Monday, September 01, 2008

Here we go all over again

Thought I'd repost something I wrote about Ramadan last year, as it is applicable to ever Ramadan I have been through.

The chill out month.

That is what I call it. And I am not referring to month long stay in Amsterdam 'chilling out’ at their ‘Herbal Cafes’. I am obviously referring to Ramadan. This is a month where every thing gets chilled out. Your work, your social activities, your daily routines even your driving. I sure do enjoy the atmosphere .

It is month when people are that extra bit more charitable. When spirituality momentarily overtakes materialism in peoples lives. When people spend more time among family and friends. And it’s also a time when shisha cafes make a fortune off people like me who spend countless hours after iftar smoking their lungs into oblivion J

But it is also a month of hypocrisy.

I see it everywhere I look. Among friends, family and colleagues. It is a month where most people also become that extra bit more religious or conscious of religion to be precise. I know many people who live a very liberal life throughout the year. Engaging in all sorts of activities that are considered to be forbidden in Islam: Drinking, clubbing, not praying, engaging in sexual activities e.t.c. Then the holy month starts and initiates a complete transformation in people’s behaviour. I know people who only for the month of Ramadan they :-

  • Stop drinking from 40 days before Ramadan and then have a reservation ready at Trilogy (a nightclub in Dubai ) for the first day after the end of ramada.
  • Decide not to have sex with their partners during the holy month. Some even go to the extent of not having any form of physical intimacy with their partners.
  • Give up listening to ‘western music’ and viewing ‘corrupting shows’ on TV and focusing on Quran recitals.
  • Wear the Hijab.
  • Pray regularly ( 5 times a day)
  • Donate to charity

The piety list goes on and on and on. The remarkable thing is not the nature or the intention of the act, but its duration. And the blatant hypocrisy I see. Personally I an atheist and rather liberal in my religious views and a secularist at heart. What I am advocating is not an orthodox extremist view that would require people to maintain their religious fervour throughout the year. Nor am I advocating the opposite extreme end of the spectrum: not participating in any rituals of organised religion.

Choice and consistency.

If you want to practice your religion you are free to do so as long as you are not physically or mentally hurting others. Your level of devoutness is your own choice. Whether you go to a mosque 5 times a day or a brothel 5 times a day, I have no right to judge which is more excessive. You choose. And whatever you choose, be consistent. What is the point of giving up drinking or wearing the hijab just for one month. Keep drinking. You will never see a devout Muslim taking a off their hijab just for a month to go clubbing with you. If you don’t want to drink for a single month out of fear of insulting god, then what about the other 11 months of the year? You really think he wouldn't notice?

Don’t change your behaviour, either way, just for a month. Chose and be consistent.


rosh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rosh said...

There are all kinds aren't there, LE? Whilst I believe there are many who follow objectives of Ramadan with honest intentions, and many who practice to the best of their abilities - there are quite a few, as you've rightly said, who do a 180 *righteous* turnaround.

I have to applaud the way you say and write it all down. Everything you've said have tons of truth and thought. Sure shall make many souls ponder, even if they chose not to.

Neat post.

Hope things are well with you. Ramadan Kareem.

Harsha said...

very well said

nora said...

Very well said. Not to get all heavy, but I read a hadeeth that said something along the lines that Allah hates the hyocrites most. Makes sense to me. Happy Ramadan everyone.

Dubai Photo Story said...

First and foremost, me being the devil for most part of the year should not take away due credit if I play saint for a few days!!! Damn. At least I am being the good guy for 20 days unlike the 'hypocrites' who cry foul about hypocracy during Ramadam.

I am not for a moment attempting to cover up a life of sin/indulgence with a few weeks of religiousity. Infact the guys who point at hypocracy are the very guys who use it as an excuse to validate their own lifestyles.

Guess what? I am not even muslim. :-)

Desert Princess said...

Don't necessarily agree with you here.. I agree that Muslims should follow Islam, not Ramadan, where they are conscious of their creator every month of the year.. I also agree that it's major hypocrisy to be 'good' for one month, knowing quite well what you're planning to do on Eid...

But not everyone who becomes 'holy' in Ramadan is like that. Some use the month of communal spirituality to better themselves because the atmosphere helps them.. and they intend to continue afterwards as well.

Let's leave the judgment to He who knows the true states of our hearts.

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