Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Who leads us? God or Man?


...Purda nahi jub ko'i Khuda say
...Bundo sey purda kurna kya

...When there are no veils between me and God
...Then why must I veil between my fellow man

This piece of poetry I heard in a song from the Bollywood film Mughal-e-Azam recently struck a chord with me for several reasons. It is Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting when the Muslim faithful fast from dawn until dusk. I am finding it tiring at times but also spiritually refreshing but I am also left confused at how Ramadhan has become a time when many put on their 'holy hats' and become ever so 'Islamic' in this month, going to the Mosque to pray extra prayers, switching from the local Asian Bollywood Music radio station to the more conservative Radio Ramadhan to listen to the same voices year after year talking about the same issues, women and the veil, Islamophobia etc etc etc. One of my close friends seemed rather upset last night when he explained that one of our mutual friends insists that he join him for extra prayers in the Mosque every night and if he says no then he is hurled abuse about how 'bad' he is being during this holy month. I was not sure if I was to laugh or cry at this! It makes me wonder how we have gotten to the stage where our faith and spirituality is being led by our fellow man and not by a deep love and attachment with God. Religion and spirituality led by man is so restrictive and commanding, religion and spirituality through the love of God is so liberating and progressive!

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