My previous Blog Ramadhan In Dar es Salaam seem to have hit a raw nerve with a (tiny, tiny) few of you, in regards to my comment about Sheykh Allidina and the use of word ‘arse’. Recapping my response to one particularly irate lady who lectures me on etiquettes of writing - I will not be dictated on what or how I pen. Even then, I offer the following rebuttal:
I reiterate I have the utmost respect of Sheykh Allidina, enjoy his lectures and am awed by his elm and linguistic abilities. I however, stand by what I wrote and will insha'Allah relay these sentiments to the Sheykh directly when I meet him next. I am a situational writer, penning what I see, hear and smell. If several (mostly elderly) men grumble at the length of his qunoots, a complaint I have repeatedly heard whenever in Dar, I cannot write otherwise, can I? The Sheykh is an objective man and will understand my intent insha’Allah.
Another gentleman complains I have insulted a ‘Khoja aalim’. A Khoja aalim? Samahaani; I differ. Kwanini? – Kwasababu Sheykh Allidina can take credit for his brilliance from teachings of non-Khoja aalims! His elm and eloquence is credit for the universal Muslim ummah, the way our Prophet (S) wanted us to be; Khoja, non-Khoja is irrelevant, to me. Lakeeni, I will let this cantankerous man bask in self-deceit of Khojaism.
It’s an ass, no, an arse, no-no, a tush…
A gentleman from Dar es Salaam finds my use of word arse used in the Blog to be ‘vulgar’, says he cannot broadcast the otherwise interesting Blog to the general Khoja community in fear the word arse will hurt their sentiments. Eh! He should perhaps sit through one session of our Khoja Baradharaan Baraaza here in Sanford, FL. Why, the least he’ll do is sting his eyebrows at the matoosi’s being hurled about. Anyway, lets see; what polite term of the human posterior could I have used instead? Here in the USA, we call it buttocks (American women tame it to tush), in the UK, they call it arse, in Australia, it's ass. What would the general Khoja community be comfortable with? Ummm, Behind? Where the sun does not shine? Bum? What?
Give me a break, yaar. If you must object, please use some logic in your arguments. Tafadhaali.
Sheikh Ayoob Raashid from the UK (originally from my birth town of Arusha, Tanzania) comes visiting Husseini Islamic Center here in Sanford, FL for first 15 days of Ramadhan and easily captures the hearts and minds of our community with his content and style of lectures. I, regretfully, catch only the last two lectures, what with me relishing in Dar es Sallam, Tanzania.
Here is an aalim who is simple, precise, practical and a pleasure to listen. Ah, even the your Faathaa and your Maathaa accents are pleasurable listens; reminds me of my geography teacher Mr. Esmail in high school. The lectures are derivatives from the Holy Quraan and Sunna of Ahlebeyt (A); bread and butter issues that we can easily adapt in our lives. Proof I don’t really need tall, lofty historical events (some with dubious origins) or philosophical dissertations that sting my already rozaa hibernating brains. Asante saana Sheykh; we miss you already. Kareebu saana, anytime! I assure you a very warm reception from the community. Insha’Allah.
Reading, hearing and researching about the Rohingya refugees and their systematical but brutal elimination has put a frustrating dent to this special month. My heart aches at the silence and inaction of international community at the Rohingya’s plight and the stonewalling I get from every possible source that can help CAI bring any relief to these suffering humans. My prayers have been answered finally, alhamd’Allah. As you read this Blog, I am on my way to Myanmar, insha’Allah for a first-hand insight to their plight and ways CAI can somehow assist; possibly food and temporary shelter, in a transparent and accountable manner.
As the trip is shrouded with some uncertainty and trepidation due to recent treatment of Muslims, I request your prayers for my safe return after a fruitful, successful foray to meet and offer moral (and material if at all possible) support to these pitiable humans. Muslims, no less.
Will keep you posted insha’Allah.
For non Kiswahili readers:
Asante - Thank you
Lakeeni - But
Kareebu - Welcome
Kwanini - Why?
Kwasababu - Because
Matoosi - Curse words
Saana - Very
Samahaani - Sorry
Tafadhali - Please
On a very personal note:
These are very important powerful days of destiny and forgiveness, of charity. I beg you, please be charitable and forgive me even a minute grain of pain or offense caused to you or your estate, however unintentional.
If you can, please spare a prayer for the increase and safety of Imaan for my family and I.
O Allah, I seek a just state in which Islam and its adherents are honored, and hypocrisy and its followers are humiliated. Make me a caller to Your way and follower of Your path, and grant me the most excellent things of this world and the next.