Monday, December 24, 2012

Give Me All Your Downtime...

Whenever I'm not updating PhilAsify 101 when I should be, there are several factors which are usually the culprit. Sometimes it's the whirlwind of life and all its unexpected surprises which take me away from blogging/writing, but for the most part it could be something as menial and time-consuming (and FUN) as video games.

I used to be a huge video gamer. Then I had a period where I rarely ever played video games, but that was mainly because I didn't have the cash to plop down 300 bucks for the latest console. Once I was able to, I found myself immersed in countless unproductive hours and late nights mashing buttons. There's even been times where I'd be so lost in the beautiful crisp graphics and vivid colors of the "Uncharted" series that I didn't realize that my back went stiff from hours of sitting on a workout ball staring up at my big screen. Getting to bed that night really sucked.

Now, the act of playing video games isn't haram (religiously forbidden) in itself, but when you aren't managing your time efficiently and find yourself playing for hours on end, it can definitely be a detriment to your life like any haram act. It can take away from productive and fruitful events which a person should take as a priority be it writing, learning, and for Muslims, worshiping their Creator. And if you're married or have a family, gaming can take you away from valuable quality time if you can't set limits. I've had my wife burst a blood vessel on me when I squandered an entire night binging on NBA2K. In a rage, she took the game and tried to break it in half! Surprisingly, she failed. Bluray discs are super durable these days, my goodness!

Speaking of the NBA2K,--and video games in general for that matter-- it's pretty creepy when you consider some of the subliminal messages some games contain. In NBA2k11 (I don't have the latest versions, but whatever) there are songs which play while you are navigating around the menus and making your selections and they get looped almost to the point of wanting to play on mute because of the redundancy. 

One particular song in the game is a tune by the name of "Downtime" from a hip hop group called Kidz In Space. The chorus of the song goes something like this: "Gimme all your downtime" is repeated several times by the group. That's not even the spooky part! In between, a voice-altered guy jumps in and in a deep warped Hollywood-satanic voice repeats the words "YOUR DOWNTIME". Now the song is essentially about a guy flirting with a girl and wanting to spend quality time with her. Yeah, whatever. 

But put this same song in the context of a video game and you have the Illuminati at work! Once you realize the subliminal messages this song is sending with the chorus, you pick up on some of the other lyrics. "Spend...ALL-all-all-..niiiiiiight with meeeeee". What was that? "Spend all night with me?" Holy hell!  This thing wants me to waste my time and miss my prayers and put my life on hold! Shaytan!!

Listen to it for yourself and imagine this looping over and over while playing video games or participating in any non-religious hobby:

Yikes! My wife has even heard this song blaring in the background while I play and would even react to the song, "Whoa that's shaytan right there, making you waste all your time." Now before you run out and grab an Imam practicing Ruqya or a priest to throw holy water on your Playstation, I'm not saying your game is possessed. 

But the fact of the matter is, is that whatever you may call him, The Devil, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Shaytan, Satan, Hitler etc. you have to keep in mind that one of his main tasks is to take you away from productivity. Productivity with your family, productivity with your own self-improvement, in meeting your goals and in pleasing God. He doesn't physically force you to do anything, but does it indirectly and subliminally at times where you don't really realize it's him trying to play you.

It could be because of all the electronic gadgets you occupy your time with or music, or movies and yes, even video games. He may not be able to convince you to do something as drastic as directly worshiping him (Satan's ultimate epic win), but if he can just make you a little lazy and take you away from better things you can do, thus essentially "giving him all your downtime", then that is satisfactory for him. 

So as a reminder to myself first and then to all of you, make sure to be very disciplined with yourself in regards to your time. Implant in your mind the great advice of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) where he spoke of taking advantage of 5 before 5.

“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death”

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