Religious matters better left to religious scholars

Representational Image

The write-up starts by narrating a life incident of yours in order to present the horror of elongated speech when otherwise a plain “yes” or “no” can do. Yet, the incident being harrowingly long makes the reader go through the same excruciating pain experienced by you, before arriving at the main point of the write-up i.e. the conundrum of moon sighting. The very of essence of advocating crispness in conduct is lost to the hovering tales of a pseudo intellectual whom you never appreciated but expect your reader to bear along. Nevertheless, then appears your “tryst with moon appearance” in which you were held hostage alongwith million others by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Chairman Rooyat-e-Hilal Committee of Pakistan. The anxiety is understandable and even appreciated but then one wonders what has become of old age principle of “speak for your-self”? The committee in question may have intentionally and lethargically delayed the announcement in order to achieve the hidden agenda of “spotlight” on them, but then details and description form the essence of a pious thought. The details entailing the physical manifestation of a natural phenomenon may seem boring to you, but is equally important for explaining a religious decree which when left unexplained has a tendency to land in discredited realm of Islamic jurisprudence. The explanation and the names of fellow clerics and experts announced over TV within duration of millisecond is by no stretch of imagination, a spot-light tactic, at least not in sane world where hundreds of names are fed through the coveted idiot box on daily basis. Agreed that the committee in question only meets twice a year and the announcement of Eid- ul-Fitr is a greater responsibility, due to the complexity of fasting (Ramadhan) involved, which points towards the main object of this month long activity i.e. Patience. But your anxiety, imprinted in words, and constructive criticism clearly indicate the lack or, if I may be excused, the absence of patience. There is a local saying which categorizes the state of fasting Muslims from that of that Non-fasting ones by the ecstatic joy of latter and subtle sullenness of former at the culmination of the Holy Month. So, if the team of Mufti’s was or wasn’t “rescuing the moon for us from the seventh sky” it was to carve out or to simply snatch one more day of the holiest month, albeit, God-willing.

Moving forward, the usage of derogatory local parlance jotted by Mr. Nazki in your write-up just left me awe-struck. Adding tinge to flare things up is good, but there is (or used to be) a difference between “humor” and “vulgar” and one is left to wonder your abrupt, unsolicited & tectonic shift from unpleasant to “untranslatable” in the tone of write-up. If it is untranslatable, it better be “unprintable” as well.

The age which predicts age is, undoubtedly, nigh upon us. It has gifted us with knowledge and instruments of exploration. It has eased our daily tryst with world in ways which are unfathomable and “the date-jam of twenty-nine or thirty” does seem a “medieval practice in the modern form”, but so does reciting call to prayer (Azaan) into a new-born’s ear or reciting words of praise to receive divine blessings, then are these too to be discarded? The answer is, much to your relief, plain “no”. To logical eye these may seem “an award-winning mockery worthy of laurels”, but to the aesthetic-eye these are means of salvation and repentance. The religious scholars peep through the telescope not only physically but spiritually and examine the nightscape keeping in view both the aspirations of fasting Muslims who seek to celebrate the culmination of their month long supplications yet also wish to salvage one more day of the month of repentance not knowing whether they will be around the next time it arrives after 11 months of wait. This duality needs to be resolved with firm authority and in religious matters it is better left to religious scholars. Only when the day is anointed after firmly resolving the aforementioned duality, the people can celebrate this festival with “peace”, particularly with spiritual peace.