Lest we forget names of our fathers and grandfathers

Ali Al Matani  – ali.matani2@gmail.com – The modern-day developments on social media has left no space for face-to-face meetings, interactions and beautiful reunions as has been in the past. All this has become an unbelievable social reality. Many people, now, hardly know the first names of their friends and colleagues or names of their tribes. This is despite the fact that they are meeting them every day. The same is the case with neighbours about whom the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, has taught us to be closer with.
This is a moment which calls for introspection of this new collective behaviour which has dangerously threatened social cohesion. If we, the elders, continue with this problem, this will automatically shift to our children. Then, in future, people would not know their relatives, friends, neighbours and acquaintances.
This situation, in itself, is frightening. Therefore, it is important to ring the alarm bells about the presence of this damaging virus in society which needs to be eradicated at the earliest.
We have reached a stage when some of us contact ‘enquiries’ and ask for the name of a person and his tribe. When he is asked about his father’s or grandfather’s name, he would behave as if he has started learning them now and did not know them before. This virus has spread like wildfire to the extent that the writers and authors of literary and intellectual works have also started following the same pattern. They mention their names and the last names only. This they have learnt from social media. Therefore, it is almost impossible to recognise a person with the name available on his personal page.
This new monster has strengthened itself due to social media where there are clear instructions for first names and family names only.
The new reality has become inevitable. There is no way out but to fall into the trap and drown in the surging waves.
In 90s, the government had made it mandatory to write names as X son of X son of X instead of XXX and the name of the tribe. This was an initiative to revive the original Omani tradition. But the government cannot impose these guidelines for our day-to-day social interactions.
Due to similarities in the names of Omanis, it is a must for us to mention full names. Otherwise, while dealing in various ministries and government offices it would be difficult to distinguish a person from another. The matter reached to the extent that security agencies started suspecting some people just because of similarities in names. This is why to deal with this situation civil numbers were created.
Of course, there are some people who use their full names. This is a practice much appreciated. But unfortunately, this did not remain a common practice.
We hope that we will keep mentioning the names of parents and grandparents when we introduce ourselves. This is important to preserve our uniqueness and loyalty to our respective families.
This also helps us avoid many problems which others face to reach out to us or we face while trying to reaching out to them. This also means preserving our own heritage which we have inherited from our fathers and got it from our grandfathers. In this case we have ignored our tradition in a clear show of disobedience.