The Mission at Hand

By Mohamedarif Suleman

(Nairobi, Kenya)

The 12 days of Muharram have Alhamdulillah passed with momineen the world over offering their tributes and condolences to the Masumeen (AS) in various ways. Jamaats and their organizing teams did much to ensure that the programmes were indeed directed at facilitating such an emotional reliving of the tragedy whose shadows will forever line the books of history.

From the scholastic point of view, the story one may hear from momineen may not be all that different from those of yesteryears. Whether Zakireen lived up to the task that they were charged with, remains an issue open to individual analysis. The tradition of English and Urdu Majlises combined continued, once again the results of which may not be very clear at this time.

Of course, our processions still have that stark resemblance to a festive mood, especially n places where processions are held at nighttime. From a distance, the message remains ambiguous considering that the entire community is engulfed in a sea of lights and decorations, neither representing the true face of mourning. Many will still argue over the issue, and it may take decades before individuals and leaders alike can accept a more extrusive approach.

As far as the Zakireen are concerned, there needs to be a proper method of recruiting and a more professional approach towards the chosen subjects.

More or less, it has now become a trend to discuss endlessly the issues on Khilaafat and the anti-Sunni monologues. While these subjects do have their own significance, but what the present audience probably needs the most is substance and verified facts rather than outright oratory and speech flair. Once again, the leadership needs to revisit the situation.

The most disturbing factor that now seems to be rising is that of indifference, Due to years of lax preaching during these zaakireen, with due respect to them, the general attitude has become that of indifference. The danger in the long run remains that momineen will become resilient to Islamic teachings and values as well. The issue precipitates the pulpit again.

The entire approach to religion and religious teachings needs an overhaul. It should now be accepted that the understanding of history, coupled with their applications and pertinence in the present time is of greater importance than the fixation to a part of history, which is largely used today to politicize the Shia-Sunni tensions, especially in the Indian Sub Continent. If this remedial action is not taken now, all generations will eventually succumb to the passivity of religious and spiritual thought. The example that one can best relate to in present age is that of Hindus. Last year, it was revealed that a Hindu Professor has drawn a parallel, through deep research, between the re-emergence of the Avtaar with the Holy Prophet (SAW). He believes, conclusively that what Hindus are still waiting for may have actually come, conquered and passed away 14 years ago. If what is contained in the theory is true, it proves the stagnancy of the Hindu religion and their out-of-step rituals and rites. Their refusal and resistance ro the dynamism of time has led to the passivity we see today. Are we going to be the next getting stuck to a point in history?

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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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