Nisar A. Memon
25-May- 2020 – Pakistan Observer
This Ramzan, majority of Muslims around the world while observing Rozas (fasting) offered Taraweeh (late night prayers) quietly in their homes, except some who defied government instructions and advices of religious leaders and prayed in mosques. It was against the common sense behavior of protecting themselves, their families and other citizens from the risk of deadly Covid-19.
Such a response evokes no surprise because we have neither provided basic education nor proper religious education to our compatriots. Else they would have shielded themselves from pandemic despite Islamabad’s confusing and conflicting response and lack of uniform support to provinces on this pandemic.
In the spirit of Ramzan, the leadership of Ummah announced nothing to make us proud Ummati’s. They did nothing to mitigate the pain of Muslims of Kashmir and Palestine for which they have to stand in the court of Allah. Ummah lives with lingering fear that what happened to Muslims of Bosnia in the last century may well be in plan by the fascist extremists leadership of Delhi and Tel Aviv.
Muslim leadership did not demonstrate their numerical strength but instead succumbed to the worldly gains and protected their own power rather than their people and other Ummati’s without realizing that these worldly gains are too meager compared to the wrath of Allah on the Judgement Day and possible denunciation by citizens when they rise. But what is puzzling is their inability to prepare a Universal Plan for future to fight hunger and disease (now Covid-19 too) which has strucken people of Sahara’s in Africa and Mountains of Himalayas and plains in Asia. True to their teachings, the Ummatis did not wait for leadership and have massively contributed Zakat and Khairat amongst Ummatis to fulfill their religious obligations as well as national responsibility.
It was the month when Muslims rededicated themselves to their Creator and sought guidance provided in Quran. It was a rebooting to be able to meet the challenges that lie ahead including the pandemic and in doing so serve fellow citizens and earn His favour for coming days and ultimately for the eternal life.
Allah says in the Quran, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2-183): ‘O you who believe, Siyam (fasting) is prescribed on you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you may become self-restrained.’ The importance of Siyam in Ramadan is clearly expressed in several sayings of the Prophet (S.A.W.). All Muslims, specially the leadership need to do soul searching on their conduct during the month of Ramzan and seek pardon.
Eid at the end of holy month of Ramzan is expression of gratitude to the Creator that it gave us the chance to practice His teachings and a festive occasion amongst friends and family. Festivity of Eid this year is somber affair due to sufferings of millions and departure of thousands from this world due to pandemic. So it will be observed with quiet reflection using technology, which so far has not failed us like the leadership, in showing compassion to those in pain and prayers for the safety from this menace.
But the most important is the cleansing done during the month and our commitment not to hurt others with words or deeds, with deceit and injustice and to live in simplicity in the face of so many needy around us. All this should stay on with us for coming years and next Ramzan hopefully there will be no regrets as individual or collectively as nation. It is also the time to recommit and rededicate to build the nation and evolve massive front against the ignorance and violators of covenant with God and with His creation.
Nisar A. Memon; former: federal minister & senator