Follow Religion – In US they do it, why can’t we do it in Kashmir

Islam is to be practiced round the clock. It governs the whole life of a Muslim. However, its classification is not confined to ‘obligatory’ (Fard) and ‘forbidden’ (Haraam) alone, but goes further to ‘Permissible’ (Mubah), Recommended (Mustahab) and ‘discouraged’ (Makrooh). Anyone, who claims to be a Muslim, has to keep Islam as the yard-stick in all his activities, by filtering his intended deed through aforementioned 5-staged Islamic funnel, before he actually executes it. On the contrary, I see Kashmiri Muslims antithetical to this formula. They consider everything to be good if it is done by the people around them, while things are bad if people opine so. They seem to be following democratic principles even in their Islamic obligations, whilst they claim to be the followers of Qur’an, which is sheer hypocrisy.
I have lived my school life in the same ambience of jahili’ya here. Thereafter, I went to the United States for my higher education and to everyone’s surprise, began to learn and live Islam there. Most of the American Muslims live Islam practically, which convinced me to perceive it as something pragmatic. I was pleased to see veiled muslim girl’s driving BMW’s. They are well-educated, holding key positions, but refrain to shake hands with strange men. Most of the muslims avoid taking interest. I would see my team mates on the basket-ball court talking about their favorite scholars and their favorite sahaba’s (RA). Most of the teenagers claimed to be fans of Khalib bin waleed and Abu Dujana (RA), while others would narrate stories of Umar and Ali (RA). How many of our children even know their roles in Islam? All these years, I learnt Islam while following it and could conclude that Islam is not the doctrine of 7th century but is applicable till the day of resurrection, because if it could be so easy to follow in a country like the US, what is wrong with our people in third world countries?
Now when I come to Kashmir, the Muslim majority valley, I get disgruntled to see Islam being considered as something old fashioned and only the old people to be its custodians. Islam is not ‘cool’ in young Kashmir. Bollywood and Hollywood govern their lifestyle and they are proud to be the slaves of ‘morally corrupt west’. Compared to my other visits, there is an overwhelming increase in the girls wearing jeans with short coats and sweaters. It is considered to be shame if you are not involved in any haraam relationship (called an ‘affair’ vernacularly). Few girls who do hijaab are being looked down upon by other females, as if they are diseased, while otherwise is the reality.
We in Kashmir must practice religion to pull ourselves out of the moral bankruptcy we are in.

author-pic Mehboob Makhdoomi
The author is a US Kashmiri, with a research degree from England and is currently in Kashmir.
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