A Simple Thought: Thursday, 2nd February ’17

A simple thought from The Community on Friday: We are surrounded by noise that is made by things that make our life better and easier. However, not all noise is necessary. Think of the breezing London underground train echoing against the narrow walls of a tube station as you stand by waiting for your line to arrive, or think of the insane hooting and perennial name calling in a busy and hot day in busy Mumbai, or perhaps the recurring sound of ambulance and police siren fleeting past as you wait to cross a crowded avenue in New York, and if you are down south, the abominable rough honking and screaming of matatu drivers and touts amidst the incessant rush of motorised bodabodas that make walking an anxious affair in downtown Nairobi. But when we have to listen to these noises for too long or at the wrong time, they can inflict silent and stealthy damage.

Increasing evidence shows this damage isn’t just to our ears, but to our blood vessels and hearts. At the same time, disturbing news of how with every 10 decibel rise in sounds, there is a 1 cm bulge in waistlines. Many years ago, I read an article which hypothesised of how noise was a premeditated by product of modern lifestyle designed to keep people from thinking, as noise clearly obstructs objectivity if thought. The writer supposed it was so because the modern leader wanted to keep his subjects so occupied in their lives, that few would question any aspects of such rule that may deviate from what the citizens expect.

Gradually, over the years, and largely because we accepted the change through our silence, noise now lives in our mosques and imambadas. What started as uncontrolled frenzy at the ladies section where the majority waddled their way through a night of discourse with talk and more talk, permeated into the gents section who were not to be outdone when it came to verbosity,. Now it is not uncommon to see people talking loudly inside a mosque even when some people around them are performing salaat. These and others outdo those outstanding muslims who adorn the barazas outside, completely oblivious to the learning going on inside. Some if these things have their roots in our homes. One person answers a call, others turn up the TV volume or talk louder. Everyone around is just talking or chatting on phone. Talk is the new noise that is our biggest distraction from clean and clear thoughts.

No wonder even when we go for burials, we cant stop discussing. How strange that despite knowing quite well that we may be gone any moment, we choose to gleefully throw away our time and precious moments with family, building a home, not a house, being modest in speech, we choose to trade all of that for something much less in value.

On this auspicious night, let us remember that speech without meaning and loaded with vanity, is misguided and heavily accountable. Let us reduce the noise in our lives starting now.

This initiative is made possible by the kind courtesy of Bande Khuda Sponsors, G1 Security, 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, Marhuma Sarubai Abdullah, Marhum Barkatali Dinani

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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