We have been blessed with the month of Ramazan again. This is the time of the year to re-learn lessons, to stop and think, and to act for a better life and a better future! Ramazan is not about refraining to eat and drink from dawn to dusk, neither is it only about preparing and shopping for Eid, something we all spend a major part of the month in doing. The message of this month goes much deeper! If we think a bit profoundly, we will find that this is a month to change ourselves for the better, to improve in all aspects of life.
We all know Pakistan was created on August 14, 1947, but maybe most of us do not know that this day coincided with the 27th of Ramazan 1368 Hijri. If we truly realise the real lessons of this month, and apply it to our behaviour and attitude as citizens of Pakistan, we can make a drastic improvement in the future of our homeland. All of us have to play a role and change ourselves to contribute towards this goal.
Discipline, obedience, punctuality, compassion for those less blessed than us, sharing and caring and a sense of accountability are all feelings that we experience during Ramazan and which can go a long way in improving our lives as well as the situation in Pakistan.
My dear readers, you may be too young to realise the intensity of the dire state of affairs we as a nation are stuck in, but you are enlightened enough to know that all is not well in Pakistan. The newspaper and the electronic media give us disturbing news every day.
Your parents fear for your security when you go out. Illiteracy, crime, corruption and greed are gnawing at the roots of our beloved homeland. If we, as a nation, resolve to apply the true spirit of Ramazan to our conduct and outlook as a nation, a positive change in the situation is bound to come.
Ramazan teaches us the lesson of obedience. We know that we have to go without food and drink during a fast, but we can easily sneak a snack or a glass of water when no one is watching us. But none of us would even think of doing so because we all firmly believe that a Divine Eye is watching us! Why is it so that we take pleasure in breaking rules and disobeying laws? Sneaking a flower or two and walking on the grass where it is clearly written “Do not walk on the grass or pluck flowers” give us a sense of adventure. Breaking traffic signals and over speeding on roads are not even considered a crime by most people. Pushing and shoving each other instead of making a queue at public places are all national habits with us. This frame of mind gives rise to a disregard for law at all levels. If we learn to obey and respect the law at a young age, a far reaching change will be seen very soon.
Ramazan is the month of punctuality. We start and break fasts according to fixed timings and not according to our mood or whim. But as a nation, we totally lack a sense of punctuality.
Students submit their work late, government officers generally do not care if they do not reach their offices in time; we seldom follow the timings when we attend a wedding or other functions. And often I have found patients waiting and suffering in pain because doctors do not turn up at the exact time they have given to their patients.
Time is a commodity which we love to waste, although if we study the cases of developed nations we shall find that punctuality and valuing time is one of their foremost qualities. So, this Ramazan let us resolve that we shall value time and try to do everything according to a set routine.
When we give out Zakat in Ramazan, we come in contact with people less privileged than us. This creates in us a sense of compassion as well as a will to share our blessings with the needy people around us. Feeling the pangs of hunger as well as going thirsty makes us realise what poor people go through the year around. If we nurture these feelings and keep them alive around the year, a large number of people around us will benefit.
Giving away clothes, toys, books and other personal possessions which you can comfortably do without, may bring joy and content to those who cannot afford to buy these things.
Frustrations and deprivations usually give rise to crime. The crime graph in our country can come down sharply if the rich change their attitude of amassing wealth by using unfair means and depriving others of their share, but these qualities have to be learnt from a young age.
In the end, I will say that Ramazan gives us a general sense of piety, an urge to do good deeds and shun bad ones. Lying, cheating, selfishness, greed and backbiting are all qualities which are causing the deterioration in the conditions our country is facing. While fasting we have a natural urge to keep away from these ills. Why not resolve firmly to make this a national habit? Even when Ramazan is over and we are not fasting. Truthfulness, honesty, patriotism and discipline can go a long way to guide Pakistan towards the road to development.
So, enjoy the delicacies Mummy cooks for Iftar and Sehar, but do not fail to lend her a helping hand wherever you can. Shop for your Eid preparations but do not forget those who are less privileged than you. But foremost of all, this Ramazan let’s resolve to make Pakistan a better place to live in. When we all join hands and make a firm resolution, things will improve Insha Allah. Because, as an optimist, I firmly believe that there is light even at the end of the darkest tunnel! A change (for the better) in our values and preferences is the need of the hour.