Uploaded on 24 April 2020
Our capability to live through Ramadan
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam
Much of my Ramadan columns have, over the years, appeared with this heart-to-heart logo. This logo marked our concern for the right training of our faith community's youth.
This time round we, particularly Indian Muslims, need to talk about our day to day sorrows, rather than the text based analysis of our holy canon.
Ramadan particularly wants us to lighten each other’s burdens, share our resources and empathise with the indigent who are running short of basics like food, water and shelter.
If any Muslim needs our help, it is those who survived the anti-Muslim pogrom preceding Delhi state elections. I am writing pogrom advisedly and all of us know what it means. From east to west, it has been described as pogrom, including our own celebrated expert on mass violence, Prof. Asutosh Varshney, who teaches in a US university. All his disciples, equals and researchers agree it was a pogrom. There is no hope for justice in a pogrom.
So we have got a pre-Ramadan gift from the state. This is so severe that jurist Prof. Faizan Mustafa wrote in a recent article to the effect: “Muslims have no illusions about secularism at a time when all institutions have been sabotaged to favour one religion. Better take it away. We are in no particular need for it.”
Being the jurist and constitutional expert he has elaborated what a theocracy or its many variants offer in secularism’s behalf.
As every practicing Muslim remembers each and every day of Islam’s history as we know our fingers close to each other. Each moment of this religion on earth came in full glare of history. We are not exchanging the love of our Prophet (PBUH) for anything. We also are sure about the ultimate truth: Innaddeen Indillah Islama.
In our 1400 years, some most difficult Ramadans have come right from the Prophet’s (PBUH). He taught us sabr (Patience) and waiting for Allah’s help, which our faith’s history says, comes sooner or later.
In India today we are fighting for our lives and livelihoods, combating COVID-19 not as a united, single nation, but as a divided mass of people, with a national media that every day concocts a couple of anti-Muslim stories, false and criminally-oriented. Read the western media and you will know that not even one per cent of coronavirus spread in India is because of 15 per cent Muslims, but 85 per cent others who are hiding behind this deadly concoction of lies.
So, what do we do now. Have sabr, pray to Allah. Every dark night is followed by a bright morning. It is interesting to remember that Urdu song: Raat Bharka hai mehmaan andhera, Kiske roke ruka hai savera (The darkness is here only for the night; whoever had the force to stop the morning?)
Finally, remember Allah’s Prophet (PBUH) who said, “My Ummah (Muslims) are a single body. Pain anywhere affects the whole of it.” We are told Ramadan is a month of sabr and belonging to each other. And also to devote ourselves fully to Allah.