Psychologists also against viewing soaps in Ramadan

Psychologists also against viewing soaps in Ramadan
Updated 19 July 2013

Psychologists also against viewing soaps in Ramadan

Psychologists also against viewing soaps in Ramadan

Psychologists have joined preachers in their condemnation of soap operas broadcast during Ramadan because they say these programs often show physical and psychological abuse and create an unrealistic picture of life.
They say Ramadan should be spent fasting, praying and in spiritual contemplation.
Mona Al-Sawaf, psychology consultant at King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah, told Arab News Ramadan soap operas have a become a regular feature of broadcasting over the past decade because of competition among Arab satellite channels to “entice” audiences to their stations.
“The problem with this is that a majority of these programs portray physical and psychological abuses, especially victimizing of women, while occupying the audience’s attention with deep social and family problems,” said Al-Sawaf.
She said that this portrayal of women and family situations creates drama and attracts viewers, but could have a negative impact on couples who have to deal with a mix of emotions such as anger, anxiety and indifference.
“Many viewers don’t immediately forget what they have seen and often think about the actions of the characters days later, which could affect their family life, instead of focusing on the true spirit and reason for Ramadan,” she said.
Lutfia Salman, a psychologist from Abha, agrees with this assessment. “Most soap operas during the regular months of the year can result in viewers thinking their lives are boring or abnormal compared to the rest of society. This can, in turn lead to negative changes in behavior and an array of problems.”
She said these issues could distract people in Ramadan from “spending their time in prayer, with family and taking part in religious activities.”
A member of the Council of Senior Ulema, Ali Al-Hakmi, recently said watching soap operas during Ramadan was not allowed under Islamic law.
He said soap operas are full of Shariah violations and that those who stay up late at night to watch these programs and lag behind in their prayers are “sinners” who should “repent and return to the straight path that leads to Allah.”
“Ramadan is not just one month of the year, it is a holy month dedicated to worship, for Muslims to distance themselves from sins and violations of the Shariah,” said Al-Hakmi.
He said the owners of Arab satellite channels have become overwhelmed by a love of material things and money. “People have turned to the pleasures of life, such as eating, drinking and delights of dating and others. They have forgotten the most important thing of all during the holy month.”
Al-Hakmi said Muslims should watch scientific and historical programs for pleasure.