We’ve all read about the downfall of nations that have defied Allah (Subhanah wa Taala) and His teachings. When people stray away from faith and adopt a lifestyle of sin and ridicule their religion, they but invite upon themselves, an abomination from the Almighty. Allah (Subhanah wa Taala) never changes the condition of a nation, unless it corrects itself. Pitiful as it is, we’re not even trying to rectify our wrong-doings and are penetrating ourselves into a cavity of self-destruction.
Why am I writing this? It’s because I recently came across the lowest of our social customs. Customs which we’ve adopted as a sign of superiority, wealth and power! Customs which disgustingly have become a necessity and requirement for people to please their equals! Customs which simply are unacceptable, yet practiced in our ‘Muslim’ society.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a wedding invitation from one of my very close and beloved friends. I won’t name him because knowingly or unknowingly, I don’t want to cause his image any damage. I adore him and his was the wedding I would never miss. It also felt exciting to finally meet old mates from college after 6-7 years. The day of his wedding came and I, along with one of my batch-mates, who’s regretfully a relative as well, left for Hala where the wedding was supposed to take place. On our way, we continued to meet friends, and finally reached the venue an hour and a half later than the decided time.
There wasn’t just one wedding, there were three of them. Three couples got married and it all resulted in a big and mismanaged feast. I am not in any way complaining or criticizing the arrangements, because it looked as if more than 2000 people were there at the feast, which of course is a mammoth challenge for the people making the arrangements. When we reached there, all dusty and messed up, we couldn’t even find places to sit. We did manage to find a dirty table but didn’t feel that it was too big a deal to complain about it. Meeting my batch-mates after 6 years was, to put it lightly, surprising. They looked the same yet, still, so very changed. I couldn’t help smiling when I looked at each one of them and compared them with how they used to look back in the college.
Nostalgia took over me. I started remembering how some of them used to be really chatty and loud, but now they sat there, silent and all grown up; while those who didn’t utter a word back then couldn’t keep their mouths shut. It was a mixture of surprise and bafflement. Most of them were graduates, with jobs, and a couple of them married as well. It was all too much to digest at that time. The thing that pained me the most was their sudden interest and adoption of smoking. They couldn’t keep their hands off a cigarette throughout the time we were there. They must’ve consumed at least a 100 dozen cigarettes among themselves. Astonishing! And one thing I’ve learned the hard way is that if you ever ask a smoker to tone their smoking down a little, they’d get infuriated and in some cases, scold you instead.
Anyway, we sat for an hour and chatted, until the groom became free of his commitments and then we went to greet him individually. The guy’s really sweet and mellow, he immediately took notice of how mistreated we felt there and arranged seats and dinner for us. We enjoyed the dinner and the brief royal treatment and when we were finished, a friend of ours who lived in Hala had arranged a guest house for all of us to stay for the night. We bid our goodbyes to the groom but he asked us to wait. ‘There’s something that’ll interest you guys.’ And when we asked what it was, his answer shocked me to my very core.
You see, this was a Walima ceremony of three grandsons of a feudal lord in Hala. And at the weddings of a feudal lord or ‘Wadaira’, you have Mujra’s, weapons, fireworks and a lot of alcohol. Yes, it’s the perfect desi interpretation of something that the west calls a ‘Friday night’. I thought he was just messing with our heads, but 15 minutes later, I witnessed women, dressed with the most vulgar clothing, entering the hall. Yep, it was happening. Soon, when all the Wadaira were seated, the little clothing the women had on them, lessened to a negligible amount. I couldn’t stand the abusive display of skin and the ignoble acts of the Wadairas. I immediately found my way away from the disgusting event and sat at the far corner of the hall with one of my friends. Later, another friend joined us and we sat there, wondering, what the hell was happening?
I still couldn’t believe it all. The loud pathetic songs, the blasts of gunshots and the smell of cheap alcohol made me believe that yes, it was all real and pitiful. I kept wondering, this is the lowest we could fall to. The false label we put on our foreheads and proud proclamation of being followers of the greatest religion in the world is all a big fat lie. We’re approaching the downfall of our beliefs and losing the faith in our hearts. Soon we’ll be so lost into the influence of wealth, power and proletarian acts, that only God’s wrath will set our minds right.
After two hours of bizarre scenes and acts, finally, the rest of the batch-mates came and joined us. They started telling me of the sort of wretched things the Wadairas were doing to the dancers, who actually turned out to be prostitutes at the end of the event. This one guy, all drunk and out of his senses, tried to put hundred rupee notes into a girl’s blouse but when he saw her hesitating, he called her ‘manager’ and had her seated on his lap. Such was the level of these so called imperialists. When I saw the groom and his father, sitting all alone and tending to their guests’ needs, I went and asked him about what the hell was going on? Was all this necessary?
Their answer clearly showed their misery. They had to do it, because it was all a ‘status symbol’. When you invite the Wadairas from the village, you have to arrange anything and everything for their entertainment. Some Wadairas were even allowed to take women with them for the night. I couldn’t believe what i was witnessing that night but when the groom said, ‘It’s been here for ages, buddy.’ I knew that this is something that will bring our plight for sure.
I was more than just affected from all this. My mind and my consciousness couldn’t digest it all. The pity inside my head turned into hatred and frustration when later that night, one of my friends’ ridiculous views about Pakistan and Quaid-e-Azam pissed me off completely. In one night, I saw some of my friends turn from long seen batch-mates into drug consuming, lustful, sinful and anti-Pakistan idiots. These were the same guys I spent five good years with. The years that taught us the meaning and importance of unity, faith and discipline; this is indeed the degradation of our faith, norms and values. I’m no saint myself, but I do know the difference between what is wrong and what is right for us. If such things are common in our society, then it gives us no right to ask for God’s pardon and forgiveness when calamities fall on us. With acts like these, we deserve His wrath and we deserve His punishment, until we change ourselves.
May Allah have mercy on all of us and show us the right path. Ameen