Gambling in Video Games

How Muslims are gambling without even knowing so

Gambling in video games has become such a prevalent form of monetisation in the gaming industry. Our youth have come to accept this feature as a fun way of earning some in-game items. This is the biggest deception that is being sold to our youth today. Muslims are gambling in video games without knowing.

Game developers openly employ neuroscience methods into their games in order to deceive the player into purchasing these in-game items called ‘Loot boxes’. These ‘Loot boxes’ are in almost every major big-budget video game and even in iPhone games. ‘Loot boxes’ are in-game items that the player can purchase. These ‘Loot boxes’ are opened and the player has a chance to win skins, guns and other items to use in the game. Some items are rare and some items are worthless. The players can then sell these items to other players in the game. 

Some psychologists have discovered that the feeling derived from opening these ‘loot boxes’ can trigger a feeling of rush that is very similar to abusing drugs or playing the slot machines in the casino. Essentially these ‘Lootboxes’ are a form of gambling in video games. Game developers employ ‘fake currency’ in their games in order to trick the consumer into thinking that the money they are spending is not really ‘real money’. The same confusion happens to people who spend their money on a debit card. A recent study came to the conclusion that ‘people are willing to pay more for the same products with debit cards than with cash.’ (Runnemark, Hedman and Xiao, 2015)

Gambling in Video Games: Call of Duty Lootboxes
Gambling in Video Games: Call of Duty Lootboxes
Gambling in Video Games: Fifa18 packs
Gambling in Video Games: Fifa18 packs
Gambling in Video Games: Overwatch Lootboxes
Gambling in Video Games: Overwatch Lootboxes

 

 

Make no mistake this feature is a form of GAMBLING IN VIDEO GAMES. The scary thing is that Muslims who play these games have no idea that this it is gambling in video games. Individuals working in the gaming industry will openly confess that ‘ they’re just a thinly veiled gambling system used to exploit players.’ (Beck, 2017).

The Star Wars Battlefront franchise (EA) has recently been under fire for including gambling in video games of their own that directly affect whether a player may or may not win online matches. This is exploitative as players either can spend up to 40 hours of play time and then unlock certain rare characters or spend money on in-game currency to purchase loot boxes which give players the CHANCE to win playable characters. If the player does not ‘win’ the character he/she wants in these loot boxes then they can try again by paying some more money. Players may develop into an addiction. If you want to read more about the Star Wars Battlefront controversy click here

So please brothers and sisters, do not be deceived by these tricks. Parents do not facilitate Gambling in video games for your children.

 

Bibliography:

Beck, K. (2017). ESRB says video game loot boxes don’t qualify as ‘gambling,’ despite similarities. [online] Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2017/10/12/esrb-loot-boxes-gambling/#8K9W5ux2Kkqy [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].

Runnemark, E., Hedman, J. and Xiao, X. (2015). Do consumers pay more using debit cards than cash?. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 14(5), pp.285-291.

 

Don’t be silent in the face of abuse

Never Abuse Your Partner

In this short film, Steve Dabliz and Mohamed Hoblos confront the controversial issue of abuse in the home, with a particular focus on emotional and psychological abuse. This is no doubt a universal issue that affects communities from all walks of life, and this short film attempts to tackle this problem from an Islamic perspective.

Quite often, many may undermine the gravity of kind treatment one must offer to his or her spouse, completely neglecting its importance in one’s life.

Allah ﷻ enjoins in the Quran for spouses to treat one another with respect.

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

“And live with them in kindness”.

Quran 4:19

This entails kindness to the extent that one should beautify his words, his actions, and his overall presence when interacting with his wife.

The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

“The best of you is he who is best with his family, and I am the best among you with my family”.

Sunan Ibn Majah

He ﷺ also famously said:

The most complete believers are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives”

Tirmidhi

It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to be kind, cheerful and playful with his wives.

Aisha narrated that:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would race with me and I won the race. This occurred before I gained weight, and afterwards, I raced with him again, and he won that race. He said, “This victory is for that victory”.

The Prophet ﷺ would also never get angry over matters of this world and would never complain about trivial matters such as food and worldly affairs.

Abu Huraira narrates:

“The Prophet (ﷺ) never criticized any food (he was invited to) but he used to eat if he liked the food, and leave it if he disliked it.”

Sahih Bukhari

7 Ways to Build a Spiritually Uplifting Home

7 Ways to Build a Spiritually Uplifting Home

We all love to live in a home that welcomes us back at the end of a long, busy day. A place that provides comfort and lifts our spirit is just the place you want to call home, so here are 7 ways to build a spiritually uplifting home.

1. Make home a place of worship

Create an Islamic routine for your family through everyday practices, like praying your 5 daily prayers, reciting Qur’an, fasting Mondays and Thursdays and saying your morning and evening Athkar (remembrance) together. Remind each other to pray and wake each other up for Fajr.

2. Have a positive attitude towards each other

Words have a huge impact on our attitude, so always speak positively when addressing your family. Greet each other positively and always ponder over your blessings from Allah s.w.t.

Talk and act positively. Find solutions to your challenges and focus on your blessings. Choose contentment and you will be happier and confident in any circumstance.

3. Learn about your deen together as a family

Learning together fosters growth and connection between family members. You can listen to a webinar, cuddle for bedtime reading and make Islamic crafts to develop a stronger connection with each other.

4. Have a healthy relationship with your neighbors

Encourage all members of the family to be kind and courteous to the neighbors! Perform random acts of kindness towards them like sending them a gift or baking them a cake.  Check up on your neighbors often and avoid any activities which might disturb the peace between you. Giving or receiving random acts of kindnesses cheers you up instantly. It’s faith in action!

“Surely those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of all creatures.”

Quran (98:6).

5. Recite Surah Al-Baqarah and Ayat Al-Kursi in your home

The Prophet SAW has specifically advised us to recite Surah Al-Baqarah and Ayatul Kursi in our homes as a form of protection from the shaytan

“For the shaytan does not enter a house in which Surat Al-Baqarah is recited”

(Sahih Muslim).

6. Invite righteous company to your home

Inviting righteous company will automatically lift the spirituality in your home. Righteous family, friends, and visitors will remind you of Allah SWT and make dua for Allah to bless your household.

7. Have a clean and tidy home

A clean and tidy home reduces stress and makes you happy. Get rid of the things you don’t use anymore and find a place a for the things that you do use to keep a clean and tidy home. Decorate your home with houseplants and use incense to add extra charm and to lift your spirits.

There’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying family time with your house tidy and clean. Having a clean and tidy home will attract the angels into your home and you will find greater peace and blessings in your life. It is a sunnah and  Prophet Muhammad SAW used to love cleanliness and good scents.

May Allah SWT bless our homes with faith, love, and tranquility.

Courtesy: http://simplymuslimmom.com

Before you share, verify.

Before you share, verify.

Before you share that next news story before you post a status about the latest gossip before you even like someone’s post alleging a major incident.

You need to do this one important thing, the step that most of us, unfortunately, seem to forget. Be sure to Verify your information, Check your sources, make sure what you’re sharing is actually true before you help spread such information.

In this age of social media, and with the increase of “fake news” and celebrity gossip, this advice has never been more important.

We must always learn to fact-check our news articles and sources, even if we feel there is a benefit in such posts, even if it’s something that is Islamic or virtuous, first make sure it’s true.

Why is it in our quest to be the first to report the latest incident or to get the most likes or shares, we, unfortunately, forget that we could be responsible for sharing lies and in turn be gaining a whole lot of sins at the very same time.

Allah clearly warns us against such practices in the Quran, when He states:

O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, with news,  investigate, verify the news, so that you do not harm people unknowingly, and become, over what you have done, regretful.

Quran 49:6

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also warned us:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ كَذِبًا أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِعَ

“It is enough of a lie for someone to narrate all that he hears”.

Sahih Muslim

The great companion, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, also said, that a word in the time of Fitnah (tribulation) is as destructive as a sword.

And lastly, if you do find yourself guilty of sharing false information, make sure to not only delete what you’ve posted but even try your best to rectify what you’ve done by letting people know of the error.

The hallmark of a Muslim should be his honesty and trustworthiness, don’t ever let the madness of the world we live in today jeopardise that for you.

Six steps towards zero makeup

Six steps towards zero makeup

We’ve all heard a talk here and there discussing that makeup is Haram and how women should be modest and not beautify themselves in front of non-mahram men.  

But what all these talks lack is the understanding of why we, as women, find it so hard to quit makeup.

Men think about it as a black and white issue.

How hard can it be? “Just wash your face and Voila! You’re makeup free!”

But to us women, it’s not that simple.

These days we are daily subjected to images of beauty that naturally increase our insecurities, and for some of us, that winged eyeliner, grants us the feeling of empowerment to walk out of the house confident and happy to face the world.

In a society where we face bigotry and discrimination as Muslims, especially women who wear the headscarf, it’s hard not to feel self-conscious, hence you try to fit in any way you can. This is where makeup plays a big role!

But what we don’t realise is that there’s a huge problem there.

Our minds have been programmed to feel the need for this paint to cover our “real” face to feel more comfortable in our own skin!

Don’t you find this disturbing?!

So here are six steps to help you give up wearing makeup:

 

  1. Understand the true meaning of modesty

 

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest.  That is purer for them.  Lo!  God is Aware of what they do.  And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their chests, and not to reveal their adornment.”

Quran 24:30

So, what is modesty?

The key to modesty is knowing that Allah is aware of what we do and shying away from that which He forbids.  

Think about it this way, if your parents forbade you from doing something but you still wanted to do it, would you do it right in front of their face??

Definitely not!

We know that Allah is watching us as we’re putting on that mascara making our eyelashes touch our eyelids, yet we seem OK with the idea!

  1. Surround yourself with good company

Surround yourself with people who remind you of Allah and are God-conscious.

Being around people who dress modestly not only encourages you to be better, but also makes it easier for you to adopt good habits for the long run.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows (respectively). So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.”

[Bukhari & Muslim]

  1. You don’t need makeup to look presentable

The Prophet ﷺ drew attention to the fact that the Muslim should always be clean and tidy at all times.

“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ saw a man wearing dirty clothes. He said, `Could this person not find anything with which to wash his clothes?'”

(Ahmad)

  1. Dress to impress Allah, not the people

We are bombarded daily with photoshopped photos of celebrities and models, which creates a false image of beauty in our minds.

Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts [and deeds].

(Muslim)

  1. Develop an inner natural glow

Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet was called, Az-Zahra, the splendid light, because she had a light that emanated from her face.

The scholars would say, beautify your prayers at night and Allah will beautify your faces in the day.

  1. Ask Allah to increase your modesty

Ask Allah to make it easy for you.

Say this du’aa:

“O’Allah, make Imaan (Faith)  beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts. And make Kufr (Disbelief, transgression, and sins) hateful to us.”

“O’Allah! Enable us to see the truth as Truth and give us the ability to follow it. And show us the falsehood as false and give us the ability to refrain from it.”

No one expects you to wipe your face and go makeup free tomorrow. Maybe start going out with less makeup and slowly you’ll start to get used to your face and accept the way you look as Allah has created you.

Maybe not too popular in this dunya, but insha’Allah popular amongst the angels in the heavens!  

May Allah give us the strength to come closer to Him through our actions.

Six tips to raise a good Muslim boy

Six tips to raise a good Muslim boy

  1. Instill Love of Allah and the Prophet in their hearts

Share beautiful stories from the Qur’an with them.

Dedicate a time daily for teaching them about the life of the Prophet ﷺ

Take the time to explain the meaning of some verses to them

“[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.”

(Surah Sad 38:29)

  1. Show them affection

One of the biggest misconceptions about raising boys is teaching them to ignore their feelings and always using tough love with them.

Just like girls, boys have emotions too and we should not make them ashamed of them.

The young brother of Anas bin Malik used to play with a small bird. The Prophet ﷺwould approach the little kid and ask: “O Abu Umair! What has your little bird done today?”

One day the little bird died. The boy was sad, so the Prophet of Mercy went to visit him, console him and cheer him up.

  1. Be fair and honest

Fairness is important to boys. They respond best to discipline that is firm, honest and fair.

The mother of Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr once called him to come near to her, promising that she will give him something in return.

The Prophet ﷺ commented by saying “If you did not give him anything (upon calling him) it would be recorded on you as a lie.”

Abu Dawud

  1. Get dads involved

Boys need male role models. They need a father who leads by example and gently but firmly encourages them.

`Umar was walking with his son `Abdullah, he informed his father that he knew the answer to the question the Prophet put forward to them.

Upon hearing his son’s answer Umar said to him: “If you had said it, it would have been sweeter to me than anything in this world”.

  1. Accept their childishness

Many parents dislike the messiness that comes along with raising boys. It is important to accept that and not be a disciplining parent all the time.

When al-Hassan & al-Hussain were little, they would jump on the prophets back while he was praying, and when he rose from prostration he would gently place them on the floor.

(Sunan an-Nasa’i)

  1. Give them responsibilities around the house

Following directions and finishing tasks are very important skills to learn. Assign your son a regular task daily.

The Prophet ﷺ used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.”

(Bukhari)

 

May Allah make our children from amongst the righteous.

How Islam defeats racism

Six reasons why Islam is the cure to Racism

Malcolm X once famously said that “America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem.”

The fact of the matter is, Islam has all the keys necessary to defeat racism from society and leave no room for such kinds of discrimination. Incase you’re wondering exactly how it works, let me break things down.

Islam is colour blind

For starters, Islam teaches that there is no distinction in terms of a person’s colour or race. In fact the only purpose our different races and cultures serve in Islam is for us to build bridges in getting to know one another. As God clearly mentions in the Quran.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

“O people, We have created you male and female and made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most noble of you to Allah is the most righteous of you. Verily, Allah is knowing and aware.”

Surat Al-Hujurat 49:13

This means, that such diversity is not a means of discrimination but rather a means of education.

Diversity is a miracle of God.

The colour of our skin and all of our unique cultural features are God-given traits that none of us chose to inherit at birth. The differences we share are in fact all signs of the magnificence of God and a reflection of His infinite creative power as also mentioned in the Quran.

It is not through such characteristics that we realise the greatness of ourselves, but rather we realise and appreciate the greatness of the One who created us.

Allah said:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ

Among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Verily, in that are signs for people of knowledge.

Surat Ar-Rum 30:22

Mankind was all created from clay

Islam teaches that all human beings were essentially created from the same thing – dirt. So it makes no sense to consider ourselves better than one another when we are all designed from the same components, regardless of our different cultures.

Abu Musa reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى خَلَقَ آدَمَ مِنْ قَبْضَةٍ قَبَضَهَا مِنْ جَمِيعِ الْأَرْضِ فَجَاءَ بَنُو آدَمَ عَلَى قَدْرِ الْأَرْضِ فَجَاءَ مِنْهُمْ الْأَحْمَرُ وَالْأَبْيَضُ وَالْأَسْوَدُ وَبَيْنَ ذَلِكَ وَالسَّهْلُ وَالْحَزْنُ وَالْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ

Verily, Allah the Exalted created Adam from a handful which He took from the earth, so the children of Adam come in accordance with the earth. Some come with red skin, white skin, or black skin.

(At-Tirmidhi 2955, Sahih)

Virtue is only through righteousness.

In the eyes of God, our skin colour or race grants us no favours, rather it is simply our actions and deeds that make all the difference.

In the Prophet’s farewell sermon, he made this point very clear when he stated that white skin is not better than black skin, nor is black skin better than white skin. Rather it is our righteousness that makes the difference.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَلَا إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنَّ أَبَاكُمْ وَاحِدٌ أَلَا لَا فَضْلَ لِعَرَبِيٍّ عَلَى أَعْجَمِيٍّ وَلَا لِعَجَمِيٍّ عَلَى عَرَبِيٍّ وَلَا لِأَحْمَرَ عَلَى أَسْوَدَ وَلَا أَسْوَدَ عَلَى أَحْمَرَ إِلَّا بِالتَّقْوَى أَبَلَّغْتُ

O people, your Lord is one and your father Adam is one. There is no virtue of an Arab over a foreigner nor a foreigner over an Arab, and neither white skin over black skin nor black skin over white skin, except by righteousness. Have I not delivered the message?

(Musnad Ahmad 22978, Sahih)

We are all slaves of God.

While we may all come from different nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds, at the end of the day our overarching identity as Muslims dictates that we are all servants of God. There is no superior race or culture, we are all equal servants of God who are in as much need of God as everyone else.

Nationalism is prohibited.

In Islam it is prohibited to boast about our race or culture to the extent that it belittles or denigrates people from other cultures. The Prophet warned us all about the dangers of such tribalism and stated that “He is not one of us who fights for the sake of it”.

Jubair ibn Mut’im reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى عَصَبِيَّةٍ وَلَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ قَاتَلَ عَلَى عَصَبِيَّةٍ وَلَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى عَصَبِيَّةٍ

He is not one of us who calls to tribalism. He is not one of us who fights for the sake of tribalism. He is not one of us who dies following the way of tribalism.

(Sunan Abu Dawud, Hassan)

As mentioned before, the only standard to determine a person’s superiority is through their level of righteousness, which is, by the way, a trait the can only ever be truly determined by God alone.

Islam defeats racism, and only once it’s practiced can we defeat it from society today.

An act of forgiveness like no other

Father of slain victim forgives man involved in his son’s murder

The father of a slain victim has forgiven the man involved in his son’s murder.

Abdul-Munim Sombat Jimtoud hugged the man who was sentenced for being complicit in his son’s murder, saying that forgiveness is “the greatest act of charity in Islam”.

His son, Salahuddin Jimtoud, was killed in April 2015 after delivering pizza to an apartment complex in Lexington, Kentucky.
The defendant, Trey Alexander Relford, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 31 years in prison. He told the Jitmoud family, “There’s not much I can really say. I’m sorry about what happened that day. I cannot do nothing to give that back to you.”

Jimtoud said he found comfort knowing that “Whatever happens to you is from Allah. Let the believer put their trust in Him.”

He also gave reference to the 51st verse of the ninth chapter of the Quran that states that “Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.’ And upon Allah [God] let the believers rely.”

After the sentencing, Jimtoud whispered into Relford’s ear to let him know that Allah is extremely forgiving and that he should aspire to do good deeds well into the future.

Forgiveness is no doubt a highly regarded act in Islam, whereby God Almighty who is Himself “The Most Forgiving”, instructs the believers to pardon one another and forgive others.

“The believers are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for Allah loves the doers of good.”

Quran 3:134

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also taught that “No one forgives, except that Allah will raise his honour”.

Sahih Muslim

May Allah accept this noble and virtuous act by Jimtoud and allow it to be a means of inspiration for others to follow in his footsteps.

Watch More of the 2017 Top Muslim Stories

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The Imams Panel: Leading the Community

The Imams Panel – Heading the Community in the Right Direction

On this episode of “The Imams Panel”, we are joined by some of Australia’s leading Imams to discuss issues of pertinent importance to young Muslims living in Western countries, particularly in Australia and abroad.

We are joined by Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman from the United Muslims of Australia, Sheikh Abu Zoud from Sunnah Foundation, Sheikh Dr. Kamal Taleb from Roselands Masjid and Mufti Zeeyad Ravat from the Pillars of Guidance Community Centre in Melbourne.

The panel covers a range of issues that are currently affecting young Muslims in Australia including ways to confront and deal with Islamophobia as Muslim youth, establishing political representation for Muslims, finding ways to uplift the services provided by Imams for Muslim women, confronting the taboo topic of sexual indecency in the Muslim Community and lastly how to channel the Celebrity Sheikh Culture currently being fostered online.

We hope you find benefit in this second addition to what we endeavour to be a long-running new show on the OnePath Network, titled “The Imams Panel”.

For suggestions or questions for the Imams on our future panels, please leave a message in the comment section.

Video Timeline

How should youth deal with Islamophobia 00:00:56:00

Should Muslims be more politically involved 00:07:02:00

How should Muslims view the LGBT Movement 00:11:47:00

What services are Imams providing to cater for Muslim women 00:20:11:10

How should Imams confront sexual misconduct in the community 00:30:03:10

How should Muslims view the current Celebrity Sheikh Culture 00:36:39:15

Final closing remarks by Imams 00:44:47:10

Tragedy at a Sydney Primary School leaves two children dead

Tragedy at a Sydney Primary School leaves two children dead

Two young eight-year-old boys have tragically died while in their classroom after a 4WD lost control and plowed into Banksia Road Primary in Sydney, Australia.

Three other young girls remain in Westmead Children’s Hospital, with one in a serious condition.

Four men ran into the school after hearing a loud bang to help lift the 4WD off of an unconscious child who laid below.

We ask Allah to grant their families patience and enter the two young souls into the Highest Stations of Paradise.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

“When a man’s child dies, Allah, the Exalted, asks His angels, ‘Have you taken out the life of the child of My slave?’ and they reply in the affirmative. He (SWT) then asks, ‘Have you taken the fruit of his heart?’ and they reply in the affirmative. Thereupon He asks, ‘What did my slave say?’ They say: ‘He praised You and said: Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un (We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return).’ Allah says: ‘Build a house for my slave in Jannah and name it Baitul-Hamd (the House of Praise).”‘

Tirmidhi (Hassan)

To Allah, we belong and to Him, we shall return.