By Er Shamim Ahmad
Muslims are a sensible community. They know what is happening around. They define their course of action as per the situation around them, simply for the reason that they do not hurt themselves or others by their actions. This has happened ever since Islam began. The same is true about any sensitive society any where in the world. Let’s look at the present scenario of the social trauma which the virus has unleashed globally.
We see hunger and fear spreading all around. The lockdown has caused a devastating effect on all and sundry. Every soul has been affected, and naturally so, because lockdown is the only measure which could be available at hand in the absence of any possible cure.
The aftermath of the lockdown has seen closure of factories and other work places rendering hundreds of thousands of people jobless. Not only that, even employers have lost their livelihood. So much so that they are even finding it difficult to survive in their business. They cannot pay their rent of the office and factory spaces, electricity bills, monthly instalment of loans, leave alone the wages of their employees. In the wake all this came widespread hunger, which forced millions to come out of their shanty homes and march on for their homes, on foot, located as far as several thousands of kilometers. Many could not bear the pang and died on the way. Some met accidents and died. Several of them mowed down on railway tracks.
Helplessness, hunger, despicable poverty spreading all around can never be solved by the govt alone. Every person who is even a degree better off than the sufferers must come forward with a helping hand. This is the call of the time. This is how we can save the society. This is not the time to play blame games. Rather, every individual should contribute his bit to protect the society from collapse.
It is with this view that we urge every sensible and sane person to spend every penny with utmost care. Save, save and save to save yourself and the people around you. The money that you save may give life to your relatives, and your next door neighbors. Mind you, your Eid is also for the pleasure of Allah, as was your fasting. What is going to please your Lord more, your new clothes, your new shoes, your lavish spending on Eid gifts, or your packet of food to your neighbor?
Think for a moment! What are you going to celebrate? Your not praying in the mosque for more than a month? Not offering even Juma prayer in the masjid? No Taraveeh in masjid. Not listening to the recitation of the Quran in Taraveeh in the holy month of Ramadan? What do you wish to celebrate? Is there anything for you to celebrate this year? Not even the Eid itself is going to be as it should be. We are going to pray Eid at our homes, if at all. For most of us it will be just four rikats of salat al zuha. At home. Do you still wish to celebrate this Eid?
While whole society is suffering today we have more reasons than that to avoid any kind of celebrations. Start counting from the incidents which took place in Aligarh and Jamia. Do they offer you no any reason to avoid any celebrations? What would the parents of those children feel when on this Eid they miss their loved ones and you celebrate the festival? What did they lay their lives for? Was it for their own selves or for the community and the whole nation? Thousands of our women from across the length and breadth of the country took to the streets, braved the cold weather, bore police atrocities, suffered humiliation of the immoral press. What face would you show to these women who stood like formidable walls in front of you to protect you from the bullets of the cruel police? Do you wish to celebrate this black moment of the history?
Would you celebrate for the hundreds of lives lost, madrasas, mosques and shops burnt, in Delhi pogrom which happened in February? Thousands lost their livelihood for ever. Do you wish to celebrate that? Do you celebrate your death? Do you need new clothes, new shoes, new furniture for house, gifts to share? If you so wish, you are callous, uncouth, thick skinned. You don’t have an iota of humanity left in you. You must go an live in a kennel with those who live there. Yes, you deserve that.
The Eid or any event of any significance should be with utmost simplicity without any shopping at all.
Alhamdulillah, we have been quiet steadfast in observance of the lockdown. We avoided so many things. We avoided visiting malls, eating out, going out, loitering around, visiting relatives and friends. We saved so much on spending. We lived simple and we ate simple. Now we know how many things we can do without. Simple living is an art which our forefathers knew. We didn’t learnt that or we unlearned that, perhaps. Now circumstances have taught us that again. We had better catch it and keep it with us, because times ahead are more difficult. Try to read between the lines of the messages being put across through the treacherous media that ‘corona is going to live with us.’ In other words, the situation what is today is going to continue. Not just for a month or two, may be for years. Simple living and saving is the mantra going to help you steer through these difficult times. Not heeding to that would be fatal. This mantra should be discussed with family members and friends and should be coaxed to follow. You cannot do it alone in the family. One swallow can’t make a summer.
Not only Eid, make all events simple. Avoid all unnecessary un-Islamic events like, birthday, marriage day, mother’s day, etc. Marriages should be made as simple as they used to be in sahaba’s time.
In short, we should celebrate our Eid, hold marriage ceremonies without any spending.
Our shopping spree gives our enemies that extra money which they use to conspire against us. They refuse to buy fruits from Muslim vendors while we make purchases for lacs of rupees from them just for a show off. Can’t we avoid that? Muslims are beaten in their homes for spreading the virus and are being cunningly welcomed to their shops to do Eid extravaganza! How stupid of us! Muslims markets are put in red zones so we go shopping in other area. Clear their stock. Give them our money. On return get beaten because we carried corona to their shops. How stupid of us! So, no shopping this Eid.
The writer is a Mumbai based social activist