My Muslim daughter loves the Tinkerbell character and all things fairy. I was not happy with this but I accepted it as part of being a young girl. Then we watched the 1st Tinkerbell movie, together. It starts by asking, “do you ever wonder…” how the sun rises, how the seasons change, what makes the leaves fall from the trees. Now my Muslim mommy antenna is up! Because there is only one answer I know as a Muslim…Allah! But no, the answer given is “it’s all the work of fairies.” The movies go on to explain that “fairies” are responsible for these things and more. I sat there thinking, crap, this is shirk! And Tinkerbell is going to have to go!
Ideas put into the minds of children are very powerful and messages internalized can stay forever. That’s why I’m trying so hard to get them to internalize love for and knowledge about Allah. I have been teaching her that Allah has power over all things and it is Allah that is responsible for all of the things she sees going on around her. Now Tinkerbell is telling her I am wrong.
I wondered…what is a fairy exactly. What kind of mythology does it come from, the origins. I found this answer on Wikipedia… “Their origins are less clear in the folklore, being variously dead, or some form of demon…”
According to Wikipedia (and other sources) fairy folklore originated in stories of demons. And although pretty in pink and purple wings now, originally they were scary troll like creatures who were either undead or demonic. Similar to what we in Islam would think of as bad jinn. Now I don’t know about you but I don’t like the idea of my daughter walking around with “bad jinn” t-shirts, backpacks and sneakers! And these fairies are on all of these items and more. Fairies are back and they are everywhere, just as cute as they can be.
I don’t imagine, that most people buying or even selling these fairy items realize the demonic connection. Certainly the children don’t. As with most demonically originated items in our culture we have forgotten the true origins and meanings behind many commonly used symbols. (like the heart and arrow symbol) So I don’t really believe that my daughter will grow up and worship the devil because she likes Tinkerbell at age 6.
What I fear most about Tink is that my daughter will grow up and realize that Tink is an imaginary character without the power to do anything. She will be taught in school, scientific explanations for the seasons changing and rain falling. And she will grow out of believing in the unseen magical world. My fear is that as she is told to explain her world through science and to grow out of belief in magical creatures, that her new cynicism will lead her to question a faith in God. Because, Allah is also unseen, powers unexplainable, something that must be taken mostly on faith. I heard an atheist on television today saying, “I am an atheiest, because I don’t believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, God or any other illogical thing.” SubhanAllah! This is my fear.
I want her to believe in the unseen world. There are powerful beings and forces at work both for good and evil that we can’t see. The most powerful being God. This is my fear, with Tinkerbell flying around trivializing this FACT she may start to doubt, the real unseen world. Scary thought.