This week marks the end of a long, hot Ramadan month. For those who braved the heat and thirst and remained steadfast and followed the tenants of Islam, it should have ideally ended on a high note.

But alas! As usual, Islam in our country has been hijacked by the mullahs who do not possess the wisdom or insight to understand the larger message of Islam:

The message of unity, of belonging, of oneness with the whole Muslim Ummah.

The heart of many Pakistanis does not feel satisfaction in performing Juma tul Wida when the entire world [barring Pakistan and Occupied Kashmir] celebrates Eid ul Fitr.

When we started Ramadan with the Saudi Arabia, many hoped to celebrate Eid with them also, for once in decades.

But the Ruhet I Hilal committee, that kill –joy band of men, denied this pleasure to our nation once again.

Getting embroiled in the technicality of the moon sighting [by a group of half blind gentlemen] deprived us once again of celebrating Eid with the Muslims worldwide.

If they have to follow what was done at the time of early Islam, then they should travel on camel backs all over the country, do away with telescopes and electronic media and then offer sermons.

The simplest solution is to get rid of this useless committee which takes the fun out of Eid year after year and follow the rest of the Muslim Ummah by celebrating Eid together with them. How much better it would be to see the nimaz of Eid in Mecca and celebrate with them also!

This matter has become a joke now. If we cannot solve a relatively simple matter like the date of Eid in the country, how can we tackle bigger and more complex issues?

How very sad and demoralizing for the faithful! How sad and unfortunate for those who braved the sizzling heat to keep the fasts.

Just because we cannot set our own house in order. All because we get stuck in the rituals and forget the essence of Islam.

All because a stubborn set of maulvis call the shots and insist upon the physical sighting of the moon and get involved in a turf war over it. And we have neither the moral nor the ethical strength of character to stand up to them and challenge them.

As a result, our country in split into parts and we are estranged from the rest of the Muslim world.

Celebrating Eid when the festivities have died down worldwide and when the fun and religious fervor has ended dampens the Eid spirit beyond repair.

We have spent a lifetime in this messy state of affairs, with this confusion about Eid dates and time has come to end this matter with a firm hand whether it needs a decree, a law or a referendum.

We owe it to our new generation to pull them out of this quagmire. The confusion is only in our part of the world so obviously there is something wrong with our way off handling the matter.

The solution is obvious; it does not need rocket science to solve the matter.

We simply have to celebrate Eid with the rest of the world.


The writer is the project coordinator for a Pak German humanitarian organisation and a free-lance writer.