Mohamedarif Suleman – Nairobi, Kenya
For the benefits of the non-Gujrati readers (which I am afraid may constitute a large percentage of our community), here are excerpts from Marhum Mulla Asgherali M M Jaffer’s last counsel published in a recent edition of the Gujrati magazine “ithnasheri” that quotes Marhum’s last visit to Bhuj and Kutchh.
During informal conversations, Mulla engaged his host Janab Yusufali Bhojani and his collegues in a discussion related to youths and the influence of the omnipotent media on their minds.
It is recalled in the article that Mulla lamented at the overpowering role of the 24-hour cable and digital TV and the internet. He said that in the guise of harmless entertainment and depiction of the lives of people, such networks and indeed the World Wide Web was a source of conveying a materialist culture deviod of Islamic values, and in many instances directly opposing matters of faith. He said that the professional packaging of such channels was so sophisticated that it attracts the youth but simultaneously trains them for skills of living a materialist life. Not only do they cause mental anguish but also physical agony.
When we reflect at his last thoughts, we perhaps cannot feel anything else but agreement. For not only are we all surrounded by such problems today, for most parents it seems almost impossible to correct the situation because the risk of being labeled old fashioned by the young generation is looming large. But Mulla preaches bravery. He felt that if parents do not reverse the situation, the time would not be far that our children would finally change their names as well to fall in line with the pressuring demands of their generation. Shying away from the problem will guarantee parents of distress in this life and punishment in the hereafter.
Watching a TV pop show in which women bare their bodies and men swarm all over them, or for that matter being bombarded by a commercial in which the brand sellers claim sexual attraction as a primary reason to wear, say, a certain perfume or shirt, is a desperate attempt by the sellers to target a vulnerable age group using basic instincts which need no further persuasion. After all, telling people that a certain washing power washes well than its competitors is one thing, and telling them that if used, it would guarantee sexual favours from members of the opposite sex, is something else.
It is about time, we stood up to our times and said to the new generation that it was fine if they desired sex, et al. But as Muslims, we were brought to create change for humanity. To show the world, that unlike animals, who attract others’ mates by smell, strength or charm, human beings are meant to live a life in which sex has to be enjoyed as a means of gratitude to Allah and as per His commandements.
Beyond the man-woman relationship, which seems to be the theme in most new genre soaps, ads and films, other attributes such as scant dressing, rebellious haircut or disobedience to the elders are all traits that favours general trade and commerce because it enhanced customer spending.