Thursday, 15 March 2012

Imagination and Islam

The role of imagination in the modern world and Islam is something that is fascinating me recently. One sees the massive increase in the technology of the media leading to improved imagination amongst people. This media includes books, internet, radio, music, tv, movies, games and theatre. They have extended the power of the imagination, and when combined with globalisation, has further enhanced imagination and allowed it to reach more people.

It has allowed different cultures to experience the imaginations and cultures of other peoples, and unified various peoples. You see Hollywood affecting almost every people in the world.

Now people can understand the concept of recording actions, visualise places they have never been to or don’t exist (such as in movies and games and 3D), and learn from the imaginations of others.  They can see humans create scenes of amazing gardens, of different worlds creatures, beautiful things, horrors,  and so on. This has both its positive and negative affects. The negatives outweigh the positives, and include the pornography, the immorality, swearing and so on. But there is a positive angle we can see also.

In the past, people didn't have any technology, so many would have a hard time understanding concepts like recording someone's speech, and hearing it again. Or that shoes would talk (as Nike has done), or that Islam would enter every person's home. But through the technology and media now, we can understand those Islamic prophecies.

The new media technology allows us to get a better understanding of heaven and hell. Obviously we can’t imagine them, but we can come to a better understanding, including of what we want and can be harmed by. We have grown up with images of amazing beauty (albeit fake through make up in the cases of humans generally), of amazing superpowers, of amazing talents and stories. We want to get the best singing voices, the best dance move, the fastest karate moves, and so on.

We have seen the cartoons and the comics, and how creative the authors are and we have deep rooted desires to have those abilities. The movies also show us the complete bliss people can be in, like those movies where you see a young kid playing around the grass with peace everywhere and at the end having a fairy tale ending.

But now we should think, we can actually get many of that stuff in reality, through Jannah (heaven), though we can’t get most of them in this world.  We can fly in jannah, run and teleport fast, and get amazing super powers throwing webs and beams from our hands insha’Allah, if we wish them. We can have our dreams of talents (like singing) and deep, inner desires come true.

On the other hand, movies like the “Day After Tomorrow” have shown us how it is possible that the world be destroyed, and how we could visualise it, whilst other games and movies show how scary hell can be with the various types of tortures.

At the same time we should remember that paradise is much better than what we imagine, and hell is much scarier than what we imagine. Thus we need to strive hard for paradise and in avoiding hell, and we need to obey Allah swt for all that.

NB- I'm not advocating the haram stuff in the media industry, nor how the media shows Islam in a negative way and portrays bad lessons. But we should try to use the media in a positive and halal way.

No comments:

Post a Comment