Blogging in Ramazan
So it should have been established by now that Ramazan is Islam on steroids. Anything ordained in the religion under normal circumstances is to be that much more severely policed in the Holy Month (except for the no eating part, but we have Iftar-cum-Eid to make up for that, praise the Lord!). It seems though, that amidst all the hustle and bustle of preparations for the month of abstinence, certain things get precedence while others get overlooked.
Take the pre-iftari traffic mayhem for instance, people are so caught up with getting home and opening their fasts on time that they end up opening them before time with a platter full of curse-words and insults served to each other. The good Muslim in such trying circumstances during Ramazan should practice the virtue of patience and instead of hurling curses at fellow fast-observers and fast drivers should say: ‘I am someone who is observing a fast and will not pollute my own mouth by insulting you’. This simple practice would not only maintain the sanctity of your fasts but also allow a much more relaxing and cordial iftari-time driving experience.
Today, however, I am not going to deliver an overly moralistic sermon on the do’s and don’ts of Ramazan. All I have set out to do today is simply point out a blatant contradiction that seems to go unnoticed in our exceedingly self-righteous society: Why does blogging go reprimanded in Ramazan? Here we have a practice that is completely unacceptable and goes against every morsel of sanctity that the month represents, it should be eradicated from the fringes of society.
Forget that it’s already borderline-haram in normal circumstances; blogging in Ramazan should be doubly punishable. For, can there possibly be anything more useless than blogging? Firstly, it creates indolence, sloth, and a general lethargy, both over blog writers, as well as, blog readers. Secondly, it also creates a useless kind of pleasure that stems from the activity itself, and which goes on to produce nothing of value. Thirdly, it distracts the pious from thinking purer thoughts and creates undue commotion and confusion in the minds of the believers. Fourthly, it can act as a susceptible medium for fahash materials to be transmitted over the web, i.e. a blog could look like it’s about one thing but actually be about something completely different. Not to mention, that it is a common means of generating large amounts of nonsense.
All this is unacceptable, and that too in the month of purity! I say blogs should be banned for the duration of the entire month; PEMRA should take note of this senselessly hedonistic behavior taking place on the internet and put an end to it immediately. But that won’t be enough now, will it? For little do honest people like you and me know, that bloggers are a vile and insidious species, you stomp them out in one corner and they infest an entirely different kitchen cabinet. Blocking blog portals will only give credence to their cause and embolden them further, pretty soon we’ll have guerrilla-blogs popping up everywhere on the Internet. Who knows, more dedicated ‘underground’ bloggers may even retreat further and start writing their guerilla-blogs on notepads and start passing them around to their blogging buddies. No, surely a simple portal-block wouldn’t solve the problem of blogging in Ramazan.
We must stamp down on this menace with a solid blow. No doubt, to stop this menace from propping up, we have to set a serious example to stop this activity dead in its tracks. I say, take the top 70 bloggers from each major city, tie them up to electricity poles, and flog them in the summer heat from dawn till dusk. That will teach most of them not to pollute the sanctity of the holy month with their nonsense ramblings. I say most of them because as some of us may already know, bloggers are not easily convinced one way or another. For those hardened bloggers who refuse to quit the easy way lays another remedy.
They should be picked up in the night and then the entirety of their mindless and inane blogs should be read out to them on repeat with no respite. If their own nonsense doesn’t quell them, start reading the comments on their blog-posts until you hit one that solicits a vehement reaction in the blogger, then start reading that comment on repeat until the blogger caves in (shouldn’t take more than two or three repetitions at most). That should teach those heathens of bloggery.
Once these more ardent bloggers have been punished for their worldly sins, they need to be reformed and rehabilitated into society anew, for we don’t want them dwindling back into the downward spiral of blogging. They must be given new tasks and responsibilities, but care should be taken that these are equally mindless and unengageing, e.g. sorting pins and paper-clips, or tallying up results of the last by-election.
This Ramazan should be less about talking and more about doing. With positive action comes hope, and with hope comes a chance at unadulterated purity; no doubt this menace won’t end in the first try, but if we start this Ramazan, and carry this practice out every Ramazan, pretty soon we’ll start having blog-free Ramazans like in the good old days, ten years ago. Jazak-Allah!
*Disclaimer: This blog was written after dusk and did not break any of the above-stated precepts. Blog readers are advised caution while reading the above blog lest it interfere with their fasting and/or other religious commitments.
Asif Akhtar is one of Pakistan’s most prominent Tiwtterati. Based at the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research in New York City, he is a specialist in strategic analysis and political affairs; an informed cultural observer and critic; a social commentator and socialite; as well as a professional writer whose collected works can be accessed here.
The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily represent the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.