Our mass media exercises the most powerful influence on
our society, as it actually shapes the trends and inclinations within it. The
present day forms comprise a highly sophisticated network, which has
progressively developed in congruity with the needs and requirements of a
society. Various forms of mass communication in the form of public gatherings
and festivals, congregations in village-pavilions and proclamations of town
criers had always existed. But today, after the advent of radio, film,
television, newspapers and magazines, the extent of influence exerted by a media
could never have even been imagined a couple of centuries ago. A brief analysis
shows that it is involved in somewhat circulating the following types of
1. Certain realities that are accepted in a society.
2. Propagation of a system of faith and beliefs as an
obligation after a person adopts them.
3. Knowledge and information beneficial to mankind.
4. News about man himself and his world.
5. Creative ability and technical competence of a person
that distinguish him from others.
These encompass all types of information that man has
always aspired to transmit in a society. Though the internal mechanism of
transmission may change, yet it is the media that has always been entrusted with
the task. Each of the above mentioned categories is needed by man in one way or
the other, and the Qur’ān and Sunnah have not prohibited their propagation in
the absolute sense. In fact among them is a category whose communication and
propagation is our religions obligation. Moreover, in this regard, the Qur’ān
and Sunnah has not even discriminated between a man and a woman. They can
discharge this religious duty through the written or the spoken word as well as
through various forms of literary expression. Apart from Fiqh, there is no
directive in the Qur’ān and Sunnah that imposes any restriction upon women in
using these modes of propagation. But it is disgusting to see that all the
agencies of the media are transmitting within our society some other types of
facts and figures that violate all norms of morality. They openly commit an
unforgivable crime against humanity and instead of being ashamed, consider
themselves worthy of praise. Shamelessness has overpowered them and they don't
care that these outrageous acts would lead them to negotiate the severest of
penalties in the Hereafter.
Their first offense is that they seldom give any coverage
to learned and accomplished women who have not only distinguished themselves in
the fields of arts and science but also as scholars of Islam. Instead, they
present women as objects of lewd entertainment. This lecherous display is in
complete disregard to the injunctions of the Qur’ān which specifically enjoins
all Muslim women to cover their heads and chests and to refrain from exhibiting
themselves. Rather then setting examples of dignity and modesty they `sell'
their honour and integrity by furthering the shameless trends of a shameless
Their second offense is that through their courtesy the
stories of romance and episodes of chanson de geste which everywhere in the
world had been confined to the subtleties of poetry and literature, and whose
recital and listening to was not disallowed in a specific age and situation even
by the great Caliph Umar, have new invaded the everyday atmosphere of our homes.
Such is the nature of this invasion, that the modesty in the relationship of a
mother and son, father and daughter, brother and sister, upon which the poise
and grace of a society so heavily depends, is becoming an episode of the past.
Through the agency of our media a state has been reached in which our youngmen,
like most women are seen perpetually involved in glamourising themselves with
the latest flares of fashion. The older lot, may not be very enthusiastic about
their clothes and appearance but show tremendous enthusiasm in shredding off any
shame they might have originally had.
Their third affense is that they have promoted sports and
other means of amusement to an unwholesome and unhealthy degree. Such is the
nature of this patronization that our younger generation regards actors and
sportsmen as their ideals in life. While our scientists an technologists,
scholars and thinkers do not even receive posthumous recognition for their
achievements, these merry-makers are kept in the highest esteem. The bewitching
manner in which they allure young minds by depicting the daily routines of
these celebrities effectively diverts them from the higher objectives of life,
after which they can no longer be expected to become scholars and thinkers, and
indulge in other intellectual pursuits.
Their fourth offense is that specifically among them radio
and television show complete disregard to the mandatory hours of worship in a
day when nothing except prayers are permissible.
These are the everyday offenses which the media commits
and continues to flourish triumphantly in our society. If the ruling class of
our country sincerely wishes to promulgate Islamic values and traditions in our
society, it must develop an abhorrence against these offenses and cleanse the
media from them.
(Adapted from Ghamidi's "Burhaan")