Syed Kaisar Shah
“We have bought only 1 kg of chicken, if it was not about the family, I would not bring that as well,” said the person, sitting next to the driver with palpable pride. The person from the back seat replied, “Yes, this is not the Eid, It is a lament, the lament of blood we shed every day, people at power are either tight-lipped or equivocate” The driver who seemed apathetic, interfered and talked about the tightwad people of the village, who prefer bus over station wagons because of less fare. This conversation was audible to me from the middle seat of the vehicle which was heading towards the main market.
After scuffling with the traffic chaos, we finally reached the market which was overcrowded with the ecstatic people. People from different areas were busy in buying clothes, gifts, biscuits, mutton and much more in different sacks, for the occasion that will be followed by smell of new clothes, the tinkle of colourful glass bangles, delicious food, the joy of hugging fellow humans, and of course, the breaking of the rigorous month-long fast, the day of Eid. Moreover, it seemed like the competition of “who will buy more?” was going on.
Even, to call it discrimination of rich and poor will not be unfair. How could one miss the scene of big exploitation of Ramadan, Beggary? If started with the small amount given to beggars, one will reach empty pocket to home. Also, I could hear the shopkeepers shouting in cadence about the beauty of their goods. I feel the warmth of the crowd disrupting the serenity of the environment. Bang! , Hush! Followed by chaos, people started shouting, what was that? Firecracker or gun shot? Obviously, Firecracker, I said with confidence.
Your maturity in Kashmir is defined by if you could distinguish between a firecracker explosion and a gun shot. Meanwhile, a lady in her early thirties started yelling, Chandd Choer(Pickpocketer). Such incidents are inevitable in crowds. The mob started running towards the culprit and he was caught. They started beating him, the irony is that he was beaten up in front of the Mosque, where from the sermons of equitable society are given. I questioned myself, “How many of us in the crowd have already given the Zakat and Sadqa-e-Fitr? Zakat is the Islamic contribution to social justice. Those who have to give charity share the benefit of their prosperity with those who have fallen short, which may result in minimizing the social evils like the robbery, I was witnessing.
Moreover, the beloved Messenger of Allah (PBUH) is reported to have said about Zakat: Zakat is a (great and strong) bridge of Islam. Also, its importance can be realized from the fact that in 82 verses of the Holy Quran, Zakat is associated with prayer (Salah). Now, thrashing the culprit arises a question, a question to which we all, as Muslims are accountable to, who should be questioned first?
I came home with a thought “We as Muslims are failed to focus on the fundamentals of Islam”. We, as Muslims, have failed to create the society of justice.
—The author, from Sopore, can be reached at: email@example.com