Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Yet another stranger....

Written by Rand Diab

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Yusuf, five years my senior, was my example. Samya, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play ‘big brother’ and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors– Mom taught me to love Allah, and Dad taught me to how to obey Him. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening. If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it.

He knew about the past and seemed to understand the present. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Yusuf and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several famous people.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind-but sometimes Mom would quietly get up– while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places– go to her room, read the Qur’an.

I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house– not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm.. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home – not even for cooking.

But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.

He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was Allah’s Mercy that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name you ask?

We called him TV.

Masya-Allah, this is a good story to be taken as example. The influence of TV on our younger generation is HUGE. It has changed the lifestyle of millions of people. It is up to us to decide whether it brings more benefits or harm into our lives. Many thanks to Muslimah for allowing me to re-post this on my blog.


  1. Jazakallah Khayr sister for posting this, its such a simple story yet so profound at the same time, many of us dont realize the damaging effects of TV until its too late. I never used to believe this but now I know that its true there's definitely more bad in TV than good, may Allah save us all insha'Allah because the things that they're showing on TV is just getting worse and worse.

    I'm looking forward to reading about your sewing projects, soon Insha'Allah.

    Stay well sister


  2. Ameen to you dua, sis. May Allah save us all.

    Insya-Allah, I will post one of my sewing projects soon.

    You take care too, my dear sister. Wassalam.

  3. yes the t.v is a major source of evils. I have to monitor every little thing at all times with my children. Jazakillhu khayran for reminding us.

  4. We do need to be aware of what type of programmes our children are watching on TV. We've heard from the news about a boy who shot his brother with their father's gun because he's following a movie scene in TV. Or a boy who died after falling from 7th floor of his parents' apartment, thinking he can fly like superman, youngsters kissing their classmates because they thought it's not wrong since it is shown on TV, and many more bad and evil consequences from watching TV.

    Let's fight the evil, sis Aabida. We can save our children, Insya-Allah.

  5. In my opinion, it depends on how we use it. Is it for entertainment only? or for education too.



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