and enjoy their leisure hours, without falling into forbidden realms? List top three Halal avenues of entertainment that have worked for you/someone you know.
- Marriage and all the fun it legalizes.
- Playing with kids.
- Hanging out with the right crowd.
- Eating out.
Imam Jawad Ahmed
They can do so by using their leisure time in fruitful activities, which are enriching and, at the same time, relaxing in nature. They should avoid everything that might break the boundaries set by Allah (swt). Top three would be:
1. Going to a park and enjoying the atmosphere there, or any rides that might be available.
2. Going to a bowling alley, where there is no music and no smoking.
3. Going to the seaside and enjoying the recreational activities such as ATV rides, camel or horse riding, etc.
Dr. Humaira Iqbal
Muslim can do the following:
1. Read good books. (There is a lack of love for books in the Ummah currently.)
2. Shop and buy presents for others, instead of indulging in one’s own desires.
3. Work on self-grooming.
4. Prepare homemade healthy food.
5. Venture on more nature-centred outings, for example, Port Grande, beach, hiking in Islamabad, crabbing in Karachi, etc.
6. Make an effort to socialize and move in the right circles.
7. Exercise regularly.
8. Take up gardening.
Top thee Halal avenues of entertainment that have worked for me or someone I know:
1. Eating out.
2. Speed boating and snorkelling.
I believe Muslims can relax in the same way others can and do the same sort of activities. They just need to be careful of a few things while indulging in them. For example, if physical exercise is relaxing, one can play tennis or go to the gym. These activities would be more challenging if you live in a non-Muslim country, but assuming you are in a Muslim country, both should be reasonably ‘safe’ past times. Gyms can have music blaring, so you could take along an iPod and listen to some Quran, Nasheeds or lectures, etc. I personally do not do this, however, and just try to keep my focus off the music.
I believe playing video games which do not have objectionable content like car racing games, or angry birds, or some games on the wi-fi platform are relaxing and fun too.
Penetration of music is inevitable in our lives, whether we are in the supermarket or watching the news, etc. How can this be tackled?
What can we do if we go to a place where there is music? Well, we can ask them to stop and emphasize that if you don’t, we might leave and not come again. Alhumdulillah, wherever I go, I do this. Alhumdulillah, 80% of the restaurants always listen to me and turn off the music. At the very least, they lower the volume. If they don’t listen, you can leave but before you do, fill out the feedback card with your complaint. Lastly, there are places in Karachi where there is no music (for instance, Snack Attack, Bovi Chic, Student’s Biryani, Biryani Centre, Mr. Burger’s certain outlets, etc.) or is turned off at your request.
Imam Jawad Ahmed
We can avoid in two ways: firstly, we move away from the place, where music is being played or ask them to turn it off. Secondly, we can put our index fingers or thumbs in our ears, where the music is being played, so that it doesn’t penetrate our ears, and at the same time, we try our best to get out of that area.
Dr. Humaira Iqbal
- Recite Aoodhubillah.
- Request restaurants to turn off the music.
- Ask shopkeepers to switch off the music (especially if you are going to buy something).
- Try going early in the morning, when most stores are empty and playing the Quran. I once gifted a CD of Qari Ghamdi to The Forum and they would play it for me in the mornings.
- Avoid rush hours, because they always play music at such times.
Vote with your money by going to places which do not have music.
Editor’s suggestion: Try distributing a flyer on the position of music in Islam in these joints, and try to educate them. It is possible they are not aware of the admonitions regarding it.
There you have it! There are plenty of solutions, if you want to have Halal fun! Entertainment is not restricted to television or radio! There are plenty of other avenues that can be explored as an individual or as a family! It’s all about being creative and exploring new options. And, of course, it is also about remembering that one’s Deen is not restricted to rituals. It features in everything, even entertainment.