“It was probably close to Isha prayers, it would have been 7 or 8 at night. I went in there and I couldn’t believe there were about a 1000 people at the mosque. I thought subhan Allah look at this religion, look at how strong they are! [pause] it was the first night of Ramdan [laughs] ‘Ramdan Muslims’.” Abu bakr shares his feeling about the night he converted Islam.
Sadly! we are slowly losing the entitlement of even being termed as the ‘Ramdan Muslims’. The zeal with which we should look forward to Ramdan has been replaced by the resentment on season, environment and time of year Ramdan has arrived at. Of little that I know about Islam, I know it is not a religion of imposition or force. Well! I think a lot of people know that already, they do practice it for skipping fasts for sure. Eid has become another day for us on which we can sleep late, have food and send in Eid messages. It’s a gift from God for someone who has kept fasts in the holy month of Ramdan, which is filled with blessings. The excitement with which one should looking forward to this event has been lost with its meaning.
Unfortunately, the importance of Islam in our lives is limited to the extent of being emotional and aggressive when something is being said or done against its preaching. What’s more anguishing is that we, in our routine lives, do so many things that are contrary to the teaching of Islam, some have been declared as ‘haram’ (forbidden). Drugs, interest, dowry, backbiting (more popularly known as gossiping), lying, disobeying elders are just a few things that are so common in our society that they have become acceptable.
This attitude of ours is not confined to religion only, but also our country. Why wouldn’t it be same towards state and religion in Pakistan? Pakistan after all was made in the name of Islam. There is this popular TV commercial playing these days which has the following lines from a patriotic song:
Hum laiye hai toofah sae kashti nikal keh iss mulk ku rukhna meray bachu sambhal ke
[We have brought the ship out of the thunder My kids! Please take care of this country]
And what have the younger generation done about it? They don’t vote, they want to settle abroad, they complain about the system, they look for references to get their jobs done, they don’t even study properly.
Having Ramdan and Independence together in the same month, once again, is a mirror for Pakistani, by large. And it is showing an ugly picture that we have made out of this country and religion for whose independence our forefather fought with integrity and proclaimed it with pride. Where have we taken this country in 65 years? Were we better off being oppressed by the majority? Are we confused by chance or by choice? Neither religion nor state, why are we not sincere to anyone? Is it another conspiracy theory or we are just a lethargic nation? Is being aggressive, patriotic and emotional only on the social media good enough a duty of the literate youth of Pakistan?