Hypocrisy in Ramadan

Dristy Rahman’s satirical take on the disjuncture between the values and practice of Ramadan.

Guys, guess what time of the year it is? It’s the month of Ramadan! You know, the time of the year when suddenly you would see men who normally don’t wear tupis are walking around with wearing one, or you would see some women would suddenly ditch their western attire for something more ‘modest’ like salwar kameez or kurtis (with a mandatory dupatta somewhere lying around their neck or covering their head). Wait, let me just clear out one thing; this article is completely satirical and is not intended to hurt anyone’s religious point of view. You’ll know as you read along.
ramadan-hypocrate-(1)So, for starters, let’s ask ourselves ‘What really IS Ramadan?’ As this is a country that gives us the freedom of speech (laughs internally), I can come up with various definitions of what Ramadan is actually about. However, like I mentioned earlier, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiment by saying something inappropriate, hence I am quoting Wikipedia and its definition of Ramadan. It is the ‘ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by the Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting from dawn to sunset, refraining from food, water, and sinful behaviors.’
The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity. Now, how often do we really see that happening? Remember those days, back in the early 90s, when Ramadan used to be a month of peacefulness? A month when we would attend endless daowats, and see people going to the mosque together in groups to pray Taraweeh? Those days are long gone, sweethearts.
This is the 21st century Ramadan we are talking about in this article. In today’s world, we see how the so-called Rojadars use Taraweeh as a getaway card from home. What do they do? — They chill, duh! Then there are the Snapchat groupies who take pictures before praying. Why? — C’mon, people need to know how religious you are! Don’t ask stupid questions. Psft. It matters what people think about you, not what you think about yourself. If you do something, make sure other people are seeing it. Obviously.
‘Oh my God, he didn’t pray today? What a Kafir!’ thinks many! It’s funny how just few days ago they were drowning themselves in alcohol and would chime to ‘drinking 40 days before Ramadan is fine.’ Oh really, Sherlock? What religion do you follow? Please enlighten me about what’s halal and what’s haram because I seem to have bought the wrong dictionary. Oh and God forbid if you eat in front of a Rojadar during this month! They would give you endless lectures without even asking the reason behind you not fasting. The prejudice is cringe-worthy because sometimes it turns out that the person they were lecturing follows a different religion. If you are a Muslim girl and you are not fasting, hell would fall upon you or you’d get the awkward stares and giggles from people because they know why you aren’t fasting. How subtle and polite. Then there’s the squad that would constantly gossip and judge people during Ramadan, but they’ll end their conversations with a ‘thaak baad dao, roja halka hoye jabay’ line. How thoughtful. SubhanAllah, such pure intentions.
Did you ever get told not to curse or watch haram things during the month of Ramadan? I am sure you did. Don’t lie, guys. You are supposed to tell the truth, restrain from watching or engaging in…ummm…you-know-what. Don’t make me say Astagfirullah things now. I am a pious woman with sacred intentions in my heart. Now, tell me this, why is it that you would try to restrain from engaging in such acts only during this particular month and not all year round? If you had ever considered and followed the righteous path of Islam, then there probably won’t be so many rapes happening in the world. Islam (along with other religions) teaches us the good things, but what do we do? We choose the other path. It’s hard for us to accept that we are expected to follow rules and ideologies. We are forever attracted to the forbidden fruit and there’s no way out of it unless we control ourselves.
I swear if I had a penny for every time I was asked to wear ‘decent’ clothes during Ramadan, I would be filthy rich. My question is, why? What do you do in your mind so bad that it breaks your fast? If it does, then probably you shouldn’t be imagining such things in the first place. Ever thought of that? Ramadan is a month that helps you control the monster within yourself and makes you a better person. It’s like a one month training program to help you become a better human being, but what do we do instead? We forget everything the moment we are done celebrating Eid. We go back to being the monsters that we truly are.
When I was a kid, I was taught that Ramadan is the month of restraint. We cut down on foods and try to feel how our less fortunate Muslim brothers and sisters live with such hardships. What do we see the 21st century youth doing these days? They go out every other day to have Iftar and let’s not forget the latest trend of going out for Sehri. They hunt down every deal all the restaurants have to offer and bloat on social media. Whatever happened to shongjom, eh? Did you ever offer money or food to someone who is poor and can’t even afford one meal a day? Of course not. You have better things to do, bigger problems to solve, for example choosing a place to go to for Iftar with your friends. I totally feel you, man!
Look, I am not trying to mock anyone’s religious beliefs, nor am I asking anyone to change their lifestyle. All I am asking for is to admit that as Muslims, we are not living up to the values and morals of a religion that gives us the solution for almost everything. We can spend good time with our friends and family, but we shouldn’t forget the purpose of this beautiful month. I just wanted to acknowledge the hypocrisy of some of the Rojadars, who would sing songs of Islam but wouldn’t live up to it.
It’s deen over duniya(world), people. Don’t be a hypocrite, and live like a true Muslim. As for me, I am the biggest hypocrite here, considering I have my Sehri planned for tomorrow already. Then again, I am trying to be a better person. We can’t change in one day, hence we have 30 days to guide us into being a better human being. Do good, be good, and if this article made you think at least once about being a better person, then ‘Say MashaAllah, please!’

 

 

Dristy Rahman is a blunt rationalist who likes to drown herself in positivity and a progressive outlook on life.

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