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By Sajjad Suhail-Sindhu, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO: When I was a little boy in Pakistan, I/we never saw birthdays being celebrated. We never celebrated birthdays. Only Eid’s, Shabrats, and Miraj Shareef. December 25th was Quaide Azam’s birthday, so there were celebrations in the form of local cinemas being opened and showing free movies!
Emigrating to England brought us in touch with celebrations of ALL kinds – X-Mass, Birthdays, and one particular one where we lit large Bon Fires with an effigy of Guy Fawks on top. We were surrounded by English people who invited us into their homes for all their celebrations including X-Mass – which amounted basically to picking a present at the base of a plastic tree with decorations on it of shiny stars and little bulbs.
As we got older and more Pakistanis gathered we began to meet at a Masjid for Eid Namaz etc, rather somber affairs really, and there was never a feeling of the party like celebrations the English neighbors indulged us in. Now 52 years later, we are presented with sermons of this nature teaching us what we can celebrate and what we can as Muslims. The author is someone who has never lived the Western Experience, but seeks to educate us!
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I have thought about how to reply to this man – and time and again I keep thinking of the collective experience of all the places I have lived in – and I honestly feel that there is something very wrong with his message. Nothing I have ever done or indulged in, however visceral, has ever been of a Vice nature.
We either belong to this place or we don’t. Where then do we take this conversation !?
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I know the answer – because I am replete with knowledge beyond that of this man’s, who is bounded by what he reads in his own education as per Muslim teachings designed for a Muslim people in a Muslim land. If we come here and enjoy the benefits of an economy our hosts built, benefits that nurture our families for futures these countries will provide our children, then we as Muslims must face the facts of our failures to build these economies in our own lands.
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Economies and societies our prophet guided us to build. But we did not. However, these people did!
What will our prophet say to us in joining in with celebrations with our hosts at times of their celebrations? Think about this – and go back in time, and find the answer from his exemplary life!
Remember we came to a better place. In his life – he created a better place in Medina and showed us how but we failed to learn, and we failed to create as per his designs!
Think. What will he tell us !?
I’m not interested in this man’s sermon, he is simply not knowledgeable enough for me!
Think about this. If we come to a place that was built in absence of any religion, should we dismantle that place with our religion? Because that’s what this man is asking is to do!
And he is not the first!
There have been others in history in various thoughtful forms, and designs – who sought to dismantle what others had built- to which place the newcomers came for economic benefits, then set upon modifying it for their own needs!
What happened to them?
Curated and Compiled By Humra Kidwai