Beware the piety of the Ramzan variety!


COMMENT: New sin cards with unlimited… —Nasir Abbas Mirza

A month of piety is unfair and unjust and it encourages more degeneracy during the remaining 11 months. What are these people thinking when they do this? Do they think God is like the government of Pakistan? Do they think it is a scheme to trick God? Is Ramzan a soul-laundering scheme?

Attention, all ye pathetic sinners! The holy month is about to end and your 30-day hiatus of sinlessness is about to end. Come Eid day and you will all receive new sin cards for the next 11 months. Refuelled and recharged, you have now been given enough balance in your sin cards to last 11 months of unlimited vileness. Ramzan is over, so:

“Ab khul kay karo

Sari raat karo

Friends aur family kay saath karo

Puray Pakistan mein karo.”

(Do it openly,

Do it all night,

With friends and family,

All over Pakistan).

Gosh, you must have missed your shameless lives during this month.

The Taliban are easy to understand but no one can understand these educated folks who become pious during the month of Ramzan. They lead corrupt lives full of all kinds of misdeeds and for 11 months they are fine with it. But come Ramzan and the guilt pangs become unbearable.

At the sighting of the Ramzan moon, the werewolves become the sheep. Suddenly, the wolves are consumed by this strange urge to purge themselves of all sins. Stuff of Hollywood movies, is it not? From crooks to saints to crooks again, the farce continues. Well, actually, there are no saints. People are too clever to give up anything substantial. Mostly what they give up is drinking alcohol. That is an affordable sacrifice. Have you ever heard of anyone who stopped stealing electricity during Ramzan? Have you ever heard that corruption vanished for a month? Neither have I.

In the minds of these people Ramzan is like a “Whitener Bond” scheme. The kind our governments come out with from time to time to allow all the thieves, black marketeers and smugglers to “whiten” or “legitimise” their ill-gotten gains. All such schemes are unfair and unjust and they encourage more theft, more black marketing and more smuggling. These schemes make honest folk look like fools.

Likewise, a month of piety is unfair and unjust and it encourages more degeneracy during the remaining 11 months. What are these people thinking when they do this? Do they think God is like the government of Pakistan? Do they think it is a scheme to trick God? Is Ramzan a soul-laundering scheme? We might not be clear about the true spirit of Ramzan, but this it is not.

After crossing a certain limit, hypocrisy becomes ridiculous. As Mel Brooks said in ‘Spaceballs’, after ridiculous speed comes ludicrous speed, so we, dear reader, are at a level of ludicrous hypocrisy. Flood relief aid is headed where all aid heads. And this is happening during the holy month. Butt & Co are fixing matches in the holy month.

A few years ago, I had a chance of meeting the current captain of our cricket team Mr Salman Butt at a dinner in India. I asked Mr Butt if he would like to have a beer and he replied, “Tauba, tauba (God forbid!)” That is a true blue-blooded Pakistani for you. Up to his neck in corruption, deeply involved with the bookies in all kinds of sins of omission and commission, yet he refrained from drinking a beer for religious reasons. I would imagine that he also fasts regularly and never misses a prayer.

Butt’s seniors, whom they all address as “bhais” (what is wrong with Boss or Don or Capo or Mogambo?), the Inzis and Mushys of this world, were even more deeply religious guys and they too were thick with the thieves of cricket’s underworld. But you must give it to them that that they appeared to be good Muslims. They never missed the chance to offer congregational prayers in front of a packed stadium. They also never missed a chance during the Month of Atonement to become, as they say in the used car market, zero-meter again.

The Jews have Yom Kippur as the Day of Atonement, we have a full month. That is understandable because a day or a week would have been woefully short for us since the list of our sins is horrendously long. The Omniscient Almighty knew it, so He gave us a month.

Beware of the piety of the Ramzan variety. These are extremely complex and confused people and they are terrified of their actions and activities. They should all be seeing shrinks. I can assure them that no matter what they do in Ramzan, there is no maghfirat (forgiveness) for them.

The writer is a freelance columnist

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