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Islam Vs  Romanticism 

By Mohd Sageer.

As I stand below  the green grass  valley looking at  the distant  misty mountains beyond the pine trees  in awe and wonder, a  breeze of  tranquility descends upon me.  I close my eyes and take a deep breath.

"One of the most beautiful experiences on Earth" . I ponder.

Then suddenly the cool air is ripped apart with the siren of azaan (call to prayer) from a near by mosque.

I cringe and open my eyes.  Next moment the thought of an Islamic hell with its rising blazes and boiling waters grabs my mind. The realization of the horrendous punishment waiting for me for not offering the ritual prayers frightens me to the core of my senses.   Now I do not see any more beauty around. The mountains, the valley, the mist and the smell of flowers, all these don't mean anything to me. My serenity is lost.

But I am a Muslim.  I cannot spend more time there immersing myself in the beauty of nature.  Each time I here an Azaan I must stop whatever I am doing and without delay   should enter into a ritual prayer.

Don't ask me why I am not allowed to offer a spontaneous, personalised  prayer from where I am standing now. Because I am a Muslim! I cannot offer my prayers in whatever manner I wish.  Firstly I have to find a place where I can perform my wudu (ablution). If no water available then I have to pour sand over my hands and legs as a symbolic washing ritual.  Then I have to do some geographical exercise for finding the location of   Saudi Arabia . Don't frown up on this!!  Don't you know that is where the Holy Kaba is? 

I am a Muslim. And I need to face towards the direction of Kaba each time I pray.  Or else my prayer becomes invalid.   

Last summer I married the woman I loved. We used to come to this valley as friends.  She was a Christian at that time. I would watch her closely as we walked along the foggy valleys holding each others hands.  I admired her beautiful hair as it rippled in the softly blowing wind.  She too felt the fresh air fondling her wavy hair and she used to enjoy every bit of it. But not anymore!  She is a Muslim now. I was told I should better have her converted to be a Muslim before I marry her. And a Muslim woman is not allowed to display her hair when she is in public. If she does so, the Mullas said, she will go to hell. And I did not want her to go to hell. The refreshing winds coming from the gardens of daffodils could not do anything about it. In the all encompassing Burqua she now looked like a walking Coca Cola bottle. And I cannot pity her. Because I am Muslim!

These days my paint brushes are gathering dust in the attic of my house. "Don't waste your time. Recite Quran if you don't have anything better to do". They said.  Or if you really want to paint, do Arabic calligraphy of Quranic versus". Anything other than this was not encouraged.

Last week when my wife picked a poetry book to read, they said. "Don't read this rubbish. What poetry is there on Earth better than Quran?" 

A while ago, when my friend visited my house, he eyed my guitar with a suspicious look.  "These things are for "Kaffirs". He sneered. And I put away my guitar not to touch it anymore. Just like Cat Stevens (Now Yusuf Islam ) was ordered to do when he  converted to Islam.

Allahu Akbar ....Allahu Akbar....Another azan blaring out of the mike. Time for another ritual prayer in a series of five! As I get up clumsily to prepare myself for the next prayer, I see a group of people going towards the mountain. They were laughing over a joke someone just cracked. One of them began to sing a song and the others soon joined. Now they are singing together. 

I knew they were not Muslims. Suddenly I realized that I have started to become jealous of other people.

I am a total stranger to the romantic existence of human life. Because I am Muslim 

 

 

 

 

 

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