The role of Ahadith in our lives

By Mohamedarif Suleman,

(Nairobi, Kenya)

Sociologists and theologists of our time will be hand to attest to the fact that centuries ago, in ancient Egypt, and in other early civilizations, when the need for human beings to seek from and to communicate with a higher being outgrew a certain limit, members of such civilizations took to idols and other Gods in order that they may fulfill these intrinsic needs. The scene is much different today, although it will not be wrong to assume that we are experiencing a dangerous cyclical turn back to the age of darkness.

We have the most advanced in science and technology, but our minds are regressing at a rate greater than the speed of light. We are living in an age whereby all wrong will be legitimized and there will be little influence that we will have onto the rest of the world owing to our religiousness. We will be isolated as conformists or even fundamentalists. Twice in a week, a brother or sister living in Nairobi and probably watching news coverage of the BBC World Service. He or she may have heard on two occasions stories related to fay culture and homosexuality. In a wedding night Majlis, Br Khalil Jaffer narrated the plight in Canada whereby same sex marriages are now commonplace. He was abundant in speech in describing the vagaries of such acceptance. In one of the BBC’s news services earlier this week, the announcement that Germany had now given legal status to homosexual marriage, was even disturbing. The accompanying clip covered female couples rejoicing and the leader of the Green Party empathetically saying that when the reality of the world was that men loved men and women liked women, why should governments not recognize this fact. This Stage is different, but centuries ago, a similar community with similar pervert sexual preferences, was met with the wrath of the Supreme Being in whose search many have slipped from the truth.

As we bask in the glory of the presence of a religion with abundant guidance and comprehensible principles for all generations, we must acknowledge the powerful role that the ahadith of our Aimmah (AS) plays in showing us the light and giving us solace in an era where little looks hopeful. So when an aimmah tells us “Beware, do not backbite. Refrain from backbiting for it is worse than adultery,” we are indirectly being told that if adultery is that bad, gossiping is worse. We are constantly reminded that our deeds are accountable. How much we derive from the strengths of such traditions remains to be seen. In giving our lives added meaning, and in discouraging the association of religious with endless worship, another tradition comes to the aid, “Anyone who strives to earn a livelihood of his family gets thawaab of engaging in Jihaad in the way of Allah (SWT)”. This is another of those traditions that uses similes of association in trying to convey to us the message or significance of an action. It tells us that religion recognizes your social responsibility and in fact incorporates it to the extent that it allocates good deeds against it. How much we reap from this tradition is yet questionable as we reduce the “thawaab” terminology to an absolute redundancy. Yet another of those gems comes to play in our mundane living we are told that “If a person fasts during days and worships during nights but he harasses his neighbors, he will go to hell”. Islam involves itself in our domestic living and invigorates goodness in us unlike the contemporary world whose only subject of discussion now pertains to sex and sexual preferences. And yet to we ever pay homage to these highly meaningful traditions that actually illuminate our paths each day of our lives? That, in short, is the role that these traditions must play in our societies and that is the role that our leaders and preachers, our parents and scholars must jointly exhibit and adhere to.

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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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