Mohamedarif Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
This week, the title is an opener from the world leader Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi, and this is what he said in context – “If treachery is the reward of trust, will the man (woman) who trusts, come to harm?”
How upsetting it must be to our leader in occultation (ghaiba) when he observes weekly the manner in which we are so happily practising this perfidy or deceitfulness. Indeed, in a society that finds fondness in talking ill about their own creed, setting one up against another, there can be no observable love for the seerah of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and his holy progeny.
Whether it is revealing in bright sunlight, the secrets and private matters of others, or appearing to be friendly with one, then mocking behind them, scrutinising them and then censuring them, is one of the worst things we experience in our midst today. And what makes it even more dangerous is the openness with which this evil is ritually carried out by one and all. It makes one wonder, whether the real and archaic definition of a friend, still holds true today. For no sooner your ‘friend’ stimulates you into a discussion than he or she proceeds to divulge that to other groups while laughing and jesting at the other. This, then, is the state of our society’s morality.
Our community today is filled with such atrocious behaviour, while the community stays in denial. The systematic erosion of Akhlaaq (etiquette) in our fabric is the result of years of neglect by our teachers (Madrasah, Mimbar and Family) to nourish and nurture us with matter that allows us spiritual growth and to stop just screaming about l Bayt (AS) in lip service but to actually take time to emulate their lives and to reflect about the religion we call Islam.
As social gatherings (in spite of Corona), is on the rise, parallel to an unrestrained force of social media communication, reputations are built and shredded just by the press of a send button. And because of the fact that each has a smarter phone than the other, we are contesting the top prize for who can speak more ill about others and who is first to bear the gory news, we are all prone to become experts in every field, fallaciously.
It is of course crystal clear why such a practice should give a steady emergence of a generation of hypocrites, and we all know what the Holy Qur’an says about this grade of people. Then, are we going to while our time on this earth being hypocritical while imperilling our own destiny, even as we see the escalation of burial announcements each passing day, and in the wake of the pandemic?
But, treachery is also khiyana (misappropriation of trust), something which the Holy Prophet (SAW) demonstrated as a critical armour in building one’s faith, but we have instead chosen the path of the satan by harbouring wagging tongues at all costs.
Imam As-Sadiq (AS) cautions us “Don’t be deceived by their prayers and fasting; rather, test their faith by their truthfulness and trustworthiness”. So here is a calling to all lovers of Ahlul Bayt (AS), especially in such times when people need each other’s support, talking elaborately and eloquently about mental health is one thing, what is truly needed is to give others a sense of security through our trustworthiness and to protect them from temptations to be treacherous, because indeed, we will be made to appear quite openly on the Day of Judgement, branded as those who were such.
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