Are we to follow the same path: here today,
This happens year
after year. When Ramadhaan is over and Shaytaan is released
again, how many will go back to their previous master, to
become his slave again, leaving aside all the good they did in
this month, and go back to their old ways.
Bursting with the
joy of Ramadhaan, I set to visit a pious old sage I knew to
share my joy with him.
He spotted me
before I saw him and made Salaam to me before I could greet
him. Replying to his greeting, I looked at his face, again
marvelling at the deep serenity to be seen in his warm,
He sat without
speaking: He was lost in yaa-e-elahi (remembrance of Allah),
and I was pondering on a way to express my inner exultation to
him. After just a short while, I could not contain myself any
'O Sheikh!' I burst
out. 'What a wonderful month is this not! Just see how
everyone is affected by the spirituality of this month; men,
women and children as well.'
Without any shadow
of emotion at this stage, the sage just looked my way without
showing any emotion.
Taking this as a
cue to continue, I expanded: 'Yes, the children as well. They
have such a zeal for fasting and in this month one finds even
fewer of them sitting in front of the TV, or getting involved
in useless activities!'
Instead of a
corresponding delight, the twinkling in the sage's eyes
disappeared, and a pained look entered those eyes that were
normally so clear and bright.
Somewhat startled by this
unexpected effect I tried again: 'O Sheikh! Just see how, in
this wonderful month, the women are dressing more modestly,
and even covering their heads!'
glanced at the sage's face. The pain in his eyes deepened and
spread to his face.
What did I say wrong? I tried again: 'O
Sheikh! See how the people deprive themselves of the things
they enjoy. Their behaviour is also good. There is little or
no arguing and fighting, no vulgarity or obscenity. How strong
is the feeling of brotherhood!'
The sage appeared
grief-stricken. His eyes began to moisten.
But I tried last
time: 'O Sheikh! Look how full the Masaajid are at night! See
how the men, young and old, submit themselves to their Creator
in Salaat - not only for æ#137;Aaisha, but also exerting
themselves another hour or so in Taraweeh!'
These words were
the final straw! The sage wept openly. Feeling helpless, I sat
in silence, head bowed down in contrition at having caused the
sage so much grief.
When the sage
regained his composure, I turned to him:
'O Sheikh! Please
forgive this foolish and ignorant one for causing you grief. I
implore you to please remove the veils of darkness from my
heart, so that I may also see what you have seen.'
The sage replied:
'O my son, do you not see?
'In this month Allah
Subhaanahu-wa-Ta'ala has chained up Shaytaan.'
The very people in
whom you have noticed betterment are the very ones who had
been following Shaytaan before this month.
whole year they have been following Shaytaan.
Shaytaan is locked up, they are able to do what you have seen
them do. This happens year after year.
'And when Ramadhaan
is over, and Shaytaan is released, how many will not go back
to their previous master, to become his slaves again, leaving
aside all the good they did in this month, and go back to
their old ways? That is why I weep!
HIS WORDS CUT THROUGH ME LIKE A SWORD,
PIERCING MY BODY EXPOSING MY SOUL. IN A LIGHTING FLASH I SAW
THE HYPOCRISY THAT LAY WITHIN ME. THE WORDS OF THE SAGE
APPLIED TO ME MORE THAN TO ANYBODY
Style in Jo'burg
those who may not be able to identify with the thinking of the
sage (as reported above), or perhaps find it all rather too
over the top, here's a letter from an ex-South African now
living in Canada.
His experiences on a recent visit to
Johannesburg not only made for interesting reading, but also
provides for lots of food for
present it in edited form and pray that it will make some
impact on even a few of us. Rather than point fingers, let us
heed what he has to say:
As a visitor from
the so called decadent West, I was totally and completely
unprepared for the unfolding event of New Year's Eve
(1995/1996) when my hosts had suggested that we have supper at
an establishment in 'Fordsburg Square' (named by the author)
following Eisha Salaat.
Indeed, I was
fooled for a brief moment. I felt great pride and joy of truly
belonging to the Ummah of our beloved Nabi Muhammad
(Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Everywhere you looked the
beautiful sight of men in Kurtas, women in Burka and some in
complete Hijaab greeted one as they hurriedly looked for
seating in the square, - the reason: celebrating a true
Jaahiliyya and pagan event that goes against the very grain of
Nevertheless, as we
hurried through our meal and got up to leave, an announcer
introduced a Muslim singer and his band to the delight of the
crowd, which had by now completely filled the
Wild shouts of joy
and handclapping accompanied the musicians while Kurta and
Burka-clad men and women were swaying with the tempo. All this
was new to me, because I had been away from South Africa for
29 years. I had returned for a holiday and this was my first
encounter with a segment of the Muslim community in the New
South Africa. To say it was a culture shock would be an
As we departed, we
observed young girls in their teens walking away arm in arm
with their boy friends from the crowd to a more secluded area.
This was all very new to us because never in our mildest
dreams could I or my hosts for a moment imagine that we were
actually witnessing these events. In retrospect, these New
Year celebrants may themselves be merely instruments for
safeguarding the privileges of a selfish wealthy money-making
class, or the ambitious greed or lust of individuals who have
no love for Almighty Allah and his beloved Nabi (Sallallaahu
Jaahiliyya, to whatever period it belongs,
Abdul Hamid Lachporia
Source: Jamiatul Ulama (Kwazulu-Natal)