Help your children stay safe

safe-kidsChildren are one of the lovely blessings of Allah (swt). Having children and grooming them according to Islam to become a good human is very difficult. The lap of a mother is the first institution for a child where he learns about the world, and the principles of piousness.

Protecting your child from the dark shadows of the world is highly challengeable. There are a number of people who have a sense of right and wrong; but there are also a number of people who have an unstoppable urge for this world- simply called as the devil for the society- whose sole purpose is to spread the mess.

“For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind”- provide it to your child!

Some of the things that mainly vitiate your child are:  media, bad environment, bad company, internet, and also, sensual female protagonist games. Try to keep away your children from fight-oriented movies and games because it may bring aggressiveness, frustration, obstinacy and revolt in them. Moreover, it also declines their IQ level.

Prepare and prevent, rather than repair and repent!

To protect your child, you should train in such a way that they themselves can mark between the good and bad.  Especially, this is the responsibility of a mother to teach them about the dubious people wearing the mask of innocence.

Love and trust- go together!

  • Always show that you really trust them. Try to spend proper time with your child. If they try to tell something but hesitate, then let them feel comfortable with yourself because you are the only one who is nearest to them and understands their emotions.
  • Teach your child  that no one has right to see, touch or play with your private body parts
  • They must never accept any food stuff or gift from a stranger. They must refuse their offer on the spot and leave. .
  • Sometimes, the children think that they are at fault, and their elder would punish them or beat them; they start hiding the things which leads to destruction because of the absence of guidance.

Hug you kids at home, but belt them in cars!

Don’t leave your child alone at home or anywhere with servants. If your child is an extrovert, and starts talking to anyone, then softly advise him/her not to talk to strangers.

The Media-mania

Media is one of the biggest monsters and a catastrophe for our children. No one has time to keep an eye on them. There are so many tactics using which you can save children from the destruction. For instance- set a specific time to watch the television. Discuss their views on the program which they watched; but remember, do not show them that you keep a check on them; or make them feel that you are an investigator.

Filter your conversation with your child according to his/her age and understanding. In this century, no doubt, grooming children is like a Rocket Science. Parenthood brings a huge responsibility your shoulders.

Delivering the best knowledge to your child is an on-going struggle. Global knowledge along with the knowledge of religion is what makes the child rise and shine. Islam is the best code of conduct for all.

Read between the lines

read-between-the-linesI remember when I was in grade nine, my English teacher gave us a comprehension. It was followed by a series of questions pertaining to that very specific composition. After reading it multiple times, I failed to grab an answer. I asked her, how to find the answers which are not there? She smiled and said, “Read between the lines.” Now I know how some messages are subtle.

Exposure capping

Have you ever encountered a situation when you unknowingly reach for an unknown product on basis of familiarity? You do not know anything about it, but have seen it thousands of time on television set, and have heard its name multiple times via media means. Media has bombarded the minds of viewers with massive promotional advertisement. What is seen is what is selling.  The message stored in our subconscious. The tactic is exposure -to show them explicitly that it gets stored in the brains. Is everything we are being exposed to worth watching?

All that glitters is not gold

Media magnificently wraps the slime and slut into the realm of doubtless, envisage, mushy, and cheesy stories. This all causes their heart to skip a beat and they long for all this in their lives. It is for this fantasy that they go for unlawful relationships. Hearts and flowers steal the show. What are we offering them? A world where-

Adultery justified

Modesty rationalized

Morals marginalized

Personal matters publicized

Religion paralyzed

Violence generalized

Women advertised

Filth idealized

Ummah immunized

Bypass your conscious mind Have you ever heard of the word,“subliminal message”? It is anything that sends you a message without your knowledge, which is usually picked up on by your subconscious mind. It might be a text, graphic, pictorial or any other auditory means.

You will find numerous examples of these explicit messages that are hidden in cartoons. Cartoons are no more cartoons nowadays. They offer violence, aggression, erotic messages, brutal killings, and homosexuality. Don’t brush it under your carpets. It is time to recognize the problem and to work for its eradication

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 A known cartoon lion king has been objected on a scene when the lion blows off dust from a cliff. The dust forms a word SEX which is a subliminal message. Kids absorb it and it surely messes up with their belief. Why do you see such crimes appalling and common?

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This is another example of a hidden message that we parents are blindly offering to our little ones with innocent minds. We are the reason behind exploiting their minds. If you love them truly, you will surely make a way to filter and detox the receiving grime in the name of entertainment. In a lighter tone- just for a laugh- when your husband asks you to not to spend much time in shopping, you spend hours and hours by ignoring his reprimand.  You do what you want. We are all in our comfort zone, happily spending time on cell phones, video games, televisions, and other electronic gadgets. We are badly snatching the right of our kids and spouse upon us. The situation turns bleak when family time is replaced by screen time. We are now introverts and lack the empathetic skills to socialize. We lack time for our kids; have no devotion to educate them, to protect them. Later, we have no right to cry over the spilt milk.

 

Some adverse effects of media exposure

  1. There are various types of physical mutilation that media entertainment provides. Long hours of screen time badly effects
    1. memory
    2. attention span
    3.  cognition
    4. Impaired Eye sight
    5. Weight gain.
    6.  A kid who is exposed to all sorts of filth gets immune to the depicted sins; hence, readily absorbs on both levels of consciousness and unconsciousness.
    7. High level of anger and violence. Sample of Wisconsin and Maryland high school and junior high school students confirm the correlational link of aggressive behaviour and delinquency.
    8. Indecency in dressing. Princess Jasmine and Ariel half naked. Our girls dream of those dresses as they are worn by princesses.
    9. Blindly following the cartoon characters- nearly worshipping them. A kid jumped off his roof by wearing a cloak and died, as he dreamt to fly like the spider man.
    10. Lost heritage, cultural and Islamic values. Doctor Victor b. Cline, the psychologist, says that: “the media are powerful teachers of values and ethical behaviour, and sometimes may play a more significant role than the church.”
    11. Sleep and eating disorders. Media wrongly inform our opinions and desires. To quote, leading to the desire of white skin and zero figures through persuasive ads and programs. Leading to disorders such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.
    12. Today Video games offer life-like characters and rich, graphic imagery that delivers very realistic experiences. Studies have shown a correlation between playing video games and unhealthy outcomes for children, such as isolation and loneliness, obesity, belief in gender stereotypes and increased aggressive behaviour.
    13. Violence and massacre. Tom and Jerry shows extreme brutal hitting.
    14. Hidden erotic messages mature the reproductive system and sex hormones; thus, kids today are reaching their puberty earlier.
    15. Increase rate of rapes.
    16. Learn abusive language.

How can we protect them?

Befriend your child and educate, do not dictate!

Being parents, we are responsible to instill the love of Allah (swt) and educate them about the things which are disliked by Allah (swt). Start telling them at an early age about the things that pleases and displeases Allah (swt) as young minds are more absorbent. We often offer them screen time because we have work to do, or to have some me time, or to keep them calm and motionless, tied to their place. Everything can wait but time will not. This is the crucial time as iron can be molted when hot. This is the high time that you divert their minds towards healthy habits like book reading, helping around the house (for instance, to pick cushions up and put on right places).

For younger kids, install software that will limit their view of things that they are not supposed to see. In joint family, it is rather difficult to convince about the hazards of television. Supplicate a lot to Allah (swt) and with wisdom limit and distract your kids. Do not run after your kid every time you catch him watching television by saying Haram Haram (unlawful). Your role is to educate and not to compel. It is normal that a kid will fall for the beats and cartoon. Offer him with a substitute. There are many Islamic cartoons available on ytpak.com. To name few, learn Quran with Zaky, Adams world, Hurray for Baba Ali, and nasheeds without music. If they have seen anything, that carries a bad message. Try to detox it later by talking about it. Make a list of things that fall under sin and things that are worthy of rewards. Make them yearn for Jannah (paradise). Islam is not about individualism, but rather it talks about communism. Build an ambience around that is free of the things which Allah (swt) doesn’t like. This will take time, but it will surely bring sweet fruits later. Tell him television itself is not bad. What it advertises and displays is wrong. Tell him how we can  make good use of it by watching animal channels and others educational programs.

Mirror mirror on the wall

Yes, your kids follow like  your own shadow or reflection. Model the behaviour you yourself want them to have. You need to limit your screen time. There should not be a television in bedroom. When dramas and movies are your weakness, and you fail to resist the allure to watch; when you are glued in front of the television and ignore when your husband shows up; when you give your kids a shut up call because they are interrupting while you are involved in a mesmerizing scene- then don’t expect them to be away from this filth. Neither, demand them to obey you or respect you. You are committing a sin and this sin will follow even after your death too. Your kids will follow your footsteps. As it is said in Surah Yaseen,

 

Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them), and their traces, and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book. (Surah Yaseen 36: 12)

Don’t try to fit in, when you are born to stand out!

Peer pressure is the most important factor that regulates our thought process and desire. I remember during my schooling, I used to feel like a fish out of water. I was not allowed to watch movies alone without my mother’s supervision. My classmates would talk about all sorts of movies, scenes, slang words and my jaws would drop to the floor. Be very vigilant when it comes to choose an education system as kids blindly follow the crowd around in order to fit in. In addition, a time comes when teachers have more powerful impact as compared to parents. Bon fires, farewells, trip to Cineplex, movie nights, are the events endorsed with music and filth. During my college years, a friend of mine refused to pay for the farewell arrangement charges. Her father said that I will not spend for unlawful things. Hats off to her and her parents for bringing her up in the most desirable way, that will gain the pleasure of Allah (swt). Give your child confidence that the false opinion of his peers will not shatter his roots nor tear apart his self-worth. Backward, extremist, loser are some of the attributes given to such kids who don’t watch television, or are unaware of the upcoming song or movie. Again it goes back to parenting. Be your kid’s best friend, before the world offers him wrong friends. I was uncomfortable to read that it is Talibanization and extremism to say watching television is sin.

Readhttp://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/25370/how-can-we-stop-our-children-from-being-radicalised-by-extremists/

It’s high time

Do we need a trumpet to be blown on our heads? How are we turning a blind eye to the so openly served nonsense to our kids and youth? Dating, extra marital affairs, polygamy (yes, it is allowed in Islam; for my male readers but only if a man can afford and do justice), betraying your spouse, drinking, gambling, myth of eternal love, dancing parties, you name it and you get to see it. Everything is becoming a norm and our kids are being brain washed to accept the immorality. Who is to be blamed? Is it the fault of media for dishing out such lustful and indecent dramas and music? Or is it entirely the fault of your children who are not more than a couch potato? A kid of today is passive and aggressive; he contempts elders and ridicules their principles; he burns his lid off mostly by throwing tantrums and fit.

Nevertheless, it is not too late. Make intention and then fasten up your belt. Do your best and supplicate to protect your kids from the trials of today.

A note for media people

Media people are responsible for what our kids see and they will be held accountable for what they offer. Be cautious! As you will soon be standing in front of the Lord of the worlds. They are holding the blame of others sin too. A movie is ban on account of being x-rated. The tactic is simple. If you want to have a mega hit and massive sale, ban the product. Out of curiosity, people will come to see. Allah (swt) knows the intention behind. Whether the Niyyah (intention) behind naming it eighteen plus is to limit the audience or increase the viewership.

The Real Romance

loveforallahsakeFor love, there have been wars. For love, people have harboured feelings of anger, jealousy, and hatred to the extent of committing murder and heinous crimes thereafter. Without doubt, the emotion of love is a strong emotion which is seemingly represented by red hearts, red roses, red ribbons, etc. Love is commonly expressed in a manner expressed best in stories, novels, movies, and so on. We have come to understand the emotion of ‘love’ the way it is described and portrayed in the mass media.

The moment we think about love, a picture of a couple in love springs up in our minds. We consider the ‘drama’ in their lives, which leads to marriage or yearning. Then there is some more drama, followed by suspense, and in the end, we have a standard ‘happily ever after’.

At first glance, Islam and love seem total antonyms of each other. Although all the elements of love are present in the Quran and Ahadeeth, we do not understand the concept of romance or love in Islam. Muhabbah (love) comes from the root word Hubb, which means a seed that Allah (swt) has sown in our hearts. Ibn Abbas (rta) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said:

 Muhabbah (love) comes from the root word Hubb, which means a seed that Allah (swt) has sown in our hearts.

“Allah brought all the offspring of Adam from Adam’s back, in Arafah, and He took the oath from the people. Then Allah said (and the Prophet [sa] recited): ‘Am I not your Lord?’ (Al-Araf 7:172)” (An-Nasai and Ahmad)

On that day, Allah (swt) bestowed us with His love in our hearts. Allah (swt) further guides us in the Quran. He says He loves those who constantly repent, those who are pure inwardly and outwardly, those who do good deeds beautifully, those who have Taqwa, are conscious of Allah (swt) and abstain from sins, and those who are patient during trials and do not lose their temper. Allah (swt) does not love those who create mischief, those who betray others, and those who are arrogant and two-faced. Hence, we get a clear picture that those whom Allah (swt) loves will love humanity and leave a progeny full of goodness.

Today’s common ‘objects’ of love are spouses, children, wealth, and Dunya. However, Allah (swt) says that those who have Iman love Allah (swt) the most, as the Quran mentions that the believers love Allah (swt) more intensely. (Al-Baqarah 2:165) We know how much the Sahabah (ra) loved the Prophet (sa) and how they loved Allah (swt), too. Consider also the Hadeeth that specifies seven categories of people who will be given Allah’s Shade on the Day of Resurrection. In one category will be those whose love is for the sake of Allah (swt) alone.

The youth are full of emotions and emotions can make us lose control. Decisions taken on the basis of emotions are usually wrong and result in regret. These days, through pop culture and mass media, Muslim youth tend to destroy their lives by indulging in Haram relationships which have no place in Islam. A relationship whose base is either love at first sight, or beauty, or expensive gifts, or fun will always be flimsy with a weak foundation. It will not last for long as a Hadeeth says: “Your love for something blinds and deafens.” (Abu Dawood and Ahmad)

Love based on a strong foundation is love for the sake of Allah (swt). Love is to want to be with your spouse in this world and the hereafter as well. This love has commitment and is not based merely on physical or emotional factors. Spouses are garments to each other and both are enjoined to have mercy on one another. Every moment spent with each other is rewarded.

reserve all smileys, roses and hearts for what is Halal and judge for yourself what true love is. Love what Allah (swt) loves and leave what angers Allah (swt).

It was reported from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “In the (sexual act) of each one of you there is a charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfils his carnal desire will he have some reward for that?” He (sa) said: “Do you not see that if he were to act upon it (his desire) in an unlawful manner, then he would be deserving of punishment? Likewise, if he were to act upon it in a lawful manner, he will be deserving of a reward.” (Muslim)

If we try to emulate virtual love or love depicted in movies, it will kill our spiritual heart. The person will be deprived of Allah’s love and mercy in this world, unless he sincerely repents. Hence, reserve all smileys, roses and hearts for what is Halal and judge for yourself what true love is. Love what Allah (swt) loves and leave what angers Allah (swt).

Love is when Prophet Muhammad (sa) took the glass from which Aisha (rta) had drunk. He put his lips on the exact same place she had put hers and then drank. (An-Nasai)

Love is when Prophet Muhammad (sa) raced with Aisha (rta) and teased her when she lost! (Abu Dawood)

Love is when Fatimah (rta) immediately smiled and never complained when her father (sa) told her that her Nikah has been made to Ali (rta).

Love is when Zainab (rta) sent a necklace given to her by her mother Khadeejah as a ransom for her husband!

Love is when Khadeejah (rta) spent her entire wealth on the Deen for the man she loved!

That is real love, Subhan’Allah!

It’s not Bad to be Sad

sadCo-authored by Umm Isam

We often aim to escape from a phase of sadness, assuming that it’s not a ‘good’ or ‘normal’ state to be in. We feel sorry for people, who are undergoing certain sorrow or distress. Have we wondered why we are feeling this way? We often fail to realize that sadness is an emotion just like any other emotion in our life. Why do we feel so bad about being sad? How did we come to this conclusion that sadness is bad and happiness is good? Let’s look into some reasons which we fail to acknowledge.

It is important to note that we live in a capitalist structure of society, which was initiated in the era of industrialization. Capitalism defines the society in a way that everyone seeks happiness in a certain object or material product. It has designed the media, products, schooling system, movies and dramas in a way that depicts a constant search for material happiness. Media is a powerful agent of the capitalists. They use it to condition humans in a way that their subconscious mind is engraved into attaining worldly or material products in order to gain happiness.

A prominent example is the common ad of skin whitening creams, which always show two main scenes: the first scene with a girl who looks dull, dark and ‘sad’; the second scene shows a girl who looks fresh, fair and ‘happy’. Our mind is way smarter than we perceive it to be; hence, it catches even the slightest details and stores it in our subconscious memory. Next time, when we face a similar situation, we tend to pick what’s available in our subconscious mind. In this case, the media has fed us to look for happiness in a simple skin whitening cream.

Another common example of imposed happiness can be seen on Facebook. Have you ever noticed on Facebook any pictures of your friends crying or looking dull? I am sure not or very rarely. Even if people are feeling gloomy and sad, they pose with hugs and smiles when someone brings out the camera. It is obvious that they are smiling merely for Facebook and do not feel the actual happiness of that smile. This happens because of the basic concept that we have to be happy all the time, which is neither necessary nor natural.

Media perpetuates products and ads, which depict humans fetching happiness all the time, or it tries to provide steps of gaining ultimate happiness. Movies and dramas are filled with ‘they lived happily ever after’, happy endings and successful protagonists, giving us a message that we have to avail happiness in the same way, and if we don’t, then we are not normal.

Furthermore, the system of capitalism has also initiated many diseases, for example, depression, bipolar disorders and even eating disorders. It depicts and defines ‘happy’ for us, and then we develop a feeling of Hasad (envy) trying to seek that happiness for ourselves; hence, we increase the risks of such diseases as depression and anxiety. The societal pressure to look happy weighs people down so heavily that they often need to seek professional help.  People experiencing depression visit psychiatrists, who prescribe anti-depressants. These drugs are highly priced and require to be taken for a long time. Pharmaceutical companies are making millions out of them, so they rope in doctors, who at times are not even qualified to prescribe these drugs. Furthermore, the chemicals in these drugs prevent the self-correctional process of human body that Allah (swt) has granted, thus throwing everything into disarray. Sometimes, all a sad person needs is counselling from another wise person or friend, instead of antidepressants.

The pressure to feel joyful is so immense that when a child falls or a teenager fails at something, parents don’t even want to acknowledge their sorrow. A child is told that all is okay and he must not cry. The adolescent is admonished to display bravado and not immaturity. In contrast, psychologists strongly advise to acknowledge these distressful feelings and emotionally empathize with these kids. This is to ensure that they will trust their feelings the next time. If we muffle them, they would eventually become desensitized and won’t respond to anybody’s pain, assuming it to be wrong. If we cut our finger and do not acknowledge it, we can actually bleed to death unknowingly. It is Allah’s (swt) mercy to feel hurt in order to recover and survive.

Allah (swt) designed everything with symmetry. If there is hot, then there is cold, too. Too much of anything makes survival difficult and can eventually destroy the system. Similarly, Allah (swt) designed happiness and sadness together, complimenting each other and giving symmetry to our life.

We, as Muslims, are well aware of the fact that nothing can stay forever. How can we expect happiness or even sadness to stay forever in our lives? A common example is going on a vacation. We enjoy ourselves and experience great happiness; however, if the vacation gets too long, we eventually start getting homesick. This is because nothing can keep us happy or sad forever. The system of Allah (swt) is flawless and everything is balanced with both positives and negatives.

Allah (swt) is the One, Who makes us happy or sad. In a state of sadness, we are not permitted to utter the words of Kufr, fall into disbelief, pose threat or harm to others, and doubt the existence of Allah (swt), or whether He has forsaken us. Some incidents in life cannot be explained through reasoning and seem very unjust, but Duniya is not Dar-ul-Jaza (a place where we will be rewarded). It is imperfect. It is a place of test for a believer, so he can score well with Sabr and Salah and attain the most exquisite bounties of Paradise, which will be perfect. Good people may be afflicted with severe hardships. Sadness should be a means to draw closer to our Rabb (swt) and ask for forgiveness.

If you remember Allah (swt) in times of joy, He will stay close to you in times of distress. A strong believer never forgets his Creator and always invokes Him alone for strength in sadness.

Instead of looking for happiness all the time, we should consider the perfect system designed by Allah (swt) and realize that no matter which emotion we experience, it should be treated well. Research has shown that crying can actually make people feel better and relieve the stress that was accumulating in their body. Therefore, it is better to let your sadness out and feel it completely; however, we should not let it overpower us and influence our lifestyle. We should learn from life events and move on. Don’t allow the media to condition a definition of happiness for you; rather, develop your own happiness. Be adventurous, take risks and always trust Allah (swt).

Symbolism in the Mass Media

Apr 11 - Mass Media

By Hooruneen Sheikh and Binte Aqueel

The first ten verses of Surah Al-Muminoon outline the defining characteristics of a true believer, who will make it to Jannah. Of these, one of the important characteristics is that “they stay away from Al-Laghw” – all those things, which waste time and give no benefit.

We have been cautioned against this weapon of Shaitan at another place in the Quran, where Allah (swt) tells him:

“‘And befool them gradually, those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e., songs, music, and any other call for Allah’s disobedience), make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, mutually share with them wealth and children (by tempting them to earn money by illegal ways, usury, etc., or by committing illegal sexual intercourse, etc.), and make promises to them.’ But Shaitan promises them nothing but deceit.” (Al-Isra 17:64)

It is interesting to note that we do not directly hear Shaitan’s ‘voice’ or see attacks from his ‘cavalry and infantry’. Indeed, he employs more subtle ways to misguide humankind and fulfill his promise to Allah (swt). He does to through the mass media and popular culture.

Much has been written and discussed about the satanic messages and symbols in the mass media. A surge of articles, reports, documentaries and videos seeking to expose the satanic roots of the entertainment and media industry have taken the cyber world by storm. While one may not agree with all the theories purported by these documentaries and reports or the fact that it is part of a greater plan to implement a pre-Dajjal system before his actual appearance, some revelations of imagery used in popular culture, however, do give one the creeps.

To have a clearer understanding of this symbolism in the mass media, let us take a look at some examples of imagery in popular songs, movies and cartoons.

Pervasive, Overt and Subtle Sexual Imagery

The way the media seems to be evolving today, the presence of sexual imagery in its overt form is no longer surprising. It has become the norm. However, when such imagery is slipped into cartoons, movies and songs in a more covert manner, especially in places where one least expects them, there is a reason for alarm. Here are a few examples:

–          The word ‘sex’ appears to be written in the shape of the clouds in the popular cartoon “The Lion King”.

–          Another cartoon shows a portrait of a naked woman in the background of a regular scene.

–          One of Disney’s most praised pieces of work, “Fantasia”, shows a nude woman openly displaying her bosoms during one of the songs in the cartoon. In another scene, during the same song, flames shape-shift into naked dancing women. The imagery is vivid, yet it is so fleeting that one barely notices it, but it has its effect on the child’s mind.

Use of Occult and Masonic Symbols

Such images as the one-eyed Masonic symbol and the symbol of the checkered floor,, which is of pagan and Masonic origin, can be found in popular songs, movies and cartoons. Logos of products and media companies also carry similar symbols.

–          One advertisement of Nickelodeon carried a clear image of one eye.

–          In the popular children’s cartoon “Dumbo”, the elephant carried the one-eye symbol in one of its songs. The current popular cartoon “Ben 10” shows a character which transforms himself into a one-eyed creature.

–          Disney’s famed production “Fantasia” has one of its most popular characters adorned with the horns of Satan.

–          In the popular movie “Matrix”, the lead character Neo can only leave this world and visit Morpheus by walking on the checkered floor. Only then do ‘the doors’ open. They are the mode of transportation. The checkered pattern represents the merging of both worlds – of the Jinns and humans. All Masonic rituals have to take place on the checkered floor. Note that Cartoon Network’s emblem shows a checkered floor in the background.

  • The popular children’s cartoon “Aladdin” uses the concept of a blue genie, which grants all of Aladdin’s wishes. Among the gifts this ‘Jinn’ presents to Aladdin are the ‘ladies in red’, which represent the devilish allure of the world. (Notice how most of the female models of today wear red on the “red” carpet and in commercials). Then, the genie presents Aladdin with ‘the contract’ and lures him through worldly pleasure, implying that his worldly wishes can come true through such practice.
  • Popular singer Madonna’s song “Frozen” shows Madonna shape-shifting like Jinns into black crows.
  • Popular singer Britney Spears performs her song “I am a Slave for You” with a snake wrapped around her.

These are just some of the examples of imagery used in the mass media. The examples are endless, but what it all comes down to in the end is: how do we keep ourselves, our children and families safe from such explicit and implicit imagery in the popular media?

“No TV” Policy

There is no option better than eliminating TV from your family life. The void can be filled with interactive family sessions such as playing games, doing projects, visiting places, socializing with relatives, etc. This definitely entails more sacrifice and investment of time on the part of the parents as it will be difficult to separate kids from TV, especially if they are already addicted to it. However, once achieved, this feat will improve the quality of your family life immensely.

Exercise control

If the above doesn’t work, make it clear to yourself, your family and your kids that it is not okay to watch all sorts of media content. There should be a conscious control over what is being watched. While there are objectionable forms of content, there is other media content that can be enriching and educational, while being entertaining at the same time. We must learn where to draw the line.

Chaperoned Viewing

Most moms prefer using the television as a baby-sitter to get some relief, while their children get lost in the magical world of the idiot box. It is imperative to understand that handing over your kids to the TV is not safe. While you would never leave your kids alone on the street, leaving them alone with a media that is filled with imagery and concepts that pose a threat to their values and religion should not be an option either.

Sit down with your kids as they watch their favourite cartoons, control what these favourite cartoons are, discuss what aspects of the show they just watched are acceptable and what was wrong, how some parts conform to or go against their religious beliefs, etc. Eventually, you will realize that pure entertainment sessions become more educational for your child and the awareness they build will go a long way in keeping them wary of what influences they do or do not accept from the media in the future.