In Ramadan, our ruling elite proceed quickly on luxurious Umrah tours to Saudi Arabia to wash of their sins. It is so easy, after a year of theft and gaining vast wealth illegally, and then going on a religious journey from money that is ‘haram’ in our religion. Islam is really a very simple religion. There are two types of duties expected from a believer by Allah, ‘Haqooq Allah and Haqooq ul Ebad’. The rights you owe to Allah and the rights that you owe to man. So keeping this in mind, our elected and paid ruling elite and bureaucracy have voluntarily accepted public offices, which makes it mandatory for them to serve the people through diligently using the power granted. It is for the people whose rights have been usurped, or who have been denied, to pardon them. All those public office holders, who intend to proceed for Umrah or Hajj, should first ask themselves some questions, such as, have they appointed qualified people on merit on posts which they had the power to appoint? Did they pay their tax? Did they ensure that all procurements and contracts were awarded transparently in accordance with rules? Have they, in their own estimate, ensured that public money has not been wasted? What steps have they taken to punish rapists, pedophiles, sex trade dealers, murderers, extortion collectors, hoarders and those involved in forcible occupation of land belonging to widows, orphans, the poor, the aged and destitute?

If they have fulfilled all such obligations, than they can seek mercy and blessings of Allah, otherwise they will have to pay for failing to fulfill what they owe to their fellow man, and on the final Day of Judgment, all these illegal Umrahs and Hajj will not save them.

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, July 15.