By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
â€œO ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you in the same manner as he got your parents out of the garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe see you from a position where ye cannot see them. We made the Satansâ€™ friends (only to those without faith.â€
With the great abundance of technology available today, there is a totally new mindset and mentality, utilizing this technology prevailing in our youth. There seems to be great difficulty in some of them even slowing down to listen to an adult when the adult is speaking. The personal interaction that was the norm when most adults were growing up has been replaced with videos, wi-fi, internet, and other electronics. But when I was coming up we played baseball, basketball, ran, and other physical activities. This allowed us to interact with other human beings. Nowadays, itâ€™s just them and the computer. No need for human interaction. But since we are gregarious human animals, some human contact is necessary; so hip-hop rapping in a group has become a popular form of expression.
Recently we were returning from a road trip to the annual MANA (Muslim Alliance in North America) convention. MANA is group led by nationally known Muslim leader Siraj Wahhaj as the Amir. We were on a chartered bus with 49 0r 50 mostly young people on it.
Anyway, a group of young men in the back decided they wanted to do some rapping, which is fine. Young people must be allowed to expend the tremendous amounts of energy they have so I had to grin and bear the â€œRap Showâ€ I was trapped in by the confines of the bus. To be sure, this hip-hop rap generation is universal because this group was made up of Pakistani, African-American, and Arab young men, all equally skilled. (At least the hip-hop generation has unity, regardless of ethnicity or cultural background.)
All was going well until a young man of Arabic descent slipped up and said a curse word while â€œrapping.â€ He seemed to have forgotten where he was â€“ on a bus filled with Muslims. When I checked him about the profanity, he came up with some hair-brained excuse that he would be hypocritical if he used profanity with his friends and didnâ€™t use it with me. The point of respecting your elders did not compute with him. It wasnâ€™t until much later, after additional prodding by his peers, that he finally realized (or admitted) that he was wrong.
My point is that this generation of today seems to be taken in and mesmerized by the negative satanic environment permeating our society. That group of boys had become so hypnotized by what they were doing that they unaware of othersâ€™ presence on the bus. This is very dangerous to their psyche and it underscores the urgency and importance of leaders and parents first setting good examples, and then not allowing our offspring and followers to exhibit negative behavior they learn outside the home or mosque, at least not in our presence.
It is imperative that we, as Muslims be strong and steadfast in promoting the positive, morally-conscious message loved by ALLAH. We must consciously refrain from following the negative vibes of society. We must show them what they are actually looking and longing for; and that is a peaceful, positive, productive life which can only be had by adhering to the dictates of our Creator; Who knows us best.
I hear often some people say that copying what they see and hear is just reflecting the â€œrealâ€ of society. But this is not real. What is real is the truth revealed by ALLAH in the scriptures. That world of immorality is an artificial, grafted mentality generated by Satan: And thatâ€™s exactly what he (Satan) wants you to think.
â€œRemember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them, and said:â€No one among men can overcome you this day, while I an near youâ€. But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he turned on his heels and said, â€œLo! I am clear of you; Lo! I see what ye see not; Lo! I fear ALLAH, for ALLAH is strict in punishment.â€
What is the real reality is ALLAH. What is false and destructive is the Devil.
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin