In Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world show unity and steadfastness under the banner of Islam irrespective of their geography and ethnicity. It’s the gift of this holy month in which we put behind all the resentments, ill wills from the past and embrace the feelings of brotherhood, alliance, love, compassion and sympathy. The holy Quran states in the Chapter 2, verse no 185:
The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful. In a Hadith, Allah’s Messenger is quoted saying, “When Ramadan arrives, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of hell are locked up and Shaytan (devil) are put in chains.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
Ramadan is observed in Kashmir with zeal and zest, but this particular holy month left a deep profound impact on the minds of people when the Zionists unleashed a systematic genocide by bombing the families, schools and hospitals in Gaza.
This not only fuelled anger against the state sponsored barbarism and oppression but forced people to submit their will and souls before Allah. The shopping marts, educational institutes and other public places witnessed huge gatherings of nimaz’s which provided a sigh of relief and hope that a little rain, and harvests shall wave at last, oh Saki!
But will the serene environment and utmost faith manifested by the people remains only for just a month? As we know that this holy month of Ramadan is a training period for all Muslims, in fact for the entire humanity, to live their rest of physical, moral and spiritual life according to the cannons of Islam. It should be remembered that fasting in the month of Ramadan is not the only aspect of Islam. There are other four pillars that make one a disciplined Muslim. All the five pillars should be taken together and it is only through this, one can qualify to the second round and become a complete Muslim. Therefore, the significance of ‘putting Shaytans in chains’ is not just for one month, we should exhibit this spirit for the whole year. Unfortunately the way post Ramadan Eid celebrations kicked off, especially at the tourist destinations where people irrespective of gender were dancing to the tunes of songs and indulging in obscenity and moral degradation as if the Satan was released from the prison after a long time. A shocking incident prior to the Eid, was reported in the south Kashmir village where a few people were in the I’tikaf; (a period of retreat) in a local Masjid, draw swords on each other over a trivial issue highlighting the intolerance and cult our so-called religious groups have cultivated over the years. Is this the way to think of the world and its gifts which you are longing for? The way young ones were driving their cars and bikes with speed on the roads puffing smoke, playing loud music and dancing, would shame even non-believers! However, given the current situation in the Middle East especially in Gaza the Eid ul fiter was celebrated with austerity which needs to be applauded. We offered Eid prayers by praying that all the pains, suffering and wars that the innocent people of the Islamic world had to endure may end soon.
Ramadan gave us an endless blessings and goodness and showed us righteous path to follow. The only thing we need to do is follow it in letter and spirit and bring love and compassion to Kashmir. Allah commanded us to set aside all their differences and, love and help each other.
We pray that this Ramadan and its teachings change our political fortunes and foil the plot of Satan by extinguishing the fires of hostility and strife and we become more loving, compassionate, understanding and more reasonable towards each other.