Once again, it is that time of the year when the streets get flooded with pious, righteous men who fear their Lord and submit themselves to Him. That time of the year when the plight of the poor is understood by the rich; when everyone becomes truly equal in the eyes of men and God. That time of the year when people will understand the value of a meal. That time of the year when excessive amounts of food and money will be wasted in the name of religion.

Let’s start with the countless Sehr and Iftaar buffets that are ready to be offered to the public. A group of five people can very easily spend an amount over the minimum wage of a Pakistani man at one of these buffets. While that is something that clearly needs to be looked into, an even more pressing issue in this regard is the fact that huge amounts of food are wasted as a result of these buffets. The month of giving gets transformed into the month of gluttony as soon as the Imam calls out Azaan-e-maghrib. The simplicity that Islam is touted to promote is nowhere to be seen during the holy month of Ramazan .

Let’s move on to how a show out of people’s misery is made during Ramazan shows on television. While a commendable job is done to get needy people financial help, these shows humiliate the ones receiving the help. Why can’t the same thing be done without creating such a show out of the misery of these people? Doesn’t Islam tell that if one gives charity with his right hand, his left hand should not know of it? Where does Islam go in this situation?

The two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah come to life during the month of Ramazan . At iftar time, people fight over who gets to serve food to others. Everyone wants to please God. Everyone wants to ensure that they provide pilgrims with food for Iftar. Supply and demand isn’t matched here and huge quantities of food are wasted. A few miles away. Another African child dies of hunger; there just isn’t enough food in the world to feed its entire population.

Then comes the issue of how only Muslims are eligible to receive charity. Everyone wants to give a portion of their wealth to the deserving. The only condition is that the individual must be a Muslim. Why is discrimination on religious grounds not only openly practiced but is accepted and encouraged? How does the plight of a deserving Christian or Hindu man differ from that of a deserving Muslim?

The holy month is approaching and everyone is soon going to be on their best behavior. Yet some things are deeply embedded flaws that need to be dealt with for the piety of the month to truly be recognized.