So, dear readers, I am absolutely baffled. First came Maulana Sherani with his permission of ‘lightly’ beating wives. Then came Senator Hamdullah with his televised threats of taking off ‘shalwars’. Up until this point I had become a draconian believer of male chauvinism that leads to the objectification of women in our society. But very recently my perception about this misogyny has been gravely marred because then entered Mufti Abdul Qavi with a-lot-more-than-philogynic affection for Qandeel Baloch. Currently, my brain cells are undergoing chaotic bewilderment as to how to overcome this obfuscation and ambivalence. I am frankly unable to take up a rationalised stance… whether to take the men’s hatred for women to be true or to deplore the usage of religion for the fulfilment of idiosyncratic interests of a few phoney clerics.

Let me deal with the vague notions on first-come-first-serve basis. I, like most other women, strongly reprobate any attempt that has ever been made on or off screen to target, dupe and abuse women to whatsoever extent. However, in my opinion, the aim of objectification cannot only be achieved by uttering coarse words or giving contentiously hateful verdicts; it can also be carried off by asking delightfully attractive women to pray for you (you all know about it now, right?). Furthermore, to add sugar and spice, you can always quote around four ayahs or ahadiths in the favour of your claim… and then we take full liberty to conveniently blame the extremists for misunderstanding the meaning of these authentic sources of information by interpreting them out of context. If terrorists have misconceived the true teachings of any given religion then these scapegrace bearded men, whom we glorify as Mullahs and Muftis (not all of them; just a few), are the ones who misguide the commoners. Yet, be that as it may, if such is the trend then I would also like to quote a few ahadith in this article. The first one is:

“Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:I heard Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) saying, “When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can’t see it) then regard the month of Ramadan as of 30 days.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 31, Hadith 124)

When everything has been clearly prescribed by the Prophet (PBUH) regarding the sighting of the moon and when to mark the beginning and the end of Ramadan, and this job is already being done by SUPARCO New Moon prediction programme then what is the need of an elaborated and colloquially functioning Ruet-e-Hilal Committee comprising an unspecified number of members? When these bespectacled Mullahs, too, have to take the help of telescopes to look for the new moon then why can’t we just trust the forecasts given by the 150 observatories of Pakistan Meteorological Department that use much more technically advanced and reliable equipments? Even then, for the sake of argument, I settle the self-concocted dispute by agreeing to any possible argument in the favour of the opposition claiming the indispensable need of such a committee. They may quote the following hadith to vindicate their claim:

“Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “We are an illiterate nation; we neither write, nor know accounts. The month is like this and like this, i.e. sometimes of 29 days and sometimes of thirty days.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 31, Hadith 137)

Dear readers, 29 or 30 days! Don’t you remember the epochal day when Eid was celebrated on 28th day of Ramadan a few years ago? Don’t you remember Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai making this history? Do you still think we need more of such committees, Mullahs and Muftis to play around with the dates marking the beginning and end of every Islamic month, Ashura, the odd nights of Ramadan, and the two Eids? Keeping aside the credibility of such unofficial, self-styled moon-sighting bodies, can we actually trust the official central and local Ruet-e-Hilal committees in the presence of such members as Mufti Abdul Qavi whose own integrity and authoritativeness is now dubious and debatable?

I remember my grandmother ordaining me to do what a Maulvi says and not what he does. But this statement actually confuses me when I see Dr Tahir ul Qadri drinking water while standing during the dharna days and later justifying this act by referring to an unmentioned hadith despite a clear instruction given to us in the following hadith:

“Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “None of you should drink standing; and if any one forgets, he must vomit.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 3, Hadith 772)

Then I see a self-proclaimed Islamic scholar named Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain singing “I am like an Angel” while wearing a blue cloak and riding a motorbike on the set of his Ramadan transmission which further adds to my trouble as I try to figure out the angle from which either of his claims could be testified.

For God’s sake stop playing with our fundamental principles! The reason why I had to repeatedly mention the word ‘bearded’ in this article is owing to the failure of those men to keep the sanctity of Islam alive in the hearts of fellow humans. When taking a decision to grow hair on the lower part of the face, every man should realise the responsibility he is agreeing to take up, which is the true representation of Islam. From that point onwards, you are bound to strongly abide by the decrees of Islam because from then on no one will abuse you for any wrongdoing of yours; everyone will impugn and vilify the religion you claim to be representing.

If you wish to be honoured with such titles as ‘Mufti’ and ‘Maulana’ then you simply cannot take selfies with a controversial model. If you wish to be extolled as an Islamic scholar then you cannot teach us how to ‘actually’ gorge mangoes in someone’s mouth. If there exists any need for a moon-sighting committee then kindly select members with visual acuity of 6/6 and with sufficient credibility. However, if nothing can be done about this then kindly change the name of ‘Ruet-e-Hilal Committee’ to any other which conforms to the emoluments of Grade 20 which the members receive and the monthly dinners that are organised in the name of moon sighting. With this I rest my case.