Apples & Oranges

Mohamedarif Suleman

(Nairobi, Kenya)

As we continue to grope into the science of sociology and accompanied with that the understanding about human social behaviour, some interesting concepts are being offered by the Vedas – the Holy Hindu scriptures. Undoubtedly, what will finally emerge is the concept of Islamic values – an ism that is above the Democratic, Capitalist, Socialist and Communist ideologies of the world.

It is not uncommon for one to hear each person scream atop a roof about how important it is to have democracy.  Indeed, we live in an era where the world’s wealthy and supreme nations (courtesy of successful capitalist policies) are preaching about democracy (simply translated “people rule” as opposed to the older “theocracy”, i.e. religious rule).  This is one reason why, if the Holy Prophet’s famous anecdotal narration about preaching what you practice (the story of the boy eating sweets excessively) is considered to be evidence, Western nations are today failing to spread true democracy around the world, having themselves benefited from the woes of others in a much undemocratic way.  In Third World countries, super rich heads of states scream about belt-tightening “for all”, literally purporting to tell others to cut their coat according to their cloth.  In the United States, specifically, the government launched a spend-campaign urging Americans to spend more during the Christmas of 2005, as the absence of spending would whirlwind the economy to troubled waters.  One common theme behind all this is the garb about democracy, whereas the penultimate truth is that had democracy truly prevailed, only two excruciating scenarios would have come about – either there would be uncontrollable chaos or that the division of class would have consolidated in the face of accumulating power with the haves. The latter is a phenomenon that we are today experiencing.

Why would there be chaos? For the precise reason that the Qur’an negates “that all human beings are equal” in asking whether “are those who know and those who do not know equal?”  Boldfacing the importance of knowledge as a tool in understanding the Almighty Allah.  And for the same reason that we today witness with each passing week, one country after another legalizing same-sex marriage under pressure from pervert community leaders and the “demo” people.

Vedic knowledge, which we of course suspect to have been one of the divine books or a part thereof, that has been hijacked by members of another faith, classifies human beings into three variants.  Tamas, Rajas and Sattva.

Tamasic individuals are those that are lethargic, whose values are crude and underdeveloped; for whom inaction is categoric. They do not show emotions and are largely indifferent to any form of event or action, especially to joys and sorrows.  They have zero motivation and maximum egoes.  They are lazy by nature and for them happiness is derived only through leisure activities.  Leisure and pleasure of any basic form is what drives these individuals.

On the other hand, those in Rajas are typed as individuals whose actions are propelled by self interest and the achievement of worldly things. They only practice convenience faith in everything they do, so long as it benefits them. Their knowledge of the world is immense, such that this knowledge becomes a vital tool in manipulating and scheming against others for self-gain.  Rajasic people do have emotions, but largely to their possessions and belongings. Their love for other people or even members of their family is due to their own need of them. Their motivation is truly self driven and also have sizeable egoes and gain is their game.

Lastly, the Vedas ascribe the more refined individuals as those in Sattva stage.  This is the crème de la crème of society. These are those who are “true” leaders and role models of society. They possess potent knowledge of the self and are powerful in action. Their love is pure and contemplative both of others and of the Divine. They are self motivated and free from self interest driving activities.  They are aligned with totality and their happiness is in gaining contact with their inner selves.

If we apply this knowledge to the worldly scenario today, there would be little doubt that the Tamasic individuals are getting whatever they want from Rajasic leaders. The former want pleasure, nay unlimited pleasure, the latter want to give it because there is economic gain in the vicinity. The Sattvic individuals, on the other hand, are usually maimed, jailed or condemned to social isolation.  In other words, the life of this world is a prison for the believer and a merry making ground for the disbeliever.

Should we spend more time in digging out the marvels of our own religion, away from the hustle and bustle of this temporal world, we would of course realize how fortunate we are, and how completely encoded the guidance to mankind is – a code that we can, through sincere efforts, decode and excel in the life hereafter.

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Mohamedarif Suleman

About the author

Mohamedarif is a marketing professional and educationalist with a penchant for writing as a hobby since childhood. As he experimented writing about sporting events at first and then current affairs, he quickly developed a skill for observation of his environment and began to write on reform topics, especially in connection with the community. To further feed his pursuit of writing, he founded several newsletters and bulletins at his school and at the Husayni Madrasah in the 1980's, all the time learning from others already in the field not just about writing, but also about pre-press and production processes. He was also the editor-in-chief of the Knowledge Magazine in 1995–1996. A decade later, importing a flurry of ideas into his new home, Nairobi, he first founded a two page community newspaper then became a regular writer of the Friday Faculty before establishing the Community on Friday, a fully fledged Madrasah magazine in 1996. And while his writing at the community continued, he simultaneously started writing for a business weekly, pairing in with his newfound role as a marketing professional. During his time in Nairobi, he wrote several speeches for sitting chairmen and presidents while also giving some himself, developing his concurrent role as a public speaker and trainer.

With changing times and a decrease in advertising sponsorship, as well as a fall in overall readership, Mohamedarif transformed this publication into an electronic blog. Thus was born the Community on Friday in its present format.
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