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The Beauty Of Our Time

ISSUE 207
Front Page
Index

Headlines

Saying A Totalitarian Government Was Preferable ‎To Anarchy, Yemen’s President Saleh Pays Tribute ‎To Siyad Barre For Safeguarding Somali Unity

Eviction Order By Hargeysa’s Mayor Puts ‎Hundreds Of Vegetables Sellers Out Of Business

A Flashpoint For Violence Plans To Relocate ‎Hargeysa’s Slaughterhouse‎

BACK TO AFRICA‎

Somalia’s Islamists‎

The Surud Mountain Forests In Somaliland

Somaliland FilajTEL: Leading Tele Provider Reduces International ‎Rates‎‎

Three British Hostages Freed In Gaza

Local & Regional Affairs

Noted Somali Writer ‘Sangub’ Charged With Molesting Girl 10 Years Ago

Somaliland Phone Firms Reject US Company Bids‎

Starvation Looms In African Horn

Gentleman Pirates Cause Mass Starvation

US Renews Terror Warning Against Travel To Kenya‎‎

Norway Mulls Camel Farming For Refugees‎‎‎‎‎

Ethiopia: Concerns About Political Trials Of Opposition ‎Activists, Human Rights Defenders And Journalists

Somali Piracy Is Worst In World‎

Editorial
Somali Poetry

International News

Al-Qaida: Iraq Withdrawal Victory For Islam

Mecca Death Toll Rises To 76

Yemen Crude oil exports, Somali Pirates and Sana'a Summit Links

Teachers Learn As They Teach Somalis

Attacks Against UN Personnel Continued Unabated ‎Throughout 2005, UN Staff Union Says‎

Favorable Weather Improves Food Security Situations

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

The Dusty Foot Philosopher

RP Among Most Dangerous For Journalists In 2005‎‎

Africa Will Progress, The Devil Is In The Type Of Leaders It Gets

The UK To Announce Within Days Whether To Ban Khat

Notice Board

BOOK REVIEW

Opinions

Much To Our Surprise, Hargeysa’s Water Situation Has Improved Under Ali Asad’s Stewardship‎

The Beauty Of Our Time‎

The AU: Time To Remove Obstacles To Somaliland ‎Recognition‎‎‎

When A Dubious Business Deal Is Masqueraded As Government Policy‎

Borrowed Thinking; Flawed Analysis: A Reply To Tani!‎‎

THE FINAL DISMEMBERMENT


By Rhoda A. Rageh, UAE

An Islamic scholar once visited our university in California to give a lecture about Islam. Many students, faculty and staff came to hear his lecture and during the course of his talk, a student asked him how a Muslim deals with depression. The scholar surprised everyone by prostrating first then addressing the student told him: we Muslims don’t get depressed. I left the lecture unsure about what he meant by that and was more puzzled by his daring statement that a Muslim does not become depressed. For many years, I thought about the difference between Mu’mins and others when things reach the breaking point. How is a Mu’min immune to depression? If the way to control depression is mind over matter, how does one achieve that through Iman? When some look up in the sky at the time of adversity and ask: ‘Oh God why me’ what does a Mu’min do? Are we more deterministic than others and therefore more fatalistic, or does the true Mu’min understand his Creator better? I have not until recently viewed time as the source of Muslim optimism. It is universal that humans feel pain and pleasure exactly the same way. Time, though can bring hope or hopelessness depending on how one views. For the one who opts for the ‘dignified exit’ time beats him. For instance when the stock markets crash, time has proven a waste for the one who lost money, and to go back to the beginning is a bleak option. However, for the Mu’min who observes time daily, its transience promises the change of situation that would evolve with its passing. ‘Inna m’al ‘ursi yusra’ epitomizes that view. In other words, the time that beats embodies the hope that keeps the person going.

To put time into a wider context than the twelve months on the face of a calendar, we need to view time as an ever evolving phenomenon. I remember times when Islamic years came two weeks later and even at times when it was few weeks earlier than the Christian new year. I remember when Ramadan fell in the middle of summer and the day was more than 14 hours long and other times when the day was so short, I felt a bit short changed for my fasting reward.

The Muslim year is the only one that converges with and diverges from other religious static observances. Time therefore compels the change which in itself should offer lessons about the nature of humanity. What then does a Mu’min learn from time other than its mutability? Take for example, the shade of a tree that stands on one side and then moves to the other side. The one person under that shade has a choice to follow the shade or stay and burn in the sun which points to the simple act of freewill. I think the root of the Mu’min optimism lies in his ability to realize that like the shade of a tree, situations change and what holds true today ought not to be the same tomorrow. The hopelessness that compels one to take the ‘dignified exit’ offers the other the hope to work and ‘roll with the time’ literally. With this evolving time, the Mu’min sees the cruelty as well as the mercy of time in equal proportions. Imagine if Allah swt chose Ramadan at the height of summer and never allows us the mercy of Ramadan in winter. Or we were to perform Hajj only at 55 degrees every year. Time, if not evolving as it is, would have been truly debilitating for us. Does ‘rolling with time’ make a Muslim fatalistic? I think not. If time is predestined for us and we don’t hold the power to tick it, we are given the free choice to take its challenges and its hopes to beat it. We are not compelled to sit and contemplate time without action. Time is to teach us a lesson of flexibility and without it humanity would perish.


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