Sunday is a blessing and that’s why most of us wake till late night on Saturdays because we don’t have to go for work on next day. And what is the activity of majority of us during this time? Almost all of us have sat through those 90 minute ibadah sessions called ‘movie night’ where we manage absolute full concentration. Where we don’t even think about anything else. Go to the cinema, 3 hour movie, 120 minute movie, 160 minute movie- do we lose concentration even for a second? Nope. Shaytan just left the building! Full concentration.
Conversely when we come into the masjid and try praying 2 rakat, we manage the shortest surahs we know. And even in that time our mind is wandering here and there “have locked my car? do I have wudu? Who’s this guy next to me? How much time I have now to go for so and so task ? Did I study for the- omg…” is that what a productive muslim does?
Entertainment is not Haram:
We have a major excuse for these things, that entertainment is nothing islam forbids from. Provided that the source of entertainment is not haram or something sinny. But one must keep in mind, an addiction to entertainment paves the way to ghaflah (forgetfulness and heedlessness). Not only does it take away dhikr (the constant remembrance of God), but when you forget Allah you forget to be appreciative of Him and you’re not as fearful of Him as you should be. These were your barriers to sin, when those things go away the floodgates to sin are wide open.
It might be harmless entertainment at first, but how do you decide where you put the breaks down? Did you know there are fully booked sessions for teenage hijabi muslim girls in America run by psychologists to help them deal with their addictions to pornography? “ Teenage. Muslim. Hijabi. Girls”. And you thought you were gonna raise your kids to group up to be ‘normal’. With that kind of stuff passing by our eyes even on a ‘harmless’ Persil ad, and you think you and your family are safe from progressively sinking into this billion dollar industry?
You think your outside protects you from what you’re letting in through your eyes? When you and I are not conscious of Allah anymore, and we see some image we shouldn’t see, maybe it’s just an ad in the beginning, or a “momentary” flash of Angelina Jolie in Wanted, your ghafla lets you stay and watch, and every time there’s a stain on your heart that develops more and more until your whole heart gets covered in dirt, mud, and that’s the point where ALLAH subhana hu wa talaa said :
“They are deaf, dumb and blind. They will not return (to the path).”
“God hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).”
At that point when you pray you know nothing’s going on in that blackened heart. And you’re wondering why nothing’s going on. Khushu in salah depends on the state of your heart. If all you think about is filth all day what do you expect? How are you going to attain khushu in salah ? Get the filth out of your system. Replace your screen and Rihanna time with dhikr. If you don’t have the concentration to recite God’s name throughout the day you’re going to pass out when you recite Quran, every time, guaranteed. The yawns will start setting on after like 2 ayaat. ‘You’re so tired…come on…go to sleep…’ But Harry Potter? Omg I can so manage 500 pages before sunrise!!
What are you doing tonight?
Even though it’s midnight, you’re so tired, you woke up at 5 in the morning, your eyes are stinging, and somebody says ‘hey I got a new movie!’ do you stay up to watch it? Got the energy to run down to the kitchen, grab a drink, come back.
You’re gonna finish the whole movie or no? Guaranteed you’ll finish the whole thing. You have the energy for watching movie, but the four rakaat for isha? ‘Aaah just a little later, let me just lie down for a second, I’ll get up and pray-‘ And then you wake up at 10 in the morning. You might feel bad for about 5 minutes. You’ll have enough soul in you for that. And after that you’re pumped up for “what are we doing tonight? “
Allah says call on Allah bil ghuduwi wal asaal– respect the times of prayer. Don’t trivialize the times of prayer. Your nights will destroy your life. Making stupid decisions at night will ruin your life.
Pray isha and go to sleep, pray isha and go to sleep immediately.
Try Productive Things:
Completely eliminate pointless entertainment out of your life and do productive things. You can exercise instead! At least you’re not taking in things that destroy your heart while exercising. Entertainment is not feeding your body and it’s destroying your soul. It starts with a youtube video, Netflix, a bit of B4U on, a few 18+ games with R rated women walking around and eventually it becomes full on filth, and then the virtual’s not enough. The good and the bad start small.
When we look at the example of bani Israel in Surah Al-A’raaf we snort at them and think “What kind of evil people are they? wasn’t a mountain hanging on top of their heads enough? “are we the kind of people that if a mountain was hanging over our heads, we’d quit pointless entertainment forever to attain full khushu in salah? Before we point the finger and say man them Jews with Moses, messed up, I don’t know what they ate for breakfast- must have been all that mana and salwa…take a good look at ourselves first.
The amount of heedlessness, arrogance and evil in our Muslim community; Bani Israel even with their behavior mentioned in the Quran couldn’t have imagined beating the sort of track record we’ve set for ourselves. They’d want our autograph. ‘I mean we thought we were bad but you guys pheeeeeeew! We thought we were being bad with the fish but what you guys have managed to do with the inheritance laws and the riba laws in islam is amaaaazing- that’s some good loopholing-‘ we’ve taken the cake.
Get rid of this ghaflah. Don’t make Adam’s first mistake; ‘kaana ghaflann’. His heedlessness got him to the tree at the end. Shaytan worked on him for a long time, He kept drilling and drilling and drilling and finally got there. Shaytan is working constantly at you too. If you want to fight the shaytan, you too have to fight constantly. Days, months and years can go by in ghaflah without me or you even noticing it. Instill some good habits in one day; fix your nights and fix your mornings, the rest will fall into place. Wake up early, go to sleep early.
Stay away from Shaytan:
Don’t let shaytan get you in prime time. Free time is like poison, free time is drugs, especially for us young people, free time is addiction. At the age where your heart is most moldable, whatever you develop as habit now will stick on to you for life time. What you’re doing now is your life pattern for functioning unless you get down to some serious hardwiring. Your so-called “free time” if not used properly could be the minefield you develop all the bad habits in that will end up with you cursing yourself and generations after you cursing you for the rubbish you taught them.
May be you say ‘I’m not going to have kids!’ but you have siblings. That you vent with; ‘chill’ with, laugh off the gross stuff you yourself would have felt uncomfortable doing or seeing or listening to. And well done for desensitizing them too so they for sure pick up your habits. I mean at least you chose to pick it up; you didn’t even give em a choice. So,Training provided first hand by you before they even knew there’s such a thing as a house without an x-box or a new movie on every single night. You have nephews nieces and cousins.Because You’ll be answering for every single one of them. You’re going to be the ‘our ancestors taught us!’ for someone one day.
Any more of a reason needed to fill your free time with productivity? Be a productive muslim.