A simple thought from The Community on Friday: The conflict between traditionalists and reformists has always been there in matters of faith, almost like a thesis versus an anti thesis postulated by the controversial Karl Marx. Shi’ism has not been spared from the heart drenching convulsions of these gruelling battle fronts that effectively pit emotion and ritual against intellect and the quest for reform. Indeed, our entire community was founded on the sheer courage and reform-leaning enthusiasts, breaking away from another Muslim sect at the time. As the winds of change blow once again across the face of the Khoja establishment, not on the political or leadership front, but on the perilous landscape of long-held partisan beliefs, the question before us is whether we will have the courage to stand up to these forces of tradition that mean to hold us back, or that like the founders of our community, we will have the prerequisite fuel and fibre to resist another generation of faith based stagnation. After all, Imam Husain (AS) on whose pivotal roles, we dedicate these months, was in fact fighting these very elements of guile that plagued the society of his time.
Interestingly, as we scan the content of majalis around the Shi’a world this year, we find there is a consistent and unambiguous appeal to the community to emerge from stage one of azadaari and progress into much more practical forms of it, that not only ensure that the baton of our faith is passed on to subsequent generations in its pure form, but also allows us to project a much more amicable disposition to other communities around the world in a global arena that requires more collective spirit than ever. We have severally been reminded that keeping this message in the corridors of Khoja assemblies, is a huge disservice to Imam (AS)’s message which was in fact meant for humanity as a whole.
Change will not come without pain, but one should derive encouragement that despite the jeers of some members about mainstream media promotion of the message as recently as the start of the new millennium, we now witness massive efforts at using such media in promoting Imam’s message. Alas, even this new wave of preaching is something previous generations have spoken about but were ridiculed. It turns out, these tiny flames have now become a conflagration, and that change to a more holistic version of Islam and Kerbala in particular is imminent. Granted that the traditionalists are stepping up their massive efforts to keep the status quo, ultimately the truth will prevail.
So if we are of those waging the reform bill, we can take heart and know that the path won’t be easy, hold on to Allah (SWT)’s rope and plead thus (Du’a Mashlool): “O my Means of defense in confronting hardships; O my Guardian in strange lands; O my Friend in my loneliness; O my Master in my bliss; O my Refuge at the time when the journey doth tire me out and my kinsfolk hand me over to my foes and all my comrades forsake me. O Supporter of those who have no support…”, for it is pragmatic to envision a scenario where we will be abandoned by those captivated only at an emotional level, and for whom faith is a tool to get only the good things of life, fulfilment of wishes, protection of wealth and kin, and overall mundane success, rather than a candid purpose of creation. May He guide us aright, as one united community, Ameen
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