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Sunday, December 25, 2011

25th December's Importance!

When we were growing up in Pakistan, we learned from home about respecting all different religions and hence, I witnessed cooking special food and praying "special prayers (nawafil)" on this day at home. I am utterly thankful to my parents that they provided us an atmosphere where we learned to love and respect people without ever thinking what ideological or religious affiliations they have had or what social strata they belonged to and it stayed with us until today...

Those days are gone and its  not just being nostalgic about 'my times' as a kid but really the differences are unfortunately alarming. I was shocked yesterday when a 5 or 6 year old girl asked me what my sect is??
I told her that I am a muslim only without a sect which puzzled her and she stared at me like a monkey rapidly blinking her eyes! I found out that she is the daughter of a moazzan of our neighborhood mosque .This girl must have heard these discussions at home and so my concern is shall we NOT cleanse our clergy and  'educate the moazzans and the khateebs first' and not to indulge in sectarianism??? I was given a reply that the girl was: "just a kid and I must ignore" and my reply was: reaaaaaaaally, if so, Pakistan ka Allah He Hafiz!!!!!

Today, I wish people a very Merry Christmas (which is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ (Esa (peace be on him) also Isiah in Islam) whom many have no clue that people of the Islamic faith also considers as one of the most important prophets.

25th December is also the birth anniversary of the founder of Pakistan: Quaid e Azam.

Today is also the birthday of my mom!

One more thing that happened today is Imran Khan's rally and I only wanted one thing - a rally without chairs but again, there were chairs (60,000 for families which means that we will never learn from our mistakes) and I will never understand why in Pakistan there is a culture of chairs in political rallies because I have seen that in the US, France, Japan and South Korea - no political rally has chairs!!!! Why do we????

I am very unhappy with the performance of Salman Ahmad of Junoon at Imran Khan's rally- it was very lame as he lip-synced on Ali Azmat's song NOT even lip-synced his own song - shamless guy who is here to fool Pakistan - like many others & got away with it. Crowds should have booed him but we are such a naive nation which never protested on what should be strongly protested upon. We in Pakistan are also living in a culture of live performances and Salman Ahmad proudly calls himself an American Pakistani - at least he should have learned the ethics of musical live performances from his country of residence! He left a bad taste in my mouth!

On a final note for the day: I hope that in Pakistan we learn to respect humanity and tolerance which is also the main message of Islam. Humanity and tolerance is the rule of sanity which of course does NOT  exist in Pakistan. We have lost all moral and ethical values at a rapid pace in a little over a decade and have become extremely violent, disrespectful, corrupt, dishonest nation of the world. I feel sorry about Jinnah's Pakistan but hopelessness is a sin and so I expect a better Pakistan some day!

Here is a Reply to ALIVE 's COMMENT' below !
(my comments section of this post has an error, could NOT fix it, sorry about it)!

@ Alive: Thank you for your very comprehensive reply, I really appreciate that!

You wrote that Muslims have lived without any major violent clashes amongst themselves however, in the pre-modern and modern history of the Muslim countries, it otherwise. Millions of Muslims have been slaughtered within the Muslim countries for the mere fact of having had different sects or ideologies by the ruling elites. If we say that, conditions were NOT violent then we are belittling the sacrifice of all those who lost their lives.
As far as Pakistan’s sectarian violence is concerned, I agree with you for the most part.
You said that “… A common man will seldom talk about sects unless you urge him to …”  in today’s Pakistan, a common man is more than concerned about sects than ever before BUT the counter measures you mentioned are an efficient method to deal with it, no doubt!
Last but not the least, I am with you and pray that Pakistan, despite all odds, will become a progressive and vibrant country. It has a potential to stand with nations such as Singapore, Malaysia or South Korea but to get there, sacrifices have to be made, probably by indulging in “Jihad bin Nafs” ( Jihad against your self). After all, WE ( the people) have to pull ourself  out insead of watching ourself going down passively.

Dated: 13th Jan. 2012


  1. nice one....loved it. I think sectarianism is a curse that can only be removed through proper education and more exposure of fraud molvies.

  2. @einsjam: Thank you very much!
    I can't agree with you more.

  3. Nice try to write a blog first thing was sectarianism, I don't think this is a big problem with us means with our nation.All sects are agreed upon on the basic fundamentals of Islam except SUNI AND SHIA sect these two sects have problems, now what measure took by us to solve these problems I said nothing.What would be our duties regarding this problem may be by increasing understanding between us and them.Second you said many people I think you don't know the meaning of these words just go and ask some one who has knowledge of Islam and your these words.One question why you choose wrong way to build healthy relationship between them and us why don't we choose the right way. Last para(s) are reality people start gathering in PTI are not looking loyal to PAKISTAN.

  4. Here the explanation I mean to say that Suni and Shia sect believes on different fundamentals........................All sects are agreed upon on the basic fundamentals of Islam except SUNI AND SHIA sect these two sects have problems,

  5. @Haseeb,
    Thanks for your comment and sharing your view.
    By the way, I could NOT understand what do you mean by: "us and them" - who is who?

  6. I think majority Pakistanis are not bothered by each other’s sects. The Shia Sunni problem along with sectarianism has more dimensions to it too. Like Geo-Political, Religious and external interference. But i would say that the responsibility lies solely on Govt and Clergy.
    Now 25th Dec:: We prayed for our Quaid's soul, shared the joys with our Christian colleagues, Now belated Happy birthday to your Mom too.
    Hope for Pakistan:: DO u wonder, why we have gone so bad in the last decade??
    Can one decade destroy a country's 40 years old culture?? No doubt we have deteriorated over time but believe me things r not that bad as they seem. There r rights n wrongs in every society so have we. Pakistan has come a long way, we just need the right Leaders and my hopes are with Captain Sahib.

  7. @ ALive:
    Thanks for your comment and sharing ur views/greetings, really appreciate that.

    I agree with you on some points in your comment however, what I wrote reflects my personal experiences particularly the ones that I had to go through over and over again!!
    I personally know of a few mosques - here in Islamabad and even religious scholars (very famous ones)who call names to people of sects different than them, let alone other religions. I fully agree with you that the responsibilty lies with the government and the clergy at large but how will we explain our individual reponsibility?

    I have been asked about my sect "very" frequently & I wonder how/why my belief matters to anyone! People are surely "bothered by sects" unlike what u said.

    You asked if one decade can destroy a country's 40 years old culture?
    My answer is: culture of this land is thousands of years old and dates back to Indus Valley Civilization (this area which we call Pakistan) hence, I disagree with you that it's 40 something years old. Having said that, I believe that moral and ethical values have lost their place in Pakistan's society at a fast pace in recent years and yes, you are right Pakistan is NOT the only country which is suffering from this ailment. There is no doubt that we still have "extremely dedicated, motivated, harworking and upright people" in Pakistan and they are the sole reason Pakistan is still afloat!
    Sadly though, not a single day passed by that I have NOT been cheated, lied about on daily basis here. NOT A SINGLE DAY!

    This is indeed alarming for me. Moral/Ethical degradation is huge and is found at all levels of social fabric. It is suffocating and I wonder how people in Pakistan are putting up with this - what else will open their eyes and ears and make them screa out loud to STOP INSANITY?

    It is important as a responsible citizen to point out problems and try to find out solutions instead of looking for excuses.
    Right and wrong has a history as old as the world itself but then there are those who are righteous, who choose the difficult and rather harder way to reach their goal instead of rather easier and shorther way as mentioned in Quran. Haven't we lost faith, yet???

    Right path, right choice and righteousness is NO EASY TASK but pays off in the long term.
    Pakistan's tragedy is that, majority of the people have accepted the wrong over the right and have also come up with "great excuses", that will NOT do any good anyhow! Why don't we look up at countries who have change the fate of their nations in the same 10 or 15 years and the list is long but I will mention some from Asia that include: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and many more.

    We have a habbit of hush, hush and silencing others toowhich equates to being an accomplice to a wrongdoing!

    I fully agree with you that leadership matters the most and I'm positive that a new change will be a positive one but at the same time, I'm worried if our people will people digest it. Will they forego their bad habbits and will they sacrifice for the welfare of the other?

    Old habbits die hard, isn't it???? Hope we prove this proverb wrong!

  8. @Sara: I appreciate your exchange of views. Disagreement brings forth fresh thoughts, so I will add up some more.
    SECTARIANISM is not a new phenomenon and dates back more than a thousand years. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself predicted 73 sects in Islam, which started emerging soon after his demise. But history has witnessed the Islamic sects living in relatively more harmony than Christians. In almost all the Islamic countries, different sects live together without any major violent clash. In Pakistan, sectarian violence got wind after the start of Afghan war. As Pakistan was the frontline state and in the process we also got our fingers burnt. Serving the Govt’s Afghan War policies, rigid hardliner Molanas indoctrinated the illiterate majority of Pakistanis with a distorted, self-proclaimed Islam which gave birth to Armed Radicalised religious factions based on sects and along came the sectarian violence. So I grant it more of a Geo-Political status than the religious one. The main reasons are our religious unawareness, self-proclaimed religious scholars, agitating political motives, weak educational infra-structure and poor governmental approach to problem solving.
    A common man will seldom talk about sects unless you urge him to and then he will divulge whatever his village or colony’s Mulla has taught him. Yes, individually we can discourage it by educating ourselves, families and loved ones against sect differences and accept the fact that anyone believing in Allah as the only ONE, Muhammad (PBUH) his last Prophet and Quran as the last Holy book is a Muslim and nothing more or less.
    You rightly said that culture of any area always dates back to their fore fathers and likewise foundations of Pakistani culture go back thousands of years. Now putting it right, I was talking more of our national character which formulated after Pakistan’s inception. No doubt, our moral values have deteriorated over time, corruption virus has damaged our values and each one of us is responsible for it. An average Pakistani is willing to take a stand but is certain that his effort will go futile against opposition from the hierarchy. Although, these flaws have always been there but only now can we see them because of a marginal press and media freedom. A corrupt system forces us to choose wrong over right and ultimately make us accomplice to social injustice. However, system is not to be solely blamed as it has the potential for successful Nation building but most of the times it has been run by incompetent and dishonest people with corruption trickling down from the top. In such a case an individual standing for a righteous cause will be swimming against the current. Pakistan has the potential, we just need to bring forth a competent and honest leadership, balanced tolerant clergy, Justice for all and concrete educational reforms to achieve national greatness.
    Pakistan can grow like South Korea and Malaysia rather in a lesser time frame than theirs. But to achieve those standards our Nation will have to sacrifice the sedentary and complacent life that we are living. I am sure that Pakistanis will do it because these are the same people who follow every strict rule and regulation when they are abroad only because of the inner satisfaction that the law is same for everyone there. When things are EVEN FOR ALL, this Nation of 180 million will digest any change and prove “Old Habits Die Hard” wrong.

  9. @ Sara : You are welcome.
    Actually the topic is of concern for every Muslim in different contexts,of course.Although i don't believe in sects thing but have also faced similar situations like you. You are right about the sectarian friction among Muslims through History, although its ignition can be attributed to other causes as well. I deeply respect the sacrifices of great people like Hazrat Imam Hassan(A.S), Hazrat Imam Hussain(A.S) and their families and also of all other just people who perished being righteous. But i still think that in Pakistan a fraction of our society is too keen about sects, rest majority is busy surviving. This opinion of mine might be the reason of my surroundings where friends from almost all sects and regions of Pakistan are faring well.
    I appreciate your agreement with the counter measures, but i often think that if my humble brain can chalk out some correction measures why cant The leaders do so. Again more dimensions to the subject. Anyways, Me, You, We and all of Us can row this sinking boat ashore with the power of JIHAD-E-BINNAFS. Its time to gather ourselves and make it our final stand before its too late....