All praise is due to Allaah; the Lord of the universe; may He Allaah exalt the
mention of Prophet Muhammad who was sent as a mercy for mankind, his family
and all his companions.
Computer games have invaded the markets and are controlling the minds of our
children and youth. They have brought with them new traditions, cultures and beliefs which totally oppose Islam. These devices differ according to their origin, but the biggest selling one in the Arab Gulf region is the 'Playstation’. Other popular ones are the ‘Dreamcast’, ‘Nintendo 64’ and many others.
There are new disks in their thousands which contain games for these devices.
These devices and their corresponding games have become widespread and sell very quickly in our society due to many reasons. Among them are: weak and inadequate supervision by parents; the high technical quality of these devices; the captivating graphics, images and personalities found in the games and the excitement created by presentation of imaginary and virtual worlds. These devices have therefore become so popular that one can rarely find a home in which one or more of them are not present.
The size of the problem
No one can deny the importance of recreation and play in the life of our children
and youth; children’s activities mostly comprise of fun games, entertainment and
playing, and this is how most of their energy is used up.
Before the invasion of computer games, playing was very beneficial for children
physically, emotionally, educationally and for their nervous systems, but this
invasion caused many changes, for although some of these games are useful in
enhancing levels of thinking and developing intelligence, they are harmful to
children in many other ways. They damage their faith, manners, physical health,
emotional well being and negatively affect many other aspects of their lives.
Undoubtedly, the manufacturers of these devices have their own beliefs, cultures
and concerns which are very different from Islam, as they are not Muslims and do not consider Islam as a religion which is worth paying any attention to.
Moreover, they see that Muslims have reached the lowest levels of imitation and acceptance of other cultures, and that this is the reason why the Muslims do not consider Islamic regulations when purchasing their games and other amusement devices. In fact some organizations openly and deliberately mock Islam and the Muslims, and violate the sensitivities of Muslims, such as the Walt Disney Corporation, which is operated with Jewish backing.
It is amazing how a Muslim who carries the Islamic creed, manners and education can accept with contentment everything that these companies produce.
Whatever happened to the Islamic prohibitions of music, pornography and the resemblance of the opposite sex when it came to buying these devices?
Any father who purchases these games is oppressing his child, because these games contribute to the formation of the child’s personality and character and develop them in line with the people of the country where these devices were invented, be it Japan, the United States any other non-Muslim country. These are countries whose civilizations were established with no weight given to morality or virtue. How can a father not ask himself what benefit his child will gain from these games or what harms they will bring? Why does he not ask himself if the benefits of such games outweigh the harm? Does any father actually preview and monitor these games to see what they contain before allowing his child to have free access to them?
A Story and an Admonition
A man went into a computer shop and said to the salesman: 'Please, give me a collection of games - I want you to choose the best for me because I am in a hurry!' Is this how we shoulder the responsibility of bringing up our children? Is this how we shape the personalities of our children - by relying on salesmen who may be ignorant of what is permitted and what is prohibited according to Islam? Are we to form our children's manners with the help of Jewish companies?
The dangers of these games lie in the control that they have over the minds of the youth and their way of thinking, and this causes them to live their lives far away from reality. The negative effects of these games continue well after a child finishes playing with it, for afterwards, he is always thinking of how to reach the last levels of the game and how to defeat his opponents, such as monsters, animals or evil men who come back to life whenever he kills them.
These games have far exceeded the level of innocent entertainment and reached that of addiction; many children waste numerous hours in front of their screens and monitors.
'They are still young'
There are some fathers who do realize the prohibitions which these games include, yet they take the matter lightly and still buy these games claiming that these children are still young and do not fully comprehend matters and that they are not held accountable for their actions by Allaah. Others say that the games contain images only which are not real and that their children are well aware of this distinction so the games will not adversely affect them.
Such claims contain many mistakes:
Firstly: Thinking that children do not know anything is incorrect. Because, for example, when a child sees a picture of a woman, it remains in his memory and he will later start liking this picture. As time passes, this picture could well be the fuel which enflames his desires and lusts before their due time. Likewise, when he sees violence and killing, he becomes accustomed and more inclined towards it and this will be reflected in his dealings with his brothers and friends. The same can be said about the appearance of the characters in the games, such as their haircuts and clothes; the child will imitate these and delude himself into thinking that the more he imitates the characters in the games, the more distinct he will become and the more self confidence he will gain.
Secondly: The manufacturers of these devices have used the most sophisticated technology to make things appear as if they are real; they use three dimensional pictures which are exactly like real life images. Consequently, they have a profound effect on our children.
Thirdly: Teaching children noble morals and honorable manners and getting them accustomed to this starts from a very early age.
How can we instill such morals in our children if all they care about is defeating beasts and ghosts, looking at attractive young ladies, or wasting their lives in useless and imaginary competitions by playing these games?
How can our children memorize the Quran if their main interest is to play on their 'Playstation'? How will they learn the sayings of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Islamic jurisprudence, and Islamic history? When will they have time to read the Prophet’s biography and learn how he fought Jihaad for the sake of propagating Islam? How can they be trained to perform the night prayers and other virtuous deeds if they spend most of their nights with these imaginary beasts and ghosts?
The evil effects of computer games
Effects on belief:
There are many prohibitions related to ones belief in these games which undoubtedly have a negative effect on our children’s creed and will lead to many evils such as: