Contents:

download

Sharp Edge of Technology

A knife is an extremely useful tool. No home can do without one. Some knives are very much sharper and more delicate than others. They are used for much more intricate and sensitive tasks, such as slaughtering an ox. Despite a knife being such a useful item, a child is never allowed to handle it. Even adults handle a super-sharp slaughtering knife with extreme caution. Why? Simply because of the associated dangers. The more sophisticated the knife, the more dangerous it is. Yet, its benefits cannot be denied.

DESTRUCTION

Much of modern technology is similar to a knife – albeit an extremely sharp knife.  If one carelessly handles a steel knife, one could lose a limb or even one’s life. Careless use of modern technology could lead to the destruction of adab (respect) and hayaa (shame), the break-up of marriages and even loss of Imaan – Allah forbid!

While every sane adult handles even a moderately sharp knife with extra caution, and never allows his child to play with one, the razor-sharp knife of technology is handled with little or no caution by most people and has become a toy in the hand of almost every child. The resultant havoc is clear as daylight – for those who care to see.

ADDICTION

Among the sharpest knives of technology in the hands of almost every person are the cellular phone and the internet. Due to these items being used without caution and due to placing them in the hands of childen, evils which seemed far-fetched even a decade or two ago have become widespread. The worst filth can be seen at the press of a button – and that button is in the hand of almost every youngster and adult. Numerous people – young and old – have sought assistance from Ulama and social workers to overcome the addiction to “chat-rooms,” “mxit” and other immoral filth available on the internet and through mobile phones. Those who access immoral sites often become addicted to viewing such material and experience an ever growing crave for worse filth, eventually leading to the destruction of this world and the Hereafter. Most youngsters who were spoken to by Ulama, teachers and social workers admit that they have been to immoral websites or on “mxit” and other chat-rooms for haraam purposes. Marriages have ended up in divorce when one of the spouses was entrapped in “mxit” and other similar chat lines. Teenage girls have eloped or secretly married strangers twice their age after a brief  liason on mxit or internet chat rooms. At times, innocent people have become the victims of suspicion and slander due to this very device. Similarly, te daggers are all out on the internet. Apart from all the immoral filth easily accessible on the net, many people fall prey to the extremely destructive anti-Islamic literature on websites. Yet, we would perhaps be much more worried or concerned if our child held a butter-knife. The razor-sharp knife of technology in our child’s hands generally evokes little or no concern.

It is time to stop and take notice. It is time to learn from the lesson of crying parents, heart-broken husbands/wives who have been abandoned by their spouses and youngsters who plead for help to overcome their “addiction”. Thus it is time to take steps to protect ourselves and our families from being swept away by these fitnas, Allah forbid, and from being stabbed in the back by modern technology.

THE INTERNET

As already discussed, the internet has many benefits. Unlike the television which will certainly involve the viewer in haraam, the internet can be used in a way which does not necessarily involve one in any violation of Deen. However, it is an extremely sharp two-edged sword. If there is no genuine need for it, it is best not to have it at all. If one does have it, it should be securely “under lock and key”. Some suggestions in this regard are:

  • Children must never be allowed on the internet except under direct parental supervision.
  • The computer should always be in an open general place – not in the privacy of anyone’s room.
  • Software which prevent the viewing of inappropriate sites should be installed. While this helps in some little way, it is hardly effective. Numerous sites which are totally haraam in Shariah will not be deemed inappropriate by the manufacturers of the software.
  • The password to use the internet should be known to the parent only.
  • The internet should only be used when searching for something, such as material for school work or other research. Do not idly surf the internet as a pastime.

THE CELL-PHONE

Despite its great benefits, the cellular phone is arguably the biggest fitna tool in our times. It is like the Swiss knife which has several blades and sharp instruments tucked under its casing. The difference here is that all the blades and instruments are open, ever ready to cut and maim.  Yet it has become the first choice for a gift or as reward for a good pass or merely to make the child happy. This is indeed dangerous. Some suggestions to protect ourselves and our families from this fitna are:

A child does not need a phone. A teenager does not need a phone. It may sound absurd or seem like advice that is applicable to the camel ages, not the twentieth century. Nevertheless, it is advice to save us from crying when it will be too late to cry. Ask those who have already learnt the hard way. (May Allah Ta’ala save us all. Aameen.)

On the rare occasions that a child needs to have the use of a phone for a genuine reason, a phone could be lent to him for that time only. Remember, the blades are wide open.

For those who need to have a phone, try to have a phone with the basic functions only. Unless necessary for one’s work, totally avoid any functions which enable one to go on-line to any sites. Disable such functions on one’s phone.

Do NOT circulate gossip or immoral material via SMS. Instead send an SMS to all your associates asking them not to forward to you any gossip or rude and immoral text messages.

Remember, most children know more than their parents about cell-phones and other technology. In fact many parents rely on their children to teach them about many features on their phones or to help them surf the internet for something necessary. Hence children often easily hide what they want and make parents believe that all is well. Therefore we cannot afford to take chances. Have we not heard that it is better to be safe than sorry?

May Allah Ta’ala protect the Ummah from all fitnas and safeguard our Imaan, akhlaaq (good character) and hayaa. Aameen.


Hold Your Tongue

For a minute, imagine that you have lost your tongue, Allah forbid. You no more have a tongue in your mouth. Now consider what a tremendous bounty you have been deprived of and what difficulties you will experience without this small organ.

The tongue has various functions. When one eats, it pushes the food between the teeth to enable one to chew the food. During swallowing, the back of the tongue pushes against the oesophagus (wind pipe) and blocks it, thereby preventing food from going into it. Thus had it not been for the tongue, one would have choked as soon as one swallowed anything!!!

Visualise another situation. Delicious food has been placed before you. You want to taste the sweetness of the fruit, the spice in the meat dish, the tangy taste of the lemon and a host of flavours in the other food that has been laid out. Sorry. No tongue… no taste.

Consider this scenario. Somebody observes your mouth moving but hears nothing. He Asks: “Do you want to say something? Are you in pain? Do you wish to call for someone? Does your child want you to read something for him? Your father has phoned from overseas. Why don’t you speak to him?”  Sorry. No tongue … no speech.

THROWN IN JAHANNUM

Subhanallah! What a marvellous organ the tongue is. What a great bounty of Allah Ta’ala. Yet how often do we misuse this tongue. The misuse of such a great gift attracts the wrath of Allah Ta’ala. Hence Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “The harvest (actions) of their tongues will cause people to be thrown into the fire of Jahannum.”

Among the very serious aspects of misuse is to speak vulgar languages. The tongue which is used to take the name of Allah Ta’ala, to recite the Qur’aan and to send durood upon Rasulullah(Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is soiled in the terrible filth of vulgarity. This is in complete contradiction to the clear command of the Qur’an, where Allah Ta’ala declares: “And say to My servants to speak that which is best!” Vulgar languages is a part of the WORST speech, not the BEST.

For some people, talking vulgar languages is a fashion. Almost every second word is an ear-shattering expletive. Apart from being a serious sin, it is the habit of those who lack self respect, morals and basic decency. One should never imitate such people.   Others resort to vulgar languages in anger. Many spouses are guilty of this – often in the presence of their children. Likewise, many employers use filthy vulgar language to reprimand their staff. In many cases the staff member is a non-Muslim. He is left with a very bad impression of Muslims in general due to being constantly sworn at by his Muslim boss.

BECOME PAUPERS

It is reported in a Hadith that many people will become paupers on the day of qiyaamah. They will come with mountains of reward for the good deeds they had performed in the world. However, due to having trampled the rights of people, among which is “swearing at someone” (as mentioned in the Hadith), they will lose all their good deeds to those they had harmed in the world. What a severe loss!

Therefore, let us appreciate the gift of the tongue. Use it. Do not abuse it. Especially … do not swear!


Q&A: Television

Question:

I was informed that a fatwa has been issued recently which states that it is permissible to have a T.V. I want to purchase a set, but my wife is adamant that she will not allow it into the home. This is causing problems between us. Please advise.

Answer:

We are not aware of any fatwa which states that it is permissible to have a T.V. in the home. Nevertheless, a detailed discussion on the technical issues of this question are beyond the scope of this leaflet. Suffice to say that we are firmly of the view that to have a T.V. in the home is not permissible. You should therefore not bring a T.V. into your home. You must also be extremely grateful to Allah Ta’ala that your wife is steering you towards the correct path, unlike many cases were the wife insisted that a T.V. be purchased and the meek husband gave in to his wife’s impermissible demand.

However, it is mind-boggling that you are contemplating bringing a television into your home. It is most unlikely that you are unaware of the filth spewed on the box. Despite this, to entertain the thought of bringing such immorality in the home is astounding.

ENCOURAGE YOUR FAMILY TO DRINK???

Would you allow anyone to come into your home, drink wine in front of your family and encourage them to do the same? What about seating your wife and daughters in front of a group of men at a swimming pool dressed in their underpants? Or, would you permit naked women dressed in scraps of cloth to lounge around in your home in the presence of your family? Is it fine if a strange couple walk into your living room and become intimate in front of your children? You would perhaps respond to this question with an emphatic “NO” and even exclaim: “Do you think I am crazy???”  Yet by means of the T.V. you allow all this, and many things much worse, to happen repeatedly in your home. According to statistics of 1994, by the age of 17 the average child sees 200 000 to 400 000 sex acts on T.V., 100  000 to 200 000 acts of violence and 17 000 to 33 000 murders.  (Hollywood Reporter – March 1994)

While Muslims should naturally be disgusted with the T.V., even those who are devoid of Imaan but have some sense of morality are aghast over the  depravity of T.V. programmes. Thus many such people have formed pressure groups to protest against the extent of immorality and violence on T.V. If this is the reaction of disbelievers, a Mu’min’s revulsion for these evils should be a million times more.

Therefore, have mercy on yourself and your family. Do not bring an instrument that will destroy their shame, morals, respect and even, Allah forbid, their Imaan.


I will lose out if …

Often many people find themselves wrestling with their conscience. Should they embark on the very lucrative venture which has “just one little impermissible aspect” or should they forego it and lose out on the huge profits? Some people complain: “If I do not give the “see right” I will not get the order.” Hence they wish to know whether they can give the bribe which is termed a see right? Others exclaim: “If I cancel the overdraft, I would have to close down my business”. Many express the fear that “If I close my shop/office/practice, etc. for Zuhr and Asr, I will lose out big time. Can I perform my Salaah later?” Such sentiments and questions are often heard from people in various occupations.

ONLY ONE CHOICE

For a Mu’min there is only one choice — the complete obedience of Allah Ta’ala and our most beloved Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). If a million Rands could be earned in a minute through an impermissible transaction or action, a Mu’min will forsake the million Rands. Indeed it is a great test of one’s Imaan. However, a true mu’min will not only forsake the million Rands that are enticingly glaring at him, he will also be convinced 100% that he has NOT lost out.

GRANT YOU BETTER

Hazrath Abu Qatadah (R.A.) relates that once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) took the hand of a bedouin and advised him thus: “Whatever you forsake out of the fear of Allah Ta’ala (due to it being impermissible), Allah Ta’ala will grant you something better (in place of what you seem to have lost out)” (Shu’bul Imaan). Therefore a Mu’min will certainly believe that he has not lost a cent. Instead he will be sure that he has gained much more by foregoing the impermissible transaction. Due to adopting taqwa (the fear of Allah Ta’ala) one will clinch deals in places where one least expects to get any business.

Therefore one should strictly refrain from all clearly impermissible transactions as well as all “shady” deals.  Allah Ta’ala alone is the Provider… not our jobs, businesses or professions.


Earn Billions

Earning a billion is a distant thing. Even for a meagre profit we will toil and sweat for long hours, though there is no guarantee that we will enjoy the fruits of our labour. Contrary to this, the investments of the Aakhirah (Hereafter) are easy and guaranteed. It is then only our foolishness that we deprive ourselves of great investments in the Hereafter.

Among the great easy investments for the Hereafter is to seek forgiveness for the Believers. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “ He who seeks forgiveness for the believing men and the believing women will be credited with a good deed against every Believer, man and woman.” (Tabrani) Thus if one seeks forgiveness once for everybody by saying, “O Allah, forgive all the Believers,” one will earn billions of rewards.

ACCEPTED DUAS

Furthermore, to seek forgiveness for all the Believers twenty seven times daily has a special virtue. Hazrath Abu Darda (R.A) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “If anyone prays to Allah Ta’ala twenty-seven times every day to forgive all believing men and all believing women, he will join the ranks of the close slaves of Allah whose supplication is answered and by virtue of whom Allah grants provision to the inhabitants of the world.” (Tabrani)

In the present era when individualism has become the norm, daily seeking forgiveness on behalf of all the Believers will insha Allah generate compassion for the Ummah in our hearts. The plight of the Ummah will then. It will instead move us to do whatever is in our capacity to improve the condition of the Ummah in Deen and dunya. not merely be a news item or just another statistic


Hz Moulana Qasim Sema r.a

“The demise of an Aalim is the demise of a world.”

This is an often quoted saying which fits aptly to the tragic demise of one of South Africa’s senior most Ulama, Hazrath Moulana Qasim Sema Saheb (R.A.). His sterling work bears ample testimony to this.

Apart from being the founder of the first Darul Uloom in South Africa, Hazrath Moulana also translated the Qur’an in Zulu for the first time, was among the founder members of the Jamiatul Ulama KZN and undertook a host of other efforts for Deen. He continued working tirelessly until his demise at the age of 87 years. Hundreds of students who graduated from Hazrath Moulana’s institute, Darul Uloom Newcastle, continue to serve Deen in South Africa and abroad. This sadaqah-e-jaariya (means of perpetual rewards) will Insha Allah continue till the day of Qiyamah.

May Allah Ta’ala grant Moulana complete maghfirat and bless him with a special abode in the lofty ranks of Jannatul Firdaus. May his family, colleagues, students and associates all be blessed with sabr-e-jameel. May Allah Ta’ala also enable us to emulate the noble example of Hazrath Moulana. Aameen.


Faqihul Ummah: Parent’s Disunity

LETTER:

[The writer apparently complained of differences between his parents and requested advice in this regard as well as with regard to giving up sin.]

REPLY: Bismihi Ta’ala

Respected Brother

Assalamu Alaikum

 I was greatly perturbed to hear about the disunity of your parents. May Allah Ta’ala grant love and affection in their hearts for one another. Nevertheless, it is compulsory for you to respect both your parents. Never allow such a situation to occur that in supporting one of your parents you disrespect the other.

To be affected by their disputes is natural. However, bear this with patience. Otherwise, disregarding one’s parents or ill-treating them  brings down various calamities upon one.

As for refraining from sin, the only way is to fight the nafs (evil desires). Without fighting the nafs, the nafs will not become subservient (and one will continue to fall into sin).

(Maktoobaat vol. 5 pg.60)