August 7, 2011 Leave a comment
Aitikaaf is a temporary cutoff from all worldly affairs in the last ten days of Ramadan, with an intention of worshiping Allah. It is actually a source of meditation and relaxation. Who is eligible for aitikaaf? I wonder if all young people start sitting in aitikaaf, who will be there to serve them with basic necessities for ten days… their parents or grandparents? It is an ibadah, not a way out, so it must have some criteria.
In my personal opinion, old people should fulfill this responsibility.
Reason 1 – Old people (men and women) in Pakistan don’t do anything except for criticizing the youngsters. Youngsters get sick and tired of this criticism and start disrespecting and raising their voices. SO THEY BOTH NEED A BREAK FROM EACH OTHER.
Reason 2 – Old men and women are provided with opportunity to recall their memories and ask forgiveness for their wrong actions and decisions. This long pondering may guide them toward good and positive thinking.
Reason 3 – Old men and women can gather together during aitikaaf and share their life experiences and learn good things from each other.
An intermediate girl (who after a very short discussion agreed to learn basic Qur’anic Arabic) asked me that she is planning to sit in “aitikaaf” this year. I asked her the reason and she said, “I want to relax, I want to spend some time in peace”.
I told her, “Aitikaaf is a nafil (extra) ibadah (worship), just like taraweeh. There is no accountability if you miss Shab-e-Mi’raaj, Shab-e-Barah, Taraweeh or Aitikaaf. Even one person can sit in aitikaaf on behalf of the whole neighbourhood. There are some limitations for aitikaaf.”
I asked her, “Are you sure you won’t be distracted by your family members for ten days? You are young, what about the things that you have to do?”
I gave her the example of young boys who don’t step in masjid whole year, don’t read Qur’an, don’t help their family, don’t behave well. But they love to sit in aitikaaf because they are appreciated, rewarded and are forgiven for at least next couple of months.
She had no answer for my questions. She knows that she will be distracted by her family members. But she needs to relax, she needs a break from her 24/7 household responsibilities. They live in an dirty, old building. She is the only one in her siblings left unmarried. She has to take care of old parents, her nieces and nephews and sister-in-laws when they are pregnant. She attends college and coaching.
This is the problem with most of our youth. They share small residence with large family and relatives. No privacy. Lectures and instructions at home. At least 14 years of crazy education in horrible institutions and with rude, ill-mannered and non-professional teachers, lecturers and professors. The only entertainment in Karachi’s life is either Indian movies/channels and eating-out or family weddings. That is it. Port Grand is a new addition to this junkyard.
There are no public parks for girls where they can enjoy playing, sitting or walking on grass. There are no beautiful, colourful public libraries where they can study books of their choice. There is one just established in our area by MQM with a tinee tiny photo of Quaid-e-Azam on the side and a giant photo of Jahil Altaf Hussain on the front wall. The security is tight and they behave rude and strange. So it cannot be called a public library. No coffee house kind of places. Dust, dirt, garbage, under construction buildings and roads, horrible traffic, men/boys walking lousy on the streets, paan-paintings, Altaf Hussain’s photos, party flags, stupid slogans on banners, wall chalking…………… Karachi has become a Hell!
The point is that this international city is lacking all kind of progressive activities for young girls and boys, even a place to meditate and relax.