The FIFA Football World Cup 2018 was estimated to be viewed by 3 billion people on their screens. That is the reach that digital screens have in our lives today and can it be denied? No. And whatever is reaching into our homes is impacting our hearts too. Can this be denied? No, again.
The question then arises where were we when all of this was happening? When the multi million dollar companies were busy developing content for the world to view. When they were planning and preparing to launch their ideologies via the best medium possible – entertainment. When they had an open field to play and launch whatever they decided the world should believe in. Naturally that is in absolute contradiction to what our faith preaches.
We were busy posting fatwas against TV viewing. We were occupied delivering speeches against digital productions. We were also busy trying to bar all of this entertainment from our homes, societies and cities initially. Then we brought in such people to power in our own countries who endorsed every bit of the digital entertainment that we were opposing. And hence it spread like air. As a result, today, we are wrapped around the finger of foreign and local media productions who command us to watch whatever they want to.
Excuse me when I say that most of us behave like a dog on their leash ready to fetch whatever is thrown our way. Their best releases come out at Eid. Can you imagine what that does to our thirty-day worship of Siyam and Qiyam? Muslim countries as per record are the highest number of online shoppers during Ramadan, generating business. That time was for Qiyam ul-Lail.
Had we developed our own media houses back then instead of shopping malls, fashion industry and cafes, we could have offered options to ourselves, our kids and most significantly to the world to view healthy, impactful and insightful content. We could have offered jobs and careers to our youth to produce stuff in line with our values and not blindly imitate and cherish other disbelieving thoughts. Or worse, work for polytheistic and atheistic agendas.
In fact, some of our own Muslim brothers and sisters who assume the position of celebrities are actually used to work against our Deen by projecting sensitive and vulnerable areas of the society. Or misquoting the Quranic injunctions to win their case. As a result, what our local industry is now churning out for the cable TV as well as the big screen is equally corrupt and can hardly be recommended for watching. It’s shallow and this is tragically true for all Muslim countries.
They overlook the immense potential and world of opportunities out there in the field of media to bring Islam closer to all. And by this I do not mean that we should lecture people round the clock.
When Hiba Magazine was launched, there was a great debate that how would a magazine without celebrity faces posing for its pages ever sell? But it’s been more than 15 years and we are still bubbling with ideas by Allah’s (swt) Grace. And it has never been a limitation for the team. In fact it has been a challenge we have gladly accepted to obey the Creator and produce a fine publication that is morally correct and modern to look at.
A few stalwarts who are worth mentioning here are Peace TV, Bayyinah, Dar ul-Arqam Studios, Badr International, Inspiration Series, etc. They decided in time by Allah’s (swt) granted Wisdom that wars are no longer on the ground only. They are of controlling the hearts and souls of the people. Hence with their limited financial and human resources, these insightful experts developed content that was aligned to the core values, yet it was entertaining and most importantly purposeful and solution oriented. And Muslims should donate to them as they donate for Masajid, Masakeen, etc.
Digital imagery is here to stay and go forward. As I said earlier, it’s like the air that cannot be trapped or kept out. It’s time we changed our views and invested in it with the right intention and for the right results. Deception, Dajjal and Digital media. They are all interlinked. One of the greatest tests of our Iman.
Rabbana atinaa min ladunka rahmah wa hayyi lana min amrina rashada. Ameen.