Kitoto Maulanaas Are Making Me Go Wazeemu

Kitoto Maulanaas Are Making Me Go Wazeemu

Kitoto Maulanaas Are Making Me Go Wazeemu 150 150 ComfortAid International

I remain unsure if the following event really
took place. Maybe it was a reverie, perhaps not. Nevertheless, something to muse over?

It is a mini-baraaza this time, just Mullah
Mchungu and me, seated outside the Husseini Islamic Center, here in Sanford, FL,
a stone throw away from my house. Majlis finished a while ago, so the crowds
have thinned out. There is a chill in the air; winter is definitely around the
corner. It has been a long day for me, so I am ready to call it quits as well. But
Mullah has told me to wait; he wants to chat. He told his impatient son Ali to
leave; saying I will drop the Mullah later. I wish he had asked me first, but
that is okay; Ali lives but a short distance away. 
Despite my past differences with the old man,
I am genuinely happy to see him. He looks much better than last time we met;
alert and dapper in a crisp black khanzu. I have seen him around first few days
of Muhaaram majaalisis but this is the first time we talk.
You
are back, Mullah
, I say, how nice to see you again! I thought you had
tired of the USA?
Aree,
shoo karuu?
He responds
while lighting a beedi with unsteady hands. The
pull are my grandkids, even if my own son will not give me due heshma.
Allah! The guy is already setting a combative
tone; I wonder what’s on his mind. I really hope this is not going to be too long;
I have a hard, long run planned for next morning.
What
is this kitoto Sheykh up to?

Mullah starts, irritation clear on his face.
Eh? What
do you mean?
I ask.
I know what he means all right. We have a
young Sheykh for lectures this first aashra; very polished, articulate, Arabic
fluent, a bit green perhaps; divisive certainly. He has, to many in the
community, embarked on a mission to stir up a hornet’s nest. But agitating hornet
nests, most times, have nasty consequences; they sting, sometimes in unholy,
uncomfortable places.  
The Mullah regards me with teary eyes of age.
You
know what I mean, you say you are kisukaali, no; the whole community is abuzz
with this kitoto’s unwise topics. These watoto mullas of today, with a year or
two in Kerbala or Qoom, consider themselves mighty experts. They pooh-pooh
years of solid study, training and sacrifice of our ulemas by questioning
established laws of Islam. All in the name of tolerant Islam, progressive
thinking or the probing youth. This smarty-pants has completely spoilt the
spirit of my Muharram.
Oh dear, I moan inwardly, these are harsh
words perhaps. 
Aw, come on Mullah sahib,
that’s an exaggeration, surely?
The Mullah rolls his eyes to the heavens and
his lips twist in contempt.
I
thought you had some gray matter in here, Kisukaali, with all the writing you
do,
he says, pointing to his
head. But I am obviously wrong. He
yawns wide and long, showcasing several missing molars and deteriorating gums. You are as useful as the useless Sheykh.
That really stings, and I bristle at the
onslaught. Since we are the only two left outside the Center, I have a good
mind telling him to walk home. Instead, I argue, to my peril.
Mullah,
give the kid a break. He is not a traditional speaker. He is challenging
established norms and paradigms. He is stimulating us to think outside a box,
to be progressive, to experiment, to think about Shia Islam 100 years from now.
He is obviously very popular with the youths and women.
The Mullah closes his eyes while I make my
passionate plea for understanding. He stays quiet for a long time and I
seriously think he has decided to take a nap on me when he snorts in contempt.
Our
youths like him because he speaks in a snotty British accent and the women
because the kid looks so seriously starved, they want to feed and mother him…
I am so shocked; I can’t bloody believe my
ears. I get up and gather my keys, indicating for him to do the same so I can
get rid of him. But he does not move and stares at me stoically.
Oh,
don’t be over dramatic, Kisukaali and hear me out. Sit!
I sit.
I
have seen at least fifteen – twenty more Eids than you, so you’ll have to hear
my farts, whether you like it or not. I don’t have much to live and nothing to
lose by saying what I say. Muharram is an invaluable gift to us Ahlebeyti Shias,
that Allah has gifted no other people. It is a time when we rejuvenate our
faith, affiliate with the mission of Abaa Abdillah for truth and justice. More
importantly, it is a time when we learn how to live a proper Muslim life shaped
in the heroism of Abbas, of Qassim, of Akber. Fashioned after the patience of
Sajjad and Zainab. It is not a time for high drama and controversy.
The Mullah stops, coughs, hawks and shoots a
blob of phlegm right across towards a nearby trashcan, missing wildly. He
lights up again and blows acrid smoke my way. 
 
Let
me tell you where this kitoto Sheykh is going wrong. Allah, in His infinite
wisdom has promised the safeguard of Islam Himself, hasn’t He? All He wants us
to do, really, is believe in Him without associates, His Prophets (S) and the
Aimaas (A). Outside of wajibaats, which are compulsory, He wants us to make our
best efforts with the best of intentions. That’s it! He knows our strengths and
limitations; He is our Creator, right? So why go through all this rigmarole of
worrying about our youths excessively? He will guide them insha’Allah, just as
He guided you and others when they came to this country. All this talk about
worrying about Islam 100 years from now and joining Occupy Wall Street movement
is hogwash. To suggest there are major differences of opinion between our
Marjas is dividing us when we need utmost unity. To suggest women be allowed
same rights as men in leading salaat or witness issues is downright precarious.
Next we’ll be talking about giving Muslim rights to gays, just because the
youths are demanding it. Fine, demand away! We cannot alter Islam or the Quraan
to fit a changing world. It’s the other way around, silly! Have you been to
Iran, Kisukaali?
Startled at the change of subject, I nod.
Khoob.
You will have seen the progression of women’s hejab? It was total coverage of
the hair once, then it went to half the head, now it’s a quarter only, pretty
soon the hejab will fall to the shoulder in the name of progressive Islam.
Then, we’ll be told to pray behind them as well. You tell me Kisukaali, with
the fancy MBA and all that experience behind your ears, is it logical to
espouse any and all changes that youths and women demand just because ‘times
are changing’ and our ‘youths are being challenged’ at schools and
universities? You were challenged during your time at the Uni, I’ll bet; you
didn’t turn out all that bad.
So now I am bad but not so much? I don’t say
anything; there is not much to say really.
Shall
we leave Mullah? The caretaker will lock us in if we stay much longer.
The old man gets on his feet with the aid of
his very menacing looking cane. When I attempt to help him, he angrily waves me
away.
I
can still get up Kisukaali, I’m not dead, am I? What a waste of my Muharram. I
should have stayed back in Dar. The MC at HIC should have used their usual good
judgment than invite such lecturers here. These new kitoto maulaanas have progressively
differing, colorful opinions about everything. Each new graduate from Qoom and
Najaf dreams up a new twist or theory, enough to make me go mwenda wazeemu!
With that temperament and a cane in his
capable hands, I tread carefully, not say much, nod or shake my head
respectfully at apt moments of further small talk and safely deposit Mullah
Mchungu in the care of his not-too-happy-to-be-woken-up daughter-in-law.
Aashra – Ten days.
Heshma – Respect.
Khanzu – A loose fitting robe.
Kitoto – Small, Young.
Mwenda – Go.
Wazeemu – Crazy, Mad.
1 Comment
  • As always an entertaining post but brings up some good points about the younger generation that obviously want some change; and the older that do not want change at all.

    With all that said now I'm curious to listen to this young mans lectures!

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