It was the year 1989. NASA's Voyager 2 had just reached Neptune. The next day at school we were all an excited bunch. Eagerly we discussed the documentary showed the previous night on TV on the sole English channel at that time, Channel 33. It had been on the "slingshot effect", and how Voyager 2 had used it to reach Neptune. I asked one of my class mates, son of one muezzin, if he had watched the documentary.
"We don't have TV." He replied, "My dad says it's haram. He says the TV is evil."
2005. RIS. Toronto. The famous Indian speaker Dr Zakir Naik was speaking. A lady stood up to ask a question, "Is music allowed in Islam?"
Dr Naik answered, "Music is the devil's muezzin. It is a frivolity. Personally, I believe that music is prohibited to Muslims. To me, the only musical instrument that is somewhat permissible is the Daf, because this drum was used during the Prophet's time. We Muslims should be spending our time doing much more constructive things. Music usually intoxicates a person ..."
The airport in Pakistan. The year was 1995. The press had gathered to see Jemima (Haiqa) Khan, the new convert-to-Islam and wife of Pakistan's world cup winning captain Imran Khan. Nervous, and feeling slightly uncomfortable, Jemima clasped her hands around her husband's. Quickly, Imran shook his hands free.
"It's not our way to show affection thus," he told her abruptly, standing stiffly apart from her.
I remember watching that scene on TV with a sense of awe.
Fourteen hundred years ago. A young Aisha, wife of the final Messenger of God, narrates the following story.
"On the day of Eid, the Prophet called me while the Ethiopians were playing with their spears in the mosque saying 'O little red one, would you like to watch them?' I said 'yes'."
"Then he had me stand behind him and dropped his shoulders so that I could see. I rested my chin on his shoulder with my face against his cheek, and watched from over his shoulder. When I became bored with the exhibition, he said to me 'Have you had enough?' I said, 'Don’t rush.' And so he continued standing for me. When he asked me the second time if I had had enough, I again told him not to rush. I saw him switching his feet from weariness."
Aisha explains to us, "I really had no desire to look at them, I only wished for the news to reach other women, of the way he stood there for me, and the regard he had for me though I was only a girl. So appreciate the status of a girl young in age and fond of pleasure and fun." (related from Al-Bukhari [Volume 7, Book 62, Number 118] and Al-Muslim)
And they still say any frivolity and fun is Haram!