mal’s Weblog











{February 15, 2013}   in the name of religion

heart stringsSo yesterday was, almost globally, being celebrated as Valentine’s Day. And once again, what a sad turn of events it is all taking in Pakistan.

Personally, I am not in favor of restricting love to be celebrated on a single day, and this includes Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day, every day for that matter. Personally, I believe that one should believe in what they believe in every day of their lives, should try their best to practice what they preach every day of their lives, try not to always be preaching, and focus on self instead of everything everyone else is doing.

However, people will use every opportunity to earn a buck or prevent someone else from earning that buck. Which is why, one sees extra focus on some value or the other, some sentiment or the other, on one particular day, so that an industry could reap exponential profits on that particular day (take any day that people celebrate with special preparations and decorations and rituals etc).

There will be those who understand that business will not only make use of opportunities to earn, but will in fact strive to create opportunities which they can then reap benefits off. There will be those who will use the same opportunities for the benefit of businesses of other kinds (such as political or religious or social agendas). And then there will be those poor souls of fools who are so insecure and sensitive that they will play right into the hands of the two groups defined above.

Valentine’s Day is commonly believed to be a day when “lovers” celebrate love by doing nice things for each other. This is indeed a non-Islamic concept, if you must drag religion into it. Because as far as Islam goes, a couple (couple defined as ‘ceremoniously married by way of Nikah in the court of Allah’) is obligated to love (love defined as: support, kindness, companionship, understanding, having each other’s back, encouragement, ‘being each other’s clothes’, and so much more that Islam teaches that these fools need to study and understand before jumping at every ignition) each other each day of each year of their lives, and make an effort to please each other via gestures of romance and companionship. This is an investment in the relationship that (after Nikah) is commanded by Allah. And if a married couple wants to enjoy a red heart shaped balloon or some chocolates, once in a while or every year, it should be none of anyone else’s concern (just like it should be none of anyone else’s concern if the husband slaps her wife behind closed doors – I’ve no doubt what the fanatic readers of this post must believe about not washing dirty laundry in public as per duties blah blah blah).

In light of all that Islam, a religion of love, tolerance and peace, teaches, I fail to understand who these “extremists” (what other word do you expect one to use), are who fail to see that declaring one day as “Haya Day” just because they feel threatened by the celebration of love, would do no one any good at all. What good would celebrating haya do if haya is being harped on about only on a single day? Why choose Valentine’s Day only, to be labelled as Haya Day? Where is your haya when you stay silent over injustice? Where is haya when you rush to declare judgment and take matters of justice in your own hands controlled by a mass of gray that is not trained or polished enough? Where is your haya when you react like animals?

People mix so many things so much, and pile it up under one or two major categories so blindly that they dont see how the threads are supposed to be kept from getting tangled up – because in that tangled mess, every one will trip and fall, hurting themselves and others. And that is exactly what happens when something is being celebrated by a few, and others dont understand it, and then rush to label it, judge it, create hype about it, and in short just create a mess for everyone. I am not in favor of youngsters hanging out together in absolute bay-hayayee. Nor is Islam. But there are other ways to prevent such bay-hayayee, and those ways too are presented in the Quran and Hadith which these fanatics should educate themselves with before rushing to judge others with declarations et al. These ways include investing in the upbringing of your children in accordance with the teachings you believe in. And if you are confident you brought your children up in light of Islamic teachings, it should not worry you that a few red balloons will drive them or you or your family or your country to hell. Your country is being driven to hell by other, much larger issues. And such controversies are only a tool used effortlessly by powerful factions of your society to play you like puppets, to distract you from real issues. And they do this again and again. And you play into their hands again and again.

Why allow someone who is celebrating something to bother you? Business will use every opportunity to earn, and in this supposedly free country, everyone has the right to enjoy whatever they want. If what they enjoy is against the teachings of your religion, you keep to yourself. If fahashi is being shown on television, you turn off the TV. If there are boys trying to sell you red balloons or flowers and you disagree, or dont want it, don’t buy it. If there are people buying heart shaped cakes, leave them be – you never know they might be buying it for their moms, husbands, wives, siblings (to surprise them with a surprise for their spouse), or simply saving some cash over a few deals for all you know. If you see a ‘young couple’ ‘dating around’, it is none of your business to police them. If their parents dont know what their kids are doing, or don’t care, it is on them. And even then, beyond a certain point, Allah himself will penalize these kids for fooling their parents if that is the case. And if there are those who try to draw a few laughs out of your hyper-reaction to something you do not fully comprehend and something that is none of your concern or responsibility, let them be too, because if they are wrong, Allah can penalize them better than you can even imagine.

As long as no one is forcing you to indulge in things that go against your values, just relax and calm down, and go about your business. Voice it if you disagree; if your voice is not heard, pen it down; and if penning down your opinions / beliefs / disagreement / disapproval doesn’t work, then denounce it in your heart. Allah knows the matter of the heart best, and you have no right to take His job in your hand. Police your own children and then sit back. Educate yourself enough to understand the difference between fahashi and kidding around. Understand the spectrum that spans mocking and disrespect.

Common sense (especially the one that one should derive from the teachings of Islam) should guide you to behave rationally, with patience, and with honesty. A holier than thou attitude, especially when misplaced, never does anyone any good. But I guess what they say about common sense holds true.

PS. picture credits to google images.
PPS. stupid is as stupid does.

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