Alvidaa, Ya Shahru Ramadhan

Alvidaa, Ya Shahru Ramadhan

Alvidaa, Ya Shahru Ramadhan 150 150 Comfort Aid International
We bid adieu to this special month; only a couple of days remain.
Alhamd’Allah, most of the world was in agreement regarding the start of
Ramadhan; I pray the same luck (and rational) prevails for Eid day. The annual
debate, controversies, innuendos and general mayhem regarding the new Eid moon
is becoming…well, kind of old.
A lot occurs this month, here in Sanford, FL and thousands of
miles away, in Bangladesh. I promise me not to travel this month, come what
may, but Allah had other plans for me, and He is the best of planners, of
course. So I have the honor and privilege to travel to Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Here, about 100 miles from Chittagong, languish hordes of Rohingya refugees in
pathetic conditions. Shunned by homeland Myanmar (Burma) and spurned by
neighbors Bangladesh and Thailand, these hapless people face unbelievable
sufferings. CAI donors, in a small way, are able to feed the hungry and
destitute so some of them can eat a decent iftaar.
My iftaars certainly become unpalatable
thinking about the grass-eating children I meet at the refugee camp. You can
read my full trip report and view photographs of this relief effort here.
The month, as always, speeds by fast-fast. My apprehensions of
long fasting days, especially for our younger ones, are misplaced. The
wholesome HIC iftaars (although I now have nightmares of
monster chickens looking to chop off my head for consuming them almost every
day), the duas, lectures, amaals and superb
management and executing all these are worthy of praise, certainly. Why,
members of MC escort ladies to HIC center under the comfort of umbrellas, even,
on a number of thundery days; I am much impressed. No such luck for men,
however; we drench. I only wish the HIC potholes can be permanently repaired so
they do not resemble some urban roads of Uttar Pradesh. Not to mention the
overworked sinkhole behind the building. Aaayoo! The emitting repulsive
whiffs can easily drive even the supremely pious into gudka and nicotine frenzy; reminds me of Pala-Gully of Dongri at
once. Never mind though, Johnny fondly remembers of his reminiscent time spent
in Dongri.
HIC management thoughtfully facilitates Ping-Pong and dartboard
games at the center, so the Center is abuzz with both children and adults in
frenzied competition until wee hours of the mornings. The baraazas after
lectures are robust as usual; the discussions and food will be sorely missed
after the month departs. Asante saana, Hassan Tall and Ali
Budho; you guys make our baraazas so much more comfy. Now if
only the MC will arrange for a well-ventilated covered baraaza shelter (we don’t want to give the Sanford fire marshal
nervous moments with all that smoke emitting between what a real man smokes and
the juvenile e-cigarettes stuff), do we? The
daily Florida summer showers seem to time the blessed event bang-on after iftaar. Maybe Mulla Mchungu can be motivated
to put up the request next time he is here; his smelly beedis can be a good excuse…
While we celebrate and feast, our eyes shed painful tears, hearts
blister and blood boil at the atrocities in Gaza and Iraq. Will there ever be
an end to this mayhem? Will the oppressed in Gaza ever breathe free? Are we
forever condemned to watch innocent children blown to pieces by bombs or
innocent necks slaughtered because of religious affiliation? How much more can
these tortured people take? Is this life worth living, with these images? For
us? For our children? It is a feeling of utter helplessness and suffocation not
being able to do anything. For me.
Here in Sanford, we at HIC have the good fortune having Sheikh
Jaffer Jaffer (Sheikh JJ to me) from Brampton Canada visit us for two weeks.
Wow! What a refreshing change, from the regular mundane aalims we routinely get. His lectures on the
beautiful names and attributes of Allah and how we can apply them in our
lifestyles are both simple and practical; no complicated philosophical
over-the-head humdrum from this guy. His one lecture rebuttal on the controversial
issue of religious (Islamic) pluralism lays to rest (in peace, insha’Allah) all
arguments, I should hope. Bravo Sheikh JJ, I wish we had more of your kind
amongst us. It’s a shame we missed the opportunity to lock your services in
some years ago. I am sure I speak the sentiments of a vast majority of HIC
members in saying kareebu
. Any time.
So, alvidaa ya
 Ramadhan, I know we
have not done justice to your immense sanctity and not taken full advantage of
your immeasurable blessings.
Bachein toh aglay baras hum hain aur yeh ayaam phir haazir hae. Jo
chal basein toh yeh apna siyaam aakhir hae.

Eid mubaarak, insha’Allah.
The Chief Minister’s Assassin – A novel
My novel (print version) has sold almost 320 copies so far, with
fantastic reviews. Not bad, really. Those interested can now purchase a copy
for US$20 (proceeds still benefit CAI’s worldwide orphanage projects).
Here is my guarantee – Order a copy and if you don’t like it, I’ll
refund the purchase price of $20. No tension.
A copy can be ordered from:
Me in the USA –
Fatema Alibhai in Canada –
Sabira Somji in Dubai –
Nazir Merali in the UK –

Murtaza Bhimani in Tanzania –


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