Bint Ahmad Sulaymaan – Cii News | 14 October 2014/19 Dhul Hijjah 1435

Addiction is not just the uncontrollable habit of using drugs or alcohol. Behavioural addictions such as gambling, eating, exercise and now Compulsive Internet Use (CIU) – which includes video gaming – are very common. It is without a doubt that addiction to drugs, alcohol, food or worldly pleasures affects the body, mind and soul.

Common in all addictions is that the repetitive behaviour affects an individual’s adjustment to every day environments and situations and despite the harm the habit causes, the addict persists. Similarly, the addiction to video games affects the balance between the three elements – of – self essential to healthy living. This ultimately affects and changes (nerfs) a person’s Imaan.

With every high comes the constant beating down of one’s will power and self to the point that coming out of any addiction means having to completely reboot, reload and power-up.

Heavy gaming is defined by the American Medical Association as playing for more than two hours per day. Gamers spend an estimated number of six to 12 hours gaming per week. Once a person becomes addicted, important aspects of life, such as bathing, eating, working and praying are neglected.

American Medical Association defined heavy gaming as playing for more than two hours per day. Estimates are that gamers spend playing video games from 6 to 12 hours per week. When game playing is addictive, it takes over as the person’s main way of coping with life, with other important areas of life being neglected or disrupted as a result

Video games include computer games, console games, arcade machine games, cell phone games, PDA etc. It generally falls in the category of amusement (lahw). Lahw is detested in Islam and should be avoided. It goes without saying that video games leads to many other sins. Most, if not all video games contain music, animate pictures, lewd and vulgar language, pornography and promotes immorality, decadence or evil.  On their own, these are all Haraam and impermissible to participate in.

Mankind was created for the purpose of worshipping Allah SWT. The actions that lead us to the recognition, pleasure and nearness of Allah are the only habits that is encouraged. Futile and fruitless activities which result in no good in both the worlds should be abandoned.

Allah says, “And from among the people, there is he who buys the distracting amusement of things, so that he, being devoid of knowledge, may mislead (people) from the Way of Allah and make a mockery of it. Such people are the ones for whom there is a disgraceful punishment.”

“The perfection of a person’s faith and obedience is in his abstinence from that which is useless and brings forth no goodness. The playing of video games not only prevents a person from using time effectively but generally involves listening to vulgar language, viewing indecent material and is also responsible for serious social and psychological implications,” is the reason given by Mufti Ebrahim Desai, Darul Iftaa.

Children are the leaders of tomorrow, explains Mufti Desai. They should be treated with a lot of care and love. “One should demonstrate affection and compassion for children as far as possible. As seniors, we should imbibe within them proper Islamic values and manners. The hearts of children are like bare fields, we need to cultivate their hearts with the correct seeds of true Islamic values, ethics, morals and mannerisms.”

As it is the nature of a child to be playful and energetic he advises parents to channel that energy into Halaal avenues. Parents should consider taking their kids on nature trips, hiking, walking, or cycling. Especially during the holidays when impermissible outlets are found to keep kids occupied.

“Creating a general atmosphere of Deen within the home. Have a fixed time when Yaseen is recited, Durood Shareef is recited in the house, take them to the Masjid from an early age so that they get used to the environment of Deen, buy some Islamic literature which would appeal to the minds of youngsters or make them more active in the household chores.”

The hearts of children must be won with love and affection in order for them to accept and understand the importance of Deen over worldly amusements.

I’ve noticed two different extremes in our community.

On the one extreme, we have cultures that leave the kids (sons) with no boundries. They grow up running wild and often lack respect/ manners (adab). But they learn independence and courage, and when it’s necessary to take a stand, they are able. Then on the other extreme we have cultures that raise their kids to never think for themselves, to be totally dependent on the parents to decide how they live, what they study, and even who they marry. Everything is dictated for the kids including what they should think, feel, and do. These kids grow up to have excellent adab (manners) and respect for elders–but lack courage, independence and backbone. They become like robots following as they are programmed. When the time comes to take a stand, they are unable to, due to fear of going against the social and cultural norms dictated to them their entire life. Controlled by fear and shame, they don’t dare step ‘out of line’ from what’s expected of them by society.
Somehow we need to come back to balance. We need to raise our children to be dutiful, but not conformists. Courageous, but not rebellious. Independent thinkers, but not transgressors. Respectful, but not weak.