War of Ways – is this the learning of Muharram in 2022?

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.



everal milestones must surely have been achieved this time round in propagating the message of Imam Husain (AS), but one most undesirable achieved ‘goal’ was the incessant war of words that ensued in the interim. Now one cannot be certain if this kind of content creation is the deliberate action of increasing social media presence, or if it is genuinely addressing a problem. One thing that remains crystal clear, is the exponential rise in the rhetorical drum beating of those who presided over the pulpit in various centres, as well as those who made special videos on YouTube.

It is hard to fathom how our perceived modernity and relentless pursuit of knowledge, are still blinding us to the reality of the process of knowledge seeking. In fact, at times it feels like we are forcing each other to listen to, agree with and follow our thoughts, our ideas, and our belief systems. Okay, so such and such a reciter, said this in his isolated majlis, must you reciting here, respond to that as though we even know or care about your differences? I mean that is the pulse I get from the younger crowd, who continue to diverge away from mainstream theatrics to other more appealing speakers, whether to not they are going to be afflicted with another viewpoint.

From the peripheries of the Imambada, we hear of certain ‘movements’ designed to shatter the institution of Imamah, and everything associated with it. Rather than taking that in our stride and continuing to propagate the true tenets of our faith, this time with reasoning, with balance, we take shelter in a war of words and ideologies that are beneath the status of the Holy Prophet’s symbolic pulpit. And all this is happening while we remain ignorant of our own faith, by and large.

According to The Center for Literacy and Learning, “there are six interactive components of the learning process: attention, memory, language, processing, and organizing, graphomotor (writing), and higher-order thinking. These processes interact not only with each other but also with emotions, classroom climate, behavior, social skills, teachers, and family. n order to engage, motivate and teach all learners at optimal levels, teachers must understand the learning process in general, understand and respond to students’ individual emotional and cognitive profiles, and select instructional strategies and tactics that are effective for diverse learners.”

Clearly, there are several levels at which our zaakireen can plan to make their majalis count. For instance, Brian Banks, in a 2001 blog (phoenix), contends:

  • There are five primary educational learning theories: behaviorism, cognitive, constructivism, humanism, and connectivism.
  • Additional learning theories include transformative, social, and experiential.
  • Understanding learning theories can result in a variety of outcomes, from improving communication between students and teachers to determining what students learn.

Now in the world are we expecting everyone to think alike, and why do we continuously think others will break us, divide us or overpower us? What are these fears resulting from? When we look at the lives of our Holy Prophet and his family (AS), we notice that they never resorted to attacking those who were openly marketing corrupt practices and values, instead, they lived lives that reflected the right way, and then they taught, unconditionally ad in the face of profound adversity, as abundantly demonstrated by the way in which tribulations befell them.

For many of us out here, this passing Muharram may have been yet another squandered opportunity, and the more these aalims consume themselves and the rest of us with talk akin to the socio-political situation of the Indian subcontinent, the more of us will depart these forums and find knowledge elsewhere because there is simply no more time left to waste in these meaningless wars. Time is slipping out of our hands like sand, and before the lights of our lives are out, we need to attain the objective for which we were sent here – to seek knowledge, decipher it, connect its origin, and glorify the Creator. Where then is the surplus time to engage in a war of words or a war of ways?

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