Home
Quick Names Index
Family Trees
Interactivity
History
Photos & Websites
Zanzibar
  Photo  Collections
  Personalities
Guestbook

 Article Written And Provided By Mohamed Abdulla Ali Khalfan

e-mail: makfan@raha.com

 

14. Gaining Vision From Family History.

A client brought his prospective (intended) partner to my office for a cursory (initial) appraisal of a proposal for a construction of a modern office building which he intended to finance with an option of a joint ownership on completion. When the prospective partner introduced himself, I got curious because of his surname. I asked whether he was related to a person of his community with the same surname with whom I was very close until he emigrated. He confirmed that he was, whereupon I naturally inquired more about their relationship.

A client brought his prospective (intended) partner to my office for a cursory (initial) appraisal of a proposal for a construction of a modern office building which he intended to finance with an option of a joint ownership on completion. When the prospective partner introduced himself, I got curious because of his surname. I asked whether he was related to a person of his community with the same surname with whom I was very close until he emigrated. He confirmed that he was, whereupon I naturally inquired more about their relationship.

The client was surprised to find that I knew the history of the grandfather of the prospective partner, which I had learnt from the emigrant cousin. The prospective partner was almost a stranger to his own family history of struggle, set-backs through mistakes and bad luck, and later successes through patience and faith.

Later the client informed me that his interest in the proposal diminished following the accidental appraisal of the person he intended to work with in the proposal. He realised that as in the case of the proposal, an appraisal of the person intended to be involved in a proposal was equally important. The ignorance of one's own family history was seen a demerit.

 

Lessons For Right Vision.

Almost every family has a known history of tact, hardship, perseverance, devotion, and of adherence to principles, values and faith in the course of the constant struggle with an alternation of set-backs and successes in life. The known history may span over three preceding generations or more. Every young member in the family has the right to be informed of such history of the family by the parents so that he later in life as a responsible adult is able to draw lessons from it and formulate his vision aright.

There may have occurred partnership disputes, business split, divorce cases, inheritance disputes, losses from business speculation and such other situations in the past in the family through perhaps negative emotions or miscalculated reasoning or misplaced trust with some disastrous consequences. Family history, if known, can help the succeeding generations avoid a repetition of the occurrences or exercise caution to avert such potential situations.

But before a child is old enough for information about the family-history, he has yet a prior right, equally important, - a right to that best and pertinent piece of education which originates only in his home and can avail to him in his young age only by the parents. That piece is about the reality of this transient life, the life of a constant struggle, exacting mental, physical and emotional toll, until there comes the inevitable exit in the form of death. He may not know that the struggle begins right from birth. He too cried as he struggled for first few initial breath, which is normal for all babies when they are born.

 

Importance In Timing.

The importance lies in timing the imparting of that piece of education for good effect. The time is when the child is getting inquisitive about the reasons for the quarrels and disputes which he hears about or witnesses as each occurs among the adults. The reasons are mostly connected with the struggle as part of this mortal life attendant with human weaknesses. He cannot be explained reasons without allowing him the perception of the constant struggle in the life of every mortal, whatever his station of life, and which is attached to every family. To preserve health is also an ongoing struggle until there is a succumb to natural death.

The child has to be impressed that there is always a twist and turn in the struggle; and ups and downs in the history of every family and that the family in which he is born is no exception. Examples of the struggle are given to the child in the form of piece-meals narration of the family-history as and when appropriate occasions arise as he keeps growing up.

Then the child, on his part as an adult later would, for the information of his children, add the narration of his own life-history of strife and successes as a continuous process of passing on the family history to the succeeding generations.

The grasping power of a grown-up child with regard to the family history and the lessons intended for him in the narration should not be under-estimated.

 

Tribute To The Grandfather.

 

There are some people who hear about the pieces of the history of struggle and successes of their family either late or from other elders of the local community. They wished they had heard it earlier and from the family so that they could not only have paid tribute to the grandfather while he was still alive but perhaps also asked him for details and the reminiscence of emotions involved.

Allah (swt) mentions in the holy Qur'an the importance of history. It offers guidance and lessons so that the reality of life is known and the mistakes committed avoided. The family-history is no different. The following are the examples of the Qur'anic verses:

"And all We relate to you (the Prophet) of the accounts of the apostles is to strengthen your heart therewith......" (11:120).

"In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding...... " (12:111)

"Thus do We relate to you (O' Our Messenger Mohammad!) of the (historic) accounts of what has passed (of old); and indeed have We given to you from Ourselves a Reminder (Qur'an)". (20:99).

Let us learn from the desert ant which crawls long distances under the scorching sun. It stops and turns itself to look behind now and then in order to be able to monitor the direction and forge ahead. It never gets lost. We too need to look back into the family history, that is, if we have been made aware of it in good time, as we march on with the time with no repetition of past family mistakes.

 

 

Mohamed Abdulla Ali Khalfan, Dar es Salaam.

e-mail: makfan@raha.com

 

Click here for more interesting articles

 


Last updated December 2007 Copyright Mahmood Fazal 2005 - All Rights Reserved Created By Husain Fazal