Pious moments of a hypocritical nation
July 10, 2010 § 17 Comments
At 10:30 p.m. July 9th, I receive the following message:
“Assalamualikum. I know I have “hurted” you many times. I have done many mistakes and I may “continu” ’cause I am a sinful “beign!” Please…forgive me so that I would have a little ease in my life. Happy Shab-e-Mirag.”
Now, apart from the excruciating mistakes in that sentence, what bothers me most is the sheer hypocrisy that is vested within those two lines. The person who has sent me the message is a capital fellow! Finely talented, I must say. He’s a fellow debater, engages in all sorts of co-curricular, my team-mate on a number of parliamentary contests, has no problem engaging in interactions and discussions with the opposite sex, listens muzak, discusses movies and has a life of whole lot fun! In simple words, he falls well within the category we would term ‘non-religious’ and proudly ‘open-minded.”
But what am I supposed to make of the sentence above, is what bothers me now. It leaves me thinking what a nation of hypocrites we are. It has become more of a custom, a dogmatic observation to make such proclamations of humility and sinfulness. But how exactly does it help? From what I know, the same message or something similar popped on my cell’s screen last year and last year and all thence-prior ever since I had a cell. And a dozen times, all from a diverse set of ‘open-minded’, capital fellas. Does it mean they will quit everything they consider ‘un-Islamic’ and becomes the sages they vow to be? Does it mean they will stop viewing the kafir’s movies and profiting them through the CDs they purchase on first availabilities? Does this mean the next time I see they’d be imitating Zakir Naik rather than Michael Jackson and their iPods will be belting out Sami Yusuf in place of Shakira? Of course not! But you see, the tradition holds. Don’t get me wrong here. I am absolutely not proposing you to become one either. No. My point simply is: stop being hypocrites. Stop citing your sins that you act willfully and consciously and which you have all intents to continue with.
Coming back to the gist of my dissertation, that’s not it. That’s just the tip of a Freudian iceberg. You look down and you see the entire society based upon the berg. You see people running businesses they secretly hold as ‘haraam’ and then tipping a local madrassah at the end of the year to bathe the profits in halal-dom. You see people employed in banking sector who’d yap about the haram-ness of ‘interest’ in their personal lives. You see maulvis, religious heads sermonizing about the vices of a cultural domination when their own kids are draped in a western culture, from head to toe, inside out. Heck you see the same people abusing facebook on the pretext of blasphemy who’d been using it to no good purports!! And behold, the latest in the league are the pop-singers-cum-religious scholars who’d teach you about foreign conspiracies and the danger Islam faces at their hands after having a session of head-banging Les Paul. Pardon me for the slip, pray also add to it the fashion designers.
A charity donation at the end of the year, forwarding a virtuous text message, a recital in the morning before so-called sinful indulgences, a ‘melad’ every month, a trip to Raiwand from year to year or to those who can afford it, a round trip to the House of God is all that it takes to purge us all of all the vices we commit. Or in fact, of late, all it takes is an energetic rhetoric every morning at a TV show where you don’t forget to insert all the relevant syllables: zionists, patriotism, need-to-change, back-to-age-of-glory, momon-istic vows and etc etc. It’s convenient, it’s easy and it’s once-in-a-while. And the most beautiful thing about it is that it gives us a token of approval to do all that we want until the next installment, which of course is conveniently distanced mostly.
And when you quietly insert, between the vociferous discourses they often utter, a sentence or two about religion being a personal matter, all hell breaks loose. From bashing to condemnations to outright labels of infidelity, they do all that they can to guard their forts of piety and religiosity(and effectively lock your routes of escape too). Irrespective of the blatant violations they commit towards what they so passionately talk of, they consider it their inherent right to be ‘the’ spokesperson and to be ‘the’ guardian of faith.
The malady is not unique. And it’s not contained. It’s virulently widespread. And the more religious the outfit and babbling becomes, the more the sinful they turn, at least by the very same standards they hold. Even when every one of us knows of this pretentious, self-announcing, faked humilities, the show goes on. And the one with the most impressive text or the largest sum of money will be labelled the perfect momin. So much for the remarkable displays of Iman!!
On an ending note, let me declare without a contrite soul that this night, I didn’t forgive any of the friends I hold a grudge against. And I did tell them rather than returning them warm, brotherly responses, that a night on the rug is not enough to erase the conscientious vices of a life-time!