Cartoons have invaded our homes. Literally. The lamp shade is covered in toy story. The walls have cars stickers. The bed is pink with all the princesses on the headboard. The stationery all have the face of the latest cartoon character neatly printed on it. The toy box is overflowing with all the limited edition Disney toys. Disney is not the only one. Pixar, Warner Brothers and all the other cartoon makers are part of it too.
Who doesn’t remember watching cartoons?! It was probably one of your favourite childhood memories. You snuggled up on the sofa next to an older sibling or perhaps a friend who was coming to stay the night, whilst mum got ready popcorn, marshmallows and hot chocolate. Even though two minutes ago, sleep burned your eyes, you stayed awake, anticipating your favourite moment. You eagerly battled your sleep, just so that you could watch the cartoon. Or perhaps, your parents took you to the cinema. Every planned trip, would make you giggle with excitement, and you just couldn’t wait. You’d sit on the chairs and fidget until the ‘movie’ would start. You enjoyed it so much; it made you feel grown up. Little did you realise the filth you were watching, and enjoying.
Cartoons seem innocent. The childish drawings, the toys, the happy colours. The storyline was harmless, as well, wasn’t it? Watch it again, this time keep in mind all the Islamic morals, and values. My dear brothers and sisters, every cartoon has been designed to program the youth. Each one has a subliminal message, which perhaps a child may not even notice, but isn’t Shaytaan there? Is it not Shaytaan’s job to lure everyone, young or old, sensible or not, into his traps?
If you still can’t see it, then may Allah guide you, and open your eyes and heart!
Let me break it down for you; What’s really wrong with these cartoons?
Let’s begin with one of the biggest ‘sin’ of them all. Associating partners with Allah. Yes, it is not blatantly there, and perhaps you didn’t catch it when you watched the cartoon. But there are so many methods through which a person can fall into this sin unknowingly. Some characters may utter phrases such as ‘For the love of Thor.’ Children who have little understanding of language will innocently repeat the phrase imitating their favourite character, and shaytaan has already done his job, he has sown in them seeds of disbelief which he will later water, for it to flower and blossom!
Next up; magic. As muslims we know that magic exists, and is real. Allah says in Surah Falaq, “From the evil of those who blow on knots,” referring to the evil of magicians and magic. It is not for nothing magic is known as a dark art or secret art. It a means of communicating with the Shaytaan and jinns, which is impermissible. Moreover magic is a form of shirk! Why do we promote wands, fairies, and Abracadabra when we know this is forbidden, and may cause a person to fall out of Islam?!
In Addition, you never ever have a girls or boys only cartoon. Because there is no such thing as a girls world. Or a boys world. Cartoons reflect that, minus the Islamic morals. In Islam men and women do not mix freely. Both are commanded to lower their gaze, and refrain from unnecessary communication with the opposite gender. Cartoons have free intermingling between the sexes. You may think it’s only a cartoon, but what is happening in your child’s mind is much different. Your child though they may say that they know it’s not real, to them cartoons are their world. They begin to accept that men and women can mix, they begin to question the Islamic ruling. Shaytaan makes it fair-seeming to them. Because they don’t yet have that full understanding or recognition of right and wrong, free mixing becomes a norm to them. In childhood, its effects may not be seen, but as they reach adulthood, and they begin to spread their wings, looking for freedom, what was planted in their childhood, starts to emerge. They no longer want to follow the rules of segregation. May Allah protect our children.
Exposing ‘Awrah. We all know mainstream cartoons, do not have muslim characters, perhaps with the exception of Aladdin (supposedly). However, Aladdin shows your child, is that its ok to be muslims, you don’t have to dress like one though. Dress is not important, it’s what is in your heart. This is contradiction to islam, in which belief is to also dress the part. Every cartoon has a woman in it, and every woman is not in Islamic garb, or decently dressed. Children have a tendency to imitate what they like, and now every girl wants to be like Ariel, or Cinderella or Jasmine or whoever else… but to be like these ‘princesses’ is to compromise your deen. Allah tells us, “tell the believing women to lower their gazes, and guard their chastity and not expose their adornment except that which necessarily appears of thereof and to wrap (a portion of) their head covers over their chest and not expose their adornment…” (Surah An-Nur 24:31) As muslims we respect our bodies. We do not flaunt them; how can we teach our girls to cover and our boys to lower their gaze, if they are watching what tells them the opposite, and if the gaze is not lowered before the TV screen. The TV is no different than watching people on the street.
Thirdly, falling in love. This has gone to the extent of where even cars fall in love. Children are now exposed to inanimate objects falling in love. It is all poison to the child’s mind, and promotes that which Islam forbids.
Disrespect for parents and authority. Hmm…bet you never noticed that. Yes, it’s right there, many main characters in cartoons do not respect their parents or the authority over them, and rather project an attitude where they feel parents are restrictive, and won’t allow them to live their life. In Islam parents have an elevated position, where by serving them can gain you access to Jannah, and refusal to do so can open the gates of hellfire. Similarly in Islam, those in authority have to be obeyed and our elders treated with veneration.
Music, simply put is the devils tool. In addition to all the musical instruments, the songs contained in these co-called innocent cartoons have irrelevant and indecent lyrics. How can we allow our children to be exposed to such filth? For more information on the prohibition of music in Islam visit www.aateam.org/blog/muharramat-music/
If you are taking your children to the cinema, then that’s even worse. You are paying to engage in that which is displeasing to Allah. You are openly promoting fee mixing; cinemas are not segregated I don’t think. You are encouraging your child to continue in this.
Last but not least it is a distraction from the remembrance of Allah. We were created solely for the purpose of worshiping, and this principle should be instilled in children right from the start. Not only Salaah is worship, but every action that is pleasing to Allah, and done in accordance to the Sunnah is worship in Islam. Children are easily attracted to the fun of TV, the colourful images, the toys, and the sounds, and this is from the tricks of Shaytaan. The child is so focused on the images portrayed on TV, that Qur’an and islam seems dull and boring to them. The stimulation from TV, becomes the only thing to quell their energy, and the Qur’an becomes hard to learn without promises of rewards. The deen seems restricting compared to the stories illustrated, and soon they outgrow cartoons, and begin to watch movies, which has even more far-reaching consequences. Are you pleasing Allah, and fulfilling your purpose in this dunya, when you allow your child to watch cartoons? Or when you watch it with them?
But truly there is no room for boredom in islam or free time, or time to watch TV. How can we ever be bored as muslims, have we read enough Qur’an? Made enough istighfar and tasbeeh? Are we ready to meet Allah? Keep your children occupied with more important things that will help them attain the pleasure of Allah. Remember if you taught them something good, every time they do it, you will have a reward, and the opposite is true as well. Explain to your children the values of Islam. Portray Islam to them in the most beautiful light, it will have a better lasting impact, in this dunya, and in the Akhirah.
May Allah help us to worship Him at all times, in everything we do.