“The imam is a shield”: Huzoor’s warning about Fortnite

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    Last Updated on 31st March 2021

    The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

    إِنَّمَا الإِمَامُ جُنَّةٌ يُقَاتَلُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِ

    “The imam is a shield, behind whom [believers] fight”. (Sunan al-Nasai)

    For Ahmadi Muslims, this hadith serves as a stark reminder that all our actions and the direction of our spiritual battle – both internal and external – are to come from Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. We follow the lead of our Khalifa and stay behind his shield – our wellbeing lies within this.

    To an outsider – whether non-religious or even religious – such obedience and trust for one person are often labelled as naïve blind faith, insanity or even cult-like behaviour. But those who have never experienced the sweetness of a spring can never comprehend its sweet and delightful taste.

    Ahmadis follow the way of the Companionsra, who strictly followed the Quranic injunction of “We hear, and we obey” – and they experience its benefits time and time again.

    Experience proves that Allah’s support is with the leadership of Khilafat. Often, when Khilafat has warned of a social vice through one aspect, over time, other dangers also surface.

    A recent example of the benefits of fighting behind the imam and following his command is the news of the game Fortnite being used by drug dealers to groom children as “drug mules”. (www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dealers-are-using-fortnite-treats-to-groom-children-as-drug-mules-pq7rkftv2)

    Fortnite – an online game predominately played by children – was a game Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa warned of in clear terms years ago.

    Fortnite had gathered 350 million users as of May 2020. It prompts its players (mostly children) to buy v-bucks, a virtual currency to acquire in-game upgrades, in exchange for real money.

    The Times (UK) recently reported:

    “Criminals are using the video game Fortnite to groom children as young as 12 to become drug mules, youth workers have warned.

    “The game’s virtual currency, v-bucks, is offered to children who want to buy extras for the game, such as costumes and dance moves for their characters, but cannot afford to do so.

    “After the child is used to receiving v-bucks, the drug dealers ask for something in return. They arrange to meet in person and often ask the child to store drugs in their bedroom or deliver them to customers.

    “Matthew Norford, 38, who works with young people at risk of criminal exploitation in Manchester through his scheme 1Message, says many children, mainly aged 12 or 13, had been approached by older people […]”.

    Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa had specifically said Ahmadis should not be playing this game due to, for example, its purchasing and buying aspect. Letters were sent out by jamaats and auxiliary organisations, warning parents of Fortnite and the fresh instructions from Huzooraa.

    In a Friday Sermon in 2019 (two years after Fortnite was created) Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

    “Nowadays, a game called Fortnite is being played regularly amongst the youth in which their money is going to waste. Parents as well as the auxiliary organisations such as Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya in particular must protect them from getting involved in it because one step leads to another and they will eventually get hold of bank cards and spend money on it. 

    “In fact, a few days ago an article was published in which a survey was quoted showing that there are certain groups which get in contact with the youth and having incited them into using bank cards, they gain access to the bank accounts of their parents. Only sometime later do the parents realise that money is missing from their bank account.

    “This is as a result of this game which is becoming a drug-like addiction amongst the youth, where not only is their time being wasted and dangerous thoughts are creeping into their minds, but on top of that some of their parents have even suffered a great deal. Hence, one must avoid this and instead, instil the habit of spending in the way of Allah among children, which He draws our attention to, especially to schemes such as Waqf-e-Jadid.” (www.alhakam.org/financial-sacrifice-waqf-e-jadid-2019/)

    In the same year, advising over 100 Atfal from Germany who had come to visit their Imam, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa said:

    “There are also decent things on the Internet and social media. There is MTA, speeches, dars of the Holy Quran, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh question and answer sessions, speeches of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, books, my addresses etc. – you should listen to these. Why does one need to watch pornography, immodest images or play games like Fortnite that waste money? Use the Internet in the proper way and you will have the opportunity to do good.” (www.alhakam.org/over-100-atfal-travel-to-markaz-for-audience-with-huzoor/)

    A member of Majlis Ansarullah Norway, referring to the Friday Sermon in which Huzooraa mentioned the dangers of playing Fortnite, asked Huzooraa regarding the game and requested for some more guidance on the matter. Huzooraa said:

    “I have already talked about this and after doing so, I have received letters from people around the world who have said that they have stopped playing […] When children become addicted to the game, they are forced to spend money to enter the next stage and this has, in many cases, resulted in emptying the bank accounts of their parents.” (www.alhakam.org/norway-ansar-national-amila-mulaqat-with-hazrat-khalifatul-masih/)

    Latest reports talk of drug dealers successfully preying on children through the financial side of Fortnite. Scores of Ahmadi youth who left Fortnite were saved from the very real possibility of being groomed by drug dealers and the parents who listened to Huzoor’s instruction, protected their own children from being preyed on. Yes, the numbers may be low but the possibility is real enough for any parent to worry about. This is just another aspect of the dangers of Fortnite from which Ahmadi youth have been saved, by listening to their Imam.

    Yet again, the Holy Prophet’ssa instruction that the imam is the shield behind whom believers fight, has proven true.

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