The proof is in the pudding

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.



pon the culmination of the intense mourning months,  as we withdraw back to the rigmarole of life as it were, the burden of proof of our voracious claims of adherence to Islamic life will ultimately be judged by how we live our lives.  In point of fact, there is no substitute for obedience to the Almighty, that may attest to our candour.

In Sura Al Asr, Allah (SWT) talks about (1) belief, (2) those who establish prayer, (3) the righteous, and the (4) the patient ones, as guideposts to what is expected of us, in following His edicts. Just this one Surah, gives us some direction as t what entails to be a Muslim essentially.

If numbers were anything to go by, then the Holy Qur’an boldfaces the injunction of think about 69 times. Even though the word ‘intellect’ is mentioned 49 times in the Qur’an, and there are hundreds of verses that urge Muslims to think, the theory of thinking from the Qur’anic perspective has not been extensively explored to guide Muslim educators, curriculum designers, and developers (Wan Mazwati Wan YusoffInternational Islamic University Malaysia)

And just to solicit the reader’s interest further, let me replicate some context from The miracle of numbers in the Quran from Islamyciencia (2018) as follows:

The Word “Sahr” (month) is mentioned 12 times in the Quran, just as the number of months there are in a year.

The word “yawm” (day), in the singular, is mentioned 365 times in the Quran, just as the number of days there are in a year.

The word “ayyam” (days), in the plural, is mentioned 30 times in the Quran, just as the number of months there are in a month.

“al hayat” (life) and “al mawt” (death), 145 times each

“al-dunya” (mundane life) and “al ajira” (the afterlife), 115 times each

“malaika” (angels) and “shayatin” (demons), 88 times each

“ar rajul (man) and “al mar’a (woman), 24 times each

Suffice it to say that just as this points to a numerical balance in order to underline equivalence in significance, these numbers quite often also demand extra attention or repetitive reminders to humankind. And with this, we must comprehend that this book, asks for our ponderous nature to take over and understand the message. The other practices of simple recitation or recitation with melody, are either entry points to attaching oneself to the Holy Qur’an, or that they may be just self-satisfactory tools.

Thinking will yield us to the true awareness of our Lord nourisher, our Creator, not blind faith, and certainly not compartmentalized form or religiosity. We often find how dispassionate we are with each other outside of the circle of our community centre or during the holy months when we regularly congregate. This is dangerous bipolar behaviour, one that falls against the fabric of Islam.

A forum I frequent intermittently recently had some very important and interesting questions from members. If it is the time for prayer, then do the conditions of taharat become subjudice to the importance of timely rendering the prayer? If Imam Husain (AS) has blessed those with an invitation to visit the lands of Kerbala, an auspicious experience indeed, then does that mean all those who cannot afford travel are not in good favour with Imam? If the true connection with Allah (SWT), at times through the intermediation of the Holy infallible, is best attained in silence and solitude, then why are mosques, mausoleums, and the like populated to an extent that noise becomes the unavoidable feature of the gathering? If separation between the genders is such an enforced thing locally, why are holy visitation places, always mixed?

These and many more diverse questions are lingering in the minds of young and old which to a great extent go unanswered by pulpit ascending zaakireen, mualims at Madaaris, and even generally, the parents. Whereas Islam spotlights the aspect of thinking, why then are we so incapacitated to respond? Is it because our conditioning is to be religious through the heart at an emotional level only? Or because of our tunnel vision in which we only entreat ourselves to spirituality when asking for mundane rewards rather than extracting codes for life’s variegated episodes and incidences?

The world has witnessed the largest gathering of a people at Kerbala, now they will be judging us for the rest of the year as to our true character. Character, let us remember, was the footing on which the Holy Prophet’s message was inaugurated. Here is our chance to De Novo set a trend, an exemplar that upon emerging from a spiritual retreat of two months, we are now bathed in the character bequeathed to us by the Holy Prophet, because the proof is in the pudding, ladies and gentlemen.

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