Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lailatul Qadar or Lailatul Bazaar?

I finished my exams this week and so i had the time to do a litle bit of catching up with the media hype. In the midst of the fasting month i wonder, whats all this month is about? The small boy in me who is still discovering Islam and being naive, turns to media to seek answers. Advertisements and promotions flashed on the goggle box, catchy tunes and jingles create a melody. Switched on the radio and again, promotions of fiesta and festivals for the whole month is widely publicized. A response from an on street interview stuck onto my mind," This nightly event have allowed me to strenghten the inter-relation bonds between me and my family." And i thought i got the answers.

I have heard that before. The month of ramadhan is to strenghten your relationships with your fellow counterparts. And looking at the majority of the events that are publicized, the month of ramadhan is the month of fiesta and party- every weekend, every night with concerts and music, food galores and whatnot. But is that all Ramadhan is worth of? Is that the main reason why muslims are commanded to fast in the first place?

And then it hit me,"O believers, fasting have been made obligatory upon you as it was made obligatory upon those who came before you so that you all may attain piety."(2:183). These were the signs that, probably ramadan is more than month of just mere entertainment. The objective is made clear, "so that you all may attain piety." I turned to hadis for an insight, and Prophet (s.a.w) described fasting as a shield for the votary to vanquish worldly desires.(Al Haleemiy). Worldly desires. That phrase sinked deep into my mind. Surfeiting entertainment, does that count to be worldly desires? I looked back at the previous months, there were no such one whole month of full-swing carnival. And during ramadan there is. Why is it the month when the main objective is to suppress our worldly desires is then full of events fulfilling the opposite?

Isn't it paradoxical? I wonder why or rather how two things are happening simultaneously. At one place, there are concerts going on, with glittering lights and glam, loud music, dances and food, illuminating the enlightened nights of ramadhan. A few kilometres away, i see people standing in straight lines they called 'saf'. Voices that speaketh nothing but the revelations revealed through Gabriel a few thousand years ago. And soon after they humbled by placing their forehead on the ground with every of their movement, the ruku' and sujud etc accompanied with a five syallable word with one meaning: God is Great. I stood confused and perplexed, which one should i go? So i try checked. I'm a muslim, the people praying are muslims. But then, they in the concerts are also muslims. So which one?

So i reckon, probably, entertainment is fine. As long as we follow Yin and Yang, the law of balance. We are humans and we need them. But when its amount exceeds what we always have(in other months), something must be wrong. Something is indeed out of place. Especially when it is the time for us to cut down on them.

Its either people is wrong or i am wrong. For satan is not at fault. Maybe i'm just too extreme. But then again i'm just a little boy in search of mere truth in the midst of the axiom.

"Show us to the right path: the path whom you give privileges and not of those whom you wrathed and had gone astray."(1:6 &7)

Respect till infinity


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