|Subject: plug-in drugs Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:07 pm|| |
i found this really good article , ,by sister Shariffa Carlo ..I’m sure many of you are wondering what is a plug in drug. Actually, I stole the title from an old book by Marie Winn, who did a research about TV 25 years ago. You see, believe it or not, we can be affected in positive and negative ways by all sorts of stimuli - both internal and external. Most of us are familiar with and aware of internal drugs - like crack or marijuana, but how many of us think about the effects that external stimuli have on us. We know that traditional drugs like marijuana and crack create physical changes on us that make our perception change - make us "high", but are we aware that there are other things that can bring about the same physical changes?Laboratory experiments have been done to study people’s reactions to TV by monitoring brain waves by the use of EEG (electroencephalograph). The studies showed less mental stimulation as measured by alpha brain-wave production during viewing TV than if these participants had been reading. After the television set was turned off, this study showed the participants were still very relaxed and passive as if all energy had left them. The results of this study suggest that TV viewing has a numbing effect, and reaction to the body is likened to that of a tranquilizer. Drowsiness occurs, and one may even experience depression as the viewing continues. A person actually disengages from real life becoming immersed in what is being shown on the screen which, in turn, causes excessive viewing; more so than anticipated in the beginning.Essentially, the brain actually changes, a physical reaction to the stimulus of the TV.Since the feeling is one that people like, similar to the reaction drugs have on a mind, it is possible to become addicted to this feeling; thus, the TV becomes a kind of drug.An addiction, by definition, is an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its harmful consequences. So, the viewer of television may be so addicted to the affects that she allows other more important matters to lapse. In general, this can be harmful, in our everyday lives, allowing important matters relating to family, friends, work etc... lapse, but in terms of Islam, this can be detrimental and fatal to our iman. Islam is a comprehensive religion wherein our life is worship. As a result, we need to keep ourselves remembering Allah and what He wants from us. Even if the information we are watching has benefit and isn’t haram - we will discuss that aspect a little later, the mere physical hours we waste in front of a television can never be replaced. The Prophet (S) said to Abu Dharr, O Aba Dharr, take advantage of five things before five other things [take advantage of you: Your youth before your old age. Your health before your sickness.Your wealth before your poverty. Your free time before your being busy. And your life before your death.These things are easily squanderable.Another device that saps away the energy and takes our time from Allah is the Internet. Even more than TV, the internet is very easy to become addicted to. Here the focus is different. While with TV, we are isolated. The internet is instant friendship, instant community, instant friends. usually the social aspect of the internet is the clinching factor. One researcher estimates that up to nine million Americans could be labeled as pathological computer users. This is a staggering number of people. And America isn’t even the largest: China and South Korea have more. It’s estimated that 30% of the youth suffer from some form. Research has also found that moderate to severe rates of depression coexist with pathological Internet use. http://www.netaddiction.com/articles/cyberpsychology.pdfIn a true addiction, a person becomes compulsively dependent upon a particular kind of stimulation to the point where obtaining a steady supply of that stimulation becomes the sole and central focus of their lives. The addict increasingly neglects his work duties, relationships and ultimately even his health in his drive to remain stimulated. In some cases of addiction (such as addiction to alcohol or to heroin), a phenomenon known as tolerance occurs, wherein more and more stimulation is required to produce the same pleasurable effect. A related phenomena, withdrawal, can also occur, wherein the addicted person comes to be dependent upon their source of stimulation and experiences dramatically unpleasant (and even potentially lethal -- as can be the case with alcohol) reactions when he goes without it. Sources of addictive stimulation can be chemical (as is the case with addictive drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and heroin), sensual or even informational (as in gambling or workaholism). What all sources of addictive stimulation have in common is that they provoke a strong, usually positive (at first) reaction in the potential addict, who then seeks out the source of that stimulation so as to obtain that feeling on a regular basis. Last but not least, let’s talk of the third plug-in addiction: Music. From all, this has been the most studied. With music, actual physical and chemical changes have been documented. In a new book by Daniel Levitin called This is Your Brain on Music...Dr Levitin is a cognitive psychologist who runs the Laboratory for Music Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal. He has found that the part of the brain that helps govern movement is also wired to the ears and produces some of your emotional responses to music. Doing research with 13 subjects who listened to classical music while in an MRI machine, scientists found a cascade of brain-chemical activity. First the music triggered the forebrain, as it analyzed the structure and meaning of the tune. Then other parts of the brain activated to release dopamine, a chemical that triggers the brain’s sense of reward. In addition the cerebellum, an area of the brain associated with physical movement, reacted too; Levitin suspects the brain was predicting where the song was going to go. As the brain internalizes the tempo, rhythm and emotional peaks of a song, the cerebellum begins reacting every time the song produces tension (that is, subtle deviations from its normal melody or tempo.)Like other, traditional drugs, music has been a proven source of dopamine - a chemical naturally inside of us that makes us relaxed, happy, high. Now, we ask, if this is something naturally inside us, why would it be bad. Well, its been found in studies of mice, that mice will press a button that stimulates this part of the brain, repeatedly, until it kills them.Lets be realistic pleasure is -- well - pleasurable. We enjoy it, and we instinctively seek it out. But like anything -- too much, even of a good thing isn’t healthy for us and can prove fatal in some situations. This is why Allah sent us Islam. Islam isn’t just a guideline for life. It is a manual. Allah has sent us a kind of instruction manual - or roadmap for life that, if we follow, will protect us from the pitfalls and snares. Allah warned us that Paradise was surrounded by trials and Hell is surrounded by pleasures. Don't get it wrong. All pleasure isn’t haram, but all pleasure is regulated. Allah Knows us. He Knows what He created, so He, in His ultimate Wisdom and Mercy has given us the way to have and enjoy without overdoing.So how do we do this? Let’s take it one factor at a time. Let’s start with the obvious. Allah said:"That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did. surah 36:65 Ya-sin(Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an, Amana Corporation, 1989.) "On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions."surah 24:24 Light(Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an, Amana Corporation, 1989.) "On the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered together to the Fire, they will be marched in ranks. At length, when they reach the (Fire), their hearing, their sight, and their skins will bear witness against them, as to (all) their deeds. They will say to their skins: "Why bear ye witness against us?" They will say: "(Allah) hath given us speech,- (He) Who giveth speech to everything: He created you for the first time, and unto Him were ye to return. "Ye did not seek to hide yourselves, lest your hearing, your sight, and your skins should bear witness against you! But ye did think that Allah knew not many of the things that ye used to do! "But this thought of yours which ye did entertain concerning your Lord, hath brought you to destruction, and (now) have ye become of those utterly lost!"Allah is warning us to beware of what we see, what we say, what we do without hands, our ears. In all of the plug-in drugs I have mentioned, we use our eyes to see the images, and we have to ask ourselves - "Is what I’m seeing pleasing to Allah?" We hear the sounds and again we ask ourselves - "Is what I’m hearing pleasing to Allah?" . We may use our limbs or our tongues - as in the internet, and again we must ask - "Is what I’m writing pleasing to Allah?" , "Is what I’m saying pleasing to Allah?" or "Is what Im posting pleasing to Allah?" We need to guard our limbs our eyes our tongue our ears, for they must be in accordance to Allah's Devine decree.Also, we need to ask ourselves, is the medium - itself - even halal? As is the case of music: Yes, we hear many people say it isn’t haram. Its halal, but the main question is, “What did Allah and His messenger say? “Allah says in His book: Do ye then wonder at this recital? And will you laugh and not weep? While ye amuse yourselves in vanities? Rather prostrate yourselves before Allah and serve Him. (53:59-62)....Allah the Blessed and Exalted addresses the disbelievers from the Quraish,... The important verse is Allah's saying, "wa antum saamidoon" (while you amuse yourselves in vanities). Due to the root samada having various interpretations in the Arabic language, the scholars differ about the verses meaning." however, it can be narrowed to the following: "Clearly, the term saamidoon has various possible meanings, e.g. that those referred to were singing noisily and amusing themselves with music and idle play, that they were holding their heads up in pride, or that they were exhibiting anger and hatred for what they heard of the Quraan and the message of Islam. Furthermore, it could indicate that they were indifferent, negligent and rejectionist in their attitude. All of these meanings are possible and are not - in essence - contradictory." (Music and Singing, Abu Bilal Al Kanadi, p. 7). Because of this generality, however, we can't use this verse to conclusively say that music is haram. We must use other evidences from the Quraan and the sunnah together to come to that understanding.The second Quraanic proof is in the verse:And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your voice, and collect against them your forces riding and on foot, and share with them in wealth and children, and hold out promises to them; and the Shaitan makes not promises to them but to deceive: (17:64).Here again, we have the same problem, the verse alone is too general. "Some of the taabiin like Mujahid and Ad-Dahaak interpreted it to be the voice of shaytan through music, song and amusement. Others like Ibin Abass says the voice refers to any invitation to disobeidience of Allah. At-Tabari says, "The most correct of these views expresses that verily, Allah, the blessed said to Iblees, 'And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your voice' and He did not specify any particular type of voice. Thus every voice which is not an invitation to Allah's worship and to His obedience is included in the meaning of Shaytan's voice which is reffered to in the Quraanic verse." (Music and Singing, Abu Bilal Al Kanadi, p. 8).So, now we look to the third verse which is commonly used to show that music is haram. This verse is the most clear and the most often quoted on in this issue. Allah says:But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a Humiliating Penalty. (31:6)."Ibn Jareer At-Tabari, in his Jaami'ul Bayaan, mentions that the interpreters of the Quraan differed as to the meaning of the term, "lahwal hadith" (idle talk) which occurs in the above-quoted verse. Their views regarding the meaning can be formulated into three basic categories. The first category defines the term, "lahwal hadith": (a) singing and listening to songs, (b) the purchasing of male or female singers and (c) the purchase of instruments of amusement, namely the drum. The elements of this category revolve around the reference to the blameworthy usage of instruments of idle amusement, in short, music and song. This view was held by a number of companions such as Ibn Masood, Jaabir and Ibin Abaas." (Music and Singing, Abu Bilal Al Kanadi, p. 9).However, since there are others from the companions of the Prophet who state that this verse refers to things like talking which leads to shirk or all false talk or actions or deeds that take people from the remembrance of Allah, we have to search deeper for definite proof against music. At any rate, we must admit that this verse, by itself, is quite compelling.Since we cannot leave it as this, we need to search for much more conclusive evidence, which, alhamdulillah, can be found in the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad.Narrated Abu 'Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash'ari: that he heard the Prophet saying, "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful... Sahih Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 69, Number 494v.Since this isn’t a lecture about music, per say - I will leave it here, but if you want more, I have a few copies of a complete lecture I did on Music which you can take after the lecture, inshallah.Now - Music is available on its own on tv or on the internet, so this is one danger we need to avoid as we go through these media, what else?Bukhari:Volume 8, Book 74, Number 260: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: I have not seen a thing resembling 'lamam' (minor sins) than what Abu Huraira 'narrated from the Prophet who said "Allah has written for Adam's son his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it." How do we commit adultery with our eyes? Simple, think about the things we see on TV, on the internet. These images are either pure haram or pieces of it. What is aura between a man and a woman? a man and a man? a woman and a woman? How much are we supposed to show about the private matters between men and woman? What are we allowed to discuss? What are we not allowed to discuss? We know the answers to this, but the question is - can we apply it? How easy is it to monitor ourselves when the images are randomly thrown in front of us. We cant say its not our fault - we weren’t looking for it -- it wasn’t our intention to see or hear this - when we are the ones who turned on the TV or signed into the net. We take the chance every time we watch TV or surf the net and we are going to be held responsible for it in front of Allah.What about Khulwah? Rasul Allah said: Whenever a man and woman are alone - shaytan makes the third: Tirmidhi. The scholars have defined a new phenomenon - cyberkhulwah. In cyberspace, we can talk, see each other and do whatever we want under the cover of anonymity and the cover of privacy. So the rules of mahrem apply. If you are not allowed to be alone with this person in real life, you cannot be so in cyber-life.The Islamic issues are many. Essentially, we have to control our time spent with these mediums. We have to make sure that we are not exposed to the haram elements and we have to protect ourselves from the danger of making these mediums into drugs that control our beliefs our actions and our lives. May Allah protect us and make it easy for us in traversing these dangerous paths, keep us firmly rooted on the sirat al mustaqeema and lead us all into janat al Firdous. Thank you, sisters.