Mulla’s Last Thoughts

Mohamedarif Suleman – Nairobi, Kenya

For the benefits of the non-Gujrati readers (which I am afraid may constitute a large percentage of our community), here are excerpts from Marhum Mulla Asgherali M M Jaffer’s last counsel published  in a recent edition of the Gujrati magazine “ithnasheri” that quotes Marhum’s last visit to Bhuj and Kutchh.

During informal conversations, Mulla engaged his host Janab Yusufali Bhojani and his collegues in a discussion related to youths and the influence of the omnipotent media on their minds.

It is recalled in the article that Mulla lamented at the overpowering role of the 24-hour cable and digital TV and the internet. He said that in the guise of harmless entertainment and depiction of the lives of people, such networks and indeed the World Wide Web was a source of conveying a materialist culture deviod of Islamic values, and in many instances directly opposing matters of faith. He said that the professional packaging of such channels was so sophisticated that it attracts the youth but simultaneously trains them for skills of living a materialist life. Not only do they cause mental anguish but also physical agony.

When we reflect at his last thoughts, we perhaps cannot feel anything else but agreement. For not only are we all surrounded by such problems today, for most parents it seems almost impossible to correct the situation because the risk of being labeled old fashioned by the young generation is looming large. But Mulla preaches bravery. He felt that if parents do not reverse the situation, the time would not be far that our children would finally change their names as well to fall in line with the pressuring demands of their generation. Shying away from the problem will guarantee parents of distress in this life and punishment in the hereafter.

Watching a TV pop show in which women bare their bodies and men swarm all over them, or for that matter being bombarded by a commercial in which the brand sellers claim sexual attraction as a primary reason to wear, say, a certain perfume or shirt, is a desperate attempt by the sellers to target a vulnerable age group using basic instincts which need no further persuasion. After all, telling people that a certain washing power washes well than its competitors is one thing, and telling them that if used, it would guarantee sexual favours from members of the opposite sex, is something else.

It is about time, we stood up to our times and said to the new generation that it was fine if they desired sex, et al. But as Muslims, we were brought to create change for humanity. To show the world, that unlike animals, who attract others’ mates by smell, strength or charm, human beings are meant to live a life in which sex has to be enjoyed as a means of gratitude to Allah and as per His commandements.

Beyond the man-woman relationship, which seems to be the theme in most new genre soaps, ads and films, other attributes such as scant dressing, rebellious haircut or disobedience to the elders are all traits that favours general trade and commerce because it enhanced customer spending.

The onus definitely lies on the parents. Recently, a feverish debate has emerged within Nairobi, whereby the Managing Committee and preachers have plainly appealed to the relevant people to curb this attitude of standing outside the mosque when the Majlis of Imam (AS) is being recited. Thanks to a few poor deliveries by Zaakiereen, the young people have labelled these majlises as a waste of time, and in any case, they do not understand the language. Parents, instead of pushing their children to put efforts in comprehending the language, echo their sentiments. Today, it is better for a child to be computer literate than to possess Islamic values. Mulla, may Allah rest your soul in peace, but your words are nothing but the truth.
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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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