Well, the moon was sighted by Mufti Muneeb Rehman and the rest of the Ruet-e-Hilal committee. And we got their kind permission to begin Ramazan. The Committee’s task is becoming more difficult as time goes on, not because of the divisions in the Ummah, as because of the unity being brought about, probably because of faster and more powerful communication.

This year, the Arab countries were one day ahead of Pakistan, while Mufti Popalzai, who normally gets a moon sighting to coincide with the Arab world, is very kindly aligning Ramazan with the rest of the country. However, with the Arab world will be Malaysia and Indonesia. Well, the moon skipped us, it seems, for I don’t know how it is astronomically possible for the moon to be sighted in the Arab countries. Be missed by us, and then sighted in Malaysia. Well, I’m putting it down to the same Ramazan miracle as the one which made a break in the weather coincide with the beginning of the Holy Month.

Perhaps the only good thing to come out of the quarrel between the PTI’s Shirin Mazari and the Loadshedder-in-Chief, Kh Asif, was the knowledge that Kh Asif was fasting. That is the only explanation for him saying what he did. Look, I’m not interested in assigning blame. Of course it was reprehensible. But why? It could only be because he was fasting. It does funny things to blood sugar levels and all sorts of other chemicals. Or maybe Kh Asif thought that, as the House’s ex officio munda Sialkoti, he could get away with anything. Or is he a believer in the method propounded by the late Rana Phool Muhammad in the Punjab Assembly. Rana Sahib, for long an inveterate and highly vocal backbencher, whose son Rana Iqbal is Speaker, once said that a member could say anything, no matter how unparliamentary, so long as you apologized. But then, Kh Asif should be ready to apologise. Which he hasn’t. Well, not really.

And I know that it is a very small mercy indeed, but I suppose we should be thankful that he only body-shamed her, and didn’t burn her alive. That seems to be the latest ‘in’ thing for women who have offended in any way. The latest burning took place in Lahore, of a girl who married a man of her choice. So Zeenat Rafiq was burned alive, or maybe first asphyxiated and then her corpse was burnt, for the ‘sin’ of marrying Hassan Khan. True, he was a motorcycle mechanic, and true, it was against her parent’s will, but that does not carry the death sentence. Not by anyone, let alone the girl’s own mother. And certainly not burning alive, which the Almighty has reserved for Himself.

But this is part of a trend. The teacher in Murree, Maria Sadaqat, who was burnt dead last week by her school principal because she was refusing to marry his already-married son, was the last instance. Before that, there had been a girl in Mansehra, whose corpse was burnt in a minivan for helping a couple to run away. I am not trying to absolve Kh Asif, but he was surrounded by unfortunate examples.

Still, I don’t suppose Mian Shehbaz Sharif could have poured water on any flames had he been here, but he was busy running the provincial government by videolink. The Almighty be praised that he is in good health, but he is busy in London looking after his elder brother after his quadruple bypass.

Well, I suppose he and Mian Nawaz must be thankful for the Almighty’s mercies. I mean, look at Muhammad Ali, who was buried in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday. A big funeral. An outpouring of grief. But he was still dead. Mian Nawaz, on the other hand, is alive.

But Muhammad Ali must have fascinated the two, and when he won his Olympic gold medal, Nawaz was only 12, and when he became heavyweight champion for the first time, Shehbaz was 13. Ayub was President, and Pakistan had two wings. But we Muslims continued to be fascinated by strong men.

That fascination continues. But it is as if the Almighty decides who will be honoured, and who not. Will Gen (retd) Ashfaque Pervez Kiyani see such an outpouring of grief when he dies? Assuming he and his brother are by then out of the Lahore DHA mess. And will Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf come back home from exile? Ali was buried in his hometown, the same place where he was not served after he won the Olympic gold medal because he was ‘coloured’.

Well, though the USA no longer had Ali, it still felt it could fight for India in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group. And Modi felt comfortable enough during his trip to the USA that he wouldn’t be arrested for the 1993 massacres of Muslims that marked his becoming Gujerat Chief Minister, that he went ahead and addressed US Congress. No embarrassing questions there about the recent conviction of the rapists of a Danish tourist. The USA obviously thinks India safe enough, no matter what happens.

And one of the things happening seems to be the ultimate victory of Hillary Clinton in the race for Democrat presidential candidate. Her race with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is expected to be intellectually profound, ideologically stimulating and entirely comic.