A Simple Thought – Friday, 12th March 2021

Carefully tread O my soul for the line is hair thin

I have been far too credulous, and sometimes in awe of the ‘enlightened ones’ until the time I discovered some hard and half truths that now inhabit the alleys and corridors of knowledge and education.  Tradesmen and merchants who learnt long ago that at the core of human existence was the need to make profit ad avert loss, which they effectively turned around to garnish religiousity with matters of profit and loss.  I remember how our ancestry comes from the Indian Sub continent, where ‘god-like’ humans are easily revered, prayed to and also paid to.  The Khoja creed, in all their forms, seem to share the same kind of life, whichever way you look at it, till date.  It bothers me to a degree of discomfort but I promptly recall how speaking up attracts attention and then assault, even physical harm. 

So I move on to reflect and to ponder and to try and comprehend the mere reason for my existence and those around me.  Then, in my extreme state of ignorance, I try to read the one code that was duly delivered, but never read, but instead decorated to a level it went out of our reach.  And yes, it was not just the language, there were may turbaned personalities telling us not to try and understand or interpret it.  This seems almost like a deliberate attempt to try and cordon off any free thought, any inquest into what has been going on.  I also wonder at times if we were today in the company of the Holy infallibles, would they approve of our ways, but then who am I in the food chain (read knowledge chain)?  I am constantly reminded from the pulpits of what a degenerate I am to even think I can begin to understand the Holy Qur’an.

Contrarily, when I read the verse telling us He is nearer to us than our jugular veins or that His love and mercy are much greater than one’s own mother’s attachment, I begin to disentangle some half truths and some lies, a bit of deceit and some mongering here and there.  What now seems the judicious thing to do is to save my own soul and that of my near and dear ones, for more than ever, it now feels like the tradition foretelling of a time when men would leave their homes with faith in the morning but would return having lost it, has finally arrived, and whereas we may still not want to admit this, we are beseiged.  Surrounded by other Muslims who think of us as infidels, Non Muslims who look at us as a tattered form of faithfuls, Westerners with their contemptuous assertions, and most dominantly our own leadership in knowledge that has probably beguiled us.

I have started talking to my soul again.  And this time, I asking it to be cautious.  To remember that we (myself and the my soul), will soon have to abandon this human shape (curently known as me), to account for our actions, inactions and indifferences.  To me, the writing is on the wall.  If I can unlearn a few things and learn new ones, I just might be able to catch this last train, and hope for eternal salvation, for in true understanding and observance lies the true pleasure of Allah (SWT)

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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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