The writing on the wall

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.



llah (SWT), in the epic sura of ash Shams (The Sun) swears eleven solemn oaths coupling these oaths with the ambivalent description of the most apparent of the factors and elements of time – day, night, sun, and moon, referring to the story of the tribe of Thamoud and their negative attitude to the warnings of Allah’s messenger to them, and their killing of the she-camel; and finally the collapse of Thamoud and their complete annihilation. According to some commentators, Surah ash shams came to clarify the fate of the infidels whom Allah mentioned at the end of Surah Al-Balad, so he mentioned in Surah shams the punishment of some of these infidels in this world, which is doom.

Consistent with our training, we would normally ask as to the benefits of reciting this sura, and very obliging scholars would tell us that the recitation of Sura Shams leads to an increase in sustenance, courage, and popularity amongst the people. Reciting Surah Ash-Shams in the patient’s ear is believed to be very beneficial against epilepsy. (i) Surah Ash-Shams is effective in the fulfillment of wishes and well-being of life and property.

And that is precisely the ovum of the difficulties we face in our lifetimes, from where is born the misconception of the Holy Book, thus preventing us from ever attaining the coveted state of Maslow’s actualisation or the Qur’anic an-nafs al-mu?ma?innah. Because we have been groomed to seek out self-benefits in everything, we remain oblivious, at least at a subconscious level, of the message portending out of this, and any other Sura, while zeroing in on how we stand to gain from this – classic parlance of the survival of the fittest theme.

The months of azaa are culminating in the time when the message of Bibi Zainab (SA) will come to the fore through the commemorative 10 nights of Zainabiyya. The question is are we yet again going to grab the substance and disown the spirit of the message like we have with so many other important events of Islamic history and resort to unconditional faith? Is this going to be yet another moment in our lives when much-needed reflection is going to be replaced by the pursuit of mundane desires so that behind every action we undertake, will be the underlying self-serving motivation of fulfillment?

There are many many questions that need to be answered, not just amongst the youth but generally for all those who think. And deflecting the topic to another level of religiosity is not going to serve us well. First, at an individual level and then collectively, we need to wake up to the simplicity of our faith and connect with Allah (SWT), while pursuing the path of knowing Him and seeking His pleasure. Forever remaining preoccupied with the performance of actions so that they can positively cause us prosperity, is missing the whole point.

The writing is on the wall, we may just be at the precipice of a simmering faith and identity crisis on many fronts, and unless we adopt strategies and solutions to deal with them at par with the nature of the crises, by facing the hard cold facts, we may not survive the storm after all, intact and devoid of infractions.

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