By Majed Iqbal- I came across a strange discussion last week at a talk at a Masjid in my home town, Rochdale. I listened to an inspirational talk on ‘Holding fast onto the Quran’, a much-needed reminder and wake up call before the Month of Ramadhan arrives.
The Ustadh delivering the talk, who was from the US, said that it is unfortunate that back in the US some muslims are currently discussing if they’d be going down to watch the new “Batman- The Dark Knight rises” movie if Ramadhan kicks in or maybe they might be able to sneak it in one day before the holy month starts.
I was left baffled. Going to the pictures in Ramadhan? But then again, even going to the pictures anytime around the year?
Has entertainment culture become the defining marker of life of many of us that without any hesitation we drool at and chase everything thrown our way? Is our happiness defined by our ability to ‘keep up’ with the times, just to remain ‘in’ and ‘hip’ with the crowd by conversing about the ‘splendours’ of the silver screen?
Is Ramadhan that cheap that a film has more value than the month in which our forgiveness is put in our own hands by the Lord of the Universe directly?
Secular ideas, where Religion is placed to the side, surround us and play a pivotal role in ensuring that our time is lost in odd pursuits, because the meaning of life, the purpose of life are discussions which are too ‘hardcore’. Movies fill the void of our emptiness, keeping us ‘entertained’ with meaningless messages; majority of films fit this bill. We laugh and cry with movies (boys laugh, girls cry) with new genres like ‘RomComs’ plugging into our ‘no-brainer’ evenings to ‘pass time’.
In Islam, this void, this emptiness, which humans feel is filled through the remembrance of Allah and realising our relationship with him which is one of Creator and creation. This defining relationship sets us on course for achieving higher goals that surpass the hollow life pursuits that surround us. Allah (SWT) says in Surah Raad
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured” (13:28)
It is surprising how much value we place on movies, like some of us are doing with the new Batman movie. Simply question yourself. Would you like the Angel of Death to visit you at the pictures?