A Simple Thought – Friday, 27th August 2021

Side hustle? Think Khiyana

Of course, there is nothing wrong in trying out multiple streams of income.  In fact, many would argue how important it has become, even if we are not out and out consumerists, to have multiple sources of income to supplement needs of living in their entirety.

But while we do that, and let me again reiterate that there is nothing haraam in it, there is a stark caveat to be observed.  We need to understand that it is not just a sweet rhyme when we say Islam is a full code of life, especially when arguing with non-Muslims about how our religion is better than theirs, sometimes even forgetting that we sound like football fanatics who are ready to take lives and property in upholding the esteem of their club, but on so many occasions, fail to even practice a few of the guiding principles.

It follows that if Islam is a complete code of conduct, then it necessarilly dominates how we transact, we deal and we relate to others. The Holy Prophet (SAW), known as Al-Ameen, was indeed a trustworthy man, possessor of a higher character, that enamoured his most woeful critics and opponents of his message.  But it is a fallacy and a deeply misinformed dogma that his trustworthiness was about material, money and property alone.  Nay, the words he spoke and the pledges he made were all subject to this concept of Al-Amaanah.  Al-Amanah (trusts) and al-mas’uliyyah (responsibilities) refer to the ethical character of the human being that must be practiced in daily life, especially by every Muslim. 

So if we work for someone, we must remember to take permission to do our “side hustle”, before that side hustle becomes our core, and the salary we collect from our employers are undeserved, and a traversty of justice.  When in business, if we take someone’s assignment, and then neglect them because the money is already in the bag, then of course this is not long-term business thinking, but it is equally a khiyaana of trust.  Trust extends to all facets of our lives but if not for our own self created hubris, we ay just momentarily be able to recognise how many times we break this social code.  

Modern-day inspirational speakers and social media influencers would like us to believe that a side hustle is just that, where most legitimate work requires devotion and commitment, but then again what does loose talk have to do with it? 

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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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