A Simple Thought – Sunday, 19th December 2021

Lessons in Fatimiyya.

The month-long days of Fatimiyya are here again, and it is time to put in place an outline that can assist us to meet these objectives. If this critical exercise is not done, then these will be just a mere addition to the long list of rituals that present no meaningful outcome in sight.

Islam is a religion of understanding and therefore those who antagonise questioners are indeed treading a questionable path. A congenial approach to questions is always the best way forward for not only does that provide us with the avenue to deeper learning, but it also provides potential appeasement to those who remain in constant doubt from the outside.

Indeed, if one is to carefully look at the prime focus of such days, they are meant to perfect us, to polish us, and to equip us with the knowledge that can transcend our daily life dogmas and loosely-held doctrines.

Now, let us also step ahead and dispel the modern-day myth that all rituals are bad. In fact, mental health experts wholly reveal to us how rituals can have positive effects on our brains. Dr Deepika in ‘The Chalkboad’ publication, expounds thus ‘routines can help us feel grounded and balanced. There’s something comforting about living in a rhythm — and that’s okay. While bad habits can keep us from healthy life progress, healthy rituals and routines can propel us forward and elevate our quality of life.’

So, insofar as religion is concerned, rituals can and should be the tools or the intermediaries to greater things. And while these rituals can help calm us amidst the hustle and bustle of life, it uniquely places us at the forefront of learning. Remember learning is the reason why we were created, so that we may appreciate, submit ad obey the Lord, Almighty. And everything we experience along this trek of life is but designed for that singular purpose. Like your classic video game, as you move on in life, and depending on your energy levels, you are granted further tools which you can employ to attain the same higher goal.

Ayyaame Fatimiyya was a creation to dissuade people from matters of earthly occupation, or of exercising centralised control by a community centre, or a thought-process, then this design is prescribed to fail. For there is no compulsion to make everyone believe in what we do, ours should only be the role of guiding and warning. And for ourselves, it will be a wasted season if we simply drench ourselves in empty tears without, once again, receiving and then decoding the message this Lady of Light shone on her followers and Muslims in general.

If that be the outline of this short course, then we ought t prepare ourselves in unison and yearn to learn at any cost. If the preachers in our centres fail to go beyond the headlines and deliver a superfluous speech, devoid of substantial content to allow us to receive the message, then we must think again. The days of filling a whole sermon with ‘He or she was supreme, his or her qualities were excellent, they were luminaries, and so on’ are probably numbered for the teachers who need to dig deeper as we are craving to know more. This will also disprove those who very well know how we end at the mention of and squander the teachings of the Holy Ahlul Bayt (AS), thereby remaining weak in knowledge year after year.

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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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