The writer, Mohamedarif Mohamed Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a digital marketing specialist and an Educator-cum-Trainer. He has involved himself in community organisations and matters from a young age, and through his writings, continues to speak of social and cultural reform to this day. He is also the founding moderator of this forum.
While many of us will drown ourselves in the petulance of disdain and misery, forever complaining about how life has been unfair, and how everything is not enough, the Holy month of Rajab is perhaps well spent in self-accounting, self-reflection and introspection.
It is no secret that we now live in a very noisy, conceited and self-righteous world. Here, preaching has become a synonym for oratory, where even the inexperienced advise out of perceived knowledge, and where almost everyone has the advice to offer to others, and has zero patience or is superbly time-constrained to hear of any criticism.
I think we ought to cast ourselves away for but a moment and engage in self-accounting, so that we may yearn towards real improvement. You see, constantly giving how-to talks to others, while liberally flaunting one’s self-serving ways, is hardly an effective form of communication or propagation. This is in no way to downplay the importance of leading and mentoring others, but there is a time to teach and then there is a time to learn. There is also time to prepare. Hard questions must be asked by everyone to their inner selves, and the courage must be sought to withstand the possible multiple-choice answers, otherwise, growth cannot take place.
Let us not forget that this life is a journey designed to prepare for the next, so our attainments here intend on harvesting standing ovation, cannot warrant our salvation in the next. If anything, they can adversely affect our status on the day of reckoning.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, and confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, American Self-help author.
Shukr to the Almighty for granting us this life, the amenities to live and the commensurate burden on our abilities, while offering us profound protection, guidance and enlightenment. The Holy Qurán, the beacon of guidance in the forms of Prophets and Aimmah (AS), the provision of sustenance and survival, the in-built faculties of reason, procurement, balance and emotion, are some of the minute things that we enjoy in this world under His kingdom, until…
Until we start comparisons. I am richer than you because I am smart and more hard-working, and yes you are lazy and lack business skills. I am fitter in health because I am conscious of what I eat, while you hog like an animal. I am more knowledgeable….. the list is truly untenable, and of course one may take the liberty to flip the questions so as to see how the lower subject debases himself in comparison to perceived higher beings.
Our society today suffers from the problem of excessive materialism and wealth. Acquisition of material objects and the adulation of people seem to have been ingrained in the new world order as the necessities of life but are in fact a distraction from the real goal of our lives. The distraction is of course the product of, as you may have guessed, those who do not believe in anything divine, accountability, or real justice.
Yes, we may fast and pray, but if we are driven by other ungodly needs and wants and are still cultivating philosophies of self-righteousness, then our fasts and prayers are of no significance, and certainly no consequence.
“A man must find time for himself. Time is what we spend our lives with. If we are not careful we find others spending it for us. . . . It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, ‘Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?’ . . . If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one’s time—the stuff of life.” – Carl Sandburg, American poet.
As we prepare to usher in the Holy month of Ramadhan, our real preparation can be to start with analysing our actions and behaviours and then to try our hands at reform, otherwise, months will come and go, blacks will turn into grey, soft skin will be creased, strength will turn into a weakness, high flying independence will metamorphosis into the dependence of sorts, and we will still be caught in a race, a product of satanic whispers.
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