A few weeks ago I attended The News Education Conference 13. The bureaucrats and elite of the nation were the major participants. Policies and education plans of massive scale were argued and negotiated upon. Other than leaders of political parties and officials of government, professors and senior teachers of some of the best institutes of Pakistan were present there. Teachers; those people who prune and shape the youth and thus play a major part in the progress of nations.
After a panel discussion or two, there was lunch break. As that was the only break during the course of the conference, I headed towards the reception while everyone else went towards the dining hall. I asked them where the prayer hall was and finally found an usher who pointed the way. I went up the stairs and found myself in a deserted corridor. On the left was the prayer hall for women and on the right was the men’s. I went into the still more deserted prayer area. I was the only one there and I felt my heart sinking… I had a shrewd idea about the number of men in the men’s praying hall as the same corridor led to both praying areas.
This was the reality. This is the reality of our people, of Muslims today. We talk big, we give ideas as if we’re the most intelligent beings on earth, we think educating (secular education only) the masses is the only solution… My foot! Who’re we trying to fool, really? If we can’t even bow in front of the Creator five times a day then this ‘change’ will never come. Almost 700 times the invitation to prayer has been given in the Quran. Yet we ignore it and then we wonder what’s wrong with us.
Allah says in the Quran, “And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (Taha 124)
Aren’t we living depressed lives today? If we had heeded the Quran, we would have been compelled to pray. And these depressions and anxieties that are being talked about are for this life, whereas in the hereafter when the righteous will ask the criminals, “”What put you into Saqar (hellfire)?” They will say, “We were not of those who prayed,” (Al-Muddathir 42-43)
The only end that we’re heading towards as a nation, if this situation continues, is loss! “But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil –” (Maryam 59)
*Disclaimer: This post in no way is intended to pinpoint a certain person/party/institute or segment of the society.