A Simple Thought: Saturday, 5th November ’16

A simple thought from The Community on Friday: In the days bygone, when people questioned long held religious beliefs, they were held in contempt and were ostracised from society, and in arcadic times, a system of beliefs were not to be questioned, and in fact were punishable by death. Our immediate forefathers will narrate on many occasions of how the clergy held sway in stimulating audiences against people who questioned certain beliefs or more relevantly traditions. This eventually led to generations of misinformed or frightened Muslims, who could not bear the thought of a negative consequence if they challenged any ruling practice of their time. Some Muslim sects around us amply demonstrate how captive they are to their organisation, for better or for worse.

Today we stand at an unprecedented crossroad where the younger and bolder generation is once again asking questions and a parallel wave of opposing staunch conservationists is in their way of liberating their truth. As the friction builds momentum, there will be casualties one way or another, there will be rampant disillusionment and the beneficiaries will undoubtedly be outsiders who are also campaigning so that their numbers rise and ours decline. In their spiritual wisdom, our leading scholars advise us to give up practices that cause rifts, divisions or a negative impact on our religious beliefs. Unfortunately, we are giving the same answers to them and to each other that the people of the time of the Holy Prophet (SAW) were giving him – such as were our forefathers wrong or that such sensitive issues should be left to the theocratic academia as we have insufficient knowledge. One imperative that must now be bold faced is that Islam is not a religion that hides truths, or stifles speech or creates barriers to understanding. It is in fact a religion that encourages probing and investigation as this potentially takes adherents closer to understanding His majestic realm. Once someone accepts faith, he cannot question the usool/basic tenets as they are now part of his faith, but is still open to knowing more in other matters. Let no one beguile us that we are incapable of handling and heralding the truth.

Let no one confine us to mundane situations of food, drink, shelter and clothing alone whereas our progressing age demands we know more about the diverse domains of knowledge before we breathe our last. In the name of the monumental leader Husain ibne Ali (AS) let us finally override the petty semantics of tradition and institutionalised religion, while maintaining decorum, but taking the flight to what Ahlul Bayt (AS) invited us towards – knowledge and more knowledge, till we attain vicinity with them

This initiative is made possible by the kind courtesy of Abu Baseer Eye Clinic, Bande Khuda Sponsors, G1 Security, Highways Car Hire Ltd, Max Fries, Meadows Academy, SD Dental Clinic & Ceramic Lab, SokoniAdvertiser and Xpress Rent a Car, and for the ISAALE THAWAAB of Marhumeen of Bhimji and Nayani Family and Marhuma Sarubai Abdullah

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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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