I am not into virtual games. I am pretty noob in that. So when there was this media-frenzy on Pokemon Go, I was quite in bewilderment but quite nonchalant about it. I knew Pokemon when I was in Form 4 in the year 2000 purely from the animated version. I liked the theme song and the animation and I recalled that when my late cousin, Kak Aida had her very first few treatment for her kidney failure (bless her soul) at Loh Guan Lye Hospital, Kak Alia (her sister) and I were so fixated with the cartoon aired on NTV7. But that was it.
I was familiar with Ash and Pikachu. But this was the year 2000 series.
Fast forward to 2016 – after 16 years to be exact; suddenly Pokemon came into the picture. I was quite surprised to see this name suddenly emerged out of nowhere after 16 years?! The first time I heard about this was after my Euro trip with Kakak (refer to my previous entries). I read about this tabloid piece on this one fan who was so occupied with the game DESPITE standing so near to the stage where Beyonce was performing!! Naturally, the person who recorded the act went berserk with that (REFER to http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7446716/beyonce-fan-pokemon-go-concert)!!! Haha! Nevertheless, I was nonchalant about Pokemon Go until the Malaysian public went nuts when allegedly a Mufti (Islamic scholar/cleric) was quoted to issue a Fatwa (Shariah decision) that this game is forbidden or ‘haram’ for the Moslems. The response was ballistic – both from the Moslems and unsurprisingly, of course the non-Moslems!
Pokemon Go. The game that goes global obsession. Apparently, not on Malaysia issues statements to defy the obsession – Indonesia, Middle East, Thailand, Russia, Israel (REFER to http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/israeli-soldiers-banned-from-pokemon-go-as-palestinians-struggle-to-play).
At this juncture, I was left with this gap of knowledge (whoa, sounds so research-chy, huh? Haha!). Why is it that this seemingly harmless game is being labeled as “Haram”? Was it simply another moral-policing which has become a rampant phenomenon amongst the Malaysian Moslems of late?
The Mufti (Head of Clerics) of Wilayah Persekutuan, Dr. Zulkifli al-Bakri was bashed by Malaysians for his statement on regards of Pokemon Go. It is sad to see how the Malay Moslem themselves are so vehement in lambasting him – due to their sole obsession.
To add salt to the wound, Malaysian Moslems who are already addicted to this game wasted no time to bash the Mufti by claiming that it was a biased decision to ‘execute’ a mere virtual game whereas the main priorities should be given to counteract other illicit activities such as promiscuity-among-Moslems, bribery, etc (REFER to http://www.theheatmalaysia.com/Main/Pokemon-Go-pokes-Malaysian-muftis). Now perhaps due to public backlash, The Mufti then issued another statement saying that there was never any official proclamation saying that Pokemon Go is to be “Haram” (Forbidden) BUT it is best to be AVOIDED due to several reasons such as time-consuming, jeopardizing self security as well as the nation, etc (REFER to http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ft-mufti-clarifies-pokemon-go-not-haram). On the other hand of course as expected, the non-Moslems or rather Moslem-haters (I don’t think they really hate Islam or Moslems; perhaps they were just so annoyed by the endless “Haram” issuance when they thought are simply trivial matters, no?) wasted no time to share their own opinions on this as they believe in ‘freedom of speech’ and of course, inevitable unauthorized scholar a.k.a. keyboard warriors.
With all these fracas going on, I believe that the non-Moslems are not affected by this and I understand their antics on ‘poking around issues that are not even theirs’. It was no biggie, actually. NEVERTHELESS, what irked me the most was to see the comments made by my own Moslem brethren on regards of this Pokemon Go. Just because they were angry that the Mufti issued a statement defying their addiction towards Pokemon Go, they jeered and even used improper words besmirching the Mufti! Some even questioned the credibility of the Mufti by saying he was merely a puppet who did not dare to question the ruling politicians’ uncouth administration BUT YET dare to persecute the Plain People???! In short, one lets the cruel BIG FISHES go but persecutes the smaller fishes!
Pikachu! It is cute, alright! Haha!
I don’t think it is appropriate for Moslems to do that. I am not a saint and I am far from being a religious person but I feel as a Moslem, you have to uplift your own religion and any institutions entrusted to govern the sanctity by giving them support and if you are not in agreeable term, it would be better not to issue any comments that will degrade our religion or the institutions per se. Looking at this, would you blame the non-Moslems when we as the Moslem ourselves degraded and ridiculed our own Mufti?
Some of the Malaysian-flavoured names.
I understand the idea that ‘mortals are imperfect’- therefore, Muftis and clerics are bound to be imperfect as “they probably simply dwell in religious affairs and oblivious with secular world” (don’t lie; I understand how the secularists think; they think highly of themselves and regard religious figures as dumb buffoons who merely devote themselves towards AfterLife affairs!). Nonetheless if one fathoms the Maqasid Syariah under the umbrella of Fiqh (I am no expert but as I took Islamic Studies as a minor when I was in USM, I gained little bit of knowledge on this and via my brief stint as Islamic banker), a Moslem is advised to avoid any elements that could jeopardize the healthy state. In this perspective of Pokemon Go, it is dubbed as very time-consuming and it will cause extraordinary obsession and addiction to the players as they need to travel out to certain places; even the ones that are closely-guarded or situated at impossible locations – just to collect these pocket monsters! There were a few instances where players climbed water tanks, trespassed holy and personal spaces and even caused fatal accidents as some would stop their vehicles abruptly while driving when they suddenly got notifications on the sudden existence of these pocket monsters!
Ooopsie! Just look at the names! Kikikiki! (,”)
Accident in Malaysia due to this Pokemon Go! Like, seriously??? Oh, my!
To be fair, there were also a few positive things engendered from playing Pokemon Go. Players claim that they have opportunity to get to know new people with same interests and this game also force them to venture out from their house (therefore related to fitness) and some even helped other living beings when they encountered some mishaps at the location where they seek the pocket monsters.
Comments from obsessed Malay Moslem Malaysians. So sad.
Need to avoid. In terms of Maqasid Shariah, anything that violates the tranquility of physical, mental or spiritual is deemed to be avoided as it is harmful to the quality of one’s life.
On whole what I am trying to say here is that if you want to play or if you don’t want to play, IT IS YOUR PREROGATIVE. Do if you want to do. BUT, do not go over the board. You DON’T HAVE TO BESMIRCH THE MUFTI or those who are entrusted to protect the sanctity of Islam. Despite the secularists’ perception that the clerics are merely piety-buffoons, they are the learned people on the creed. They don’t simply issue opinions if they do not have concrete reasons for that. The same goes to the e-cigarettes hullabaloos last year which I have also written about it (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/the-malaysians-opium-war-the-evolution-of-tobacco-laden-cigarette-shishahookah-vaping-e-cigarette/). The Muftis know. Now if you disagree, it would be best to exercise diplomatic approach – use appropriate words. Well, I am sure of some of you out there disagree with what I have written and I respect that as well. In short, let’s learn to agree to disagree, no? With civilized manner, of course!
The winner! Haha, what a name!
The 90s babies must be familiar with this theme song. Hahah! I loved the catchy line “Gotta Catch Them All!” And not to forget the OST theme song for the movie sung by M2M “Don’t Say You Love Me” (used to be my life anthem! LMAO!).