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Morally Decadent Society Celebrating Eid

On this occasion we need to look inside and see what we have done to ourselves when it comes to civility and morality
12:00 AM Apr 10, 2024 IST | DR. FAROOQ AHMAD PEER
morally decadent society celebrating eid
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A Hadith reveals that Hazrat Abu Bakr humbly solicited before the Prophet that,  “Oh,  Messenger, I Witness that  you are growing old. What is the reason?  The Prophet replied that he is growing old due to the revelation of Surah Hud and similar like other Surahs.”

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A profound study of Surah Hud,  reveals the fact that different nations  - of Noah,  Lot,  and Shoiab, the people of Aad and Thamud, the Pharaohs - were annihilated by Allah after they  exceeded in the sins, misdeeds and criminal activities. The Prophet was worried that his Ummah may also face the same wrath of Allah in case, it does not submit before the Will of Allah and hence his holy body indicated signs of oldness.

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The dreadful and tragic wars in the world engulfing and spreading like bushfire, and  killing innocent lives in its wake, is the talk which nowadays that dominates the dinner table  conversations, discussions and social gatherings, and iftar parties.

In the past years war and killing of humans would be denounced at once but we as humans have become so brute now that it looks a normal thing and we continue in our merry making and enjoyment. Though the world is going through a critical stage and nobody knows what will happen next, yet criminal activities, black marketing, profiteering, flouting of norms is commonplace in our Valley, particularly during the Holy month of Ramadhan.

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I discovered on my visit to the local butcher on first day who was selling the meat at Rs 700, how people are made after things. I was shocked to see people pushing their way through, in complete disregard to civilized standards and their own safety, while the smug faced butcher sat high like an overlord watching his serfs.

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I tried my best to be in line and maintain decency as a citizen in the hope that others would follow the same, but to no avail. Another shock ensued when the butcher himself decided the quantity of meat that I should take, paying no heed to my need, thereby maintaining perfect disregard to the courtesy and social etiquette.

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Similar was the case with the fruit sellers who quoted sky high prices, knowing the customers hands were tied, with fruits being indispensable during the Holy month of Ramadhan. Take the example of milk seller who adulterated milk with water for monetary benefits during the month known as a Month of Repentance.

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The bitter experiences led me to introspect how even during the holy month, people who fast dutifully here simultaneously committed moral and social wrongs that defeated the very purpose of fasting.  Profiteering, amassing ill gotten wealth - the deep cultural malaise afflicting our society, remains unchecked because we choose to condone rather castigate.

What is particularly worrisome is that even crimes of moral turpitude, earlier unheard of, no longer prick our society’s collective conscience let alone warrant severe condemnation. Rather they are settling within our social fabric, at the cost of our moral values that continue to erode.

This is the society which damn cares for this moral degradation and instead is deeply involved in the squabbling and bickering of whether the eight Rakats or Twenty Rakats of Taraweeh are to be offered, and whether during Nimaz loudspeaker is to be used or not; a sign that ours is an ill society.

Take the case of a murder by an uncle of a nephew and by a nephew of his uncle in the central and north Kashmir during the month of Ramadhan. The reaction to these episodes by religious groups, media and other sections of the society was lukewarm; perhaps marks a transition in our moral values which were the best practices of our age old society.

One of my offsprings who had returned home after a long time, was sharing Sehri just besides us in our sitting room during Ramdhan when out of nowhere he said that he had been proud of our clean moral and cultural record when it came to criminal acts such as murders, illicit relations, conspiracies against family members, black-marketing, profiteering, hoarding and immoral activities.

But the squalid episodes and his other personal experiences had forced him to think otherwise. This sentence of his put us in a flashback mode. Having seen the larger part of the previous few decades, such crimes we can recall were never a part of our society.

Our society may have had a number of problems, we may have been accused of being turncoats, collaborators, arrogant, irritating, unpredictable, rumour-mongers, even treacherous at some point of time, but never has our society had this “criminal” tendency. But what is happening around society now at present clearly enunciates our moral degradation and collective downfall as a society. We have gone from bad to worse.

As already mentioned a number of crimes have been normalised in our society as if they are a part of our routine schedule.

The element of huge profiteering, black marketing, adulterating eatable and drinkable items and hoarding in the month of Ramadhan by business community who fast for 30 days, offer every single Taraweeh and then on the auspicious occasion of Lailat ul-Qadr beg for mercy, has already received a social approval.

Here, it is painful that our business sect increase rates more than the approved and legally fixed rates during the occasions like Ramadhan and Eid. Contrary to the business sect in our land, our non- Muslims brethren outside the valley offer huge discounts during their religious months, festivals or occasions; a sense that how they respect the philosophy and value of such occasions.

We have lost our moral decency to talk, the art of conversation is missing, our arguments turn into fights and abuses and without even looking at who is standing on the other side we start shouting. Such “social degradations” unfortunately have been normalized in our society and we blame somebody else for these problems.

Blaming something of a political nature for something which is societal in nature is tantamount to comparing apples with oranges. The threat that is lurking around like a tiger in ambush waiting for his prey is “normalisation of this heinous crime now”.

It doesn’t take long before something is normalized and before it is relegated from front page news to page 5 news. When something is an exception and happens in exceptional circumstances, it gives birth to a reaction - muder cases being the example, but when something happens repeatedly over a period of time with one or two cases reported every single day, it just becomes a part of your life and you learn to live with it.

The month of Ramadhan was a month during which Muslims focussed on purifying themselves, tried to get closer to Allah, and grow in their knowledge/faith and morality. And now the month of Shawwal has set in and on the Ist day of Shawwal we  are celebrating  Eid.

Our Ummah has a distinction of being in possession of the last word of God, Holy Quran. We ought to become an example of morality. But if we persist in  committing  misdeeds, we may face the fate of those Ummahs of the past who were  wiped out as if they never prospered therein.

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