When will we get rid of our crab mentality?

When a bunch of crabs are put in a bucket, all of them face a slow, collective death. This is because whenever one tries to escape, the others pull it down. This is called the ‘Crab Mentality’. Sociologists have coined this term to show how some members of a society would try to diminish the self confidence of any member who gets more success than the others. Such patterns in human behaviour reduced us to the level of a crustacean. But as we progress further with our actions, we are giving this innocent sea creature a bad name.

Living in Bangladesh, its a common practice to never let change see light. If you are doing something good, chances are you may drag a lot of attention. A positive attention lasts for a short time. It would soon turn into an unnecessary one as your support wont sustain. A small number would speak for it but their voices dim down under pressure. In this country, whoever tried to bring change was either outlawed or humiliated to the point that they permanently lose their spirit. In extreme cases, many of them even turned into spirits, if you know what I mean.

It is heavily associated with jealousy which begins at kindergarten and goes all the way up to a national level. It is jealousy when we stop others from doing what they are good at. It is jealousy when we do not appreciate but find flaws in them. It includes targeting anyone who achieved success in a very short time.

I am talking about the renowned Islamic scholar Mizanur Rahman Azhari who got a widespread recognition at just 29 years of age. With having millions of followers listening to his lectures, he is undoubtedly an influencer of the Bangladeshi youth, spreading the message of peace among young people. He is not only an Islamic lecturer but a motivational speaker- a combination of which is rare in a country like ours. His public speaking skills brought millions of God fearing people out in the streets, to the open fields, gathering in large numbers to listen what he says.

With the help of technology, his lectures can be watched even if one cannot make it to the program. Therefore the number of audience he receives is equal both online and offline. However it sometimes tend to get doubled online. As his lectures are widely available on YouTube, locals as well as those living abroad can watch it from home. Hence his average video views ranges from two million to five million.

Surprisingly a lot of non bengali people from the Subcontinent are also his followers. Indian and Pakistani YouTubers posted ‘reaction videos’ on his lectures. All these show how our friends from the neighbourhood admire Mizanur Rahman Azhari. This is unprecedented as he is neither a cricket player nor a comedian. The love he received is truly because of his knowledge of the religion and how he analyses it.

Apart from his enriched knowledge on Islam, Mizanur Rahman has a brilliant educational background. In 2004, he secured a GPA 5 in his S.S.C exams (Dakhil exams) and in 2006 made it to the top merit list of the Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board in H.S.C exams (Alim exams). The year later he stood first at the Islamic Foundation scholarship and got enrolled at the Al Azhar University in Egypt for his undergrad. From there he graduated with an honors from the Department of Tafseer and Quranic Science in 2012. He was among the top scoring students with an 80% CGPA.

But he did not stop there. After completing his Mphil from International Islamic University (IIUM) in Malaysia, he started his Phd at the same university. At the moment he is on his way to complete his doctoral research titled  ‘Human Behavioural Characteristics in the Holy Quran: An analytical study’. All of these strongly backs his frequent referencing to science, philosophy and the Holy Qur’an.

Mizanur Rahman is fluent in English which is why a wide spectrum of audience understand  his lectures. While speaking infront of the mass, he often says few sentences in English followed by precise translation. This helps non bangla speaking viewers to get what he means. I don’t think any other Islamic lecturer has such presentation skill. This is probably the reason behind why there is always a huge turn out at his ‘Waz Mahfils’.

A typical Waz Mahfil in Bangladesh can gather around 20-50 thousand crowd at maximum. But a typical Azhari Waz Mahfil sees crowds more than a hundred thousand. On most occasions, it crosses even that. At one of his recent Waz Mahfils, there were about a million people huddling to see him at an open field! Thus his popularity is unparalleled and there is no doubt that people love him.

But as they say ‘when you are doing something right, you will have haters’. Although a negligible few, he dragged hate from even a Parliamentarian who happened to disagree with his views. That did the trick. No matter how many followers you have, once you get hated by an authority, its over for you! This opened an opportunity for some people to get cheap publicity. They cashed in to criticize Mizanur Rahman with every bit of issue they found. Even when finding practically nothing, they started questioning his income, his family and his knowledge. Someone even created a controversy with his name! A small group started to spread rumors about him earning millions of dollars from his YouTube videos. Even if he is, he is earning it with his own potential. What these critics fail to realize is that they cannot even get one third of the popularity Mizanur Rahman has.

A sudden spark of hate made Mizanur Rahman naturally troubled. Recently he has decided to leave the country to complete his research. But we know it is out of sadness. At the end of the day all this is because of the crab mentality of a few. Most of these people are either frustrated or bored with their lives.They are even critical about his decision, saying its because he wants to evade tax.

World renowned Islamic lecturers like Zakir Naik, Billal Phillips, Mufti Ismail Menk, Nouman Ali Khan all have their lectures on Youtube. Yet no one has been reported to face anything of  that sort. Instead, viewers from all around the world share their videos on social media. They consider these messages to be special and cure to their problems. If Youtube has created a platform for content, who are these people talking against earning from it? There is no limitation or category that restricts earning from lecture videos. But this is not an issue since the opinion of sheep hardly counts.

Youtube revenues cannot get you love and admiration. The love Mizanur Rahman got from his countrymen is enough to shut his doubters once and for all. Him deciding not to continue the public lectures show us how crab mentality can ruin anything. It is high time we learn to live and let live. We are not doing justice to knowledge. Today we are doubting his intention, but tomorrow when we make a fool popular, then we wont have anyone to blame but ourselves.

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