Let’s Netflix and Kill (Time)

Recently, I am ashamed to admit that I have succumbed to Netflix. Yes, me, the girl who has probably told several friends that she will never sign up for one, just did. The pressure was immense. People around me were talking with such fervour about shows I have never watched that I thought, man, am I really missing out on something here? So jump on the bandwagon I did.

The main reason I signed up for an account was because I really wanted to watch the documentary on Minimalism, and other great documentaries that are worth the watch. Besides that, I wanted to catch up with Sherlock aka the only show to date that I’ve ever been legitimately hooked on to (no thanks to Mr Cucumberbatches). Plus, it was free for the first trial month (which is a trap don’t go there) because they obviously know you’ll be signed up for life.

As the holidays rolled around, I took the opportunity to scratch the itch that is my Sherlock addiction and documentary spree. But the itch soon turned into a full-blown eczema of Netflixing past midnight, coasting on back-to-back episodes of Suits and Stranger Things, for a good few weeks.

I caught myself slipping further and further into a black hole and so I decided to take a break for a bit. Off I went to check my inbox even though I had just checked it minutes ago. It’s an anxious, annoying habit. I know.

This time, there really was a new email. It was from Bayyinah TV, which I had resubscribed due to some issue with my account, and with the title of the email casually stating “Just Checking In”.

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You know Allah sends reminders in the most subtle, mysterious, and timeliest of ways? Yeah well, this was a slap to the face. Allah is checking in on my deeds. Have I been consistent? Or have I been drifting? I have been spending hours watching some made-up show and neglecting learning the truth. This is not acceptable. I have Bayyinah TV waiting for me with an ocean of knowledge on His book to be gained, The Stories of The Prophets book which I’m still halfway in, lying morosely on the right side of my desk (I’m pretty sure if it had a mouth it would scream at me to read it), and shelves of books patiently sitting, hoping the responsible owner would pick it up to read.

Sister, seriously. Astaghfirullah.

I pinched and reminded myself that the angels are watching my deeds – both good and bad – and recording it down in a book as proof. I want it to make a case for me, not against me, during the Day of Judgment. Oh Allah, please forgive the sins of this weak slave of Yours. Truly, there is a reason why entertainment is restricted within certain boundaries in this deen. It’s because Allah knows we are weak and careless. We need constant reminders, constant check-ins. If we don’t find a moderation, if we don’t learn how to strike a balance, we’d slip further, and further, and further away with time, failing to realize that we have killed our own time, ergo killing the opportunity to do beneficial deeds.

So here’s what I learn. To be moderate, and to catch yourself when you realize you’ve gone too far. I am still learning to refrain myself from indulging in things that are not spiritually beneficial for me, and I am always reminding myself that time is ticking and my deathbed awaits. Alhamdulillah, I am no longer cruising past midnight on Netflix, and it’s a good thing that work is starting soon so I can expect a more regimental sort of routine. And I probably need to get out of Netflix soon (some friends have recently tempted me to watch Black Mirror, yikes, ya Allah please save me from myself *cue help me emoticon*).

By time. Indeed, mankind is at loss. Except for those who have believed, done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. [Surah Al-‘Asr, 1-3]

May we be of those who are mindful of our time on this dunya, and may we be of those who are never at loss.

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