Putting Meaning into Ramzan and Independence Day

Posted on August 12, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Environment, Society
33 Comments
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Adil Najam

Ramzan Mubarak! Aazadi Mubarak!

Every year around this time we talk about the Holy month of Ramzan, how it is celebrated in Pakistan, and how its true purpose is to understand how those in need feel. Every year around this time we talk about Pakistan’s Independence Day, how it is celebrated in Pakistan, and how it should be a time to think about what we have done, and can do, for our country. This year Pakistan Day arrives at the very beginning of Ramzan. It also arrives as the entire country is submerged not only in a massive flood calamity but in a pale of gloom, despair and despondency.

The message that this confluence brings with it is as obvious as it is important.

If ever there was the time to demonstrate just what the real meaning of Ramzan and the real significance of Independence Day is, this would be the year.

One of the verses that I have often quoted on this blog is:

jissay bhi daikhiaye gilla
‘watan say yeh nahiN milla, watan say woh nahiN milla’
koee nahiN jo yeh kahey
‘watan ko tum nay kiya diya, watan ko meiN nay kiya diy

[Everyone is complaining:
I did not get this from my country; I did not get that from my country
Nobody seems to be asking:
What did I give to my country; What did you give to your country]

This is the time to prove this wrong.

The message of Ramzan – of understanding and feeling the pain of those in need, and of opening our hearts and hearths to share with those less fortunate – comes perfectly timed and perfectly in tune with the challenge we face today. Would this not be the perfect time to do just that: to open our hearts and hearths to share with those less fortunate?

We have written before about the power on ONE. And that ‘one’ has to be be us ourselves. It is good that the rest of the world is beginning to realize the scope of this calamity and responding with generosity. But the primary responsibility of dealing with it remains ours alone. It is poignant that we had to write very similar thoughts about aazadi (independence) on last year’s Independence Day as the country struggled with dealing with the IDP crisis.  But let us remember on this Independence Day, that with the fruits of aazadi come the responsibilities of aazadi!

We all know that Ramzan is a time for religious introspection. But we also know that for many Ramzan is also a time for culinary extravagance. Let us, for example, pledge that for all of us who can afford to do so, we will on each day of this auspicious month of Ramzan, take out the resources for one displaced family’s daily food needs. If just eight percent of Pakistani households contributed that to the flood relief efforts (there are 175 million Pakistanis, of whom some 14 million have been displaced by these floods) we would at least meet the nutrition and food needs of those affected for an entire month.

Of course, we need – and need to do – much more. But here would be a real start. This is something that many people already do in the month of Ramzan. Let us do so systematically this year. Let us do a little more than we do other years. Let us do so with a purpose and a mission as we rise to the challenge that our nation faces, but as a means to put real meaning into Ramzan and into this year’s Independence Day.

P.S. Information on avenues for sending relief support to flood victims is available here. All Things Pakistan has already been making donations to the flood relief efforts (here and here) and, on behalf of our readers, will continue to divert all of our advertising revenue to this cause.

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33 responses to “Putting Meaning into Ramzan and Independence Day”

  1. Mubashir says:

    Nice article and great site ……….

  2. KASHIF says:

    The very next day of independence day and that too in Ramadan. The Incident of Sialkot took place..in front of Police and lot of people in broad day light. Everyday we are getting news that we think that this is the worst that could happen and we have hit the bottom and things can only get better from here but everytime we are disappointed. The moral of our society has hit rock bottom. Lets pray in this Ramadhan for not only our families but also for our country and better leadership

  3. Ramadan is the best gift a Muslim could have let us pray for peace in world

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