Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lamenting the good old days

 I love listening to my parents tell stories of what things were like when they were young. It always transports me back to a time that I can only imagine; A simple time, when people were free to walk around without worrying about getting robbed, kidnapped, murdered, or raped. A time when children could play in the streets for hours on end and parents didnt have to fear for the safety of their innocent ones; A time when bread, milk and meat were bought on a day-to day basis from the local shop around the corner; A time where neighbours knew one another, and treated each other like family. There were no high walls, barbed wire, electric fencing or high rise apartment buildings for that matter stopping people from knowing each other. It sounds like it was a humane time, where everything was simple and easy. And although people had very little in terms of material wealth, they seem to have had an abundance of things with real value.

As much as I love hearing my parents speak about those times, I cant help but feel sadness. See, Ive always thought that I actually belonged in those times instead of these times. And I know that we should be grateful for the times we are in because everything has its benefits and downfalls, but seriously, I cant help getting frustrated with the society we live in today. If those times were humane times, then I think these times can be described as mechanical, robotic, technology driven, crazy times.

The local news attests to this every evening. The headlines here in South Africa read something like this; Teenager kidnapped on her way to school and murdered, Young child killed for muti (traditional medicine), Killers of farmer were reportedly abused continuously,  Teenager forced to have abortion after affair with her school teacher.... It can go on and on, and its the same story every single day, different people, but the exact same story. Its so depressing and really, where is the humanity in this? The world seems to be filled with crazy people. Then there are the stinking rich who waste money on the most ridiculous of things while people suffer all over the world. Everything about these times seems to be upside down.

Besides all this though, life in general just seems to have gotten extra complicated over the past, like thirty years or something. Whereas in my parents time (and theyre not that old) very few people had cars, now the roads are so full that traffic makes people go crazy and the instances of road rage are on a steady increase, not to mention serious accidents. Then, when people didnt have proper homes in those times, these days many people own huge homes with many additional rooms, yet there is disunity in families and in society. Whereas before things were less convenient, and everything couldnt easily be purchased at a supermarket, now everything is at our fingertips (literally) but people are unhealthy, unhappy and alone. I could go on and on but I think you get my point by now!

So yeah, thats why when I hear my parents speaking I have a longing, a longing for simple times, a longing for simple people, for simple interactions with others and for a generally simpler life. Alhamdullillah (Praise be to Allah) there are many benefits in our times, but it still somehow seems that those benefits come at a cost, like humanity as a race is regressing instead of progressing.  I dont know what you think, perhaps I am too old fashioned and boring, but listening to my parents speak about their youth always tends to make me feel like I missed out. Maybe one day it will be the same for my children, maybe theyll look back and regard these times as good times, who knows what the future holds for the human race, in the end, Allah The Creator, is the Knower of all things, across al times!

All that I can do is try to make my life as simple as possible, after all, wasnt simplicity a beautiful part of the Sunnah (way of life) of our Most Beloved Leader, Muhammad (PBUH).
 Image from here


  1. Indeed Sunnah is best way of life and Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him is our best role model...
    Visit my blog--> Stay Blessed

  2. And what hurts me the most in the current era is the advancement man has made in the science of decorating the evil.

  3. Asma

    Certainly the only success in this world is to follow the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him). Only this brings true contentment.


    You are so right. Man's so-called advancement has brought along with it all forms of evil, and the evil is disguised as good. Sinful acts have indeed being decorated and made to look popular and exciting. May Allah be with us all and help us to stay on the path of righteousness, Inshaa-Allah.

  4. I am so like you in that I would have loved to have lived in the past in a more simpler life. Life is just to complicated now and everyone seems so busy!

  5. Karima

    You can appreciate this post then;-)I know what you mean, there just seems to be less value in the way things are today. Things are so much easier and more convenient in these times, yet people are always busy and life is so hectic, sometimes less really is more.

  6. Your post also reminds of the struggle which the companions of prophet Muhammad peace be him did to collect the ahadith of the beloved Prophet peace be him.

    [Imam al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that Jaabir ibn Abdullah traveled for one month to get a single hadeeth from Abdullah ibn Unais.

    In a version recorded by al-Tabaraani, it states that Jabir said, “I used to hear a hadeeth on the authority of the Prophet about retribution and the one who narrated that hadeeth [directly from the Prophet] was in Egypt, so I bought a camel and traveled to Egypt...”

    A few years back I purchased a compact disk which has nine full books of hadith in it and that too in Arabic including the chains of narrators. And an easy interface to search how many times a particular hadith comes in all the books.

    "And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?"

    (Quran 54:17)

  7. Zarina, It's like you are speaking my mind. I love to hear my parents and grandmothers talk about their life and I always thought I was not born at the right period...........but maybe this is the test, maybe it is down to us to create what makes sense for our lives in this new world - we don't have to follow the crowd, even if I have to agree it's pretty difficult, we can live simply as you say.
    Stay well and thank you for this very well written post. Now I am longing for old-age stories!!

  8. Marie

    It's so great when people know exactly what you're talking about. It's like you've said, this is a test for us and I love when you say that we don't have to follow the crowd. Just because everyone lives in a certain way doesn't mean that we have to too. As you say we can live simply, every one person has the ability to make a change.

    Hope you get to hear some old-age stories soon;-)

  9. I totally understand. Especially when they talk about their childhood; their long, days of creative play...going out to discover and teaching themselves loads of lessons..Kids of this generation spend their childhood inside staring at a screen that teaches them nothing

  10. Jnana

    thats so true, children of today are advanced technologically, but disadvantaged in so many other ways.

  11. I agree with you. When I was twelve years old, I can play in the field freely without tight supervision from my mother. Nowadays children are considered not so lucky because they do not feel the freedom and enjoy valuable experience the same like what we have in the olden days. Come to think of this make me feel sad, what will happen to our future generation? Will the world be a safe place to live?

  12. I agree with Marie, that we don't have to follow the crowd, this maybe is our test! Even before I reverted to Islam I refused to follow the crowd, I hope my children don't either, Karima.

  13. Ati

    I know what you mean, I too can't help feeling sad when I think of what things are going to be like for the future generations. In the end Allah knows best about all things.


    This is so important, in today's times we should actually be emphasizing the importance of not following the crowd, so many people have made huge mistakes in their lives because of wanting to follow the crowd. Inshaa-Allah this is something that we will all be able to teach our children. May Allah give us strength, Inshaa-Allah!

  14. Reading this post made me believe its not only me who craves for those times.In this article you have like spoken what i feel everyday.Thanks a lot for this beautiful post.
    May Allah bless you.