From the Editorial Desk
The original Light magazine started off as a cyclostyled paper for community students living abroad, especially in the western countries. This then turned into a magazine with a selection of articles of diverse contemporary as well as religious issues.
The readership also spread over the world amongst Muslims and non- Muslims in countries such as West Africa, Latin America and remote parts of the world catering for their scholarly needs. The aim at that time was Tabligh and this continues to be our mission but in different times and circumstances.
We re-launch this magazine in an era of globalization, bearing in mind the revolution in information technology and major events such as the revolution in Iran, formation and consolidation of World Federation and the extensive role of media in covering issues touching upon the Muslim world, which have significantly contributed towards increasing awareness worldwide towards our Islamic faith and its role in shaping events.
The need to adapt in this evolving environment is a necessity to maintain the scholarly standards of this magazine which we shall aspire to do.
Brother Latif Ali of British Guyana once mentioned at the World Ahlul Bayt League Conference, "I lived alone as a Shia Ithnaasheri with literature of Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania and the Light magazine as my sole companions".
With Light's sister Swahili magazine, Sauti Ya Bilal, let us hope that these magazines continue their companionship from the remotest village of Tanzania to the busiest metropolis of the world.
The pioneering efforts and support of Maulana Syed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, Marhum Mulla Asgher Jaffer, Marhum Ahmed Sheriff and Marhum Mohamed Rafik Somji are a continuing beacon of inspiration for us. Let us pray for their souls and request a Sura e Fateha.
A humble servant of Ahlul Bayt a.s Fidahusein A. Hameer
As a young kid, I was always fascinated to watch my late grandfather, Yusufali G.M Dharsi writing articles and helping in the typesetting for The Light magazine.
Like Sayid Akhtar Rizvi and other writers in those days, he was also a regular contributor for the magazine, researching hours on end to get everything meticulously correct.
Everything was first written on draft paper initially in pen, corrected or edited and proofread using pencil and red ink pens, the paper from which the article was usually typed out, looked like off white paper that had confetti scratches all over it. I could have never deciphered it.
The rhythmical clicking of type writer keys and the bell depicting the end of the line were a very regular sounds at home, in those days it was still a manual typewriter, not the fancy electrical ones, and by the time computers came in, my grandfather had stopped writing.
Growing up with the sounds of keys hitting the paper and the times where he would ask me to roll back the red and black ribbon, always made me a part of the process, and the request made me happy that I could help.
By: Sameer Kermalli
The process I remember vividly was the one where, the typesetter, Mr. Mohamed Namwanga used to come home and painstakingly took letters and words that were needed for the next issue, cut and pasted them on a marked paper, cut to the end books size.
This was a tedious job using the old magazines that were then printed by Jamana, located near the corner of Uhuru Street and now Indira Gandhi street then. Lots of man hours went into that. The dedication of Fidahusein Hameer, who till today plays an active role in The Light magazine, can only be deemed as very commendable work, cause I remember him since those days.
There are things that are embedded in our brains, and amongst them for me, is the experience to see, learn and partially understand the process of printing. Today I work for a printing company, DTP and I am grateful to The Light magazine for the printing process knowledge it imparted to me, a past that is fruitful to date.