It was Eid al-Adha also known as Bakrid today. The festival is identified with sacrifice as Muslims around the world remember the selfless sacrifice made by Hazrat Ibrahim. While greeting Muslims, President Pranab Mukherjee said it as a festival that epitomises trust, compassion, sacrifice and forgiveness. And there is no doubt to this fact.
However, at times there are people in society who by their irresponsible act let down the whole community.
The case in point is three incidents that I came across on Bakrid on September 13.
First: Jumping rows in mosque
In the morning when I went to offer Eid prayer at a local mosque in Delhi I got myself seated on a chair due to ailment. At that time the ground floor of the mosque was yet to be filled. Gradually the hall started filling up and with no time it was full with devotees. Late comers forced their ways to sit in first row. Many elderly approached me for the chair. When I declined they moved ahead jumping the rows, giving discomfort to other devotees.
Usually, Muslims are advised not to jump row and sit wherever they find a vacant seat. But this is something that one will unfailingly find some Muslims, and in this incident old people, doing with great ease.
Even during Friday prayer one can easily see that some people despite coming late to the mosque late jump the row and at times they even bully youngsters or children to occupy space. In some cases, these people even pick up verbal fight if they are stopped from jumping the row.
At many Friday prayers I have seen Imams talking about the issue urging people not to jump row and terming the act un-Islamic. Unfortunately many people are least moved by such sermons. I don’t know whether this issue will ever be tackled so as at least old people with years’ of experience behind them desist from such act.
Second: Taking animal skin without owner’s permission
Some residents were heard talking about difficulties in locating animal skin from butchers’ shops in some cases. A resident said when he rushed to collect the skin he was told that some boys allegedly took it.
Despite arguing with the butcher that how come the boys allegedly picked up the skin without his permission there was no reply. In Okhla, it is very common to see small boys urging devotees to hand over the skin during Bakrid. On further probe it was found that these boys who study in local madaris that have mushroomed in the locality of late are allegedly forced to collect skin.
It appears that in many cases owner of religious organizations allegedly use these children in skin collection and other things, which only highlights the pathetic state of affair.
Moreover, for three days in Bakrid several kiosks are found in every street, urging residents to submit animal’s skins. Of them very little is known about these organizations and if you try to find out their antecedents then you are inviting for trouble or fight.
It is sorry state of affair how
Several organizations or people have mastered the art of selling Islam and fattening their personal bank account. More over very little is known about where they spend their money. There is no transparency on how the Ummah’s money is being frittered away.
It is important that such religious organizations should make their financial transactions transparent and should even bring out a White Paper to clear the air of confusion whether they spend Ummah’s money to empower themselves or the marginalized. The sad part is that hundreds of NGOs are located in Jamia Nagar but very little ground work is done.
But this is not to say that good people or organizations don’t exist. They do but they are rare breed now. Also, such incidents are not the norm.
Third: Dumping animal waste and animal slaughter
After reports of several dengue deaths surfaced in Okhla it was understood that the locality that is known as Muslim intellectual centre people will avoid dumping animal waste in the open and slaughter animal in public.
But one again it was seen that animal waste was strewn all over the locality. Basic civic sense was overlooked as several residents complained of animal waste like intestine, head and other useless parts, being dumped outside their house by neighbours at times and strangers in several cases.
Shockingly, no religious organization took up any awareness drive in the locality or mounted pressure on the authorities to make sure that such wastes are disposed off immediately. But maybe they have more national and international important things to do. Living locally, these intellectuals love to think and discuss about global issues completely ignoring the local issues.
The fear is that if it (animal waste) is left to rot then the putrid stink makes it extremely difficult for residents to move around in the locality for days. There are spots in the area that are stifling and suffocating. And with total failure in mosquito breeding as the locality is battling with dengue, chikungunya and malaria, chances are that the health situation might deteriorate to great extent.
Till the outbreak of dengue in Delhi, Okhla appears to be worst hit with authorities, self-proclaimed leaders, religious organizations and NGOs unconcerned. Several deaths have taken place in the locality of dengue with the numbers increasing as worst is yet to come if we go by warning coming from health experts.
Local hospitals are full with patients. To adjust patient rush a local hospital has come up with innovative idea by making desperate patients sit on chairs and take drip. A resident said a pregnant woman delivered a baby while being applied drip sitting on a chair.
For several it is time to make money. There is complete chaos in the locality with residents fearing for their near and dear one. Everybody is talking about how to avoid mosquito biting as literally every next person in the locality is down with dengue or chikungunya or mysterious high fever.
(Muslim diary is penned by a Delhi resident who wants to remain anonymous)