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.
ithout reasonable doubt, the biggest quandary facing Muslims today, is the systematic loss of the understanding of the Glorious Qur’an. From showing reverence to any Arabic manuscript believing it was Allah’s words, to turning it into a decorative piece, to using it to solve mundane problems, and finally, to the ultimate treatment of the book as our substitute for music and melody, the roster is endless.
Mosques want to create an ambience of Makkah, so they deploy powerful decibel loudspeakers that usher in deafening soliloquizing, yet those nearest the vicinity within the confines of the mosque, are busy in chatter. The neighbourhoods are struggling to have regular communication inside their own homes.
We speak profoundly of encouraging interest in the Holy Qur’an by holding contests. But in these too, tone and rhythm are key. In the end, we award and applaud winners, and our inner peace glows.
Years ago, I remembered visiting a Muslim brother’s shop just as they had opened for business, and found the proprietor, swarming through verses of Sura Yaaseen, which he obviously seemed to know by heart as well, and holding the book was a warranty against anyone speaking to him. His racing lip work was only matched by his well-trained eagle-eye instinct of ensuring no items were picked from the shelves by his suspicious staff. During one such passing gaze, he beckoned me to sit and wait, as he was almost finished. The episode is so starkly comparable to a Hindu shopkeeper compulsorily tuning into morning bhajan on his music player to invite blessings of the deity of wealth, perhaps.
In a recent encounter at a service outlet where I had to wait for just under an hour, the Muslim shopkeeper, cuts short the loud pop and hip music videos to usher in a change of environment, by playing the recitation of the Holy Qur’an. Lest I forget, this may have been indentured, by the approach of the time of salaatul jumu’ah.
So what do we make of this almost benign effect of the Qur’an on us? Whereas we brag it is a code of conduct and therefore Allah (SWT) is addressing us through it, we treat it as though it was a form of entertainment. Strangely, we never ask anyone to sing out a new device manual to us, so we may feel appeased. Why? Because we are intent on understanding the operating procedures for us to start using the same. Do we partage the same intent with the Qur’an? Or are we so engrossed in branding it as our shield in misfortune, and a sung healer when we are low?
This is a controversial subject whereas it should have been common sense. But it is because we are insistent on making the book work for us rather than paying attention to what it is telling us.
The second reason is the failure to be thinking and reflecting Muslims. In our search for happiness of this life, we seldom forget how trials and tribulations are part of our lives, as we are informed by the Qur’an. Our insatiable thirst for entertainment nourished by our articulation in earning wealth is somehow giving us the false sense of belief that we have done enough to secure His favour.
As the theme of the Qur’an and the blessings of the Holy Prophet comes to an end, we must outline the dilemma with a touch of truth, and the unvarnished truth is going to be bitter.
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