O people! Listen carefully to my words for I may not be among you next year, nor ever address you again from this spot. You may soon have to appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware. Do not go astray after I am gone ”, said Holy Prophet SAW, while addressing to more than one hundred and forty thousand Muslims on the occasion of Khutba-e-Hajat-ul-Wida (the farewell address). It was the magnificent day when the perfect code of life, Islam accomplished. Every Muslim was made incumbent upon the grand adages of Prophet (SAW) and Holy Quran. Everyone was declared a deserver of egalitarianism and justice. During his glorious sermon, he (PBUH) ordered to treat all and sundry equitably by saying, “All are equal, and none of you is superior to other (except on the basis of Taqwa (piety))”.
‘All of us are equal’, apparently it seems smoothly comprehending statement. But indeed, it surrounds a vast memorandum in it. Equality means, “A state of being equal”. JustS like sameness of distance among the lines carved on a ruler (indicating the inches etcetera), equality is an elegant combination of evenness and impartiality. It welcomes every person of the society to enjoy equal rights, identical opportunities, and impartial attitude of people in every aspect of life. It roots for a society that is free from the barriers of prejudice and discrimination. But, is such type of equality established in this era, in our society and in our country? A big question is dangling unconcerned from decades.
Recently in a Sunday noon, I heard a well-educated aunty in my neighborhood saying, “Are you foolish? Why are you eating with Bashir? Does anyone eat or play with servants?” The echo of these words that was quite depressing for me, would not be less than a twinge of thorns for Bashir, 7 years old son of the housemaid in my neighborhood. The statement of that educated lady not only had disheartened the feelings of the worker’s son but at the same time it would have left an awful psychological impression upon the mentality of her own teenaged child. The negative impression of such incidents is bound to be absorbed in the instinct of children. As a result, they consider themselves ‘superior’ to their workers. Such kind of attitude gives vent to thoughts of discrimination among people, which is usually found in Hindu civilization.
The aforementioned behaviour with workers and subordinates heaps curses upon us, the so-called Muslims. Islam, the religion for entire humanity, teaches us to behave with workers just as brothers. Holy Prophet PBUH said, “Give them (the workers) to eat, the same what you eat yourself and give them to wear, the same what you wear yourself.” But regrettably we the inhabitants of this so called Muslim society never bother to pay attention to these major canons of life. Giving the same to eat is far away, we even don’t like to talk with servant class courteously. They are treated as junk mails, spoiling inbox. You yourself would be the witness of the following routine in many houses of our society. The food which is about to be expired is often given to housemaids, the shabby dresses that have been frayed are destined to them. Unfortunately it is a society where children born with silver spoon in mouth, go to school in a dignified style along with a Coke and a Zinger. They seek education in air-conditioned and serene classrooms. As far as children of poor are concerned, they are always fated to shabby “Tats” (piece of rubbish carpet) and to scorching sun. We have forgot the saying of our beloved Prophet PBUH, “None of you can be Muslim unless he likes the same for his Muslim brother which he likes for himself.”
In our country where people are dying with hunger, unemployment and dearness there rulers are enjoying every kind facility on the globe. They drive the latest model of cars. They live in gorgeous bungalows. They eat five stars. From the cooling puffs of air during scorching summers to warm soothing water in freezing winters, every ease of life is easily accessible to them. In offices, they treat their suboridnates as if they are below than humanity. These are two differernt types of human beings living in one society-a country founded in the name of Islam.
Our ancestors had dreamt a Pakistan where the Muslims of sub-continent might be able to live in accordance with Islamic code of life. They dreamt a homeland where the flowers of brotherhood, equality, tolerance, patience and unity could blossom. But today, when the 64th year of our independence is about to open its mouth, it is questioning us, “Flowers are far away, have you even sown its seeds? Have you ever bothered to realize the real purpose and essence of your independence? Have you?”
These questions might be irritating for us but are revealing the bitter reality of this society. We should not consider ourselves better than the poor/workers/subordinates just because they are below than us in some particular aspects. We are all equal (except on the base of Taqwa). A society where inequality and discimination rules, its inhabitants should bear in mind that today if the cradle of life has lifted them up, do not forget it keeps revolving continuously…